Kung Fu Panda (2008) starring Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie
In DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda, Jack Black is perfect as the voice of Po, a noodle-slurping dreamer who must embrace his true self — flaws and all — in order to become the Dragon Warrior. With an all-star cast and high-kicking humor, the Oscar -Nominated Kung Fu Panda is entertainment for the whole family.
“There is no secret ingredient.”
In short, Kung Fu Panda is an enjoyable, animated kids movie. One that adults can enjoy as well. Like many kids movies, it has a moral that it’s trying to get across. Several, in fact. But it doesn’t beat the audience over the head with the morals. It assumes the audience has a working brain, and will get the message, as well as the enjoyment. And, it works.
- Dreams are good, but they’re not enough. Po dreams of being a great Kung Fu warrior, and standing along the Furious Five. But, he has to train, and train hard, for that to even become a possibility.
- Sometimes, you need to change your approach. Po’s training is an absolute failure. Until Shifu realizes that Po has his own method of learning. And the teacher needs to find another way to teach.
- Looks can be deceiving. Po doesn’t look like the legendary Dragon Warrior. Oogway nearly seems senile. But he’s not.
- Training isn’t everything. Tigress has trained all her life to be the equal of the villain, Tai Lung. She’s not. Tai Lung trained, literally to the point of breaking bones. But he wasn’t chosen to be the Dragon Warrior.
- Who you are is sufficient. The ultimate lesson of the movie.
“To make something special, you just have to believe it’s special.”
- Jack Black (Nacho Libre) … Po. The overweight panda, who dreams of becoming a Kung Fu master. An impossible dream …
- Dustin Hoffman … Shifu. The master of Kung Fu, who trained the Furious Five. And who’s training of Tai Lung was his greatest failure. And now he needs to train Po. A seemingly impossible task.
- Angelina Jolie … Tigress. Seemingly the leader of the Furious Five. A formidable warrior in her own right. She believes that she was meant to be the Dragon Warrior. Despite that, she follow’s Shifu’s instructions. And comes to be a friend to Po. And faces her greatest trial, when she tries to stop the advance of Tail Lung.
- Ian McShane … Tai Lung. Taken in as an orphan cub by Shifu. Shifu came to love him as his own son. But there was “darkness in his heart”, and Oogway refused to give him the dragon scroll. So, he tried to take it. And ended up in prison for it. But now that Oogway has chosen the Dragon Warrior, he’s broken out of prison. And he’s coming for the dragon scroll …
- Jackie Chan … Monkey. A very good actor, with very little to do in this movie. A waste of a fine actor.
- Seth Rogen … Mantis.
- Lucy Liu … Viper. A fine actress, with very little to do.
- David Cross … Crane.
- Randall Duk Kim … Oogway. The elderly Kung Fu master. He appears to have made a mistake, in picking Po to be the Dragon Warrior. But …. “There are no accidents.”
- James Hong (Diablo III) … Mr. Ping. Po’s adoptive father. A kind, sweet, lovable character. My children and I all refer to him lovingly as “duck dad”.