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Believe it or not, this is the last song in the film (though I plan to cover several more orchestral moments to round out the film). Here’s the set up: while Mulan’s training is now going very well, there have been no orders for the soldiers to move out to battle, making it very possible that they won’t see any combat at all. This goes against Mushu’s plans of making Mulan into a hero (to improve his reputation back home) so he conspires with Lucky Cricket to create some fake orders that are ostensibly from Shang’s father General Li. According to the “urgent news”, Shang and his troops are needed at the front, so they quickly head out on the march.
During the long march, the soldiers begin to complain about the never-ending boredom of marching along, but Ling has an idea to keep their minds occupied: talking about girls! Specifically, the dream girls that they’d love to have waiting for them when they get home after the war.
The “dream girls” are animated in a style similar to traditional Chinese art
Ling, Yao and Chien-Po each have their idea of the “perfect woman,”: Ling wants a really pretty girl; Yao wants a girl that admires his physical strength; and Chien-Po (predictably enough), would like a girl that can cook really well. When pressed on the type of girl Mulan/Ping would like, she lamely attempts to sing about a girl with “lots of brains, who always speaks her mind” but that idea is soundly rejected as being “unrealistic.” Chi-Fu (the stuck up advisor from the Emperor’s court, and extremely disliked by everybody) claims to have a girl waiting for him back home (but Yao is of the opinion that the only girl who could love Chi-Fu is his own mother).
Now approaching the mountains, the men continue to whistle about “girls’ worth fighting for” and everything seems about to break down into a snowball fight when suddenly-the song abruptly ends (indeed, this is one of the few Disney songs to end this way).
The reason for the song ending is frighteningly clear: the small army has encountered a burned out village in the mountains. Incredibly, while Mushu’s news was meant to be fake, it seems there really IS danger up at the front, because this is where General Li is supposed to be with the bulk of the Imperial Army.
But the bad news isn’t over. Just over a rise, Chi-Fu sees the full extent of what’s happened: somehow, the entire Imperial Army has been slaughtered, including Shang’s father. Heartbroken, Shang sets up a small memorial to honor his father’s memory and then makes ready to pursue the Hun army. With the Imperial Army wiped out, the only thing standing between the Huns and the Imperial Palace are Shang and his men (and one dragon and a cricket).
What should have been an easy mission to support General Li’s forces has now turned into a life or death scenario: Shang’s forces are hopelessly outnumbered by the Hun Army (which has not been seen in full yet), how are they possibly going to defeat them? It’s going to take a lot of ingenuity on the part of a certain soldier named Ping….
Next time: the Huns begin their attack!!!
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