Have you ever wondered why Po, the main character in the original Kung Fu Panda, and prophesied Dragon Warrior and protector of China had a father that was a goose? Well, in this hilarious action-packed sequel to Kung Fu Panda, you will definitely find out! Po discovers his origins in the new film while on a mission to save kung fu.
The new villain’s name is Lord Shen (my mom’s last name) who is a stunning albino peacock, skilled in kung fu and adaptable with many weapons such as blades, metal feathers, and a staff with a lethal metal talon on the end, but has not much need to use his skills due to his invention of the cannon, which renders the kung fu of an opponent useless…or does it?
Here is my review for CNN, produced by Chris Morrow:
This film is about finding destiny and inner peace. It’s better than the original film. I love the 2D cell animation that’s incorporated into the film instead of just 3D graphics. I especially liked the style in the film at the beginning that looked like traditional Chinese shadow puppets. I also thought that the interesting idea of a peacock as a villain was not ever used until this film. It is so creative! The music has a Chinese style which goes along well with scenes in the Chinese countryside. The voice cast is sold, expressing emotions of major characters well.
Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson is the first woman as sole director of a major animation feature. She is Korean American, who worked as head of story in the first Kung Fu Panda film at DreamWorks Animation. I remember seeing excellent animation shorts at the San Diego Asian Film Festival in 2010. A lot of animators in “Guard Dog Global Jam” (animation short directed by Oscar-nominee Bill Plympton that I participated as an animator) are Asian or women or both, it’s cool to have many talented Asian and women animators.
I give this film 4 starfish, it’s “Perrific!” For all of its strengths, Kung Fu Panda 2 has one flaw. At the very end, somebody that the main villain Lord Shen eradicated a long time ago mysteriously came back, and even though he was miles away, he miraculously knew that Po was alive!
I have a few personal favorite parts in the film. My favorite scene was when Master Shifu used inner peace and caught a drop of water without breaking it and set it on a leaf. I noticed that when Po was distracted, he let the villain get away, or got clobbered by a wolf, or other mishaps that don’t always end up good for Po himself.
I enjoyed meeting Po at the San Diego Zoo last month, he even posed for his portrait by a zoo artist! At the press screening, the audience LOVED the film! They cheered, laughed as the movie went along, and applauded at the end. I recommend this film to people age 5 and above, as small children could be scared of the battle scenes.
Moral: You cannot change the past, but you can choose what you become.
Copyright 2011 by Perry S. Chen
Perry Chen has been reviewing movies since he was 8 in third grade. He is also a young animator, collaborating with Oscar-nominated Bill Plympton. He was among 75 animators around the world to animate Plympton's "Guard Dog Global Jam" based on the Oscar-nominated "Guard Dog." "Guard Dog Global Jam" premiered at SXSW film festival in March 2011.
Perry is the youngest winner of San Diego Press Club 2010 Excellence in Journalism awards for his movie review, and was featured in “The Young Icons” TV show. He reviews G/PG-rated movies for the San Diego Union Tribune with over 1 million weekly readers. Perry is also the resident film critic for Amazing Kids, a non-profit organization with kids-generated content on its monthly magazine with about 1 million readers.
Perry regularly covers red carpet premieres, press junkets, film festivals and awards, interviewing Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning directors and producers. He was the first child film critic invited to present at the Annie Awards for animation in 2010, and was featured on Variety for being one of the leading young film critics:
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