Don’t worry. There’s no charge for the awesome contained in this review. If you watched Kung Fu Panda, you have a better chance of getting that joke. Although Kung Fu Panda may not be any WALL E, it still proves to be an epic-ly fun and interesting 1 1/2 hour kung-fu adventure. The story follows Po (Jack Black), a panda who dreams of being a martial arts master, but has some trouble getting there working in his father(the infamous James Hong)’s noodle kitchen. He sneaks off to the ceremony of the dragon warrior, and is picked by the great Master Oogway. Although he is initially rejected by the furious five and Master Shifu, he is eventually respected and pinned with the monumental task of taking down Tai Lung.
One thing I really respected about this movie was the excellent voice work. Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Wayne Knight, and Micheal Clarke Duncan all appear and do excellently in their parts. However it was the talent by comedic mastermind Seth Rogen, Ian McShane, and of course, Jack Black, who is perfect for the role. The movie also really well combines both comedy andaction. I was rolling with laughter at some times, other times I was just awe-struck at the brilliantly dazzling action movements and graceful animation. Jack Black really proves to be the comedic powerhouse of this film. However, the rest of the cast prove their comedic chops for a kids’ movie. Only thing is though, the comedy isn’t really as focused on as much as I thought it would be. It focused a lot more on the lessons of kung-fu and the such, while stirring in a few cups of comedy. The end result is definitely a fine soup of fine animation.
Like with WALL E, the producers and designers really put forth a lot of effort into this movie. The entire environment is really beautiful and provides this antique Chinese feel. Plus, the animation proves to be fluid and realistic. You also really get the sense the people who worked on this had a lot of fun making it. When I first started to watch the film, I thought about what James said, how they didn’t focus on the Furious Five enough. I understand where he’s coming from. The Furious FIve get a lot of screen time, but some of them just come off as 2 dimensional. You think they had these back stories in mind, they just didn’t use them. I really think if this movie was 2 hours long, it could have fully told those given a back story, etc. Kung Fu Panda is still a great movie at 1 1/2 hours though. The movie definitely succeeds at being a very funny, yet very fluid and fast-paced action film. Overall, if you’re looking for a great movie to rent on a Friday night, or just want to see a really good example of how animation should be done, Kung Fu Panda is the movie for you to see. It proves how to provide a fun atmosphere for kids, and provide a plethora of jokes and action that both kids and adults will love. Ska-doosh.
4 out of 5