DreamWorks Review: Kung Fu Panda

DreamWorks Animation's 16th feature film.
DreamWorks Animation’s 16th feature film.

Watch Full Movie ON LINK

My Opinion right after watching movie

My opinion right after watching the movie is that it is one of DreamWork’s best. The characters are great, the story is near-perfect, the animation is flawless, and everything works about it. They took out the gimmicks and distractions, and stuck to the story and characters. This is the film that started their good age again and to some “topped Pixar” -_-……… Okay then.

Production

Production for this movie started in October 2004 and was originally going to be a spoof on martial arts movies, but director John Stevenson did not like that idea and moved away from the pop-culture references and focused more on good comedy and to get the kung-fu like vibe. The movie was inspired by the movie Kung Fu Hustle.

The crew that worked on this film spent a lot of time researching for the film (which has not been done in a LONG WHILE). They researched Chinese paintings and sculptures, took kung-fu classes, studied a bunch of kung-fu movies, and a bunch of other things.

Apparently the animation for this film was harder to complete and more complex than anything DreamWorks has animated. They had to develop a bunch of new programs so they can animate both clothes and fur (which are animation toughies) together. Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) tells Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) that Tai Lung (Ian McShane) has escaped and is heading their way because he was denied the scroll of Kung Fu.

Story

So the story starts with Po (Jack Black) imagining to be a kung-fu warrior with the Furious Five. He is unsatisfied with his life and helping his goose father (they hint at how this came to be at the end of this movie but reveal it in the next one) running the noodle shop.

Isn't this shot so pretty and detailed? I think this might be DreamWork's best animation yet.
Isn’t this shot so pretty and detailed? I think this might be DreamWork’s best animation yet.

Po goes to the event where Oogway chooses the Dragon Warrior without many obstacles, but after accidentally landing in front of Oogway, he is chosen as the Dragon warrior, shocking everyone including himself.

I actually feel bad for them here. They worked so hard for their entire lives for this day but some fat, lazy random takes their goal from them by accident? Life sucks.
I actually feel bad for them here. They worked so hard for their entire lives for this day but some fat, lazy random takes their goal from them by accident? Life sucks.

Shifu is pissed about this and wants Po to leave and quit, so they start training so he will think it is too hard, but Po is only more intrigued and determined because he likes getting beat the fuck up I guess.

Kung Fu Panda

In the evening, Oogway gives him a pep talk after he is snubbed by everyone at their sleeping chambers and how he uses food to deal with his emotions and issues. See, small details about characters make them more interesting and add depth to them. It would be nice if the company did this with their characters more often. While this is happening, Tai Lung makes a fucking badass escape and the bird who Shifu sent over there returned to tell him that Tai Lung has officially escaped.

This scene is BAD to the ASS. Sheer brilliancy and you know Tai Lung means business with that face.
This scene is BAD to the ASS. Sheer brilliancy and you know Tai Lung means business with that face.

Another day comes and goes as Po sucks at training. In the evening, they are back at their chambers and Viper (Lucy Liu) and Mantis (Seth Rogen) are doing acupuncture on him. There are a bunch if celebrities that I know here, but they are not even recognizable here. That is so rare to find in animated films today.  Tigress (Angelina Jolie) tells Po the story of Tai Lung and says how this is really important, which is why he needs to leave. Shifu just found out that Tai Lung is on his way and rushes to Oogway about the Panda and the urgency of the matter. Oogway gives him a pep talk before his death.

Urgh, this movie is making it IMPOSSIBLE for me to read/diss the fuck out of an aspect or something in it. This is just so beautiful in  every way.
Urgh, this movie is making it IMPOSSIBLE for me to read/diss the fuck out of an aspect or something in it. This is just so beautiful in every way.

The crew eats Po’s noodles and have a great time (this scene is filler, but it shows them getting along which is somewhat important) and he starts to imitate Shifu, but he walks in and tells them the news about Tai Lung.

Can you blame him for getting the fuck out of there?
Can you blame him for getting the fuck out of there?

The next morning, Shifu finds Po binge on the food and realized that he can do the impossible for what he normally can with the thought of food in his mind, which is how he got so high to reach the cookies. He uses a dumpling to train him and now he is a badass Dragon Warrior. This is all nice, but this is the only issue I have with it.

Did yall think this praise fest was ging to last forever? Sucks for you then. My issue with this is that for the past 2 day, we see him make no progress at all, but in like 3 hours, he is the best of the best? If they showed a montage of a few days then it would make sense, but it comes off as extremely rushed while they made the other training scenes extremely long.
Did yall think this praise fest was going to last forever? Sucks for you then. My issue with this is that for the past 2 day, we see him make no progress at all, but in like 3 hours, he is the best of the best? If they showed a montage of a few days then it would make sense, but it comes off as extremely rushed while they made the other training scenes extremely long.

The Furious Five go to defeat Tai Lung before he arrives, but he whoops all of their asses. Po is suddenly ready to get the scroll, which is an empty scroll, meaning there is on secret ingredient for being the best in Kung Fu, it is just you, and that is a great message.

The town is told to pack and to go somewhere else and his father Mr. Ping (James Hong) is about to tell him that he is not his biological father  something important, but they are interrupted when Lung shows up to whoop some ass.

