Kung Fu Panda (2008)After watching the weakest Shark Tale & Bee Movie, I heard about their… More After watching the weakest Shark Tale & Bee Movie, I heard about their newest movie that came out in the same year I saw it before I later saw The Dark Knight which was by far the most excellent movie of the year. When I saw it in late July of 2008, I had pretty low expectations and I was wondering if it would disappoint me. Later, when I walked out of the theater after I saw it, I had a smile on my face and saying to myself, "That was a fun-filled experience I've ever had in a movie theater for years". That smile that I had explains why I like this movie that much seeing as how Dreamworks Animation did some great films including the first two Shrek films and Over The Hedge and later made other new good films including How To Train Your Dragon and Megamind. I was visually impressed by the stylized 2-D animation sequence in the beginning of the film it reminded me of Samurai Jack, my favorite Cartoon Network TV show. I was also amazed by the film's music from Hans Zimmer and John Powell (The Lion King, The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Madagascar) because it had a sense of emotion, drama, and suspense in all of the action (I'll get to that in a moment). Anyway, what really surprised me is the beautiful computer animation. Never, and I mean, never have I seen such perfect visuals that resemble a china-esque palace/village and the look of the mountains, the bridge, and river are visually stylized. The best aspect of the animation is the character animation. They were so surreal and very realistic I became so attracted to them. Then, there's the characters and boy were they likable. Some of my favorites are Po, the clumsy fat panda who gave me some laughs, Master Shifu, the intimidating, yet lovable red panda who has suffered from his tragic past, the Furious Five, a group of 5 greatest warriors in the Jade Palace who, although undeveloped, really wowed me with their neatly choreographed kung fu action, Master Oogway, the wise and Yoda-like turtle who was really entertaining, and Tai Lung, a deadly and frightening snow leopard who was by far the most complex non-Disney villain who made me felt sorry for him for not getting what he deserved to be the Dragon Warrior. The voice acting from a talented great cast fitted the characters quite well. Jack Black did great with his hilarious comedic moments as Po, Dustin Hoffman did excellent as the bad-a** Master Shifu, James Hong did very good as Po's goose father, and the voice actors for the Furious Five including the sexy Angelina Jolie, David Cross, Seth Rogen, the kick-a** Jackie Chan, and the attractive Lucy Liu did a perfect job with their roles, but arguably, I think that Ian McShane and Randall Duk Kim steal the show. Randall gave out his wisest role as the turtle and Ian McShane did great as the deadly snow leopard and his presence was really frightening. The best aspect of the movie is the story. While it's original and fresh, it suffers from it's flat ending which is the reason why I'm giving this a 9/10. With the ending out of the way, it had some very emotional moments (Master Oogway disappearing and the story of Tai Lung really touched me as did the beautiful music) and some great action moments (with Tai Lung escaping Chor Ghom Prison, Po and Master Shifu trying to get the last dumpling, the showdown between the Furious Five and Tai Lung and the final showdown between Master Shifu, Po and Tai Lung as my favorites). Overall, Kung Fu Panda may not be a masterpiece, but all-in-all, this movie is so epic with it's tradition to the Chinese culture and became quite a success at the box office upon it's release in 2008. Since a sequel came out a year ago, I think that we'll have a great franchise that we will never forget from such a great animation company. Thumbs up!
24 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes