Disney’s Bad Straight-to-Video Sequels: Starting with Mulan 2

Ah Disney. They can pull off a decent sequel, for example Frozen 2. But times are different now: if a sequel to one of their big hits doesn’t go to the cinema it will get released on Disney +. But back in the day, a sequel, that for whatever reason didn’t make it to the cinema, would end up on VHS and later DVD/Blue-ray. And whilst some of them may have been passable, even decent,, many were bad. The main reason why they were bad is because they had that quick cash grab feeling. And often they undone the good work the previous film laid down.

Case in point number 1, Mulan 2. I hate Mulan 2. The first film is very good. If you haven’t seen it, it tells the story of Fa Mulan who is the daughter of the elderly Fa Zhou. Mulan impersonates a man so that she can take her father’s place during a general conscription to counter a Hun invasion. The film is action packed, funny, has good pathos, a great voice and singing cast. The animation was also impressive for the time.

The Epic Journey Continues? No it doesn’t, you derailed it big time.

Fast forward to 2004 and we were ‘treated’ to Mulan 2. Now, the fact that it didn’t reach the cinema might say something. But even though it didn’t, it still wasn’t good enough for a home entertainment release! Sound harsh? I don’t think so. Because the criticism that is rightly aimed at Mulan 2 by me and many others is not down to poor animation or voice acting. No the animation is not awful, and the voice acting remains good. Its down to the storyline. A storyline that literally takes away what made the first Mulan good.

Mulan was praised because we were given a female protagonist who didn’t fit into the classic Disney Princess mould. She wasn’t waiting for a man to rescue her. In fact, it was the opposite, she was saving a man. She was fighting so her father didn’t have to. She wasn’t defined by a romance. So guess what they decide to do with the sequel? Yep, that’s right. The complete opposite to the first film, and have Mulan turned into everything she wasn’t supposed to be. Nice one Disney.

A Mulan 3 was originally on the cards but scrapped, almost certainly because of the bad reaction to the second one. They wasted an opportunity -Mulan 2 could have been a good straight to video sequel. They could of had the characters go on any kind of adventure, that perhaps furthered their character development in a more positive way then the direction tha was eventually chosen.

Since Mulan 2 we have had the live action version of the original story, I haven’t seen it yet and I haven’t heard any talk of a sequel. But if there was, I think it’s a lot less likely they would make the same bad sequel choice this time round.

I’m interested to know, did anyone like Mulan 2?






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