Kung Fu Panda

Lung is mad that Shifu turned on him and almost kills him. Po comes to save the day and eventually kills Lung with some classic DreamWorks comedy in the middle of it.

One thing I say about DreamWorks is that they tell the characters to be comfortable with who they are and how they look and to embrace their weirdness and stuff, which is shown in Shrek, this movie, Shark Tale (though poorly), Megamind, and more whereas Disney kind of butchers their message on this lesson, ala Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, etc.
One thing I can say about DreamWorks is that they tell the characters to be comfortable with who they are and how they look and to embrace their weirdness and stuff, which is shown in Shrek, this movie, Shark Tale (though poorly), Megamind, and more whereas Disney kind of butchers their message on this lesson, ala Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, etc.

Everyone bows to him in respect, and he remembers to check on Shifu who is just relaxing on the floor and Po keeps on ruining the vibe, and they just decide to go eat.

The story is more than fantastic, I think I said everything I could say. Though there is that scene that is rushed, everything else is done perfectly.
The story is more than fantastic, I think I said everything I could say. Though there is that scene that is rushed, everything else is done perfectly.

Characters

The characters in this film are all enjoyable and likeable, but some are very generic and one-dimensional, while Po and Shifu are very developed. Still better than a lot of characters in the canon of DreamWorks.

Po
Po is a great character. He is fun, optimistic, and down to earth, and he finally learns that he is his secret ingredient to do whatever he wants. He is fun and we know a good amount about him.
Shifu
Shifu is pretty funny, though he does not try to be. He is serious, and does not like mistakes. Her is a great character and feels bad about certain things.
Tai Lung
Tai Lung is strong, vengeful, powerful, and to be honest a bit generic.
Tigress
Tigress is the leader of the Furious Five and is very hostile, and her reasoning makes a lot of sense.
Monkey
Monkey is very easygoing.
Viper
Viper is kind and good-natured.
Crane
Crane is very sarcastic and almost does not give an f.
Mantis
Mantis is very strong despite his size.
Ping
Ping is happy-go-lucky and very traditional and expects Po to follow his footsteps.

Animation

I think I have hinted that it is perfect, so….. yeah.

Music

The soundtrack was done by Hans Zimmer and John Powell, and they did a great job on it. There are no pop songs that are mere distractions, and there are not really any songs in general.  It is just the powerful, chinese score that gives off the vibe of the movie.

Reception at Release

When this film was released on June 6th, 2008, It was a huge success for the studio, all around. It topped the box office on its first week and made more than what the analysts thought, though it dropped to second in the following week behind The Incredible Hulk. It was very successful in China and is the first animated film to make more than 100 Yuan in China. It closed on October 9, 2008 , grossing $215,434,591 domestically and $416,309,969 overseas for a worldwide total of $631,744,560. It is currently the highest-grossing non-sequel DreamWorks film to date.

Critically, it did very well and the first film since Shrek 2 to be praised. Critics and audiences loved it for its action, lack of pop-culture references, heart, great everything. Some even deemed it as an automatic classic, and it is. According to a lot, this film started DreamWork’s Golden age where their films actually became good and according to some, beat Pixar and Disney (laughs). Alright……

When it comes to awards, it was nominated for A LOT. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, 6 Annies, 1 Golden Globe, 1 Golden Reel, a Teen’s Choice, and a bunch of others, and was nominated instead of won because WALL-E beat it. That is not the case for the Annies, as it was tied with Wallace and Gromit, How to Train Your Dragon, and The Incredibles for the most nominations, and it SWEPT ALMOST ALL OF THE AWARDS from WALL-E, leaving everyone like this

A lot of people say that Kayzenberg bought out ASIFA-Hollywood memberships, and told them to vote for Kung-Fu Panda.
A lot of people say that Katzenberg bought out ASIFA-Hollywood memberships, and told them to vote for Kung-Fu Panda.

Reception Today

Today, it is seen as a DreamWorks Classic, the film that got people liking DreamWorks again, and it is seen as one of the best films DreamWorks has put out. It garnered 2 sequels Kung Fu Panda 2, and one that is currently in development and being prepared for release in 2015. It also has a spin-off series called Kung Fu Panda: Legend of Awesomeness that started on September 19th, 2013 and currently airing their 3rd season.

Final Score

Story = 8/10

Characters = 7.5/10

Music = 9/10

Animation = 10/10

=34.5/40=  86% 

Next Time……

Review: October 22nd, 2013
Review: October 22nd, 2013
Advertisements

16 thoughts on “DreamWorks Review: Kung Fu Panda

  1. So it really is good? (Yes, I haven’t seen it…I gave up on DreamWorks a looooong time ago and the premise sounds so cliché and stupid…and just because everyone says it is good, I wonder if it is really good or just unexpected good for DreamWorks).

    1. It is better than Shrek and yes, it is more than a gimmick (very rare). There are little to no pop-culture references, characters are likeable and actually characters, and the plot is good except for Po getting good in a half hour. I highly doubt it would be one you specifically would consider a favourite.

  2. I actually think DreamWorks has topped Pixar and Disney with Kung Fu Panda 2.

    But that’s their only film which is better than Pixar and Disney.

    Here’s my Top 5 Animated Films:
    1. Kung Fu Panda 2
    2. Zootopia
    3. Toy Story 3
    4. Cars 2
    5. The Black Cauldron

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s