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Kung Fu Panda
4 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
John Stevenson, Mark Osborne

Written By:
Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger

Jack Black, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu, Ian McShane, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Cross, Dan Fogler, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim

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Kung Fu Panda (2008)
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Movie Review by Zara
June 7th, 2008

Let me get the most important note out of the way. The theater that we regularly attend was going through renovations for the last few months, finally upgrading its seating to stadium style, making everything spiffy and the best part of all: offering digital screenings for the films that offered it.

This isn't like the High-Def TV stuff where you can see the seams, pixelation and whatnot. The picture is pure, clear, and lacks all of the pops and fuzz that the older projection screens have. Which, for a movie like KUNG FU PANDA, a computer generation cartoon, is a major improvement on the whole film watching experience.

That said, watching this was far more interesting doing it on the opening weekend with a theater full of families with small children. I delight in finding out what the kids think is funny (the scene with the panda ending up with two bowls on his cheat elicited shrieks and giggles aplenty, as most boob type jokes will) and actually get more out of the experience from knowing that the audience that the movie was built for is at least entertaining that lot.

I frown on crap like ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS getting laughs because it is simplistic, unoriginal and boring recycled jokes. PANDA barely rises above that, instead mining from the area where kids these days aren't getting a ton of exposure, that of kung fu movies. It's still animals, and they're still talking, but you get a better sense of culture and an appreciation and acceptance of oneself from this movie than from the talking rodent one.

That said, there's nothing particularly special about PANDA. There is some great voice work, but it's also scraping on that gripe that I have about movies casting popular actors that audiences recognize the names of and not necessarily someone who would be appropriate acting-wise for the part. (Seth Rogen surprised me as the Preying Mantis and David Cross was great as the Crane, but Angie as the Tigress, Michael Clarke Duncan as the rhino guard and Lucy Liu as the Viper are all pretty standard... come to think of it, aside from the first two, they're all standard.)

So, it's average with a slightly higher passing mark because the picture was so crisp and colorful that I enjoyed it for the visual presence that it had. But other than that... not much else. I doubt that I'll remember much about it tomorrow.

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