I just realized I completely forgot to review “Kung Fu Panda,” which I took the kids to see over the weekend. It was a totally spur-of-the-moment decision to go see a movie, and I’m happy we chose this one to see. I’m a Jack Black fan (Nacho Libre notwithstanding), and had heard that this movie was specifically written with him in mind to play Po, the Panda.
What is it about?
When threatened by a gang of snow leopards, the jungle animals call upon an inept panda to become a kung fu master and save the Valley of Peace.
Now normally I’m completely in-the-know as to who is starring in what animated feature. But this time around the ONLY person I knew about was Jack Black. I had no idea that Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Ian McShane, Lucy Liu, Angelina Jolie, and Seth Rogen were also provided voices. The only one I was able to place was comedian, David Cross, whom I love. I kept thinking Dustin Hoffman was William Shatner being less smarmy. *lol* So kudos to Hoffman for changing his distinctive voice just enough to keep me guessing. And I can’t believe I didn’t recognize Rogan’s also distinctive voice. I must have been too busy enjoying the movie.
Anyway, the movie is the typical “average guy becomes extraordinary” vehicle, but the characters are all wonderfully diverse. Jack Black, who can be VERY over the top, had the perfect amount of energy required for the panda voiceovers. The jokes were well-timed and very funny (I wasn’t the only adult laughing out loud in the theater). Best of all, it wasn’t too scary for CootieGirl and CootieBoy. The opening sequence was a bit scary for the younger set, but once the kids knew it was a dream and not what the whole movie would be like, they calmed down and were totally into it.
The animation was spectacular. I can’t imagine what it would have looked like on an IMAX screen.
CootieBoy totally wants to take kung fu/karate/tae kwon do now (yes, I’ve called about classes today – a session starts in a few weeks and they’ll be contacting me when it’s time to sign up).
I give it 3 1/2 bowls of noodles out of five. VERY entertaining and a nice diversion on a hot Saturday afternoon.
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