Mushu (Mulan 2)

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"Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow, DISHONOR ON YOUR WHOLE FAMILY!!!" - The real Mushu's reaction to the the Mulan II version of Mushu

Mushu is an anthropomorphic red dragon and the deuteragonist of Disney's 1998 animated feature film, Mulan. He is the titular character's closest companion, acting as her guardian and guide. In the sequel, Mushu serves as the tritagonist where he was sadly flanderized.

Why He Sucked

NOTE: This articles only applies to the character as depicted in Mulan II.

  1. Mushu goes from being a likable comic relief as he is in the first film to a despicable, self-centered jerk for no apparent reason other than to not lose his job in the sequel, and is more out of character than any of the other characters in the sequel, losing all of his charm. In fact, he's so despicable that he could very well be the sequel's metaphorical antagonist.
    • Mushu may have been self-centered in the original film, but not to this extent.
  2. Since the sequel generally doesn't have any larger-than-life antagonist to serve as a big threat (save for a couple of bandits that briefly appear in the film's climax), Mushu is basically shoehorned into the plot for no valid reason other than a forced attempt to create pointless conflict between the film's main characters Mulan and Li Shang.
    • Recasting an comic relief sidekick who was originally portrayed a protagonist role with sympathetic qualities like Mushu as the antagonist with zero empathy and redeeming traits is an extremely abysmal idea that was bad from the start, which was why it upset and angered so many fans of Disney's Mulan and the Mushu character in general. Worse, this idea heavily contradicts his character development in the first film, since in the first film's climax he had put aside his selfishness in favor of putting Mulan's happiness above his own, including loyally following Mulan when she insists on stopping the Huns.
    • He causes way more damage and physical harm towards Mulan and the rest of the protagonists compared to the film's "supposed antagonists" such as the unseen Mongols, Lord Qin, Prince Jeeki, and the bandits that appear in the film's climax, which is clearly evident when he sends the carriage which the Emperor's three daughters Mei, Su and Ting-Ting are carried to spiraling out of control to the point that it falls off the cliff and into the river, hence making him come off much more of a villain than all the aforementioned "supposed antagonists" as previously mentioned above.
  3. Speaking of character development, he has little to no character development throughout the entire movie, unlike the previous film.
  4. His gags had gone from funny, wildly hilarious and entertaining in the first film to mostly flat, stale, unfunny in the sequel.
    • Speaking of which, the entire scene of his many botched attempts at breaking up Mulan and Shang at the campsite which involves Shang on the receiving ends of the slapstick gags overall feels like something out of a rejected Looney Tunes cartoon.
  5. His jealousy drove him to try to break up Mulan and Li Shang just to keep his job.
    • His motives were selfish rather than selfless, and he did not think about Mulan. He only thought about himself.
    • On that topic, he easily could've solved his problem by immediately telling Mulan about his problem about his job being at risk because of Mulan’s marriage instead of secretly trying to sabotage Mulan and Shang’s relationship and therefore coming off as an unlikable jerk in the process.
  6. In Ancient Chinese culture, dragons are used a symbol to represent good luck and harmony as well as imperial power and unity, and Mushu's portrayal in the original film at least stays true to that symbol in Ancient Chinese culture. But Mushu, a dragon, starts being a selfish jerk constantly attempting to break up both Mulan and Shang throughout the entire film, which completely goes against the Chinese culture's purpose with dragons, which is what made him even more unlikable in this film in the first place.
  7. The moment he succeeded turned him into one of the most hated Disney characters of all time.
  8. He is far more prone to emotional outbursts compared to the first movie which is what made him even more annoying in the sequel, such as he suddenly crying hysterically upon finding out Mulan is getting married to Shang, as well as when he throws tantrums when his plans to sabotage Mulan and Shang's romantic relationship backfires on him, and his whiny confession to Mulan of the truth that he ruined her relationship with Shang by the film's climax.
  9. He had been aggravating Shang's family's ancestors with demands for special treatment ever since Mulan became a war hero by the ending of the first movie.
  10. Hypocrisy: At first, it may seem as if that he is supportive towards Mulan, such as him hysterically crying tears of joy upon finding out Mulan is getting married to Shang, and shortly after getting the boot from the Fa family ancestors he still remained firm to put Mulan's happiness above his, even telling Cri-Kee so in the face. But soon however he quickly changes his mind and decides to break Mulan and Shang up, hence heavily contradicting what he said to Cri-Kee earlier, and making his positive reaction he previously displayed towards Mulan earlier seem rather insincere.
