Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Starring: Jack Black, Ian McShane, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross
Directed by: Mark Osborne, John Stevenson
Written by: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
Rating: PG Running Time: 1 hr. 32 min
Western comedic sensibilities and eastern martial arts mysticism come together to make great family entertainment in Kung Fu Panda. A brightly animated and surprisingly beautiful movie, delivering a nice simple story about believing in one’s inner value.
Kung Fu Panda is a lot of fun. Jack Black’s Kung Fu geek, Po, is a hilarious foil to the more serious Furious Five and Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), and his character’s journey, while nothing we haven’t seen before in a million other martial arts underdog stories, is played with pace and style. Looking always to find the humor, whether that be with some basic slapstick mayhem, or cleverly written dialog delivered by all involved.
It’s easy to see why this film did so well. Kids will love the action, and the entire family will enjoy the humor and central message. As Po discovers, power doesn’t reside in any fancy tricks or mystical words. Kung Fu Panda excels because writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger haven’t over-complicated the story. This is your classic good versus evil paradigm, and director’s Mark Osborne and John Stevenson make sure the film never rests on his furry tuckus.
This is a fast brightly animated feature, and only 92 minutes long. Expect easy to follow action, and lots of great humor.
This film is really nicely animated and would look great on a theater sized screen. At home a HD screening on a nice big TV is your best bet. I wouldn’t recommend you watch this on a laptop, tablet or phone sized screen.
During Po’s training with Master Shifu, the two duel over a last dumpling. It’s a great sequence loaded with cool moves and a great sense of humor.