Kung Fu Panda Review

“Although The Movie Is Filled With Bright Colors And Beautiful Scenery - All They Need Is Black And White Because Po Is The Hero Of The Summer.”

June 6th, 2008

Po (voiced by Jack Black) is a sweet Panda who dreams of being a Kung Fu master. Unfortunately, he is just a waiter in his father's noodle restaurant. But that doesn't stop the big guy from dreaming. He looks up at the Jade Palace on the hill and wonders what it would be like to join "The Furious Five." The Five are the protégés of Kung Fu guru, Master Shifu (voiced by Dustin Hoffman). And from "The Five" the next Dragon Warrior will be selected to save the Valley of Peace from the evil snow leopard Tai Lung (Ian McShane). The Furious Five - Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Crane (David Cross), Viper (Lucy Liu), Monkey (Jackie Chan), and Mantis (Seth Rogan) - fully expect one of them will be chosen by Oogway (Randall Duk Kim), the ancient tortoise who long ago invented Kung Fu and who has the spiritual awareness, intuition, and foresight to lead the valley. When the day finally arrives for Oogway to select the Dragon Warrior, Po leaves his job to watch the once-in-a-lifetime event. He arrives just as the doors to the palace are being shut, so he must find another way in. Since he cannot go through the walls he decides to go over them. By strapping some festive rockets on his backside, he takes off and soars over the wall, landing smack dab in the middle of the event. For Oogway, "there are no accidents," so he takes this as a sign that Po is the one to save the Valley of Peace. Therefore, Po is chosen as the Dragon Warrior.

Okay, so what's a chubby Panda to do when he is given such an honor? He knows he isn't a Kung Fu master, like the Five. But this is too good to pass up, and even though some of the Five try to get him to leave, Po hangs in there and in time learns about himself and the universe. After all, there are no accidents. He must overcome a lot to keep up with the Furious Five, but both Oogway and Shifu see something within the black and white fellow that no one else does. He has what it takes to be the Dragon Warrior, but how do they convince Po of that?

Well, if you're dealing with an overweight Panda who loves to eat, you can use food as a lure to get him to do what he doesn't know he is capable of doing. Even though he puts everything into his training, Po is not the typical hero. He lacks self confidence but learns to turn his weaknesses into his strengths. As they say, there are no accidents.

This is a fun film for not only kids but also adults. Animation has come a long way and the spectacular scenery looks as though it was filmed, not made by a computer. You'll forget you're watching animation, well, except for the fact that all the animals talk. Audiences will get swept away by the sights of ancient China, and the spirit of one little, um, big Panda named Po. Although the movie is filled with bright colors and beautiful scenery - all they need is black and white because Po is the hero of the summer.

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