Kung Fu Panda
Enthusiastic, big and a little clumsy, Po is the biggest fan of Kung Fu around…which doesn’t exactly come in handy while working every day in his family’s noodle shop. Unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy, Po’s dreams become reality when he joins the world of Kung Fu and studies alongside his idols, the legendary Furious Five — Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey — under the leadership of their guru, Master Shifu. But before they know it, the vengeful and treacherous snow leopard Tai Lung is headed their way, and it’s up to Po to defend everyone from the oncoming threat. Can he turn his dreams of becoming a Kung Fu master into reality? Po puts his heart – and his girth – into the task, and the unlikely hero ultimately finds that his greatest weaknesses turn out to be his greatest strengths.
Let’s say this up front. Some kids under twelve will enjoy this film and will recognize the martial arts fighting is fantasy based, as performed by the creatures including a tigress and praying mantis. In fact, some kids from a local martial arts school showed up at the screening I attended and performed a bit for the audience. However, there is “a lot” of fighting in the movie, and so we are awarding our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to the movie, for ages twelve plus. Parents with mature kids can consult our content chart below and make their own informed decisions. There is a scene in which a mean tiger growls and his image fills up the entire screen but I must say there were a lot of kiddies at the screening I attended and none of them began sobbing.
There is a great thought in the movie, given by Po’s teacher. He says that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift which is why it is called present. The “one day at a time” philosophy is a pretty good one.
Jack Black does a great vocal job in bringing Po alive, the panda who would be the “dragon warrior”. Although an unlikely candidate, Po is the very one who, once he believes in himself, can defeat the village’s worst enemy. The film incorporates the themes of believing in one’s abilities and respect for others. It also makes clear that the roly poly panda, Po, is an example of overcoming obstacles to achieve great things. “Kung Fu Panda” will have you laughing along with your kids.