Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2011

ARTICLE INDEX

"Kung Fu Panda 2" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Stephen Hornbrook

movie-december-2011-kungfupanda2

Synopsis

The follow up to the legendary tale of awesomeness, Kung Fu Panda, KFP2 tells the story of Po's origin and how he came to be the son of the goose, Mr. Ping.  Many years ago, Lord Shen discovered a powerful weapon, gunpowder, and vowed to rule all of China with its power.  However, after hearing a prophecy that a black and white warrior would someday stop him, he and the wolf bandits killed off the area's panda population. His parents were so ashamed they disowned and exiled Shen from Gongmen City.  During the panda genocide, Po's mother hides him in a box of radishes to save him from the wolf warriors.  Mr. Ping receives an unexpected delivery along with his vegetables and decides to take care of Po as if he was his own son. He must have done a pretty good job raising Po as he is now known is the Dragon Warrior and accepted among his friends, the Furious Five kung fu masters.  Lord Shen has tasked his wolf bandits to steal any metal they can find in order to build his army of cannons.  Unfortunately, the wolves picked the wrong village when Po and the Furious Five arrive and fight them off, but during the battle Po sees an unusual symbol on the bandits and experiences a flashback from when he was a baby.  This prompts Po to question where he came from and what happened to his parents.  Meanwhile, Lord Shen has taken back Gongmen City and imprisoned the kung fu masters that were protecting it.  His plan is to rule all of China and the only one that can stop him is the black and white warrior, Po.

Specifications

  • Dreamworks
  • 2011, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 30 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Codec: AVC
  • 1080p
  • English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
  • Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu
  • Directed by Jennifer Yuh
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Animated
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

Kung Fu Panda is one of my favorite animated movies and I was delighted to hear they were releasing a sequel.  Number 2 is not quite as good as the original, but it is still incredibly entertaining and beautiful to watch.  The art direction is very well done and a constant stream of eye candy.  I thought there was a bit more comedy in the first KFP, but KFP2 definitely has more emotion and depth to it.  If you have never seen either of these movies, they should be at the top of your list. Highly recommended!

Technical

KFP2 has flawless picture quality like most computer generated animation on Blu-ray. This is a great disc to test out a new display or projector.

The Dolby TrueHD track is good, but I felt it was a little lacking.  The first KFP had a five star reference quality soundtrack, so I had very high expectations here.  I think the sound designers could have done more with the surround effects and the low end extension. I wanted to feel more of the low frequency effects rather than just hear them. 

Extras

Plenty of extra content that I would actually watch: Short Film "Secrets of the Masters",  Animation Inspiration and The Animators Corner - featurettes, Pop-up Trivia Track, episode of the TV show "Legends of Awesomeness", Deleted Scenes, Audio Commentary