The first Kung Fu Panda was a smash hit and work on Kung Fu Panda 2 happened quite quickly. DreamWorks was able to bring back that all-star cast and even add a few more big names to that already impressive roster of voice actors. Kung Fu Panda 2 could have been a train wreck, but somehow DreamWorks really managed to pull it off.
How to Stream or Download Kung Fu Panda 2
You can stream it or you can download the movie from iTunes. You should also check out the first movie in the series and the sequel.
The Movie Review
Let’s start with the story, I feel that the story in Kung Fu Panda 2 is much stronger than the first one. There is a new big bad in this movie in the form of an evil White Peacock who is called Lord Shen and voiced by Gary Oldman. He wants to take over China with his powerful weapon, but we all know the Furious 5 are not going to let that happen.
That right there is more than enough story for a kid’s movie you would think. However, Kung Fu Panda 2 dives deeper than that. Yes, the Furious 5 putting a stop to Lord Shen is the ultimate goal of the movie. What I thought was really interesting though is the fact that there was a lot of development for Po in this movie.
Po has flashbacks to his youth and this brings him on a self-quest to discover where he is really from and who his father really is. For a kid’s movie, this is pretty deep stuff and I think it was a brave decision for DreamWorks to do this with Po. He is still the happy and rather goofy Po, but this adds some real depth to him. It also serves as a good life lesson in that family is those who stick with you and have your back.
I think that overall the story of Kung Fu Panda 2 is the best of the trilogy (although it is not actually my favorite of the three) and that a huge reason for this is Po himself. Kung Fu Panda 2 is very much a “part 2” kind of movie. By that I mean while it does have its own story, it is clear that a huge reason for the story is to set up the third and what so far is the final act.
The action is even more over the top than the first movie and it even looks flashier and more impressive in pretty much every regard. DreamWorks has made some great looking movies over the years and I think the Kung Fu Panda series, including this one here, is very underrated in terms of the animation and the overall look of the movies.
As well as bringing Gary Oldman into the movie, Kung Fu Panda adds some more Hollywood stars to the series. Michelle Yeoh, Danny McBride and the one I was most excited about, Jean Claude Van Damme were all added to the voice cast and like the originals, they all do a wonderful job.
Kung Fu Panda is a ton of fun. It is a movie that has a lot of action and great set pieces including some epic kung fu battles. It does also have a story that has a bit more substance than the first one does. I really enjoyed watching this with my son and it is the kind of movie that I feel adults will have just as much fun with as the kids.