Kung Fu Panda 3

http://slightlywarped.com/kung-fu-panda-3/

[yasr_overall_rating size=”large”]

Po, the lovable and fat Panda that defied the odds to become The Dragon Warrior, the most powerful Kung Fu fighter in China, is suddenly faced with a new task:  Becoming a teacher.  This is difficult for him as he believes there is still so much he doesn’t know himself, but things only become more complicated when his long-lost father returns to his life and a villainous sorcerer wizard named Kai returns from the dead.

The first Kung Fu Panda had Po defying expectations of who he is.  The second had him embracing who he is.  Now, he is finally accepting who he is.  Very rarely does a film series come along that takes a character who starts out as nothing but a fat joke and takes him on such a transformative exiexistential journey and never have I see it done with a Panda… which isn’t that surprising, come to think of it.

2-a96RQkJ2Simply put, right up there with Toy Story, Kung Fu Panda has just become one of the best animated trilogies of all time.  The voice acting, the animation, the sheer beauty of the visuals and the themes and the scores all melt together into something truly wonderful and special.  I loved this movie so much that I might actually do the unthinkable and pay to see it again just to experience it in 3D because some of the visuals beg to be seen that way.

The most amazing thing about this movie is that I actually think it’s the weakest of the Kung Fu Panda movies thanks to some predictable plot points and some awkward pacing, but if anything it’s only telling of how insanely high these movies set the bar for themselves.  Kung Fu Panda 3 is, yes, the weakest of the trilogy… but it’s still an incredibly strong and outstanding film in almost every definition of the word.   There is no sharp decline in quality here… only a barely noticeable dip that only the most heartless nitpickers would take delight in pointing out.

This movie is beautiful;  Deeper than most animated films care to go and assembled with such attention to detail and such love that the end result couldn’t be anything less than spectacular.  The characterization is rich and voiced with care by the celebrity cast.  The villain is interesting and enough of a threat not to be dismissed when he quips a couple of jokes, and the movie has such a good heart to it and delivers such a genuine message of self-acceptance all without becoming obvious and preachy.

More than anything, it’s just beautiful.  From almost dismissable side-plot about jealousy that become something more to direction so masterful that almost any shot could be framed for art.  This is a movie that hits almost every mark that is possible to be hit and leaved the characters in a place that is so perfect, that you almost don’t want any more Kung Pu Panda movies to be made.

Almost.

Hey, I’m looking forward to Toy Story 4.  I’ll look forward to Kung Fu Panda 4 if they manage to maintain this level of quality.

 

About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.