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Kung Fu Panda

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Kung Fu Panda
Kungfupandaposter.jpg
"Everybody was KUNG FU FIGHTING!"
Genre: Martial arts comedy
Directed By: John Stevenson

Mark Osborn

Written By: Jonathan Aibel

Glenn Berger

Starring: Jack Black

Dustin Hoffman
Angelina Jolie
Ian McShane
Jackie Chan
Seth Rogen
Lucy Liu
David Cross
Randall Duk Kim
James Hong

Distributed By: DreamWorks Animation

Paramount Pictures

Release Date: June 6, 2008
Runtime: 92 minutes
Country: United States
Sequel: Kung Fu Panda 2


Kung Fu Panda is a 2008 computer-animated action comedy martial arts film directed by John Stevenson and Mark Osborn from a screenplay by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. It was produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures, and stars the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Randall Duk Kim, and James Hong.

Plot

A clumsy, overweight panda, Po, spends his time working as his father's noodle restaurant in the Valley of Peace. The Dragon Warrior, the champion fighter of the kingdom, is being chosen and Po, a kung fu fan, attends. To his surprise, he is chosen as the Dragon Warrior. This upsets the Furious Five, the protectors of the valley, who deem Po well beneath their standards as well as Shifu, the Furious Five's trainer. Po is at a low ebb when Tai Lung, the valley's biggest threat, escapes from prison. Now Po will have to fight Tai Lung to save the valley.

Why It's The Dragon Warrior

  1. The animation was technically impressive for the time it was released in. It looks very crisp and smooth.
  2. Very strong voice acting, especially from Jack Black, who gives a great performance from Po.
  3. Epic climax with the battle between Po and Tai Lung.
    • On the subject, the previous battles between Tai Lung and the Furious Five and Shifu (even if they both ended with the latter two losing to the villain).
  4. Very likable and funny characters, with Po being a relatable and funny main character with more emotional depth than you would expect. Shifu is also there in his arc of getting peace after Tai Lung's betrayal hardening him for decades and improving his relationship with Po when he is forced to teach him, and also Oogway, the hilarious tortoise with great wisdom and emotional death.
  5. Though he is slightly forgettable, Tai Lung is a very industrious villain with a captivating backstory and very personal connection to Shifu.
  6. Entertaining action sequences, especially the prison breakout scene, which was intense, and the final battle, which is comedic and creative.
  7. Great score composed by the one and only Hans Zimmer and let us and also let's not forget John Powell, the guy who did How to Train Your Dragon, also composed it with him.
  8. "Kung Fu Fighting" is a fitting song for the credits and the Cee Lo Greens remix is great.
  9. Excellent comedy like Oogway saying he had something important to tell Shifu only to decide to begin blowing out countless candles one by one (all the while seemingly preparing to continue speaking only to keep blowing them out combined with Shifu's irritated expression) and Crane helping Po out of the split.
    • Speaking of which, it's one of the few pieces of media to actually made fat jokes funny and execute them well.
  10. The tone is balanced, knowing when to be funny and when to be serious.
  11. Beautiful color palette and background for every scene.
  12. Greatly executed lesson that you are the best when you be yourself, with the Dragon Scroll being a perfect symbol. It also has a great lesson for teachers that every student is different and can't learn the same way, with Po being a foodie being the perfect symbol. It also has a good lesson about how your flaws and weaknesses can become your strengths.
  13. It spawned an amazing franchise that had 3 films and 2 TV shows. All of the three Kung Fu Panda films, along with the shows, have gotten great ratings from critics and audiences.
  14. Hilarious and memorable quotes:
    • "Finally, a worthy opponent! Our battle will be legendary!"
    • "Skadoosh!"
    • "There are no accidents."
    • "Panda, we do not wash our pits in the Pool of Sacred Tears."
    • "You will never be the Dragon Warrior unless you lose 500 pounds like me. What is that noise you're making, laughter? I've never heard of it! Work hard, and one day you will have ears just like mine!"
    • "You? Ha ha! Him? He's a panda! You're a panda! What're you gonna do, big guy? Sit on me?"

Bad Qualities

  1. It does get predictable at times.
  2. The scene in which Tai Lung suddenly opens his eyes at the Chorh-Gom prison can be scary for younger viewers.
  3. Tai Lung is slightly forgettable, as stated above since he doesn't have that much screen time. Plus, while he isn't the rightful wielder of the Dragon Scroll, why should we be worried if he gets his hands on it?. While there are films with stakes being overly high for the sake of high stakes and then becoming severely impersonal as a result exist, this doesn't have high stakes, both literally and personally. In fact, compared to the next two films, he's by far the least threatening villain.
  4. Overuse of butt jokes, such as when Po tightens his butt during his fight with Tai Lung.
  5. Shifu and the Furious Five's treatment of Po in the middle of the movie is rather mean-spirited, even if they have every reason to doubt he's the Dragon Warrior.
  6. This film ended up having different animation companies (like Video Brinquedo and WowNow Entertainment) make their own rip offs of this film such as The Little Panda Fighter.

Reception

The movie received generally positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 87%, based on 190 reviews. The site's critic consensus reads, "Kung Fu Panda has a familiar message, but the pleasing mix of humor, swift martial arts action, and colorful animation makes for winning Summer entertainment." On Metacritic, the film holds a weighted score of 74/100, indicating "generally favorable reviews," but holds an 8.3/10 audience rating, indicating "universal acclaim." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of A- on an A+ to F scale.

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