After suffering tough opening round defeats in her last two tournaments, Dokic, the No.7 seed in Kuala Lumpur, left nothing to chance against Mladenovic, dominating the rallies with her trademark flat hitting and running out a 63 61 winner in just over an hour.
"No match is easy," Dokic said. "Maybe it did look that way but I earned my points. Of course Mladenovic did make some double faults, which always helps, but I still had to work hard.
"The crucial point was when the match was at 2-2 and that was when I had to become more aggressive. After breaking her serve when leading 3-2, she fell apart I started to come in more and tried to dominate the game. That is where I had the advantage."
In the bottom half of the draw, the only seed in action, Petra Martic, had a far more difficult time of things against World No.138 Erika Sema. Despite sitting 72 places below Martic in the rankings, Sema gave the No.5 seed all she could handle before finally going down, 46 64 75.
Next up for Martic is another Japanese player, Kurumi Nara, who defeated Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, 64 63. Monday's other singles winner was also from Japan, and, after recovering from the shock of losing the opening four games, Misaki Doi overcame Russian wildcard Olga Puchkova, 46 61 62.
Tuesday will see the remaining six seeds begin their title challenges in the Malaysian capital, including newly crowned Dubai champion Agnieszka Radwanska and former World No.1 Jelena Jankovic.