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Bamboo Reviews: Kung Fu Panda

By Amanda Marcotte
Friday, June 27, 2008 4:08 EDT
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Kung Fu Panda from Diavolo on Vimeo.

Considering that this site had a name alluding to the warrior spirit of pandas long before the script for “Kung Fu Panda” was even green lit, it would be wrong if we didn’t have a Bamboo Review of this movie. Let me just say that this movie is not deep. But see it anyway, because it captures the warrior spirit of the panda, which is lazy and slow, yet ferocious when need be. They got it perfectly, what we’ve been claiming here at Pandagon for years. In fact, I think someone deserves a check.

I was skeptical of this movie. Not because I didn’t think it would be funny, though it was a lot funnier than I expected it to be, to the point where I was guffawing throughout. And not because I expected it to have lame voice actors, though I didn’t expect the sheer awesomeness of hearing David Cross, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogan, Lucy Liu, and Ian McShane when I didn’t expect them. Nor did I expect the animation to be anything short of awesome, though I was surprised at the fact that it was dazzling, with genuinely exciting action sequences to boot. And that’s a rare thing in animation, where I fail to be impressed much of the time because you can, after all, draw what you want. But they managed to inject energy into it. It helped that the movie had a sweetly humorous love of martial arts movies that was captured in the action sequences and just general beauty of the landscape of this movie.

No, I was skeptical because I had trouble believing that a plot about a bunch of people who don’t like a panda was not going to be believable. Everyone likes pandas. I assume a panda shows up at your training facilities, and no matter how much he sucks at kung fu, everyone gathers around adoring his cuteness and hoping he does something especially cute like sneeze. Luckily, the script is so solid that they actually get around this problem by making the other animals, who kind of want to hate the panda, become quickly enamored of his roly-poly cuteness (and cooking skills).

So see it, if you’re in the mood for a movie that won’t strain the brain, but will be a lot of fun. Plus, you get to discover the Ian McShane is awesome even when he’s not saying the word “cocksucker” every other sentence.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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