Master Shifu ( Dustin Hoffman) sends out the Furious Fighters -- Dragon Warriors Po ( Jack Black), Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey ( Jackie Chan), Viper ( Lucy Liu), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Crane ( David Cross) -- on their second adventure. This time they must save the world, and China, from the evil domination plans of the albino peacock Lord Shen ( Gary Oldman). But before they can do that, Po, the affable panda must find inner peace and come to terms with his troubled past.
Kung Fu Panda works not only because of his bumbling ways as a martial arts hero but also because he is such a bundle of doubts, misgivings and apprehensions. Yes, he's hardly your archetypal superhero and therein lies his super charm.
The first film was a winner because it not only traced the birth of a hero, but also had the philosophical underpinnings of the most-reader friendly self-help book. How to grow from zero to hero: that was the sweet and stirring sub-text of the film that won young and adult hearts alike with the antics of an overweight, ungainly panda who could have spent the rest of his life peddling noodles, if he hadn't mastered himself....
Well, Po is already a hero now, nevertheless, he has his moments of weakness and his frailties which still need to be overcome before he can teach his new enemy the lesson of his life. Po must come to terms with his strange parentage: how can a panda be the son of a goose; so what, if the goose ( James Hong) is the best dad in the world.... Time for some flashback and the arrival of the cutest baby panda on screen who makes you go all gooey with his baby talk.
The action sequences of the film, shot in 3D, do form the highlight of it, but there's no undermining the friendship-and family emotional sequences. Perhaps, the most touching sequences of the film are the show of affection between the noodle-hawking goose, Mr Ping and his adopted son Po and the spontaneous touch-feely tid-bits between heavy-stuff Tigress and all-butter Po.
Holding out a promise for a third part, Kung fu Panda 2 makes for some great family viewing.
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