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The Emperor of China seeks an alliance with the Qui Gong kingdom, one that would help his Empire against prospective invaders. To do so, three of his daughters are supposed to be married to his new allies. Princesses Mei, Ting-Ting, and Su are to be escorted towards the borders. However, the young girls are seeking a way to choose their own husbands and avoid this duty.
During the journey, Mushu tries to manipulate Mulan and Shang to break up. For if Mulan leaves the Fa family and joins the Li one, his role as guardian would be over. When Shang is thought killed, Mulan offers to replace the princesses as a bride. A rather broken-heartened one. The situation is resolved with Shang turning up alive, the alliance concluded with no marriage involved and the Fa-Li family lines legally merging.
While the film tries to depict the superiority of marriages based on love to arranged marriages, the story has unfortunate implications. The Princesses wish to find true love and abandon responsibility would endanger the safety of their Empire and their people. Mulan as the rather docile bride-to-be in an arranged marriage, waiting for Shang to resurface in order to look alive again, is a bit too reminiscent of the stereotypical damsel-in-distress waiting for her hero.