365 High-Def Days of Oscar: Day 111
Release Year: 2011
Best Animated Feature
THE PLOT THUS FAR
Po joins forces with a group of new kung-fu masters to take on an old enemy with a deadly new weapon.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“Kung Fu Panda 2” opens with a background story about the villain Shen (Gary Oldman) and his lust for power to rule over China, eliminating any forces that try to stand in his way. Not long after the introduction, Po and the gang come back into the picture before Po is called to Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) to learn about finding inner peace. However, the peaceful air is soon disturbed by a pack of wolf soldiers and an action fight sequence soon starts that puts most action movies to shame. As the wolves retreat Po, along with the fearsome five, set out to defeat Shen and find inner peace.
Over the course of the journey, Po provides that classic comedy that made him famous in the first film as he uses phrases like awesome, so hardcore, and freaking in providing that awkward and childish enthusiasm that makes him stand out. His enthusiasm is still balanced out by his lack of stamina and large girth comedy which is cleverly integrated into both combat and non combat scenes. Clumsiness also plays a role in Po’s ability to make us laugh, as what starts out as the stylish moves of a kung fu master quickly turns into a blundering mistake that somehow seems to work for Po. All of these aspects are brought together by Jack Black’s voice work as he finds a way to bring a juvenile tone to the comedy, while still sounding wise and honorable during the serious scenes.
The Blu-Ray comes with a DVD copy, a digital copy, a bonus animated short and 2 free memberships to the online Kung Fu Panda game. The A/V Quality is flawless with the best 1080p transfer that I’ve seen on a DreamWorks animated film yet. Plus, you get a flawless DTS-HD 7.1 master audio track that stands among the best of the year. There’s a strong trivia track, featurettes and a ton of special features that help to round out a set that’ll last several hours. Plus, you’ll get to take a look at the new Kung Fu Panda animated series that’s coming to Nickelodeon. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!