(The Dreamworks-uary logo is shown, before showing clips from Kung Fu Panda)
Doug (vo): Talk about the ultimate "never judge a book by its cover" movie. Kung Fu Panda, I think, is the dumbest-sounding title I've ever heard. And it looked like the film was gonna represent that stupid-sounding title, too. Jack Black as a panda? Get ready to ask for the refund. But watching this film, not only was I shocked at how funny and likeable the characters are, but good God! It's beautiful! I couldn't believe how much atmosphere, movement, color, and even sort of classic philosophies that this movie adapted. I think it's actually sort of right up there with Shrek 2 as one of the great animated comedies.
Doug (vo): Okay, so Jack Black is a panda named Po. He's a big fan of the Fearsome Five*, a group of martial artists who are actually all named after martial arts moves, like the Snake, the Crane, the Monkey, and so forth. At one point, their great master is about to choose who's gonna be the Dragon Warrior, the martial artist who's gonna lead the way and save the day. Po accidentally gets flung into the mix, and the master selects him. Everyone, including Po himself, thinks that the master has made a mistake, but the master believes that the chips fall where they may and decides to go ahead with his decision. Po's teacher, played by Dustin Hoffman, tries everything he can to train him so hard that he'd have no choice but to go away. But Po is so excited and so full of determination that it never even comes into his mind. But when an ancient evil breaks out of prison and vows to destroy them all, the race is on to see if they can get Po to be the real Dragon Warrior before the villain arrives.
- Actually, it's the Furious Five.
Doug (vo): The world they create is a very unique and pretty world to look at. It lives sort of in that same timeline as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or other martial arts movies. But it has a modern-day sense of humor, and it's a good modern-day sense of humor. Po is very likeable in his innocence and his need not to give up, and the other characters are very relatable in how they think they've been gypped, but slowly start to open up to his charm.
[Several dramatic scenes, as well as the fight sequences, are shown]
Doug (vo): While it is essentially a comedy, it does surprisingly well mixing in drama, and the emotions that anyone would feel being put in these circumstances. The teachings and the philosophies actually do sort of stick to a martial arts set of ideals. I mean, okay, it's either a little played down or exaggerated, but they're still there. And on top of that, the martial arts in this movie is pretty good, too. The film totally takes advantage of the fact that it's animated and it's a comedy, and it gives us some unbelievably fast, stylish, action-packed fight sequences. These are great fun to watch.
[The villain of the movie, Tai Lung, is shown in several more clips]
Doug (vo): If I did have one problem with the movie, it's that the villain does seem kind of weak. I mean, he's not terrible. The voice actor (Ian McShane) isn't terrible, even the design isn't that bad, they even gave him a decent backstory. But I think compared to everything else and just how much he's been built up, you could've had someone either more evil or more funny in this part. They try to play it half-and-half, but, eh, I think they should've leaned more towards one or the other. But honestly, that's a nitpick. He still serves as a threat, he's still really cool at what he does, and he even gets a funny line here and there.
Doug (vo): Overall, I think Kung Fu Panda is wonderful, and just saying that sentence sounds so strange to me. "Kung Fu Panda is wonderful." But you know what? If there's anything the movie wants to teach, it's never judge solely by appearances, and maybe it teaches that lesson a little better than I thought, even to a point where the film looks so ridiculous and over-the-top that it actually sort of works. Strike that, it doesn't sort of work, it really works. Kung Fu Panda is a great film for children and adults of any age. It's energized, it's fun, it's smart, it's humorous, it has great characters, it has a wonderful story. See it if you haven't already.
[The scene where Master Oogway rises up to the heavens is shown]