  11. Despite that he did fixed the problems he caused towards both Mulan and Shang by the end of the film and released both of the Emperor's three daughters Princess Ting-Ting, Mei and Su while posing as the Dragon of Unity, he forgot to mention anything of forming the alliance between the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong in exchange for letting the girls marry whoever they please, hence like Mulan, Shang and their army buddies as well as the Emperor's three daughters, consequently result in China to be doomed under the Mongols' invasion after the events of the sequel, hence making him just as selfish and irresponsible as the rest of the protagonists of the same film. And worse, neither he and the rest of the protagonists of the same film receive any sort of repercussions for their irresponsible behavior of entirely sabotaging the arranged marriage between the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong despite the fact that said arranged marriage is crucial for the alliance between the two countries. Hence making him, along with them, all Karma Houdinis. Our heroes, everyone!
  12. He is also incredibly idiotic with barely any sense of logic or reasoning, as evident on how he did numerous stupid decisions out of impulse throughout the film (even more so than Fa Mulan and all the other characters), so much to the point that it frustrates Cri-Kee to no end and therefore serves no purpose to Mulan other than trouble for the most part (which Mulan later calls him out for in the film's climax) throughout to the sequel. This is in contrast to his portrayal in the first film, where he at least was helpful and has some degree of intelligence and wisdom when it comes to guiding Mulan throughout her journey at the camp and in the war against the Huns despite his generally impulsive nature and occasional lack of reasoning.
    • Sure, Mushu may not be the smartest character in the original film, but not to this extent of making him a complete idiot like how the sequel made him out to be.
  13. He overall teaches a bad lesson to kids to "do whatever it takes to yourself happy at the cost of hurting other people's feelings" which consequently would teach kids into becoming extremely selfish in the worst possible way. Even after he tried to fix the problems he caused for both Mulan and Shang, he never learns anything; instead he just ends up repeating that same mistake again by forgetting to mention anything of forming the alliance between the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong in exchange for letting the girls marry whoever they please, therefore like Mulan and the rest of the other protagonists, also teach kids a bad lesson to "Ignore all the rules and tradition and abandon all sort of responsibility and do whatever it takes to make yourself happy at the cost of dooming your own country or society in the process".
  14. His voice is super annoying in this sequel, unlike in the first film (as well as all other media such as the video games and House of Mouse) where it was charming, mainly due to his voice actor by Mark Mosely constantly talking way faster than normal and/or constantly yelling the majority of the character's lines in the sequel.
    • Since Eddie Murphy didn't reprise his role as the character in the sequel, Mark Mosely took over as the voice of the character. While Mark Moseley is good as Mushu, he puts on an Eddie Murphy impression, which ends up as unintentionally racist, since Mark Mosely's ethnicity is a Caucasian while Eddie Murphy on the other hand is of an African-American ethnicity.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. He is still well animated with vibrant expressions and swift, smooth body movements.
  2. He feels sorry afterwards and goes out of his way to get Mulan and Shang to marry despite accidentally costing China to be doomed to the Mongols in the process after the events of the film by forgetting to form an alliance between the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong while posing as the Dragon Of Unity.
  3. Mushu's infamous line: "Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow, DISHONOR ON YOUR WHOLE FAMILY!!!" is a little bit funny, even though half of it was said in the first movie.
  4. While his voice is super annoying in this sequel, Mushu's new voice actor for this film, Mark Moseley, is very close to Eddie Murphy despite it being a racist stereotype.
  5. He actually got told off by Mulan when she found out because he finally blurted it out, meaning that he did get some minor punishment for his actions.
  6. The reason why Mushu became an antagonist is because he's way too comedic to try to make each scene be very funny.
  7. He was a much better, funnier, and more likable character in all other entries outside Mulan II and has massively redeemed himself in the Kingdom Hearts video games.

Videos

Trivia

  • Eddie Murphy could not reprise his role as Mushu for Mulan II due to a clause in his contract for Shrek 2. Because of this, Mark Moseley, who previously voiced the character in the video games and Disney's House of Mouse, replaced him in said film. Coincidentally, Moseley has also filled in for Murphy by voicing Donkey in the Shrek video games.

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