I review a lot of animated films; even if I didn’t have a 9-year-old daughter I would still watch all of these phenomenal films. One of my all time favorite franchises are the Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda films. They are so much fun, full of bright colorful animation, tons of laughs for young and old, great action sequences and some of the best voice work out there. And that last one especially goes for the irreplaceable Jack Black, whose trademark style has made Po one of the most beloved animated characters ever. This month marks the home video release of the third chapter in the ongoing tales of Po with Kung Fu Panda 3.
Now enjoying life as the chosen Dragon Warrior, Po (Black) discovers there is still much to learn to become a teacher and a true master. And when his long lost father Li (Bryan Cranston) suddenly reappears, Po also learns of a secret Panda village where the rest of the pandas live. But the good news is short lived when a supernatural villain named Kai (J.K. Simmons) escapes the spirit realm and vows to steal the chi of every Kung Fu master in China. Now Po must train a village full of pandas to stand up to Kai to determine the future of China itself.
After the great success of the first two Kung Fu Panda films, Kung Fu Panda 3 had a lot to live up to but with over half a billion dollars world wide at the box office, the franchise doesn’t seem to be slowing down much. Kung Fu Panda 3 is a heck of a lot of fun and for kids who really love watching lovable pandas; this one has them in spades. The usual cast is all downplayed a little in this one in exchange for more time spent with Po’s father and the village of pandas, but it doesn’t hurt the entertainment value at all. As usual, this film has great moral lessons about family, loyalty and standing up for one’s self but in addition to teaching your kids about these things Kung Fu Panda 3 is still hilarious, beautiful to look at and full of inventive and fun action. You really can’t go wrong with this franchise and I for one hope they keep this up for years to come. Highly recommended.