||Kung Fu Panda
Movie Details: View Here
Michael Clarke Duncan
Dragon Warrior Training Academy
Food Network Exclusive: Alton Brown at Mr. Ping's Noodle House
"Kung Fu Fighting" Music Video
How to Use Chopsticks
Help Save The Wild Pandas
Plus, Awesome Activities and Behind-the-Scenes Fun!
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
English: Dolby Digital Stereo [CC]
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Run Time: 88 min
Synopsis from DVD Cover:
Prepare for awesomeness with DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda, "a delightful movie that can stand among the very best animated features" (Leonard Maltin, Entertainment Tonight). Jack Black is perfect as the voice of Po, a noodle slurping dreamer who must embrace his true self - fuzzy flaws and all - in order to become the Dragon Warrior. With groundbreaking animation, an all-star cast and high-kicking humor, Kung Fu Panda is "Ultra satisfying entertainment... There's heart in this movie and that's the secret ingredient." - Richard Corliss, Time
DreamWorks has finally got it right (I think "Shrek" was a fluke) and can offer at least one really entertaining animated film that holds it own with the titans of Pixar. I mean, "Kung Fu Panda" is no "Toy Story," but it's still full of heart, beautiful animation, and a panda. Seriously-who can go wrong with a panda?
Our boy Po (Jack Black, who was born to be a panda) is a huge Kung Fu aficionado; unfortunately, he's stuck selling noodles and is expected to join the family noodle-cart business. As can happen with pandas and dreams, however, Po finds his dreams of Kung Fu stardom coming true when a freak accident puts him in line to become uber-fighter the Dragon Warrior, a Kung Fu expert destined to save the land from the brutal claws of very bad guy Tai Lung (Ian McShane). Po's got a pretty big mountain to climb before he reaches his dream - mainly the disapproval of his teacher, Kung Fu Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) and the resentment of Shifu's much more experienced trainees - but through it all, he learns that his fate may truly rest in his own big, fluffy paws.
"Kung Fu Panda" is funny, but not in the fart-joke/easy to merchandise way that befalls a lot of kid's movies. It's just funny for whatever audience is watching, never condescending or trying to woo adult viewers with innuendo or clever in-jokes that will be outdated two years from now. The story's nothing new, but the classic search for the you that's the true you, or however you want to say that, is always an OK route to take. The animation, especially if you look at the background nature shots, are beautifully rendered, and the action sequences of all the Kung Fu and fighting are fantastic - and pretty intense for a cartoon. I do wish, with a roster of voice talent that includes Seth Rogen, Angelina Jolie, and David Cross, there was a little more interaction with Shifu's students, and I'm not sure Hoffman was the best choice for Shifu, but Black is good enough to make up for all that. And, even if you get called away and can't watch the whole thing, the first five minutes or so that show Po's dreams of greatness are classic.
The Special Features aren't really groundbreaking, but they'll satisfy kids, and they're probably worth shelling out the money for since there's a fun little game they can play for a while. "Meet the Cast" is a series of cast interviews. "Pushing Boundaries" and "Sound Design" cover the CGI/sound/tech elements. Then there are the goofy bits - a "Kung Fu Fighting" music video, "Mr. Ping's Noodle House," which explains the art of noodle-making, and "How to Use Chopsticks," which is kind of self-explanatory (I do enjoy the emphasis on food). Then there's that "Dragon Warrior Training Academy" game, the DreamWorks Animation Jukebox, several trailers and a collection of DVD-Rom goodies.
There's nothing new in "Kung Fu Panda," but that's what makes it good. Engaging story, loveable characters, and great looking animation-look for this one to endure.