Saturday, June 4, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2

Directed by Jennifer Yuh, Dreamworks Animation, 2011. Starring Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, and Gary Oldman.
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family.

Question: Do you ever blame your current circumstances on your past -- especially from your childhood? Well, Kung Fu Panda 2 teaches you that no matter where you came from or how bad your start was in this world, you can choose to have a good life today.

I am on vacation with my daughter, 9, and we went to our first Summer movie together yesterday:  Kung Fu Panda 2. The movie was not high on my radar because many sequels usually fall short. Well, I was pleasantly surprised at how delightful this one was.

All the same adored characters are in this one: Po (Jack Black), Tigress (Angelina Joile), Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) and many more. There are even a few news ones, specifically Gary Oldman voicing the new villain: Shen. Also, you might want to check on the other new voices. I didn't recognize them until I saw the credits.

The story takes our fearless kung-fu warriors fighting and defending China against an evil Peacock who creates the world's first weapon but that is not what is at the heart of this story. Po discovers his real beginning within his own family history. Kung Fu Panda 2 displayed a solid approach to teach young and old viewers alike that the choices you make today shouldn't be based (or blamed) on the past especially if you haven't had the ideal start.

The animation was spectacular and more amazing than the first film. There are plenty of fight scenes albeit not too violent for the younger generations. Although, I will say the editing was a bit too quick for my taste (or my 40 year-old eyes) during those scenes. The movie has moments of humor scattered throughout the plot but it is not overly comical or childish. There is real heart and soul to the tale.

I was pleasantly surprised at what a good sequel Kung Fu Panda 2 was. So, there is no need to get a babysitter for your youngest. Enjoy a wonderful family movie this weekend.

My daughter gave it a 9 out of 10.

My favorite thing: The moral of the story.

My least favorite thing: The editing in the fighting scenes.

Rating: PG
Length: 90 minutes

Rating: 8 out of 10

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