Kung Fu Panda II

With a summer full of sequels (what summer isn’t these days?), this was one of the ones that I had high hopes for and surprisingly enough…it didn’t disappoint! Pretty much picking up right where the original left off, Po, the newly appointed “Dragon Warrior,” and the Furious Five are defenders of the good and are out to stop an evil albino peacock (???) who is hell-bent on taking over China and possibly…THE WORLD!!! HAHAHAHAHA!

*ahem*

Anyway, this obviously can’t be allowed to happen so Po (voiced with glee by Jack Black) and his friends (voiced by everyone from Angelina Jolie to Seth Rogan) make the journey to China to take on the evil Shen (voiced by Gary Oldman) and save Kung Fu. Of course there is action & adventure around every corner and the fact that the Dragon Warrior is an overweight panda only makes the entire scenario even more humorous. But this film isn’t all about laughs and with a short running time of only an hour and a half, it manages to touch on important aspects of life…friendship, honor and knowing inner peace. So as the friends fight against the evil albino peacock (???) and his minions of jackals, Po is faced with an inner turmoil of wanting to know who his real parents are and why he was abandoned when he was only a baby. As the battle rages, Po must come to terms with his upbringing and his love for his adopted father and this brings him the inner peace that he needs to fight against the evil…peacock (???).

Needless to say, the action is fast and FURIOUS! The dialogue is witty and fun and voices are dead on with guest appearances by Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Jean-Claude Van Damme and James Hong. The animation is colorful and when the action is happening, it’s an eye-popping spectacular as Po and his buddies take on hundreds and escape without a scratch. It’s all done with tongue-in-cheek because this story is really about Po and his inner peace but without getting to mushy about it, the staff at Dreamworks have managed to bring us a mighty fine sequel that will definitely spawn at least one more adventure with the Dragon Warrior and the Furious Five. I know I’ll be lining up to see the next one! And so should you…

Overall Rating: A-

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