- Released Internationally on 05/06/08
- Released in Malta by KRS on 02/07/08
In a nutshell
Pandas aren’t very agile. Po, the title character, is no exception. He loves Kung-Fu, but merely as a sofa-warming spectator. However, it turns out he has a different purpose in his life, and we’re about to see what he’s really capable of. This promises to be another one of DreamWorks Animations’ sharp and witty animated comedies for all the family.
Why we’re hyped
After tap-dancing penguins, gourmet rats and bees who sound like Seinfeld, this summer’s cool creatures might prove to be pandas. With an all-star voice cast and an accent on the laughs, this promises to be an oriental delight, and after a glitzy premiere at this year’s Cannes Festival, it’s already taken a good hold of the US box-office.
Who’s In It?
The never-serious Jack Black plays the Panda with plans, and we’ll also get to hear Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Michael Clarke Duncan, and, very appropriately, Jackie Chan.
This film is just over 90 minutes of pure, unadulterated fun. It doesn’t aspire to be a complex plot-driven film. It doesn’t try to say anything that will linger in the mind for years to come. It just focuses on giving you an hour and a half of non-stop laughs, spectacular animation, wonderful characters and endless kung fu, and it does so brilliantly. Need we ask for more?
Po, the fanboy
Despite his sizeable girth, the film revolves around Po – a lazy, inflexible panda who works in his dad’s noodle bar in China, but dreams of a life with more spice. The wonderful thing about this character, who by the end of the film has stolen the show, is that he represents the fanboy in all of us - because Po is obsessed with kung-fu. He has all the action figures, he knows all the history, he can spout all the trivia, yet he can’t even touch his toes. And like every sports or cinema fanatic who’s never left the sofa, when he’s finally thrust into the world he knows so much about and adores so much, he’s wide-eyed with excitement and completely in awe, and therefore wonderful to watch.
Top shelf animation
By now we’ve come to expect nothing less than brilliant animation, and there’s no disappointments here. The scenery is breathtaking, the action is choreographed in style, and the characters are brought to life with gusto, also thanks to the voice cast – especially Jack Black as our bamboo-chewing friend, and Dustin Hoffman as his pint-sized kung-fu master. Half-way through we’re treated to a prison break scene that puts the TV show to shame, and reminds us how far computer animation has come over the past ten years.
In the end
Don’t expect the tale to change your life – but be prepared to laugh and smile and cheer for the latest furry creature to take over the big screen.
http://www.apple.com/trailers/dreamworks/kungfupanda/ (High-res QuickTime)