Kung Fu Panda 3


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Kung Fu Panda 3
"The vocal cast is star studded. Trouble is they are given too little to speak."

This is neither the place nor the time to talk about art. The Panda franchise is about an obese cuddly who rises from goofy obscurity to become The Dragon Warrior. The joke is in the contradiction. How can a panda be any good at kung fu? Or anything for that matter? And why does Po, the panda in question, have a goose for a dad?

All shall be revealed. But first, what's art got to do with it?

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The third episode of this popular feature length cartoon has a sentimental core that sweetens the memories of its anarchic predecessors. The jokes shadow previous incarnations with their emphasis on Po's cowardly instincts as defender of last resort against the powers of evil, in this case a crazed yak from the spirit world.

Po's character, as voiced by Jack Black, remains the same. OK, he's a panda. OK, he's been taught the basics of martial arts. OK, his response to danger is to run. OK, he's naive, silly and stupid.

What's to love? His heart. He's a giver, a hugger, a loyal compatriot. In this story he finds his real father living in a secret panda commune in the snowy peaks of some far off mountain range and has to fight the awesome yak to release the spells that have turned his friends into jade statuettes.

There is so much going on you forget to ask the question about art because it's happening all around. 3-D is controversial. Most of the time it makes no difference and tends to blur the edges. Not this time. Here it is used to perfection, coupled with exquisite slo-mo, breaking new ground in artistic imagination.

The vocal cast is star studded. Trouble is they are given too little to speak.

"Sometimes we do the right thing for the wrong reasons," Po says.

He might have been talking about the film.

Reviewed on: 04 Mar 2016
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Po discovers his real dad and fights the great yak from the spirit world to save the world
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Director: Alessandro Carloni, Jennifer Yuh

Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger

Starring: voices of Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, J.K. Simmons, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Kate Hudson, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim, Steele Gagnon, Liam Knight, Wayne Knight

Year: 2016

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: China, US


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