Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda

In Dreamworks' latest animated tale, a plump, out-of-shape, panda learns the ways of the kung-fu warrior to become the greatest fighter of all. Or does he?
Let me begin by prefacing that Dreamworks has been known to stock their voice-over talent with A-list actors, and this one doesn't fall short; Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, and Seth Rogen bring these characters to life. This has always been a slight dilemma because in Dreamworks' previous animated outings, they spent more money on the talent, than providing a strong story and great animation. However, Kung Fu Panda does stand out from the standard Dreamworks fare. Maybe I think they are beginning to learn that it's not about the stars you have attached to a film, but about making a good films.
One of the stars that is a perfect fitting is Jack Black, whose comedic voice-over talent matches that of the lead character. And since the story revolves around this character, it would be crucial for these two to be in sync.
What I also like about the film is that the action scenes are staged very well. They are creative and well paced. There is a just amount of style that stays well with in its comfort zone while still pushing the boundaries of what is possible with animation.
Kung Fu Panda is an enjoyable film to watch. It ranks as one of Dreamworks' best animated flicks yet, amongst the same level as the first Shrek.
3.5 out of 5

Running time: 91 minutes
Budget: $130 million
US Gross: $215,434,591
International Gross: $416,468,831
Total Gross: $631,903,422

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