Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

kung fu panda 2 poster 2008 jack black dreamworks
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Love the non-computer animated flashbacks

Loses some of the fun fighting aspects of the original film

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Kung Fu Panda 2

Studio:  DreamWorks Animation

Genre(s):  Comedy/Animated/Martial Arts/Family

Release Date(s):  May 26, 2011

MPAA Rating:  PG

kung-fu-panda-2-po-duck-father-

A panda’s best friend is his dad-duck

Shen had a destiny…he wanted to rule the world and the only thing potentially standing in his way is a panda warrior.  Taking manners into his own hand, Shen set out to eliminate all the pandas…leaving a young panda survivor.  Now, Po is living as the Dragon Warrior and working with the Furious Five to protect the Valley of Peace.  When word gets out that a Panda has survived, Shen realizes he must stop the last threat to his rule, and Po discovers the past that he never knew existed.

kung-fu-panda-2-po-vs-shen-panda-peacock

Yes, I’m the evil version of the NBC peacock

Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Kung Fu Panda 2 is a follow-up to the Academy Award nominated animated 2008 film Kung Fu Panda.  The film features the return of the voice actors from the first film which includes Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, David Cross, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucie Liu, James Hong, and Dustin Hoffman, and introduces Gary Oldman as Shen, Danny McBride as the Wolf Boss, Michelle Yeoh as Soothsayer, Dennis Haysbert as Master Storming Ox, Victor Garber as Master Thundering Rhino, and Jean-Claude Van Damme as Master Croc.  The movie was met with positive reviews and like its predecessor nominated for Best Animated Feature (losing to Rango).

kung-fu-panda-2-flashback-animation-art

Still wished the whole movie looked like this…

Kung Fu Panda kind of surprised me.  I enjoyed it much more than I expected to.  I actually looked forward to Kung Fu Panda 2 due to this.  The movie was a good follow-up and is enjoyable…just not as much as the first film.

What I enjoyed about Kung Fu Panda was the martial arts aspect of the film.  The movie had lots of cool fighting and a rather developed story.  Here, the fighting takes second tier (with the introduction of a villain that uses firepower instead of martial arts).  I miss things like the battle on the bridge from the first film and really seeing the potential of Po and the Furious Five.

Smartly, the movie does follow threads set in place by the first film.  A question of Po’s origin is brought up.  I loved the jokes in the first film that implies Po might not be the son of a duck, and here we learn how Po ended up in Mr. Ping’s care.  It also sets up the next film by a big reveal near the end.

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One serving of Kung Fu Panda was good…do you want another?

The animation for Kung Fu Panda 2 continues to be strong.  I always prefer classic animation over computer animation, but the film does have a very lush look to it.  Much like the first Kung Fu Panda however, I really like it when the film flips to different art styles like in the flashback scenes involving Po’s childhood.  The different art changes up the look, and I really like it.

Kung Fu Panda 2 isn’t as fun as Kung Fu Panda, but it still is fun.  The movie has a lot of appeal to a wide audience.  It has a lot of action, a lot of adventure, but it also still has heart.   Po and his friends are scheduled to return in Kung Fu Panda 3 in 2015.

Related Links:

Kung Fu Panda (2008)

Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010)

The 84th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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