Whereas Dreamworks Animation's Shrek series has consistently (and quite brilliantly) deconstructed popular fairy-tale mythology under the guise of popcorn entertainment, its latest offering, Kung Fu Panda, is nothing but a lazy homage to kung fu cinema. Po the Panda has high ambitions but low expectations, which makes it all the more remarkable when Master Oogway of the local kung fu school chooses him to become the legendary Dragon Warrior. Training sequences, self-esteem-boosting exposition, and Matrix-fu slow-mo follows, interrupted periodically by tiresome fat jokes. Kung Fu Panda is amusing enough if you have lower expectations than Po, but should have been more than a superficial satire of American misinterpretations of kung fu cinema (88 min.).
Director: Mark Osborne and John Stevenson
Writer: Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab, Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reiff
Producer: Melissa Cobb
Cast: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Randall Duk Kim and James Hong