Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2

One of my most likable animated movie, Kung Fu Panda 2 brings back nearly the entire cast of characters from the first movie but, instead of recycling the original storyline, screenwriters Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Burger and first-time director Jennifer Yuh use this opportunity to expand the main character's back story and explore some dark corners and crevices of the world in which these talking animals exist. The production is still family-friendly and includes the kind of easily accessible humor for many kids and adults (including me) love about animated fare, but there's no getting away from some of the adult themes that crop up. 

A fantastic sequel with more pathos than expected with plenty of gorgeous animation. The massive amount of artistry that has gone into the cinematography, lighting and design makes this as sumptuous and pleasing a film to behold.  Furtheremore, this movie that upgrade to 3D is worth while, the story is a solid refinement of the best bits from before and the balance between light humour and darker drama is quite well maintained.

Jack Black once again shows his excellence as a versatile actor especially in voice dubbing.  There's some platonic (with possible future romantic implications) chemistry between Po and Angelina Jolie's Tigress who, like Po, enjoys the introduction of a back story. Gary Oldman's voice alone makes Shen a malevolent entity. Dustin Hoffman's Master Shifu barely sounds like the actor.