Review: Kung Fu Panda (2008)

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The funny thing is I can buy an obese panda practicing kung fu before I can buy Jack Black doing the same!

Screenplay By: Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger
Directed By: Mark Osborne & John Stevenson

I know that a lot of people tire of hearing terms like mindless fun or turn your brain off entertainment. I’m not willing to go that far with Kung Fu Panda, but it is a fun movie that shouldn’t be taken all that seriously. If the jokes make you laugh, the fights interest you and the animation is to your liking then Kung Fu Panda is a film you should enjoy. I fall into that category, Kung Fu Panda isn’t memorable, it isn’t a must see film, but it was a fun hour and a half and that’s good enough for me.

Yes, I could go into detail about the been there, done that nature of the plot. Or that the story is razor thin, every character lacks depth and that the film in its presentation and message is simplistic to a fault. But, doing so would be missing the point of Kung Fu Panda. It isn’t a perfect movie, but I don’t believe it is trying to be. It wants to be fun, it wants to excite you and it wants to make you laugh. It excels in those three categories and that is why it is able to overcome any areas where it isn’t exactly up to snuff.

The one area where I did become enamored beyond just a fun sense with Kung Fu Panda was in its animation. It isn’t the most detailed animation you will ever see, but it still contains a great amount of detail. What I loved about the animation was the clean feel and look of it. It’s hard to express what I mean, but Kung Fu Panda looked clean. This may have been due to a lack of texture and while most of the time that can be a bad thing, I didn’t find that to be the case with Kung Fu Panda. With the characters, the setting and the fight scenes the clean, unfettered look really did work.

The gist is that if you are looking for a fun movie with an appealing animation style and cool fight scenes then Kung Fu Panda is a movie to see. That’s about as deep as my analysis gets, because I don’t believe Kung Fu Panda goes any deeper than that. I had fun with it, I loved the animation and I found the fight scenes a joy to watch. Kung Fu Panda won’t set the animation world on fire, but it is a fun watch for both child and adult, and anyone who isn’t down with David cross voicing a crane isn’t cool in my book!

Rating:

***

Cheers,
Bill

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