Genre: Animation, Family, Comedy
Runtime: 86 Minutes
Was it enjoyable? Yes. Is it a worthy sequel? Definitely! The sequel to the lovable "Kung Fu Panda" is surprisingly vibrant with its humour, crisp animation and cliché, yet admirable plot. The film is considerably short, and you will probably wish it were longer, but in its 86 minute runtime, you get quite an action-packed little adventure with the overweight, panda and his friends. DreamWorks have made a good lot of animated films now, and the Panda of films are some of their best. This film should be enjoyable by all ages.
Po is now living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow Kung Fu masters, The Furious Five. However, Po's new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy Kung Fu. Po must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins; only then will he be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.
The sequel here is nearly on the same level as the original because of its playfulness and comedy. What is not funny about a fat panda winning over fights? Some may call this sequel seemingly predictable, and the plot being too similar with the first film. For me, it was still an enjoyable experience even as it used some of the first film's formula. Much of the plot is original as we see Po journey to China and meet new adversaries as well as make a few new discoveries about himself.
In this world of Kung-Fu, there are no rules or limitations. It is another reason why animation is an excellent medium; there is no boundaries. Lots of the action is fast, sharp and quite unreal but most of all, exciting. Seeing Po the panda throwing his weight around along with his 'furious five' friends fighting with great agility makes this film fun to watch. Simply, you get plenty of fun action.
The most fascinating thing of my experience is how it dived into the very thing I first questioned when I watched the first film. It looks at Po's childhood and origin. Obviously, looking at Po, then his father, a goose, for the understanding audiences you know something is not right. The back-story that is created is acceptable, and Po's past is quite a sad one. It gives the film more versatility, making it a more enjoyable experience.
This time we have more emotion, more explosions, and more action. The bad antagonist of this tale is non-other than a notorious…peacock? Our feathered villain is introduced quite early into the film and kicks off with his relentless and psychotic ideas. In addition, the character is accompanied by the voice of Gary Oldman. The good thing about this villain is his accent, mannerisms and the idea that he is a peacock; it is such an odd choice of an animal and for some reason it works.
This and the original film both hold very strong voice casts with a glorious ensemble of great actors. Jack Black, Jackie Chan Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, David Cross, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen all return to the film, and our villain is voice acted by Gary Oldman! It is great to have a good voice cast in an animated film and all of these talents work very well to each other.
Furthermore, I see the film, like the first film, as a nod to the martial arts genre because of how traditional and authentic the film's atmosphere is. With all the architecture, props and clothing, you are warped into the Chinese martial art world. The film's biggest flaw is it still feels quite commercial. Similar to films like "Shrek the third", it is relying on the fame of the previous film to sell. However, it does not stop the film being enjoyable much.
If you enjoyed the first film, your definitely going to like this. If not, then I am not sure if the sequel is a movie for you. It has the comedy, and the charm that you loved from the previous film while also topping up the action. Kids should love it and you adults are surely not going to get bored. As a very worthy sequel, "Kung Fu Panda 2" is an ideal choice to buy on DVD for some karate chopping animated action for the whole family.
My Rating: 7.5/10