Sequels are a tricky affair. While most flicks intend to cash up on the predecessor's popularity without the backing of a strong story or noteworthy performances, a few snap this norm. The endearing tale of a giant panda who loves food and martial arts, both in large proportions, is one such exception.
Kung Fu Panda 3 survives the pit of repetition, thanks to the awesomeness of Po, the dragon warrior. Po makes you laugh, cheer for his punches and tear up a little behind your 3D glasses.
Po, who reunites with his father Li, continues his legendary journey into self discovery, this time to attain Chi, the energy that flows through all living things. As Po relishes being a panda and reconnects with the simple life in the secret panda village, Kai, the forgotten villain, captures the life force of all the Kung Fu masters and is heading to the village to wreck havoc. It is now up to our dragon warrior to impart his Kung Fu skills to the clumsy, cute pandas to save the day.
Though the scripting duo of Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger decided to continue with the story of self discovery and family love in the third installment of the Panda franchise, there are enough moments that will make you burst into laughter way too often. Po and Li's first meeting is hilarious. The secret village is a panda paradise where pandas prefer to roll than walk (You really have to say wow!). Master Oogway's inner peace and itchy nose elicit the loudest laughs.
The directors Alessandro Carloni and Jennifer Yuh Nelson have managed to tell a simple tale while managing to keep the visuals stylish and rich and this time around the animators have outdone themselves. The well-timed humour and a thrilling climax leave you wishing for more. Jack Black loses no chance in making fun of himself. Seriously, no one else can be Po like Jack Black. The new voices Brian Cranston as panda dad Li and J.K. Simmons as Kai take it up a notch.
Kung Fu Panda 3 is not just an enjoyable movie, but an inspiring one. Master Shifu trying to inspire Po to become a teacher is a strong message, even for adults. “If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now.”
Despite being retold, Po's journey, replete with lessons on parental love and wonders of teamwork, is an enjoyable one. He also teaches you that if you wanna be awesome, you gotta start believing in yourself and begin having fun.
Film: Kung Fu Panda 3
Directors: Alessandro Carloni, Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Cast: Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, J.K. Simmons