Dreamworks brings us a new animated film which is both funny and a worthy addition to the canon of great Kung Fu movies.
The story is set in ancient China, where Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim), a large tortoise who invented Kung Fu, has a vision that tells him that Tai Lung (Ian McShane), an evil snow leopard, will soon escape from prison and lay waste to the valley. He decides to find a worthy student to whom to give the Dragon Scroll, which will grant invincibility.
Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) is sure that the honor will go to one of his five top students: Tigress, Monkey, Mantis, Viper or Crane (played respectively by Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, and David Cross.)
Po (Jack Black) is a fat, lazy panda. His father, a duck who owns a noodle shop, expects him to go into the family business. “Broth is in our blood!” But poor Po is a Kung Fo otaku who dreams of martial glory.
RABBIT 1: It’s the Dragon Warrior! He’s awesome!
RABBIT 2: And also strangely attractive!
RABBIT 1: How can we ever repay you?
DRAGON WARRIOR: There is no charge for awesomeness…or attractiveness!
The movie takes full advantage of the strengths of 3-D animation (dramatic action sequences and special effects) while avoiding its weaknesses (no human characters.)