Directors: Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Allesandro Carloni
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Bryan Cranston, David Cross, Dustin Hoffman, J.K. Simmons, Jack Black, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Comedy, Animation, Family
Runtime: 95 min
So the third movie in a franchise is set to come out and you think to yourself, “this is not going to be anything close to the first two, or to be specific the first one.” Everything that follows the first movie has to contend with its success and the out of this world creativity it has going for it, and usually by the time a franchise hits three, everything from the writing to the characters (or in this case voices) seems rehashed. This Kung Fu Panda 3 has the same fight to deal with, and you can be sure the first movie won’t pull any punches. See what I did there?
The whole main cast from the previous two films returns to help Po the dragon warrior deal with an evil enemy of their respected Master Ugwe, who returns to the world from the spirit realm to take Po’s chi (spiritual energy). Po has to master his chi, and trains with his father. Yes! His real father, Li (voiced by Bryan Cranston) who Po reunites with in this film, and a whole panda village which is the location of Po’s education in mastering his chi.
The DreamWorks trademark is realized yet again in this film with immaculate imagery brilliantly engineered, with the added bonus of fight scenes that are so magnificently constructed that it is a sheer joy to watch this film in HD. The banter between the All-star voices that are a part of this film is very delightful, and in some scenes fantastic. I can honestly say that in all the films of the Kung Fu Panda franchise this is a contender for first place.
That being said, it’s still an animated film. As such you know that it has to end happily. Otherwise all the parents that took their kids to watch it would have a terrible time trying to put an end to their tears. It’s sadly predictable.
It being the last Kung Fu Panda, they didn’t play it safe and easy. They went hard with the cast, the graphics and just about everything. It will please children to no end, and as an adult you’ll know what is going to happen, but you’ll enjoy seeing it unfold anyway.