Mulan really is a great story and has some amazing animation. The Blu-ray release both looks and sounds great.
Loosely based around the poem The Ballad of Hua Mulan, Mulan is a story about a woman who has not yet found her place in life. When China is about to go to war against the invading Hun forces, the Emperor decrees that all first-born males in each household must serve in the Imperial Army. Having no brothers, the duty to serve falls on Mulan’s father. Her father has previously served and it looks like he has a war-related injury that would more than likely get him killed if he were to go into battle again. Mulan’s great love for her father leads her to disguise herself as a man and serve in his place. The journey and the end results get pretty hilarious. Eddie Murphy’s voice acting as Mushu definitely helps that along as well.
With a great voice cast including Ming Na, Pat Morita, George Takei, Eddie Murphy with Lea Salonga and Donny Osmond providing the singing voices for Mulan and Shang.
Mulan II is mainly about the relationship (and engagement) of Mulan and Sheng. There’s a mission that the two of them and three of the soldiers from the original movie have to fulfill for the Emperor. Along the way, Mushu decides that Mulan and Sheng shouldn’t be together and spends most of the movie trying to break them up. Additionally, the three soldiers end up falling in love with the Emperor’s three daughters. Daughters that are betrothed and being delivered to a neighboring kingdom (their mission) in order to form an alliance between that kingdom and China.
As direct-to-video sequels go, the animation and story were both pretty good on this one. Also, I did not realize until the end credits rolled that Eddie Murphy did not return to voice Mushu and the character was being voiced by Mark Moseley. Moseley does one heck of an Eddie Murphy impression!
There’s lots of bonus features to be had on each of the movies and it will take you quite a while to get through it all, but definitely worth it!
- 11 Deleted Scenes
- 15 Backstage Disney featurettes
- Six music videos including Christina Aguilera, Stevie Wonder, 98 Degrees, Jackie Chan & more
- Audio Commentary