mulanII (5k image)Animated News’ Christian Ziebarth attended a special preview screening last Saturday of Mulan II in the Frank G. Wells Screening Room on the The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, CA. The event served as a benefit for two organizations: The Center for Asian Arts & Media and Families With Children From China (which also received a $2500 charitable donation from Disney).

Though somewhere in between the highs and lows of its predecessor, Mulan II is well-paced, well-balanced, and well-voiced. Considering it is a direct-to-video title the animation is quite commendable. There are a few drawbacks (the central theme – yin/yang – is stated a bit too heavily and the “battle” near the end is more like a skirmish) but none detract from the overall viewing experience. While not on the same production level as Disney’s big summer blockbusters – it was produced by DisneyToons, not Disney Feature Animation – many will be wondering why Mulan II didn’t receive at least a lower profile winter theatrical release in the same vein as Return to Never Land and The Jungle Book II.

A list of attendees, photos from the event, and screen shots from Mulan II can be viewed here:

Attendees included: producer Jennifer Blohm, directors Darrell Rooney and Lynne Southerland, Ming Na (speaking voice for Mulan), Lea Salonga (singing voice for Mulan, as well as singing voice for Jasmine from Aladdin), Gedde Watanabe (voice actor for Ling), Jerry Tondo (voice actor for Chien-Po), Mark Moseley (voice actor for Mushu), star ice skater Michelle Kwan, and living legend June Foray (voice actor for Grandmother Fa in both Mulan movies as well as Rocky the Flying Squirrel and many other animated characters over the last five or six decades).

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Ming Na, Mulan, Lea Salonga

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Jerry Tondo, Lea Salonga, Gedde Watanabe

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Chris Bess, Lynne Southerland, Darrell Rooney

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June Foray

Above launch party photos by Alberto Rodriguez © Berliner Studio/BEImages.

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“Everybody was kung fu fighting . . . “
Animated News’ Christian Ziebarth, Mulan, Channa Ming

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The Joy Luck Club: The Early Years

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“Soon we will have a Panda Express on every corner.”

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Mulan and Shang await their wild honeymoon stallion

All Mulan II images are ©Disney. All Rights Reserved.