My son and I finally made the trek to the local theater to see Kung Fu Panda 2. Although the tickets cost a little more–$25 for an adult and a child ticket for an afternoon showing–we saw the film in 3D.
Was it worth the money to see Kung Fu Panda 2 in the theater? Absolutely.
Often, movie sequels don’t match up to their predecessors when it comes to quality and enjoyment ZING. Kung Fu Panda 2 is a definite exception to this rule of thumb. The first movie had the benefit of having the thrill of discovery–we were all learning about Po (the Panda) for the first time. But the second movie has other things to offer–such as the development of deeper relationships between Po and certain others on his team. Kung Fu Panda 2 reveals flashbacks Poe has of his babyhood where his parents were still around–his Panda parents, not the goose father who we’ve seen all along.
Po and his Kung Fu teammates, the Furious Five, must hunt down an evil peacock named Chen who seeks to take over China–not to mention, destroy Kung Fu–with his powerful new weapon. Po later finds out that this peacock had actually destroyed his childhood village and killed both his parents. So Po not only has reasons in the present to stop the plot of this evil bird–he has reasons that are seated deep in his past.
Choosing a peacock to be the evil nemesis of the film was quite an interesting choice for the screenplay writers because the creature was able to use his tail fan-like as a weapon to slash at his opponents during battle. In real life, war fans were used in battle by the Samurai of feudal Japan–so a peacock using his feathers as a fan-weapon in battle draws from actual real-world history.
Violence and destruction can transform into joy and beauty.
Fireworks were used as a part of a destructive weapon developed by the evil peacock Chen. At the end of the movie, fireworks were used to celebrate Chen’s defeat–in other words, the defeat of evil.
It’s who you choose to be today that matters–now what happened in your past.
Po and Chen both have certain painful experiences in their past–but while Po has chosen to be a Panda dedicated to friends, family, China, and Kung Fu–not to mention, rice balls–Chen has chosen to live his life for hatred and vengeance.
The love of family is tremendous–even when that family is an adopted one.
Despite discovering that he was really a Panda, and not a goose like the father he had always known, Po still considers his goose-father to be his real one, and loves him accordingly. In Kung Fu Panda 2, we see through flashbacks how Po’s goose father had found him in a batch of food that had been delivered to his restaurant–and all the things he endured to raise Po.
During this second film, the friendship between Tigress and Po deepens–which is a bit surprising, considering Tigress was the one of the Five most against Po’s joining them in the first movie. In Kung Fu Panda 2, Tigress and Po experience some surprising– and touching–moments.
In numerous parts throughout the movie, difficult tasks were finally accomplished when the Furious Five (plus Po) worked together. There were numerous other instances of teamwork saving the day, as well.
Animation / Art
In Kung Fu Panda 2, everything in the shot, including the background, is beautifully drawn and animated. The Dreamworks guys had a lot of very excellent artists working on this one! Just take note of the awesome detail of the Chinese buildings and palaces, and you’ll see what I mean. The lighting in the scenes is also incredible: you’ll see this in the lighting details on the buildings, in the sky, and even sifting through the leaves of the trees.
What Moms and Dads will Love About this Movie
Lots of positive, inspiring themes and messages
Fun and humorous film that kids and their parents can watch together and both enjoy!