Monday, July 7, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Movie name: Kung Fu Panda
Year of release: 2008
Director: Mark Osborne, John Stevenson
Stars (voices): Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, David Cross, Randall Duk Kim, James Hong, Dan Fogler, Michael Clarke Duncan
Genre: Comedy, Animation, Family
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Synopsis:Dreamworks Animation is by now an established studio, with the success that has been the "Shrek" franchise, but also "Madagascar", "Over the Hedge" and "Shark Tale". "Kung Fu Panda" is the latest of their efforts, and boasts again an impressive talented voice cast, starting with the irreverent Jack Black as the main character, the Panda named Po. Po is an overweight and sluggish Panda bear that has always dreamed of being a Kung Fu master. When Po is accidentally picked as the "chosen one" (a martial arts master), he starts the training process to be part of the clan that is responsible for protecting the small town within the valley. His training brings him face to face with the dangerous and ambitious tiger Tai Lung, who's bent on destroying whomever crosses his path.
The story brings nothing new to the table - the personal belief in yourself, is all that matters when it comes to overcoming obstacles. What sets this film apart, and places it a few notches above "Shark Tale", is how well it's told and the sheer beauty and virtuosity of the animation and design style. The film has a good sense of humor brought upon by Jack Black/Po and his inadequacy in fitting with a clan that brims with elegance and perfection. His attempts at fitting in are hillarious, particularly when his main motivation - food - is found out.
Ultimately this an entertaining film, filled with a good message, good laughing moments and a very inspired and talented team of designers and animators.