REVIEW: KUNG FU PANDA
Kung Fu Panda is the story
of Po, a Panda bear that dreams of learning kung fu and
becoming a kung fu master. Mainly because of his looks
nobody believes that he will be able to learn this ancient
art nor become a kung fu master. After a trail of
funny events Po lands in the Jade Palace where he is
designated a "Dragon Warrior". It is this training
what leads Po into an endearing yet challenging journey of
self discovery. Sounds familiar?
Unfortunately it does and that's the area where Kung fu panda
disappoints. Regardless of the story line which is funny and
children oriented, a different type of plot was expected.
As a result, the writers did an excellent
job delivering the message to their main audience, the kids.
Five year olds are not going to have any problems absorbing
this story. Older audiences will also be well
entertained with this film, since there is plenty of action, jokes
and a few grown up comedy lines that makes this film pure family
The visual aspect of the movie is golden and the animation
is one of Dreamworks' best. An attempt to put to
use new technology into the most dramatic scenes, the sound
was a big match and that's what this film delivers. It is
easy to see the detailed work in cinematography when an
ancient Chinese town is well illustrated as well as the Jade
Temple and surroundings uncovering memories of the many
martial arts Chinese movies for some of the old crowd and
for the young exposing them to new lands and frontiers.
Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman voices' in this
film were just right. Each one giving strong life to their
characters, especially Jack Black who provided that special
only he can give to his characters. The rest of the cast
(Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu ) were ok.
The biggest problem is that the script didn't provide
supporting characters enough dialogue for these actors to
expand their talents. On the other hand, children get
to know "the legendary furious five" kung fu masters which
as animals use their animal characteristics to fight the
evil Tai Lung.
This cute, furry and funny
film is set to get all audiences crazy about a little more
than the Panda dance and that is to "be your own hero".
It is just full
Secret of the Furious
Five: This is short sequel to the Kung Fu Panda movie.
In this film Po has to teach the young Kung Fu apprentices
the true meaning of Kung Fu. In order to accomplish his
goal, Po decides to tell them the story of the Furious Five.
The story is good and
delivers a good message. Kids will have no problem enjoying
this film. The main problem that I found was that the
expectations were high with this short, in terms of the
animation. I was very disappointed to find that 80% is 2D
animation. It was a good idea that Paramount Home
Entertainment decided to add this short film as a bonus to
the Kung Fu Panda DVD, otherwise it would have been a huge
disappointment for many people.
DVD: This release is
basically your typical 2 disc special edition DVD. Which
includes some good special features. The first one has to be
the "Secret of the Furious Five". Also the featurette "Pushing the Boundaries",
which is a short behind the scenes on how the film was
made. A nice and interesting featurette is the one called
"Mr. Ping’s Noodle House" which shows how hand
made noodles are made. The rest of the DVD is mainly loaded
with kids activities like drawing , dance and games that
will keep them busy.
1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Secret
of the Furious Five)
Spanish and French
5.1 (Dolby Digital).
Subtitles - English Spanish
French - Optional
Feature commentaries by directors John Stevenson and Mark
Meet the Cast
In this featurette viewers get the opportunity to see the
voices cast of the film. Including comments from the cast
Pushing the Boundaries
The filmmakers talk about the complexity of making the film.
This is a really short featurette about the sound effects in
the film. (3:52)
“Kung Fu Fighting” Music Video by Cee-Lo
Mr. Ping’s Noodle House:
This is a nice and interesting featurette about how hand
made noodles are made. A good featurette to show the kids
How To Use Chopsticks
Little lesson on how to use chopsticks (2:55)
Conservation International: Help Save Wild Pandas
Dragon Warrior Training Academy
Printables & Weblinks
DreamWorks Animation Video JukeBox
Secrets of the Furious Five
Po’s Power Play In this featurette was
done with kids in mind. Kids will have a blast in this
section. Children and adults learn how to draw the favorite
character, as well as games and video games demos.
Learn to Draw: Crane, Monkey, Viper, Po, Mantis & Tigress
Pandamonium Activity Kit
Kung Fu Panda Activision Game Demo (DVD ROM)
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Activision Game Demo (DVD ROM)
Land of the Panda:
This a collection of videos and little featurettes used during the
promotion of the film. If you had access to a computer or TV
prior to the theatrical release of the film, you probably
saw this clips and videos. It includes classes on how to do
the Panda Dance to some information about Kung Fu that kids
my find interesting.
Learn the Panda Dance
Do You Kung Fu?
Inside the Chinese Zodiac
Animals of Kung Fu Panda
5 .What Fighting Style Are You?
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