The Parent Trap II is a 1986 television film. It is a sequel to the 1961 film, The Parent Trap. It aired on July 26, 1986 on the Disney Channel as a part of its "Sunday Night Movie". Hayley Mills is the only actor who returned from the original film. She continues to portray Susan and Sharon, the twins who were separated at age one, met up years later at summer camp, switched places, and went on to reunite their divorced parents.
The film focuses on Sharon's daughter, Nikki, who tries to hook her mother up with her best friend's father, portrayed by Tom Skerritt. It was a success for the Disney Channel and it later spawned two more made-for-television sequels which were both produced in 1989.
The film takes place twenty-five years after the original one. Sharon Ferris (Hayley Mills) is unhappily divorced and living as a single, somewhat jaded mother in Tampa, Florida. Her daughter, Nikki (Carrie Kei Heim), is not happy about their impending move to New York City. While in summer school, she makes enemies with Jessica Dintroff (Judith Tannen), but befriends Mary Grand (Bridgette Andersen), whose father, Bill (Tom Skerritt), has been widowed for four years. To stop Nikki from moving and to see their parents happily married, they scheme to set them up.
Nikki and Mary trick their parents into meeting each other by sending Sharon flowers that are supposedly from Bill, but they do not just fall madly in love with one another as the girls had hoped. So they contact Sharon's twin sister and Nikki's aunt, Susan Carey (Hayley Mills). She is happily married and still living in California. She is convinced by the girls to fly to Tampa to help them by posing as Sharon and going on a few dates just to get things started.
"Sharon" "accidentally" bumps into Bill at a bar called the Press Box and watches a few innings of a baseball game with him. The real Sharon detests baseball, and is confused when Bill drops by her workplace the next day and mentions how much fun they had. He and "Sharon" cross paths a couple more times over the next few days. Florence (Gloria Cromwell), Bill and Mary's housekeeper, begins to suspect that something is awry.
Sharon discovers the girls' scheme and decides to trick them instead. She contacts Susan's husband, Brian (Alex Harvey), who is a pilot for TWA, and involves him in her scheme. While "Sharon" and Bill are on a date, the real Sharon and Brian pretend to also be on one, with her dressed as a different woman.
"Sharon" becomes distracted and clumsy on her date while watching Brian. Finally having had enough, she announces to Bill that the man she is watching is Brian. She storms over to their table, but begins laughing when she sees the real Sharon underneath a black wig.
Susan and Sharon clear up the situation for Bill, and Sharon says that she does not have romantic feelings for him, and would like it if they just remained friends. She is still determined to move to New York City.
A going away party is thrown for Sharon and Nikki on the boat of the former's boss, Mr. Elias. Sharon and Bill meet in the cabin while Nikki and Mary go get something from the car. They release the boat's ropes and push it away from the dock. The guests begin arriving and watch helplessly as it drifts away.
Bill and Sharon are enjoying each other's company, but wonder where everyone is. They go up on the deck, see how far out they are from the shore, and then, Bill kisses Sharon. It is long and switches at their wedding. Nikki and Mary are finally stepsisters!
The idea of a second film was announced in 1985. On her interview with Good Morning America that year, Mills wasn't sure about reprising her role as the twins. "I was astonished. I thought what they wanted to do was try to repeat the original film in some way. I wasn't too sure that was a very good idea. It was a good film, and it has passed the test of time," she said to the Chicago Sun-Times. She later agreed to participate in the film.
The film was written by Sally Nemeth with the help of Bruce Graham. In the original draft of the script, Sharon was originally going to have a son instead of a daughter like she does in the finished product. This was changed when rewrites of the script were ordered. The names of Nikki Ferris and Mary Grand are the same names of the characters that Mills portrayed in the Disney films The Moon-Spinners and In Search of the Castaways. Director Ronald F. Maxwell revealed that this was an homage to her films with The Walt Disney Company.
Ronald F. Maxwell was chosen to direct the film, taking over from the original's director David Swift. When the film premiered on the Disney Channel, a documentary titled On Location: Parent Trap II accompanied it. The documentary included footage of Mills as she describes the production of the film and her history with the Disney films. Filming took place for three weeks in the Tampa area. The exteriors of Robert E. Lee Elementary and the interiors of Mitchell Elementary were used as the summer school that Nikki and Mary both attend.
A local Publix was used as the grocery store where Susan and Sharon narrowly miss meeting each other. It has been remodeled drastically since filming had wrapped.
The film's score was composed by Charles Fox. The theme song is "Let's Keep What We've Got," written by Hal David and performed by Marilyn McCoo. It appears during the opening credits while clips from the original film play, and is reprised in the closing credits when the scene where Nikki and Mary are the flower girls walking down the aisle is frozen.
|Sharon Ferris/Susan Carey||Hayley Mills|
|Bill Grand||Tom Skerritt|
|Nikki Ferris||Carrie Kei Heim|
|Mary Grand||Bridgette Andersen|
|Brian Carey||Alex Harvey|
|Jessica Dintroff||Judith Tannen|
- The names of several characters are homages to other Disney movies, starring Hayley Mills. The name "Nikki Ferris" is taken from her character in The Moon-Spinners, while "Mary Grand" is from her character in In Search of the Castaways (although slightly tweaked from "Grant" to "Grand"). Finally, Brian Carey's last name is a reference to that of Mills' character in Summer Magic.
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