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Kung Fu Panda

A 2008 Dreamworks Animation Movie directed by John Stevenson and Mark Osborne

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'Kung Fu Panda' Kicks!

  • Nov 2, 2008
Rating:
+5
I enter this movie with one question: Was Jack Black born to play the voice of Po, or was he merely groomed to play it? I wouldn't be surprised if the whole movie were centered with him in mind. `Kung Fu Panda' is another Dreamworks' production, one that employs or improves admirable animation tricks--giving the film the vitality of a free-flowing digital puppet show. A visual delight, the film has the innovation of `Surf's Up (Full Screen Special Edition)' combined with the entertainment value of `Ratatouille'. Sent mostly on the fast track, the film has a good ol' witty time matched with artful adventure.

Literally and figuratively, Po (Black) dreams of becoming a Kung Fu master. He's a chubby Panda bear who has more passion for eating than making the food at his family's noodle restaurant. As he's humoring his stork father, a crisis develops in the village: A prophecy states Tai Lung (Ian McShane), a dragon more aptly described as a snow leopard with pouncing Kung Fu proficiency will escape Chorgum Prison. The town converges on Jade Square, the center of The Valley of Peace where holy wise tortoise, Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim), will announce the chosen Dragon Warrior. Clumsily, Po propels himself in the center where Oogway, pointing at Tigress has his finger on the panda instead.

All the voices are right on. Jack Black as already mentioned makes all the "That's cool," aphorisms work through his own hapless character. Happily his lines lack the hyperactivity of Po's training or Black's own character past. ("I know you're being all mystical and Kung Fu-ooey," he chortles.) Hardly discernible is Dustin Hoffman, perfectly cast as the quiet curmudgeon master trainer, Shifu (Chief-u). Some of the funniest scenes go along with Po's training. "There is now a level zero!" he proclaims after Po's first session. There's also an acupuncture scene that makes a point of Po's ridiculous novice status. Flanking him are the furious five, including a viper (Lucy Liu), a preying mantis (Seth Rogen), a monkey (Jackie Chan), a crane (David Cross) and a tigress (Angelina Jolie), each bringing a certain perfection to their parts. They're all Shifu's prodigies, and each sport some superhero Kung Fu moves as well as resentful remarks for their new dragon slayer trainee.

Adding fortune cookie wisdom to the mix both illuminates and entertains. ("One takes one's destiny on the road to avoid it." and "There's no such thing as an accident." Now I may be all wrong, but I thought Freud said that one.) Everyone from director Jack Stevenson to editor Clare Knight deserve kudos for assembling such a fine feature. Containing a well done script, shaking up the animation formula, and mixing funny with fabulous action scenes, 'Kung Fu Panda' may duke it out with 'Wall-E (Widescreen Single-Disc Edition)' in the animation category when it comes to Oscar time.

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More Kung Fu Panda reviews
review by . June 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****      artial arts cinema is nearly dead. It dies slowly. And it will die for some time now. I know why the world is so cruel to the genre. In order to satisfy the audience built for a martial arts film, you must be a master at directing such things. You cannot entertain merely with fights generated through CGI animation. This is because people want to be involved. People want a movie that expresses the troubles as well as the strengths of a warrior. This kind of …
review by . January 22, 2011
If you will permit me to share something about myself, I am very close with my dad and my brothers and every father's day, we all go to the movies. For the Father's Day of 2008, we picked Kung Fu Panda and boy did I love it. Not only did I absolutely love it, it's actually my second favourite Dreamworks movie and it's one of my favourite animated movies of all time. The cast is wonderful, the animation is lovely, and its a true underdog story. All this and more make this one of the …
review by . September 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Modern Classic All the Way
   I’ll admit that I usually shy away from films that seem to be showered in hype.  I like to march to the beat of my own drum when it comes to discovering an under-appreciated gem and yet still found myself intrigued by the glowing opinions surrounding DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda.  Sure Jack Black was decent in Shark Tale and Eastern Philosophy would probably naturally lend itself to the notion of martial arts masters who just so happen to be adorable talking animals …
Quick Tip by . July 25, 2010
what can i say iam a big kid at heart..... i love this and iam 23 years old ha-ha lol
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
This film is really cute... Jack Black and Angelina Jolie are marvelous in it...
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I took my girls to see this movie and they laughed and so did I. I would love to see it again!
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
this is a great family movie. ALSO SHOWS THAT NO MATTER THE OUTSIDE A perrence you can do it.
Quick Tip by . March 10, 2010
This was a very funny movie, not just for kids. Everyone can relate and enjoy.
review by . October 10, 2009
Kung Fu Panda is a story about a fat and lazy panda, named Po, who loves Kung Fu and is tired of his boring life spending all day working in his father's noodle shop. Po is unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy, Po's dreams become reality when he joins the world of Kung Fu and studies alongside his idols, the legendary Furious Five - Tigress, Viper, Mantis, Crane and Monkey - under the leadership of their Master Shifu. But before they know it, the vengeful and treacherous snow leopard …
review by . October 10, 2009
Kung Fu Panda is a story about a fat and lazy panda, named Po, who loves Kung Fu and is tired of his boring life spending all day working in his father's noodle shop. Po is unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy, Po's dreams become reality when he joins the world of Kung Fu and studies alongside his idols, the legendary Furious Five - Tigress, Viper, Mantis, Crane and Monkey - under the leadership of their Master Shifu. But before they know it, the vengeful and treacherous snow leopard …
About the reviewer
John L. Peterson ()
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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Wiki

What's a panda to do when his dreams of kung-fu awesomeness awake to the cold reality of noodle-making? Clumsy, overweight Po (Jack Black) dreams of becoming a kung fu master like China's revered "furious five," but instead seems destined to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in the restaurant business. When great leader Oogway has a vision that the imprisoned kung fu warrior Tai Lung (Ian McShane) will soon escape, he declares it time to choose China's dragon warrior--one kung fu master deemed worthy of possessing the dragon's scroll and its secret to limitless power. Po and all the townspeople rush to the Jade Palace atop the highest mountain to witness the contest between Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogan), Crane (David Cross) and Viper (Lucy Liu), but Po is locked outside the palace. After a miracle of sorts, Po lands inside the palace gates, where he is chosen as the dragon warrior and placed under the tutelage of the decidedly non-plussed master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). An unconventional student to say the least, hilarity reigns as Shifu tries desperately to make Po into some semblance of a kung fu warrior. Can Po possibly fulfill his destiny as dragon warrior, or was Oogway's final decision a critical mistake? A film rich with hilarious moments, superior animation, and an important message about believing in oneself and the power that comes from within,Kung Fu Pandais great entertainment ...
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Details

Genre: Family
Release Date: June 6, 2008, June 6, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 8, 2008
Runtime: 1hr 31min
Studio: Dreamworks Animated
First to Review

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