Mulan II appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I felt pleased with this solid transfer.
Sharpness fared well. No problems with softness crept into the image at any time. The movie stayed nicely distinctive and well-defined. I saw no issues related to jagged edges or shimmering, and the transfer also appeared to lack any edge enhancement. As one might expect from a modern flick, it didn’t display any source flaws.
Colors looked quite good. Like the original movie, Mulan II used a fairly pastel palette with concise but gentle tones. The disc exhibited them with good vividness and clarity. The colors consistently appeared lush and rich. Blacks were also dense and deep, while low-light shots showed good definition. All in all, I found no problems here.
Although the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Mulan II didn’t present a sensational mix, it worked fine for the material. The soundfield opened up the events acceptably well, though not in a particularly dynamic way. Most of the audio stayed focused in the forward channels. Those speakers featured good stereo imaging for the score as well as a nice sense of delineation for effects. The various elements were accurately placed and moved across the channels well.
The surrounds contributed reinforcement most of the time but contributed a bit of unique information on occasion. The smattering of action sequences worked best, although they never became too active. They did enough to help create a moderately involving setting.
Across the board, audio quality remained positive. Speech blended with the animation and sounded natural. No problems with edginess or intelligibility occurred. The score sounded lively and dynamic, with tight lows and vivid highs. Effects also demonstrated nice dimensionality, as they appeared clean and appropriately powerful. This wasn’t a terribly impressive soundtrack, but it did what it needed to do.
How did the Blu-ray compare to original DVD from 2005? Audio was a bit peppier, but the visuals showed the more obvious improvements, as the Blu-ray delivered tighter definition and more vivid colors.
The Blu-ray duplicates most of the DVD’s extras. We get a collection of four deleted scenes. We find “Battle Sequence” (4:30), “Mei Flirts” (1:44), “The Escape Part 1” (1:56) and “The Escape Part 2” (1:44). Producer Jennifer Blohm and directors Darrell Rooney and Lynne Southerland offer introductions for these clips. They give us some notes about the scenes and let us know why the snippets didn’t make the cut.
All of the deleted scenes come in the form of story reels; none of them present even rough animation. To my surprise, these clips offer some interesting sequences. The first one could have added some much-needed action to the affair and might’ve been a good addition. The others help develop relationships a little more, though they probably would seem redundant. In any case, it’s good to get a look at all of them here.
A short featurette looks at The Voices of Mulan. In this two-minute and 54-second clip, we hear from Southerland, Rooney, Blohm, and actors Ming-Na, Pat Morita, Jerry Tondo, Gedde Watanabe, Lauren Tom, and Michelle Kwan. They offer some quick notes about the characters but don’t tell us much in this brief and puffy program.
Next we find a music video for “(I Wanna Be) Like Other Girls” by Atomic Kitten. This simply presents a montage of movie clips accompanied by a rock-oriented version of the song. It’s dull.
The disc launches with ads for The Little Mermaid and Monsters University. These also pop up under Sneak Peeks along with promos for the Disney On Ice, the Newsies stage show, Planes, and Return to Neverland.
A second disc offers a DVD Copy of Mulan II. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
Will fans of the original movie find a comparably strong experience with Mulan II? No, but it stands as one of the better Disney direct-to-video sequels, as it offers a mostly enjoyable way to pass the time. As for the Blu-ray, it presents excellent visuals and nice audio but skimps on bonus materials. This is a moderately entertaining flick and a decent Blu-ray despite the lack of extras.
Note that the Blu-ray of Mulan II pairs it with the 1998 original film. Both appear on the same disc.
To rate this film visit the 2005 review of MULAN 2