Kung Fu Panda...


Written on 5:53 PM by Hemanth Kumar

Title: Kung Fu Panda

Language: English
Year of Release: 2008

John Stevenson and Mark Osborne
Actors: Jack Black Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, David Cross, Ian McShane, Jackie Chan

"All you people out there...put your hands up and praise the brand new Dragon Warrior, an unlikely hero in the land of Kungfu who's out to save the world... the Panda"- I am sorry for the corny introduction to possibly this Summer's second best entertainer (No offence...but "Dark Knight" is still Numero Uno!!!). I know, I know...Po (The Panda) wouldn't wait a minute to use his "Wuxi Finger Hold" Technique had he known that this is how I introduce the greatest kungfu warrior of our times. (Good for me...he doesn't know that I exist!!...:-P)...

So, naturally a question arises, why is it I have chosen this boring way to write about such an "awesome" (you are gonna hear a lot of that!) flick of this year? Huh...you got it! I am as boring and lazy as a sloth can be! Although I don't make noodles nor do I dream about saving the world, there's an uncanny resemblance between me and Po. We seem to love Food...(Yum!), and gobble down whatever and whenever we feel like eating...and the most striking of all, there seems to be an awesome psychic understanding that being "BIG" isn't that bad at all...(More of this later...I wouldn't want the Dragon Warrior to doze off, if at all he chooses to stumble across the Blog!)

Directed by John Stevenson and Mark Osborne from the house of "DreamWorks Animation" comes an awesome flick, animated actually, which straight away blows you away with its style. Probably the last time you had seen something this beautiful, touching, inspiring...this Awesome, would be "Finding Nemo". The flick has already been declared a smash hit across the world, and India, I hope is no different. You will hardly find someone who hasn't come out of the cinema hall with a huge smile spread across the face after watching this movie. The reason being, not only it's incredibly funny but also it takes you along for a joy ride, and leaves you with a feeling of awesomeness by the end of it. Another thing I must add is the genuine respect for the Chinese Culture which is quite evident from the film, where there's hardly any cliche' when it comes to characters.

"Kungfu Panda" is the story of Po, the Panda (Voice Over by Jack Black) who assists his father, the goose (for some odd reason!!!) in running the restaurant preparing noodles. But he always dreams of becoming a Kungfu warrior, something which he's unable to express to his father. And one day, when Master Oogway (The Tortoise) reveals the prophecy that Tai Lung (the Snow Leopard) will escape from the prison, it drives his student, Master Shifu (Red Panda, VO by Dustin Hoffman) crazy. He orders the security to be doubled at the prison, but the over confident and reluctant commander of the armed forces doesn't heed to Shifu's request. After an unusually awesome escape sequence, Tai Lung manages to escape from the prison and claim his rightful position. In the meantime, it's announced that the next "Dragon Warrior" will be chosen, who will be capable of protecting and bringing peace to the valley. When the whole valley's waiting for Oogway's decision about the next Dragon Warrior, Po-the Panda, falls from sky all of a sudden. And to the dismay of Master Shifu and his very skilful students, Po is chosen the new "Dragon Warrior". After some unsuccessful attempts at disparaging and making Po quit, and upon the advice of Oogway, Shifu finally relents and decides to train Po to become a pro at Kungfu....the rest of the story has to be seen on screen to bask the actual awesomeness!

Be it the scene, where Po tries to get inside the palace, or that when Tai Lung escapes from prison and the stylishly shot chopsticks fight between Shifu and Po...there's a uncanny style which mesmerizes you, sucking you into its brilliance for the entire 90 min footage. I should confess that I was watching this flick in my room with some friends...I so wish I had seen the Imax version in the first place! Coming back to the characters...the flick belongs to Po and Shifu. Po for his overbearing personality (he's awesomely cute in his knickers...:-P!) and striking sense of humour who has the potential to turn around any serious or grim discussion into a funny and witty one. Thank God, the writers realised that he should be the way he is throughout the movie...otherwise a scene of the Panda stretching to build a six pack, would have taken quite a few pounds away from his awesomeness...:-). All hail Jack Black, who's given a stunning voice over for Po...I somehow have this feeling that they might have drawn Po's character after seeing Jack Black in Nacho Libre and otherwise!...hehehe...wouldn't you agree??!:-D....and Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu completes Jack Black with his performance at the other end of the line. He scorns, hisses at almost everything Po does, but at the same time he's genuinely caring and guiding light to his students. The rest of the star cast, the Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Viper, Mantis, Crane are cool...they have got the kicks and moves of a brilliant Kungfu Master. A special word for Tai Lung, the Snow Leopard whose character is so well developed that it's hard not to empathize with him.
But then as one expects...Good always has the last laugh in the fight with Evil. This is what's so predictable in the flick...you know that Po's gonna beat Tai Lung in the final battle...you know that he's gonna save the world...but you can't walk out. You can't choose to move your eyes away from the screen...I guess it's an obligation for most of the animated flicks to end on an inspiring and good note, this is what exactly makes them a worldwide rage. And "Kungfu Panda" is already among the finest flicks you would see this year...

And the final battle cry
Prepare for Awesomeness!!!...Because he's coming to steal your heart...his name is Panda, Kungfu Panda...the Dragon Warrior.

P.S: My second recommend of this summer after....Dark Knight! Hope you have liked what you have read...and as you bask in awesomeness, I most probably would be watching the flick right now!