Po and his exciting companions are back in the third iteration of the fun-filled Kung Fu Panda series.
Jack Black’s Po remains one of the most adorable animated characters to have come out of DreamWorks Studios and he is fantastic here as well. As always, one of the most endearing aspect of these films has always been the clever one liners and there are an ample servings of them in this one too.
Coming to the story, we’re back in familiar waters. To keep it as spoiler-free as possible: Kai (who kinda looks like a bull?) is an ancient foe who has been banished to the spirit realm by Master Oogway. But now he’s back with a vengeance, planning to take down the Jade Palace. Now it’s upto Po to master a secret magic to defeat Kai once and for all.
But lest I forget, we finally get to visit the much anticipated Panda village with Po reuniting with his biological father Li Shan (voiced by the wonderful Bryan Cranston). In a movie filled with so much fun and frolic, some of the best moments are the incredibly subtle but emotional callbacks to Po’s childhood and his late mother.
I also loved the music with its Chinese touch; Hans Zimmer keeps the tempo lively and even though there weren’t any standout motifs, the music wonderfully accentuates the film. The same goes for the great use of 3D, there are only a few movies out there that can justify their use of adding that extra dimension and Kung Fu Panda is definitely one of them. I dunno if this is the conclusion to the series but I’ll miss the colorful world with its cute anthropomorphic animals and the delicious food references.
If I have a minor problem with this third film, it’s only this: I would have loved for the writers to up the ante in this one, to kinda beef up the emotional aspect. But the series adamantly sticks to primarily cater to the younger crowd. Granted, the adults will enjoy this film but there’s just not enough that lingers in your mind once you’re out of the cinema.