Kung Fu Panda 2
(PG) Paramount DVD/BD
Po’s lack of guile and sense of awesomeness is by no means diminished in this excellent new sequel and it seems only fitting that, like other heroes, he gets an origin story.
As the film opens, a prologue shows a sinister plot by the villainous peacock Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) has been brewing. A fireworks expert, Shen was building the perfect weapon to use to install himself as the new ruler of China.
When Master Shi Fu (Dustin Hoffman) summons Po to discuss his latest mission, he tells him that, now he has mastered the art of kung fu, he must find his “inner peace”.
As his tummy grumbles,Po asks, “Inner piece of what?”
The story wastes no time in putting our heroes in the thick of the action and the martial arts and kung fu fighting sequences are amazingly choreographed.
Endearing characterisation is what makes these films such a joy to watch and the animation, particularly in the dream sequences, is truly gorgeous.
First time director, Jennifer Yuh Nelson, orchestrates an entertaining sequel with an all-star voice cast. Closing frames of the film suggest yet another serving of Po awesomeness — bring it on!