Unshakable, witty and deeply felt, the film will be paying emotional dividends for a long, long time.
By the time the dramatic fireworks start popping off, each one feels earned.
The biggest problem with this movie is it’s a little better than you think it might be, which somehow makes it worse. As in, it takes itself a bit too seriously, which makes most of the movie feel kind of dull.
One of the most extraordinary films you will see this year. Take that as you want.
This is an animation short that ties in with the first Kung Fu Panda films with Po the panda ropes in by Shifu to teach the philosophy of Kung Fu to a group of young bunnies at a martial arts school. However it is not the crash bang wallop of Kung Fu that Po teaches but the positive traits that each of the Furious Five developed.So you have flashbacks of the Furious Five and how they developed their skills and the virtues they developed. It avoids preachiness and younger viewers would be highly entertained.The animation is very good and up to feature film standard and they have attracted an all star cast for the voices.
My thanks go out to Dreamworks on such a great piece of marketing! 'The next Kung Fu Panda Adventure!' - sprawled in bold letters across the front of the DVD case. Be aware folks - this is not a feature length movie, it is 24 minutes of not a lot. As a previous member has posted, yes it probably was our fault for not reading the back which states '24 Min's approx'. I hope it raised the much needed funds for buying the MD's Christmas Champagne hamper. What's next DW - 'Purchasing this DVD enrols you into our monthly subscription plan, unless you cancel within 30 seconds?' I will be reading the small print on all future releases from Dreamworks.
After being pleasantly surprised with Kung Fu Panda, I decided to check out this direct-to-video feature packaged with the DVD release. Now, if you look at this as direct-to-video, it's not bad. They certainly come much, MUCH worse. But if you're expecting something as satisfying as the source film, you will be let down. You'll also be let down if you expect all the originals actors to be present. This is something that would be right at home on Saturday morning television. There are a few CG scenes here, but the feature mainly uses the stylized 2d technique seen at the beginning of Kung Fu Panda. Nothing's wrong with that. What really sinks this for me is the poor story. Everything about this feature "dumbs down" the plot of its source material reducing the origins of these important characters to simple morality tales. It takes the easy road on these potentially deep characters and ends up being a bit of a letdown.
bob the moo
As Dragon Warrior, Po has had to face many challenges but on this day he must face one that would intimidate any great warrior training the newest recruit of bunnies in the way of kung-fu. Left alone to fend for himself by Shifu, Po finds his class are only interested in the fighting part of the art and are keen to get down to kicking one another as soon as possible. In order to educate them in the true ways of the art, Po tells them of the Furious Five and how they became masters by learning life lessons of patience, courage, confidence, self-control and compassion.As with the animated films from Pixar, Dreamworks included this short film on the Kung-Fu Panda DVD and I decided to give it a try. In a way it is a fitting inclusion to the main film because to my mind both the film and the short are enjoyable for what they are but at the same time are not quite up to the quality of the products produced by Pixar. With this film its main problem is that the plot is just too obvious in the moralising compared to some of the brilliant shorts from Pixar that can deliver the same message but are generally very inventive and clever. I didn't really get this here but, if you ignore this weakness of comparison then the short is still quite entertaining.It is not really ever hilarious but it does consistently amuse across the twenty minutes and it doesn't really ram the moral down your throat (although it does push it into your mouth). The animation is mixed perhaps for financial reasons but it does work within the context of the short. The bits with Po and his class are of the same quality as in the main film but the stories that make up the majority of the running time are delivered in a more hand-drawn style that looks cheaper (because, by comparison, it is). However don't let this take away from how good it looks because it is still stylish sort of like the animation that opens the main film albeit it not as striking or as well done as that. Each story is relatively straight forward with a moral at the end of each one but they do more or less work.The voice work is a little distracting though not so much for what they do but more the obvious absences. Black and Hoffman are good, each reprising their voices in the main part of the short film Black in particular puts a lot of energy into it, but the Furious Fives themselves not so much. Cross is good as Crane (probably having as many words as in the main film) but the others are mostly absent. Some of the characters are children in their stories so therefore it would not have been sensible to use adult voices but it is a bit strange why Chan or Rogen couldn't have found a bit of time to record the couple of lines needed for this especially considering how few lines they had in the main film.Either way the short is solid and entertaining with a solid if obvious moral message for the kids (and bunnies). That said it does feel a bit lacking in inspiration and does give the impression that it was made because it had to be rather than made out of a good idea or passion for the project a cynical view perhaps but it is hard not to feel that at points, not due to something the film does but things that similar films do so much better.