Non-traditional families will love this PANDA

Kung Fu Panda 3 is a return to China where Po (Jack Black) is deemed ready to take over teaching duties at the Jade Palace by Master Shifu (Dennis Hoffman). Things, of course, go awry leaving Po to question who he is and if he is really meant to teach.

As fate would have it, Po's biological father Li (Bryan Cranston) shows up in Po's village looking for his son that he lost tragically. This presents a problem with Po's adopted father, Mr. Ping (James Hong), who feels like Li is trying to take his place. But when the mythical creature Kai comes back from the Spirit Realm to take the "Chi" from all of the kung fu masters of China, Po is forced to go back to the secret panda village where he has to learn how to master his chi.

Both dads come together to teach Po that you have to be the best 'you' that you can be.

The film is definitely made for families, and is especially great for families with adopted children and non-traditional families. It covers topics like finding who you are, the importance of honesty, body positivity, and family is family no matter what.

For what it lacked in storyline, it truly made up for in cinematography. The secret panda village was one of the most beautiful creations I've seen in animation. Truly magical, it showed the beautiful mountains of China laden in snow in the background with the most beautiful greenery and flora in the foreground. Dreamworks animators truly captured immense beauty worthy of acclaim.

So many animated films feel like they've rushed it to put it together just to get another sequel out for their "brand," but I feel like they took their time and really did it right. Seeing the film in 3D really added to the experience as well, making the scenes feel tangible and even more beautiful. 3D is another one of those things that, if rushed, is wasted and unnecessary. That was certainly not the case in this true feat of cinematography.

The voiceover talent in this film is incredible, using talents of names like Seth Rogen, Kate Hudson, and the incredible Angelina Jolie-Pitt. Another cool feature? Most of the actors children make voiceover appearances in what must have been the most epic take-your-kid-to-work-day ever. 

Being a story aimed at a child's demographic, yes. The storyline is juvenile. It's supposed to be, and that is ok. But there truly is something for everyone in this film.  This is one you need to see with your children. If yours is a non-traditional family, this could easily become your new favorite. 

Rating B+



Kung Fu Panda 3

2016 - Rated PG - Animation/Action/Adventure - 95 minutes

Directors: Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Alessandro Carloni, Mark Osborne, John Stevenson

Cast: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, James Hong, Seth Rogan, David Cross, Bryan Cranston




Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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