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ShoWest: Kung-Fu Panda!

03.12.2008

The following discusses work-in-progress print from ShoWest.

Going in to the KUNG-FU PANDA screening nothing about what I had seen about the film so far gave me reason to be excited about it. Yet I found I was pleasantly surprised by DreamWorks' latest animated film, which is beautifully rendered, superbly choreographed and (natch) funny.

- The opening of the film is a gorgeous 2-D sequence where Po the Panda dreams he's a kung-fu warrior. The rest of the film doesn't keep this animation style but it sets a nice tone for the rest of the film.

- When the kung-fu master Oogway announces that the the time has come for the Dragon Warrior prophecy to be announced, Po rushes to the temple only to discover it is he who is the legendary warrior. But he's clumsy, lazy and fat which doesn't make sense to anyone, least of all the Furious Five who are concerned at best and spiteful at worst.

- Po trains under the tutelage of Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) and hilarity ensues. Actually it is at this point of the film where it slows a little bit while Po slowly becomes to realize how and why he was selected as the warrior.

- Black turns in a great performance as the fanboyish Po (it reminded me of what it would be like if one of our readers was cast as the lead in a big-budget A-list movie).

- Don't expect much from the Furious Five (Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, David Cross and Lucy Lui) and instead look forward to scenes with Hoffman and Black and later on the villainous Tai Lung (Ian McShane).

- As I mentioned before, the movie has some surprisingly well choreographed fight sequences, better than most live-action movies. The freedom of the animated camera allows the directors to move unobstructed through and around the action to great success.

- Since I'm a grown man, I always think of how my kids would enjoy an animated movie I see. I can guarantee both my kids (boy and girl) will love KUNG-FU PANDA and I'll be there with them to see it again on opening weekend.

Source: JoBlo.com

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