The Parent Trap II is a 1986 television film. It is a continuation to the Walt Disney Pictures 1961 film, The Parent Trap. It aired on July 26, 1986 on The Disney Channel as a part of the channel's "Sunday Night Movie". Hayley Mills is the only actor who returned from the original film. She continues to portray Sharon and Susan, 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. The film was a success for the Disney Channel and it later spawned two more made-for-television sequels, both produced in 1989.
The film takes place twenty-five years after the original film. 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, Nikki makes enemies with Jessica Dintruff (Judith Tannen), but befriends Mary Grand (Bridgette Andersen). Mary's father, Bill Grand (Tom Skerritt), has been widowed for four years. To stop Nikki from moving to New York and to see their parents happily married, the girls 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, Susan Carey (Hayley Mills). Susan 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. "Sharon" and Bill cross paths a couple more times over the next few days. Florence (Gloria Cromwell), Bill and Mary's maid, begins to suspect that something is awry.
Sharon discovers the girls' scheme and decides to trick them instead. She contacts Brian Carey (Alex Harvey), Susan's husband who is a pilot for Trans World Airlines, and involves him in her scheme. While "Sharon" and Bill are on a date, the real Sharon and Brian pretend to also be on a date, with Sharon dressed as a different woman.
"Sharon" becomes distracted and clumsy on her date while watching her husband. Finally having had enough, she announces to Bill that the man she is watching is her husband. She storms over to their table, but begins laughing when she sees her sister underneath a black wig.
Susan and Sharon clear up the situation for Bill, and Sharon says that she does not have romantic feelings for Bill, and would like it if they just remained friends. She is still determined to move to New York City.
A goodbye party is thrown for Sharon and Nikki on the boat of Sharon's boss, Mr. Elias. Sharon and Bill meet in the cabin while Nikki and Mary go get something from the car. The girls release the ropes from the boat and push it away from the dock. The guests begin arriving and watch helplessly as the boat drifts away.
Sharon and Bill are enjoying each other's company, but wonder where everyone is. They go to the deck, see how far out they are from the shore, and then, Bill presses his lips against Sharon's. The kiss is long and switches at the wedding. Mary and Nikki are finally sisters!
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," Mills 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 Hayley 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 Mills' films with the Walt Disney Company.
Ronald F. Maxwell was chosen to direct this sequel, 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 Hayley 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, Florida area. The exteriors of Robert E. Lee Elementary and the interiors of Mitchell Elementary School were used as the summer school that Nikki and Mary both attend.
A local Publix was used as the grocery store where Sharon and Susan narrowly miss meeting each other. The store has been remodeled drastically since filming had wrapped.
The film's score was composed by Charles Fox. The theme song for the film is "Let's Keep What We've Got," written by Hal David and performed by Marilyn McCoo. The song appears in the beginning of the film during the opening credits while clips from The Parent Trap play.
Other songs in the film include "Nothin' At All," sung by Andrea Robinson, who would later voice Ariel's mother in Disney's The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, and "Stand Back," sung by Phyllis St. James.
|Sharon Ferris / Susan Carey||Hayley Mills|
|Bill Grand||Tom Skerritt|
|Nicole "Nikki" Ferris||Carrie Kei Heim|
|Mary Grand||Bridgette Andersen|
|Brian Carey||Alex Harvey|