Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kung Fu Panda: Two Opposable Thumbs Up

This past weekend I went to see Kung Fu Panda, the latest animated feature from Dreamworks. I’d been rather disappointed by the last movie I saw in the theatre (Prince Caspian) so going into this flick I tried to keep my expectations low so as not to be disappointed again. Turns out I could have raised those expectations a bit, and even then this movie would have exceeded them.

Above all of the other things that commend it—impressive animation, good character development, a solid story, engaging dialogue, and great voicing from terrific actors (including Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, and Angelina Jolie)—this movie is FUNNY. I can’t remember any other movie I’ve attended in recent history where the audience was laughing so hard that everyone was collectively gasping for breath. Unlike a lot of animated flicks where the jokes are few and far between, this movie is consistently funny (and heartwarming and engaging and suspenseful) all the way through. Even so, there are still a few gags, jokes, and one-liners that produce an even louder outburst of guffaws. (See it, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. I don't want to spoil anything.) If you need a good comic release this summer, I highly recommend Kung Fu Panda.

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