On this day in Film History: Kung Fu Panda (2008)

*note, this is a day late

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On this day in film history, the world was first introduced to the martial arts antics of Kung Fu Panda (2008), a DreamWorks film starring Jack Black as Po, a rather fat panda who dreams of becoming a great martial arts warrior. His idols are The Furious Five, a quintet of warriors all led by Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). The Five consist of:

  • Master Tigress (Angelina Jolie): a South China Tiger
  • Master Viper (Lucy Liu): a green tree viper
  • Master Monkey (Jackie Chan): a Gee’s golden langur
  • Master Mantis (Seth Rogen): a Chinese mantis
  • Master Crane (David Cross): a red-crowned crane

Po’s dream of becoming a warrior is unexpectedly granted one day when the elderly Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) comes to announce who the Dragon Warrior will be (in response to a vision that Tai Lung, Shifu’s adopted son, will escape his prison soon and come seeking the Dragon Scroll, said to grant limitless power to whoever opens it). Just as Master Oogway is set to make his choice, Po (who had been trying to get a good look) falls straight into the mix and Oogway unexpectedly points at him and claims that Po is the Dragon Warrior!

I have to admit, when I saw the previews for this film, I did not think I would like it, it seemed really corny (and not in a good way). But then we went to see it in the theater and it really grew on me. The animation is really well done, and the kung fu sequences are awesome too (each of the Furious Five reference different styles of fighting: Monkey Syle, Crane Style, etc.)

If you like wacky animated films, I think you will enjoy Kung Fu Panda 🙂

*image is the property of DreamWorks Pictures

For more “On this day” posts, see here

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