Kung Fu Panda

An interesting one, this. More of a kids’ film than Bee Movie, fewer annoying pop culture references than Shrek, not as intelligent as Wall-E. The animals are cartoony and squash-and-stretch with pleasing elasticity. The backgrounds are a Western animator’s concept of Chinese paintings. For some reason, all the villagers are pigs, bunnies or geese. It seems a bit second-hand for some reason, but as I mentioned, it’s more of a kids film than the others I’ve been watching recently.

Like any classic kung fu movie, the action sequences are the hook. I’m not sure what real martial arts fans made of this one… they were probably annoyed that Jackie Chan was reduced to doing the voice of a monkey, and not a famous monkey like the Monkey King or anything like that.

Amusingly, one thing it has in common with Avatar is the concept that any ordinary oaf can blunder into a complex situation and do far better (through instinct and purity of heart) than people who have been properly trained. Is this anti-intellectualism, or just the Once and Future King Harry Potter – Matrix notion that we’re all secretly the Chosen One?

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2 Responses to “Kung Fu Panda”

  1. What I really appreciated about this film was that it was more action adventure than comedy. There was comedy their, but that wasn’t the point. It was the master/student dynamic and the bildungsroman that drove the film.

    As for Chan, he requested playing the monkey. I really enjoyed David Cross as the Crane though, that was tits.

  2. Upon your recommendation I’m now listening to his 2002 comedy album Shut Up You Fucking Baby.

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