Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Grade: A

This may be Dreamworks’ best animated feature. It had the perfect combination of voice talent, script, cutting edge animation, humor, action, and emotion. I thoroughly enjoyed the film from beginning to end.

The chubby panda Po (Jack Black) works in the family noodle shop, but has dreams of acheiving kung fu glory with the five masters in the Jade Palace. In a twist of fate, Po is chosen to become the next “dragon warrior” charged with the high task of defeating a masterful enemy, despite his martial ineptitude. Sifu, the renowned kung fu instructor voiced by Dustin Hoffman, is equally skeptical of the unimpressive Po. Will he be able to defeat the ultimate enemy and save the village from destuction?

My children were totally enthralled for the entire 91 minutes, and I was too. The laughs are genuine, and the story has a great mix of comedy, cartoon martial arts action, and deeper themes for the adult watchers. It has something for everyone. I highly recommend Kung Fu Panda. It is rated PG for martial arts action and some scary images of the villainous snow leopard.


Gracewanderer said...

Just FYI, "Sifu" is a title, not a name.

Coach Rockwood said...

Thanks for your comment!

"Sifu" normally is a title meaning "master." In the context of this movie, however, the writers use it as a name,(and they spell/pronounce it "Shifu").

For example, he is repeatedly referred to as "Master Shifu," which technically means "Master Master."

And the Shifu character does not refer to his own master as "Sifu," (which he should do if it were being used properly as a title), but as "Master Oogway." This pattern (i.e. "Master + [Name]") tells me that the writers either did not understand the nature of the word (which I doubt) or they opted to use it as a name.

Thanks again :)