Mulan II: Beyond Duty

by Fabian Toulouse

The gutsy heroine is back to help save China once again. After her last campaign, Mulan had returned home a hero, and with the heart of her hunky hero, General Shang. Much to Mulan’s shock, Shang comes to her home and proposes. Before they can be married, they are both called upon to serve China once more. They are charged to escort the Emperor’s three lovely daughters to be betrothed so an alliance can be formed to stave off the encroaching Mongols.

Shenanigans abounds on their trip thanks to Mulan’s little dragon Mushu. Mushu has discovered that when Mulan marries, he will no longer be needed as her guardian, so he desperately tries to break up the young couple. Mulan is soon torn between her heart and her duty when she discovers the three princesses are in love with Chein-Po, Ling, and Yao, her friends and compatriots from the first movie. Shang and Mulan’s relationship is strained when she decides to go against orders and not deliver the princesses. This will cause China to be divided in the face of the Mongol’s threat.

Before they can discuss the matter further, the entourage is attacked by bandits. Mulan and Shang fly into action to save the princesses. While saving them, the rope bridge they are on breaks. Dangling from the rope and realizing it will not support them both Shang lets go of Mulan and falls to his death. As night falls, it begins to rain and the once laughing group is despondent. The group looks on helplessly while Mulan stands above the spot where Shang fell. Grief stricken, she plunges his sword into the ground and falls weeping to her knees, a position she stays in until morning.

In a moving moment that will surely move you to tears, Mulan rises, determined that Shang’s death will not be in vain. Her plan is to go and offer herself in place of the princesses ensuring their happiness and the kingdom’s safety. Little does she know that Shang has survived the fall and is on his way to make amends. It will take a lot of love – and a little Mushu – to untangle this delicate situation.

The beloved story of Mulan is actually a 2000-year-old Chinese legend that Disney adapted for the big screen. In the adaptation, there were significant changes made to the film and some inconsistencies. In Mulan II, Mulan is dressed at times in a Japanese kimono, this is inconsistent with the fact that she is Chinese. In the original tale, Mulan fought for many years as a man before her comrades discover she is a woman. Mulan’s surname name, pronounced Fa in the movie, should actually be pronounced Hua. The difference is regional, but the filmmakers thought Fa was more “user friendly.

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