This week’s top pick to buy or rent is Kung Fu Panda, the animated film about being true to yourself and reaching your full potential. Well, actually, that probably describes every animated film I’ve ever seen, but this genuinely fun movie achieves the perfect mix of quips, action and, of course, loveable and colourful animals.
Po the panda is fed up of his mundane life serving dumplings from his father’s restaurant. His father, by the way, is a duck, a biological impossibility which only highlights his alienation from his own culture.
However, when he is inadvertently selected as ‘The Chosen One’ he must be trained by kung fu prodigies ‘The Furious Five’ to defeat rogue snow leopard Tai Lung. Cue some workout montages, some great fight sequences and Dustin Hoffman as adorable yet deadly master Shifu.
This is a really fun film, but it’s just a little too short, and while the animation is impressive it doesn’t quite match Pixar, although this is certainly Dreamworks’ best attempt in years. The actors behind the animals, meanwhile, are enthusiastic, but most are wasted; Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan and Seth Rogen have about three lines, and are hardly worth the surely vast sum earned from their participation.
With a fun plot, great animation and a sequel already greenlit, Kung Fu Panda is a good way to give your inner child a treat.