Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Destiny’s Child-Bear

I finally saw Kung Fu Panda over the weekend – and I hearted it.

It’s been a long time since I’ve made it a point to go see an animated film on the big screen – I used to take my little sister when I lived at home.

It took me a little while (the movie opened on June 6), but you know the saying: better late than never. Strong word of mouth shall not be denied, I guess. Plus, panda bears are like, the new penguins….

Kung Fu Panda follows big, clumsy, but thoroughly enthusiastic panda bear Po (vividly voiced by Jack Black), quite literally the biggest fan of kung fu to be found in the ancient Chinese town of The Valley of Peace.

Po lives with his dad and works in the family noodle shop, but as it is the case, he yearns for more than that.

When he’s unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy and become the Dragon Master, Po’s dreams become reality as he joins the exciting world of kung fu to study, under the tutelage of legendary Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), at the Jade Palace.

There he meets his lifelong idols, Monkey (Jackie Chan), Crane (David Cross), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Tigress (Angelina Jolie) – a.k.a. the Furious Five – who do not appreciate Po’s arrival.

Before they know it, though, the vengeful snow leopard Tai Lung (Ian McShane) is headed their way, and it’s up to Po to defend everyone from the oncoming threat.

Kung Fu Panda takes us on a journey of self-realization. We see Po take charge of his destiny, save the day with a simple and inspired “Skadoush!” – all the while reminding us that no matter who you are and no matter where you come from, you can always change…become a better version of yourself.

It’s a great lesson to learn or be reminded of, especially because this big, clumsy, but thoroughly enthusiastic panda bear makes it so much fun.

My Rating ***1/2

Photo: DreamWorks Animation.

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