When you envision the world's most skilled kung fu master, the last image that comes to mind is of a rotund panda. But just because Po doesn't fit the mold (or in the mold as the case may be), doesn't mean he's not the right one for the job. Anytime I see an animated Dreamworks movie, my first thought it always "it's not Pixar." But it's unfair to judge every movie on the grounds of where it comes from, so I decided to turn over a new leaf and see Kung Fu Panda with medium level hopes. If I haven't made it clear before, I am not a fan of Shrek, and I was really hoping this wouldn't become a "Shrek 4." Overall the story is a cute one, and made much funnier by the voice of Jack Black. I know a lot of people feel mixed about his humor, but I've decided I like him, and I'm sticking to my guns. Black voices Po, the Panda who just can't seem to get away from his "noodle entrepreneur" father, long enough to fulfill his dream of becoming a kung fu warrior. But his father isn't the only obstacle, Po is too big and slow to ever have the reflexes of a master. However, as in any fairytale with a moral, the lesson is that when motivated enough, you are capable of anything. As it turns out, what motivates Po the most is food, a conclusion come to by Shifu, voiced by Dustin Hoffman.
While the moral of being yourself is a good one (although ultimately being someone else is probably more in your favor) promoting obesity in kids when it's the highest rising epidemic in America... ok maybe I'm reading too much into this. Just kidding y'all! It's a cute adorable panda! And he's surrounded by other cute and adorable animals of both the barnyard and zoo persuasion! That's good enough for me. The colors are AMAZING and highly saturated, which I'm a sucker for. There's also a secret scroll and a pretty pissed off leopard/cheetah? Still not quite sure. It's pretty much your standard plot though, without any real surprises except for some pretty awesome Jack one-liners. Also, there's a pointless voice performance by Angelina Jolie. She literally speaks like a constipated robot for the entirety of the film, and she probably got paid a million dollars to it... ah the life of Mrs. Pitt. They also managed to get David Cross, whom I love ardently, but his performance didn't reflect the humor I've come to know and love ala Tobias. Apart from the pretty colors, there was also a lot of animated noodles which looked so yummy that had I been a little more sleep deprived, I probably would have attempted to eat them.
Short and Sweet
All in all there's a pretty sweet peach tree, a really old turtle, a chubby panda, and a lot of noodles that look so edible I was craving Udon all day. What can I say, I like cute cartoon movies with stereotypical Asian soundtracks. Nice one Dreamworks, you made it to my wishlist. And if you think Po's father is a panda, you'd be wrong.
"There is no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness."
"Legend tells of a legendary warrior whose kung fu skills were the stuff of, legend."