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I was lucky enough to recieve an advanced screening pass to see Kung Fu Panda 2 this weekend. Â I knew Jackson, my five year old, would be SUPER excited to see the movie. Â Jackson and I arrived at the theater a bit early just to make sure we got seats in the theater. Â Before the movie started they had invited a local Martial Arts group in to do some demonstrations. Â Jackson really like seeing the kids breaking boards, etc.
The movie starts with a new character Shen (Gary Oldman), played by an evil peacock, trying to show his parents that he can conqour and rule China. Â A local sueth sayer, played by an old goat (Michelle Yeoh), tells Shen that if he continues on his current path he will meet his demise by a black and white beast (panda). Â So Shen goes on a killing spree to find and kill all Pandas. Â Shen returns home, and goes to show his parents the he is a great warrior, only to find that his parents are disappointed in his actions.
Po and the Furious 5 are protecting their city and neighboring cities from evil doers. Â Po is back to his odd traing habits, he was trying to fit as many dumplings in his mouth that he could. Â The movie deals with Po’s recent lack of focus and trying to attain “Inner Peace”. Â Po has been having dreams involving a fight and a grown female panda dropping off. Â He begins to wonder who his real parents are. Â They get word that a local village is being attacked by wolves wanting to steal all the metal they can find. Â Po and the 5 go to assist and save the village and it’s citizens, but they make away with the metal. Â The wolves give them information as to Shen and that he has a master plan to take over China. Â The rest of the movie is about Po and his friends trying to save China from the secret weapon that Shen has created.
Overall I thought the movie was really good, as did my 5yr old. Â It had plenty of humor for kids, but also had a good amount of “adult” topics including adoption and parental love. Â There is a scene where the 5 are in a Chinese dragon and fighting Shen’s wolves that was particularly funny for adults and kids. Â There was another scene where baby Po’s birth mother was hiding him from Shen’s attacking wolves and sacrificed herself to save a baby Po, it was not graffic, but you could tell what was happening. At that moment, Jackson leaned over and grabed my arm and told me that he loved me. Â I am not sure if that was coencidence or not. Â Not to give away a spoiler, but the end of the movie TOTALLY sets up for a third installment of Kung Fu Panda.
Besides Shen, there are a few new characters introduced. Â Master Croc (Jean-Claude Van Damme), Master Oxen (Dennis Haysbert) and Master Thundering Rhino (Victor Garber) are protectors of the city that Shen attempts to take over and destroy.
Overall a great animated for adults and kids!