Kung Fu Panda: My Fat Belly Style Can Defeat Whatever You Got

One trait common to all Kung Fu masters is that they practice a distinctive style of Kung Fu- Monkey, Crane, Hamster. But when you’re a big, cuddly Panda, the options are limited: either sneeze and try to scare the hell out of everyone or develop your own style around your enormous gut.

In Kung Fu Panda, Po (Jack Black) is charged with the task of discovering his own style of Kung Fu as he tries to fulfill his destiny as the Dragon Warrior, which he tackles with great enthusiasm. Vicious beatings by Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) and the Furious Five, all chagrined that they were not chosen to be the Dragon Warrior, cannot crush his spirit, and he’s cool with leaving behind his father’s dreams of taking over the family noodle business. His father, by the way, is a goose. How a goose can have a Panda for a kid is one of the movie’s great mysteries. It sounds only slightly more ridiculous than a Chihuahua/Great Dane mix.

Despite being marketed as a children’s movie and hitting all the notes associated with such movies, Kung Fu Panda’s quick pace and beautiful animation are enough to entertain anyone. The story focuses on the plot and characters, rather than going for silliness and pop culture references.

The fight set pieces are as engaging and exciting as any action movie. The fight choreography and settings put nearly all other animated action sequences to shame. Tai Lung’s escape from Chor Ghom Prison and the fight at the rope bridge are both stunners. Any action aficionado would quickly dismiss the shame of watching a kids movie after seeing either of those sequences.

Sure, it won’t go down as a classic and sure, it doesn’t have the depth of Pixar’s recent movies, but it’s as solid as you could ask a movie to be.

Image courtesy JOE WU via Flickr

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