Kung Fu Panda (2008)


A clumsy and gluttonous panda is revealed to be the one chosen to become the Dragon Warrior and defeat the evil former student of his master.

Kung Fu Panda pretty much does what it says on the tin. It’s exactly the kind of Americanised version of Eastern culture I was expecting, including the Karate Kid format, fortune cookie philosophy and pseudo-martial arts, right through to the slightly embarrassing use of Carl Douglas’ Kung Fu Fighting for the credits. It is a very technically accomplished film however, with animation of a very high standard and some very, very pretty use of imagery. Jack Black also managed to dial himself down a notch so even those who find him terminally irritating should be able to swallow him for 90 minutes and it’s all very difficult to dislike. I’m sure kids will get a kick out of seeing cutesy teddy bears kicking the stuffing out of each other, but for me it felt a bit like watching someone else play Fur Fighters crossed with the Yoda fight scenes from the prequels and seriously needed an injection of laughs for the adult audience.

Inoffensive enough, but Mulan was better in my opinion.



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