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Kung Fu Panda

Prepare for awesomeness. 

Year: 2008 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Mark Osborne and John Stevenson 
Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Ian McShane, Jackie Chain, Lucy Liu.  
An image from Kung Fu Panda

The legendary Kung-Fu guru, Master Shifu, has trained the infamous Furious Five but his team of Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey is still one member short. To fulfil an ancient prophecy he must train the lazy slacker Po (Jack Black), a panda who wastes most of his days away in his family’s noodle shop. Po must now train under the leadership of Master Shifu in order to defeat the ruthless snow leopard Tai Lung. Will he be able to overcome his slothfulness and defend the world from Tai Lung’s brute force or will he continue to spend his time guzzling dumplings?

Jack Black is hilarious as always; his portrayal of the idle panda is highly entertaining. Po is a likeable and comical character who provides a great base for the all star cast. He does dominate the script and certainly delivers the laughs but he is by no means the only star of the film. Lucy Liu, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman and Jackie Chan are just some of the many well cast actors that provide many a laugh as engaging characters. Ian McShane gives Tai Lung a fearful presence which adds depth and drama to the story.

The stylish, sharp visuals prove that Dreamworks can give Pixar a run for its money on the animation front. Bright and colourful scenery and well-crafted character designs make Kung-Fu Panda aesthetically pleasing. The martial arts theme lends itself to some awesome fight sequences that are a delight to watch and prove to be extremely entertaining.

The script is both witty and filled with great slapstick moments so there really is something for everyone. Fantastic slow-mo moments also provide some great giggles and the character design (especially Po’s chunky frame!) is also a source of humour. The story is heart-warming and applicable to all age groups. It does not get overly preachy or cheesy either so it remains entertaining throughout.

All in all, Kung-Fu Panda is a witty and visually stunning film that keeps the viewer entertained with spectacular fight scenes and side-splitting moments. This film goes recommended to all fans of the animated genre and anyone who appreciates Jack Black’s perfect comedic timing and/or classic martial arts movies.

Julia Huntenburg

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Screenings of this film:

2008/2009 Autumn Term (35mm)
2008/2009 Autumn Term (35mm)