Kung Fu Panda - Blu ray Review
By Dana Rae Nov 10, 2008, 14:32 GMT
Po the Panda is the laziest of all the animals in the Valley of Peace. With powerful enemies at the gates, all hope has been pinned on an ancient prophesy that a hero will rise to save the day. But among all the martial arts masters who come forward, none has shown the mark of The Chosen One ... until now. When Po unwittingly shows up in the midst of ...more
Jack Black shines as the voice of Po, the lovable, rotund panda that dreams of becoming a kung fu master. Joined with the voice talents of Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, and Lucy Liu, Black delivers a hilarious movie that will appeal to all ages.
Po works in his father’s restaurant serving noodles and we are treated to the idea that there is a great secret ingredient that his father (a goose, actually, not a panda) will reveal to Po when Po has the noodle dream. We are not privy to the noodle dream because, well, he never has it.
Instead, Po’s dreams are filled with kung fu action where Po is the ultimate master and part of the Furious Five. His dreams start to come true when it is announced that the next Dragon Warrior will be chosen at the Jade Palace.
Po did not anticipate that his father would make him sell noodles from a cart, nor that he would have trouble getting the cart up the thousands of steps to Jade Palace. When he finally arrives at the top, the palace gates have been closed and he is forced to find another way inside.
His antics to get into the palace and actually land him in front of Oogway who is supposedly going to pick one of the five - Tigress, Viper, Monkey, Mantis or Crane (which I am told is a nod to the old kung fu movies and each of these characters represent a certain fighting style). However, things go a bit array as Po lands in front of Tigress, and is chosen to be the Dragon Warrior.
Thus begins Po’s hilariously side-stitching and charming way of claiming our hearts. He is so big and lovable you just want to give him a big ole hug and an almond cookie.
Shifu is the master that has been training the five (he is a red panda, I looked him up), and is voiced by Dustin Hoffman. Shifu, at first, despises Po and makes his training unbearable in an attempt to get him to leave. He soon leans Po is made of sterner stuff than expected.
Enter the bad guy - Tai Lung (voiced by Ian McShane). Tai Lung is a snow leopard with a real bad attitude since he has been imprisoned for twenty years. He was Shifu’s prodigy but things went horribly wrong as Tai Lung wanted the Dragon Scroll and would stop at nothing to obtain it.
The Dragon Scroll becomes a foil for the noodle soup - both have ‘secret ingredients’ that one, characters and audience included, must discover and understand. Po, of course, is the hero, but how he becomes such is indescribable and must be watched first hand.
You will love Kung Fu Panda - it is by far the best animated film I have seen in a long time. The characters are likable, funny, and original. My kids also loved it and my son has been playing with his Kung Fu Panda toys since we watched it.
There are plenty of special features to keep fans immersed in trivia and activities, and some are only available on Blu-ray. These include: the animators’ corner, storyboards and interviews, a trivia track, and a live fun features.
Other special features include: Secret Ingredients, dragon warrior training academy, what fight style are you?, learn to draw Po, help save wild pandas, a kung fu fighting music video, inside the Chinese zodiac, Do you kung fu?, and a Food Network exclusive that is titled Alton Brown at Mr. Ping’s noodle house. All of these features are an awesome reason to own the Blu-ray edition.
Kung Fu Panda comes highly recommended to all ages and even to fans of the old kung fu movies (lots of nods given to the genre). It is full of awesomeness and you are missing out if you don’t stop and have a family night with your kids.
The Blu-ray edition is well worth the money. The 1080p picture is so clear that you can see the textured ‘material’ of the clothes the characters are wearing (my ten year old even commented on this). You can see the separate feathers spikes on the top of Mr. Ping’s head.
Also, the background scenery is quite beautiful and almost becomes a character unto itself. I highly recommend the Blu-ray experience to watch this awesome movie!