Monday, January 2, 2012

The hardcore can't understand.

How do you follow up a forty-five year old French film? With pandas. Lots of pandas.

Kung Fu Panda 2 surprised me. It starts off with this involved back story about a power hungry peacock who would attempt to rule China with an iron fist. Read that again if you have to, but the point I'm making is that it's kind of serious. There are large sections of this movie that are quite dark (both literally and emotionally). I bought this for my son (that's what I say when I purchase animated movies that I have to see) but I really don't think he'd enjoy it (yet). I was thinking lots of skadooshes and some colorful fight scenes, but this one has a strong message and a very emotional core. And yes, it should surprise no one that more than once I found myself holding back the waterworks. First Toy Story 3 and now this? I'm a mess - I know.

I don't answer the door when I'm eatin'.
Awkward visuals aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the second chapter of Po's journey. The story is simple yet compelling (as any good family film should be) and the theme really resonates.The idea of not letting your past dictate your future applies to the entire audience, both young and old (though maybe not the super wee ones). To make it even stronger, it really compliments the message of the first film, too - that of being true to yourself despite how others may see you. Groovy.

So, I'm thinking that despite having a extra heavy dose of Jack Black this isn't really a kids movie. At all. Yes, I realize that adults usually don't line up for movies featuring talking and fighting animals, but if you don't get hung up on the visuals you'll find yourself with a decent revenge tale laced with a fair amount of ass kicking and life lessons. And yes, while I'm typing this I can see that poster to the left. Oh, it won't sway me.

Since I don't have any Booos (except an inexplicable lack of Monkey), I'm gonna roll out with a sixer of Yays!
This is a pretty sweet chase scene.
  1. Speech from too far away? That's brilliant.
  2. Any time that Crane's jaw drops.
  3. Michelle Yeoh. Second best goat ever (first place? The Goat. As in, first time he used fists Goat)
  4. Damn adorable baby pandas. So cute and lovable.
  5. Obviously, the animation is stellar. Especially the fireworks. The boat battle, too. Whoa.
  6. The ending. Awesome.

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