Thursday, June 12, 2008
Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda
What do you get when you mix a panda with Chinese kung fu and animate it?
An animated panda that kicks butt you say?
Only that you wouldn’t expect it to be awesome! And that is what Dreamworks Animation SKG produced this summer of 2008, a movie so awesome you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss it.
Voiced by Jack Black from The School of Rock (2004) and Nacho Libre (2006) fame, Po the panda is the son of a noodle selling duck that loves nothing more than kung fu, but is stuck in a moment of pre-conceived reality.
It doesn’t make sense does it?
A panda and a duck are selling noodles?
The panda is the son of a what? Yes, son of a duck. Let’s put it this way, a panda is just a panda right?
Wrong. It is just like you are not you in a world governed by standards of what is to be and not to be.
Po loves kung fu and idolizes the Furious Five, Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu) and Crane (David Cross).
These five are the most well trained students of Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) and time came that a Dragon Warrior is to be chosen among them. To Shifu’s biggest disappointment, Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) did not choose any of the five and elected instead to believe in “accident”.
Po fell into the path of Oogway’s pointed finger, as he was about to pick the Dragon Warrior.
“There is no accident”, he tries to convince Shifu that it is destiny that Po shall be the Dragon Warrior.
No one believes that a fat, sloppy panda is going to be the one who will save the Valley of Peace from the evil Tai Lung (Ian McShane) of course, not even Po himself.
We’ll see how that changes when events unfold but not first without difficulty.
Shifu would discover that all is not what it seems and if it is not working, it probably is because he is not looking in the right direction.
This is just one of the messages that can be found in this wonderful film.
The filmmakers really want both the kids and the adults to take something meaningful from Kung Fu Panda.
As serious as they are in this aspect, the great thing they were able to create is really not to be too serious.
That’s how life is and the essence of a good life lies in happiness and to be happy is laughter.
There will be plenty and in all an hour and a half of screen time, I can safely say that you’ll laugh at least ninety times which is once every minute if not more.
Credit must go to Jack Black and the screenwriters for pulling this off.
You can just sense how much thought and effort they put in to make sure Kung Fu Panda turns out the way they want it to be in one simple word: AWESOME.
Toward the end of the film, there is one big important message for all of us.
The answer lies in the forbidden scroll that Tai Lung wants so much that he is willing to destroy everything in his way to get it.
It is also something that Shifu fought so hard to protect even without realizing what it is, and it will eventually lead to how Po becomes the real Dragon Warrior.
No idea what I’m talking about?
Fear not for you can go to www.kungfupanda.com, look in the Production section and under HEROIC LAST WORDS to understand it.
Don’t everybody just love kung fu fighting?