Directed by Mark Osborne and John Stevenson
Written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger
Even though Pixar’s Wall-E had been grabbing all the attention at the Oscars and other award nights this year, the other nomination in the animated category – Kung Fu Panda is a worthy watch too.
Po is the protagonist of the film whose voice was dubbed by Jack Black. Po and his father Mr. Ping (a goose, voice over by James Hong) run a noodle restaurant in the valley of peace. The valley has a kung fu institute or a kind of protection mansion at the highest altitude of the valley.
The movie opens to Po’s kung fu dream of being the respected stranger of the martial art world and how the dream ends to realize that he is only a Panda with a small noodle store.
The master of the mansion of the highest altitude Master Oogway – an old giant turtle sees a vision where the most dreaded enemy of the valley – Tai Lung, a snow leopard might break free from the 1000 rhino guarded prison of the valley. Master Shifu (The man – Dustin Hoffman) is next in line to take over the control of the institute and Tai Lung was his foster son who was imprisoned for turning evil to get a hold of the Dragon Scroll. However, the Scroll can be taken only by the true Dragon warrior and from then on yields limitless power.
In order to select the true dragon warrior Oogway and Shifu organize a gathering of the valley. The most likely citizen who was supposed to be chosen – Master Tigress (Angelina Jolie) looses the opportunity because of Po’s sudden fall from the sky which of course was caused by Po’s desperation to see the event and the use of a bit of firecrackers.
From then on Shifu trying to get rid of Po, Oogway passing away, Shifu finally realizing that “there are no accidents” and a lot ofa animated martial arts is the rest of the feature. Shifu trains Po after he realizes that Po’s love for food can come in handy to make him the ‘True Dragon Warrior’.
‘Kung Fu Panda’ with its witty version of the Chinese martial art films is great fun with all the panda gigs and the animated fights.
The actors who have given their voices have totally transformed themselves into whichever character they were playing. Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman stand out to be the best of the film.
If you want a bit a puzzle solving through the film, try spotting which character was played by ‘Jackie Chan’.