Kung Fu Masters of the Zodiac

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Synopsis

This episode really does a remarkable job in showing that life’s challenges can season us and help us to mature. It’s set in the world of the martial arts and Hoffman, a young boy, is challenged by a wizened wizard who happens to be a monkey. The monkey steals some wine and later strikes Hoffman […]

Dove Review

This episode really does a remarkable job in showing that life’s challenges can season us and help us to mature. It’s set in the world of the martial arts and Hoffman, a young boy, is challenged by a wizened wizard who happens to be a monkey. The monkey steals some wine and later strikes Hoffman with a stick. Soon Hoffman is off to catch the monkey and his adventures begin.

This episode features many delightful animal characters including a powerful tiger who can really punch and a pig with a sword who knows how to defend himself. A large creature with lower huge fangs is seen, lurking behind Hoffman’s home, and Hoffman’s mother and father are in danger. The boy falls in his rescue attempt of his parents but awakens with a thud. “That hurt,” he says, but at the same time he is happy to learn it was only a dream.

More animal characters pop in such as the chickens which chase the monkey that stole the wine. The monkey strikes the boy once again with his stick, and the boy pursues him, telling him he will beat the monkey senseless when he gets his hands on him. When the boy gets tired of running, the monkey hits him with a pebble! “Ow!” the boy yells. But the monkey is impressed with Hoffman, telling him, “You’ve got a lot of pluck. You followed me all the way here.” Hoffman accuses the monkey of being a coward. “I don’t know where you get the idea I’m a hero,” says the monkey, “but it doesn’t mean I’m a coward, either.”

As the two approach Tangled Rock Hill, the monkey warns Hoffman that he should turn back. “It’s a dangerous maze,” he tells him. There are huge boulders scattered around. The monkey tells Hoffman that Hoffman’s parents would cry their eyes out if anything happened to him, especially in such a desolate place. “My kung fu can take care of me,” replies Hoffman. The monkey still is mischievous, and sticks his tongue out at Hoffman and says, “It’s your funeral.” Still, Hoffman has shown a lot of grit and determination in having journeyed this far. And he gets to show his mettle when he saves a little bear, named Wheezer, from rolling logs which almost fall on the cub. Wheezer’s mama bear, Mrs. Grapevine, makes a meal for Hoffman in appreciation for saving her cub’s life.

Hoffman’s journey continues and he is thrilled when his best friend, the mouse called Rascal, is discovered close by and joins Hoffman in his adventures. Still, it won’t be easy, not with a zapping bird called Mr. Enforcer, who wants Hoffman caught.

One of the nice things about this movie is the family values it demonstrates. For instance, Hoffman had previously said some unkind things to Rascal and regrets it. Hoffman is also devoted to his parents. And the power of choice is illustrated in the scene in which the monkey tells Hoffman, “The moves were all yours.” This episode winds up with a cliffhanger ending, which will motivate the viewer to watch the next one in the series. Due to its positive themes of devotion to family and friends, the episode has earned our Dove seal for All Ages.

The Dove Take:

The importance of family and friends as well as the need for discipline in life are all nicely illustrated in this captivating, animated show.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: A character cares for his parents and regrets some things he said to a friend.
Sex: None
Language: Some name calling in just a few scenes such as “No good wine stealer” and “You thieving trickster”; ‘Nitwits’; ‘Free Loader’; ‘Useless’
Violence: A few punches and martial arts moves are incorporated in the episode; a character is struck with a stick a couple of times.
Drugs: A character steals some wine.
Nudity: None
Other: Tension between a few characters; a character steals an item but winds up mentoring a young boy.

Info

Company: Cinedigm
Genre: Animated
Reviewer: Ed C.