Check out the full Movie Bears Podcast review of ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ in the video below or read on for our mini-review!
With a hearty and familiar SKADOOSH!, the adorable but bumbling Po and friends are back in ‘Kung Fu Panda 3,’ the latest movie in this family-friendly franchise. Voiced again by Jack Black, Po must face off against ancient supernatural villain Kai, who is bent on total domination by stealing others’ spiritual energy. It falls on Po and his friends to rise to the occasion with teamwork and a bit of mystical power to prevail against Kai’s evil plan.
The film brings back the series’ by now repetitive themes of finding one’s unique inner strengths, forgiveness, and the value of family. However, the inclusion of some currently relevant ideas such as body acceptance and the value of unconventional families (Po’s two dads!) adds just enough of a refreshing, emotionally resonant kick to a series that may be starting to show signs of sequel fatigue.
With vividly colorful and lively CG animation, ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ isn’t afraid of embracing its silliness. The moments between action scenes and key plot points are chock full of character wisecracks and slapstick gags designed to keep the attention of its target audience, while others may find the frenzy to be distractingly excessive. Careful listeners will also have fun trying to identify the star-laced cast of well-known voice talent including newcomers to the series, Bryan Cranston, Kate Hudson and J.K. Simmons.
As part of a very successful franchise, ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ knows its audience well, so it hits all the notes that we’ve come to expect and maybe a few new ones. But we do have to wonder if, at some point during that third serving from the Chinese food buffet, it really is too much.
Written by Jim Puliafico, Movie Bears Podcast