Movie Impressions: Kung Fu Panda

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Let me set the scene here, I'm super hyped for WALL-E, part of the reason why I wanted to go see Kung Fu Panda is because I KNEW that there would be a trailer for WALL-E, so a couple of weeks ago I decided I was gonna go just for that. But as the release date approached I was beginning to like the idea of an animated martial arts movie, after animation and martial arts are two of my favorite genre of films. So that was my bias coming in, now let's get to the movie itself.

Very Satisfying. The whole movie barely seemed like it was a Dreamworks movie, this is due to the fact that the whole style was taken very seriously and it was SELF CONTAINED. There were no incredibly out of place pop culture references as in others(Shark Tale, Madagascar) which is a breath of fresh air from this animation house. Also there are some moments of awesome cinematography, I'm talking about beautiful almost poetic scenes which give you a sense of inspiration and even make you channel Keanu Reeves as you say "Woah." The opening sequence in particular and the end credits showcase beautiful 2D animation that would make a pretty good Nickelodeon show or something.(and it probably will, mark my words) The best part of the movie by far however were the fight scenes. They were fast, but not chaotic always elegant and you never lost sight of what was going on. The Furious Five scenes in particular are awesome and each different animal moves in a way which is unique to the species, I really liked Crane's movements in particular. The story however is a bit formulaic but it's forgivable due to its short length. Jack Black delivers a pretty good performance but Po as a whole failed to be as lovable and memorable from his dialog as I was hoping he would be.

The movie as a whole is very satisfying and is well worth the money, It's good to see that the talented guys at Dreamworks are getting better at telling stories and at having awesome graphical styles. Hopefully Pixar and these guys keep pushing each other to tell great and unique stories that can only be told through animation.