“Kung Fu Panda” Has the Chop-Chop but lacked the Thump-Thump

Genres: Animation
Running Time:1 hr. 35 min.
Release Date: June 6th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of martial arts action.
Distributors: Paramount Pictures

Director: John Wayne Stevenson, Mark Randolph Osborne

JJ Rating: B+

Po (voiced by Jack Black) is a panda who has a thing for these fighters. He has all of their action figures and pretends to know kung fu. But his father wants him to do the family business that has nothing to do with kung fu. Through a series of events Po ends up being chosen as the Dragon Warrior. Suffice it to say those that he always wanted to emulate are the ones that have no faith in him or his talent; or lack their of. Kung Fu Panda.

The voices were cool and everyone did such a good job. Jack Black, though, seemed to just resonate out of that panda. I could see him as the panda. Moving and making those facial expressions. He would be the stand out.

DreamWorks still falls behind Disney for me. I like their animation and it seems they know how to tell a good story but it’s always missing that connection, that good time feel that I get form Disney. Disney just has the heart that they just pass on from the screen to the viewer. DreamWorks and Fox tend to have cynical views of the world that seem to taint the film’s story and over all theme and it’s felt. I feel it. And that’s why I can’t seem to really like their animation past a certain point.

The storyline was a good storyline. There was no weakness in the storyline. It went smoothly and it was easy to follow just as animated movies should be. It didn’t have any down time or boring moments that I would fast forward through. The Po the Panda seems to be the total focus and in all the scenes, for the most part. That helps keep attention right there because Jack Black is just great with having the center of attention. It was a fun storyline and it had some heart to it which makes it one DreamWorks’s Better films.

There are some really good scenes and one of the better ones of Kung Fu Panda is with the chopsticks and the dumplings. That scene is well coragraphed and executed to perfect hilarity and every bit as entertaining as it should be. They squeezed that for all it was worth and it plays out so well. The fight scenes were entertaining and quick. There was no disappointments in that area. The heart felt moments barely work, though. That’s something they could work on. DreamWorks got the funny part down now they have to get the heart down.

Kung Fu Panda is a good film and parents will not be bored should they go and see it with their children. They will be just as entertained as the kids. This is well worth spending the money to see and your kids will be tickled by the funny moments and Jack Black. DreamWorks got the chop-chop down but now they need to work on the heart, they need to have the thump-thump. Once they have that in their films they will be a rival for those adults that still have that special spot in their heart where Disney resides.

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