3 out of 5 stars (average)
Po (Jack Black) is a panda in China who dreams of being a member of the Furious Five, a revered group of highly-trained karate animals. He is unfortunately the son of a noodle server.
The Furious Five; Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Viper (Lucy Liu) Mantis (Seth Rogen), Crane (David Cross), and their sensei (Master) Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) are all under the jurisdiction of Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim).
Oogway hosts a ceremony to see who will be the next Dragon Warrior, a warrior who will defeat the evil, fast-approaching fugitive Tai Lung (Ian McShane). Po, a chubby Jackie Chanda wannabe, goes to the ceremony, and after many hilarious attempts to get inside the palace he uses fireworks to fly himself over the gate and into the festivities. Po lands right in the center of town. Oogway proclaims Po is the Dragon Warrior, to which everyone is shocked.
Shifu takes Po to the palace where the animals live and practice the art of kung fu, and shows him a mystical scroll. According to legend, once the Dragon Warrior is selected the scroll will give him power over everything, including the ability to defeat Tai Lung. Since Shifu doesn’t believe that this big, fat panda can be the Dragon Warrior, he tries everything to get rid of Po. Oogway makes Shifu believe he can teach Po to be the Dragon Warrior.
I saw this movie with my friend Brent and we both liked it. This film had comedy as well as good animation, and a positive moral at the end. The action scenes are done wonderfully and Po was the funniest character in the film. However, we thought it was a few steps below what we thought it would be. My mom, Peggy, thought the artwork around the end credits was very good and Brent said they reminded him of Japanese anime.
According to Dailies on the Reelz Channel, this is Dustin Hoffman’s first animated film. He will be doing another one later this year. Hoffman did a very good job as the sensei, and the character’s facial expressions were lively.
Rated PG for sequences of martial arts action. Note that there is no profanity in this thing, so it’s good for the whole family. It’s a lively summer movie.