Kung Fu Panda 2

  • Year:2011
  • Rating:PG
  • Director:Jennifer Yuh Nelson
  • Cast:Jack Black, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Gary Oldman
  • Release Date:June 23, 2011
  • Distributor:Paramount
  • Running time:91 minutes
  • Film Worth:$18.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

While the animation is incredible, this also has heart and humour in spades, and proves just as engaging as its predecessor.

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The animation is stupendous - it's so good that Kung Fu Panda 2 can be recommended for its visual artistry alone. It's a high-grade fix for animation fans. But, more importantly, there's so much spirit, warmth and humour in this sequel that it has genuine all-ages appeal - kids will love the characters and the action.

In her first feature, Jennifer Yuh Nelson (who directed the hand-drawn sequences in the original film) gets everything right. She knows how to work 3-D, switching to aerial views of streets to watch a chase, or giving breathtaking depth to divinely beautiful ancient Chinese landscapes and cities.

Wonderfully voiced by Jack Black, Po the panda is an unlikely kung fu hero. Along with his martial artist mates, The Furious Five, Po's mission is not only to save the tradition of kung fu, but China itself, which is under threat from the deliciously villainous peacock, Lord Shen (Gary Oldman, playing the bad guy to perfection). The obligatory but sincere message about being yourself and living in the present moment is unforced, and the voice work is across the board brilliant, with Angelina Jolie especially impressive as the no-nonsense Tigress. Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen and Lucy Liu are also enjoyable (as is Jean-Claude Van Damme in a small role).

DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda 2 is just as engaging as the original, but the animation hits a higher level (and that's saying something - the first film looked incredible). The magical hand-drawn sequences (mostly telling of Po's origins through his dreams and memories) fit seamlessly into the film, while Po's 21st century speech patterns don't feel out of place. Everything fits - even the cute characters against the beautiful backdrops. Kung Fu Panda 2 is entertainment with heart.

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