Ever since Sausage was 3, we’ve been taking her to the cinema and make a point of seeing all of the new films that are released for her age range. The original Kung Fu Panda was released in 2008, the year that Sausage was born, but we made a point to watch it on DVD when she was old enough to appreciate it, and it’s been a firm favourite ever since, as is the sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2. This year, Kung Fu Panda 3 was released but we didn’t make it to the cinema to see it, so when Dreamworks offered us a copy to review, ahead of the official DVD release, we jumped at the chance!
The third installment sees main character Po, the hilarious and loveable panda voiced by Jack Black, make the transition from student to master in order to train a whole gaggle (I’m not sure of the correct collective noun for pandas!) of little pandas to become martial arts masters…but they aren’t exactly easy to teach!
I’ve got to admit, although I’m a huge fan of the first two Kung Fu Panda films, I was a little bit reserved about the third. Often, by the time this many sequels are released, the stories can be a little…turgid, and they have a tendency to feel like an attempt to cash in on a beloved franchise which, from an adults point of view, can seem a bit cynical. I needn’t have worried though as Kung Fu Panda 3 is just as fun and humorous as the first two iterations.
The voice cast of the movie definitely helps; as I mentioned above, Jack Black voices main character Po and he has a truly inimitable style which I think is loved by young and old alike. His humour can be described as ‘silly but occasionally salty’ which means there’s enough in there for the adults to appreciate as well as the young’uns. The legendary Dustin Hoffman also lends his talent, along with J.K. Simmons and Bryan Cranston, proving that there’s nothing low-budget about this sequel.
The good thing for us about this film is that it’s also really visually spectacular which means that Burrito Baby enjoyed it too; we tend to all go to the cinema together theses days as she’s really well behaved, but the films which really catch her interest and keep her engaged are the ones which look bright and colourful, something which can definitely be said about this film! The version that we watched was the standard 2D version but I can safely say that I think it would also look amazing in 3D, so if you have the opportunity to watch it this way, I’d definitely recommend it.
All in all, we really enjoyed Kung Fu Panda 3 and we’ll definitely be watching if they make a fourth installment!
DreamWorks Animation’s KUNG FU PANDA 3 is out on Digital HD on 4th July and on Blu-ray™ and DVD on 11th July.