One of my favorite Disney classics gets the HD treatment along with its sequel in the Mulan / Mulan II: Two-Movie Collection on Blu-ray. As with most of the Disney classics, I remember being excited to see Mulan when it was released in 1998. I thought it was pretty cool that the company decided to put away the fairy tale romance in favor of a strong heroine doing martial arts and fighting in a war. With plenty of martial arts action, comedy and some heartwarming stories, fans will love this collection of the two films while making newcomers fans of this heroine.
Based on an old Chinese story, the plot of the 1998 original centers around a young woman named Mulan (voice by Ming-Na Wen) who takes her ill father’s place in the army by masquerading as a man so she can help in the war against the invading Hun army led by the vicious Shan-Yu (Miguel Ferrer). Of course, pretending to be a man isn’t going to be as easy as she thought, but she has help from her dragon guardian Mushu (voiced to comedic perfection by Eddie Murphy) as she trains under Shang (B.D. Wong) to get ready for the battle against the Hun.
In the 2004 direct-to-video sequel, Mongols are threatening to invade China, so the Emperor attempts to make peace by marrying his three daughters to the sons of the province’s king, and therefore unite the nation. General Shang and his now fiancé Mulan are in charge of escorting the daughters, but things don’t go as planned as Shang’s buddies from the first film tag along for the ride and fall in love with the ladies and they with them. This leads to all kinds of problems not only for the group, but quite possibly for all of China as well.
While the sequel wasn’t as exciting as the original film, I enjoyed watching them both, as I loved the characters and watching them go on the many adventures they went through to save China. Even better was being able to finally watch them in high-definition on Blu-ray, as it was like seeing them again for the first time. Every color and detail comes in perfectly, which helps the already fantastic artwork and animation come alive even more. The DTS-HD 5.1 audio is just as great, making sure every line of dialogue, sound effect and inspirational song comes through perfectly.
There’s a few special features for each film, such as audio commentary for Mulan by directors Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft along with producer Pam Coats as they speak about the development of the story, songs and more. There’s also seven deleted scenes for the original film, music videos and more behind the scenes stuff for both titles that’s sure to keep viewers busy long after the movies end.
The Mulan / Mulan II: Two-Movie Collection Blu-ray makes a nice addition to any family’s library of films, as I’m sure fans will enjoy them all over again while introducing those new to them to some pretty awesome characters and stories. The original theaterical movie is the main presentation here as it represents one of the better late-90s Disney animated features. While the direct-to-video sequel isn’t nearly as good as the original film it still makes a decent follow-up, and fans invested in the characters will probably like seeing them in action again. And thanks to a beautiful high-definition transfer both films look and sound better than ever. Packed with plenty of martial arts action, comedy and adventure, these movies are sure to kick up the fun on family night.
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Walt Disney Studios