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Teen Movie Critic - V

Kung Fu Panda


Jeff Nelson

Kung Fu Panda is a definite recommendation for those interested in animated films.

Kung Fu Panda
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Among the animated studios, Pixar is known to be the biggest name in the industry. Each film released by the studio does well and is popular amongst children and adults alike. DreamWorks has created quite a few animated films at this point trying to match the buzz. While some of them have received positive feedback, they aren't regarded to be in the same league as Pixar productions. At a glance, Kung Fu Panda doesn't appear to be anything other than strictly children entertainment. However, it's best not to judge a film on unfair grounds.

When the Valley of Peace is threatened, lazy Po the panda finds his destiny as the "chosen one" and trains to become a kung fu hero, but transforming the clumsy slacker into a brave warrior won't be easy. As Kung Fu Panda was originally released, the plot felt absurd to me. The story follows what one would expect. It's predictable, formulaic, and cliché. The screenplay itself continues in those footsteps, although there are nice messages presented for the younger audiences. While you won't find anything completely fresh and original here, you'll be sure to be entertained. The humor is easily appealing to older and younger audiences alike. Despite what one may think, Po is a lovable character with whom viewers can connect and will enjoy following him on his journey.

Children won't bother to notice the voices, but adults will be fond of the actors behind the characters. Jack Black voices Po and does well as the endearing panda bear. I'm not a Jack Black fan myself, but his voice fits the character. Other big names in the industry such as Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, and Lucy Liu appear in this animated feature. Each actor does a good job with their characters. The dialogue is recited well by each actor. In fact, I got so invested in the characters making me forget about any of the actors behind the characters.

In order for any animated film to undertake the feat of standing among the Pixar projects, the animation must be spectacular. The animation in Kung Fu Panda is impressive, but doesn't surpass the greatness presented by Pixar movies. There is a high amount of detail shown in everything from Po's fur to background objects. Don't expect to be as blown away as you would be by a film such as Toy Story 3. Having said that, the audio is out of this world. For those investing in the Blu-Ray format are sure to experience a 360 degree environment. The sound mixing is magnificent and clearly a reference quality track.

After hearing such positive things regarding this film, I finally decided to give it a chance. The movie continued to be pushed down to the bottom of my queue due to higher prioritized movies. My final verdict is that I'm glad that I gave it a shot. Even though I'm not a Jack Black fan and the story didn't seem to attract my attention much from a glance, it was an enjoyable film. DreamWorks has created a highly entertaining animated film that can be enjoyed by all ages. This doesn't beat Pixar films, but it's good in its own right. Kung Fu Panda is a definite recommendation for those interested in animated films.

My Rating = Four Stars

Next movie: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
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