As I write this, I am pretty blown away by the fact that the first Kung Fu Panda movie is over 10 years old. This has been a very successful franchise for DreamWorks. Not only has there been two sequels. Kung Fu Panda also spawned a TV series and of course a ton of merchandise ranging from t-shirts, action figures, and video games.
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Kung Fu Panda Movie Review
Let me start by saying that the original Kung Fu Panda holds up very well. One thing that I like about this movie is that after the first 20 minutes or so the movie makes you think it is another dumb comedy. Kung Fu Panda does have some great humor in it, but it is also a really cool kung fu and coming of age tale as well.
Jack Black stars as the main character Po. Po is a bit of a clumsy loser, but he has a good heart. An ancient and evil warrior called, Tai Lung is released and through a series of mishaps. Po is labeled as the Dragon Warrior!
This is what makes him join the Furious Five. These guys are awesome and they are Tigress, Monkey, Crane, Viper, and Mantis. They are led and trained by the wise old master, Shifu. The team and the master did not want Po as the Dragon Warrior and they put him right through the wringer trying to get him to quit.
Well, he does not and he eventually wins them over and becomes a real part of the team. Seeing Po become more self-assured and believe in himself and being willing to work hard is a great message for kids. The movie does have a lot of very funny moments in it, but there are also some nice messages for kids to take on board.
The Furious Five along with Po must do all they can to stop Tai Lung! One other thing that Kung Fu Panda does very well is the action scenes. It really does play out like an old kung fu movie and the part when Tai Lung escapes from his prison is one of the most epic action scenes of any kid’s movie.
Kung Fu Panda looks like a million bucks, even for a movie that is now over ten years old I think it holds up very well. The kung fu setting is a lot of fun and I love how much emotion the animators were able to show on the different animals faces.
The voice cast is great. Along with Jack Black, we also have talents such as Ian McShane, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Lui, Jackie Chan, and David Cross. So, the movie as you can see has a wonderfully talented cast. These folks really do bring the characters to life and give the movie a lot of personality.
I have always enjoyed Kung Fu Panda, it is a movie my son would watch at least a few times a week. I do not think this is the strongest entry in the series, but it is still a lot of fun. I do feel that this is a movie that you really do have to watch and get the kids to watch too. The Kung Fu Panda series works best when you watch all the movies in the right order.