Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Kung Fu Panda - Prepare for awesomenessness
I came to this film with trepidation. I left it wondering if I had watched a better animated film for a long, long time.
Jack Black is perfect as the likeable, clumsy but, erm, tenacious Panda, Po.
The cast is littered with great voices, including Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu. The animation is top-notch, moving seamlessly between the stylised beauty of Mulan (an under-estimated Disney classic) to Matrix-like bullet-time slo-mo.
Kung Fu Panda is respectful to the martial arts genre, while keeping it kid-friendly. It has some incredible 3D fight scenes, with the close attention to the physics of the action making the preposterous stunts almost believable.
The attention to detail is meticulous. The music and sound-effects are superb (the dynamic range was too great for my Linn Keilidh's tweeters, causing alarming crackle and pop noises). And the story is stuffed full of 'heart', you find yourself caring about the characters in a way that only the best of animated films manage to do.
And it is better for what it lacks. There are no DreamWorks in-jokes, no reference to other related movies and very little double-entendre or crude humour.
Borrow or rent it to make sure, but odds are that you will be buying it for your collection soon after you've watched it.