Friday, July 4, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Images via Character Design


The Pal and I went to see Kung Fu Panda on the weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed it, despite forgetting that a 4pm Sunday afternoon session would be populated mostly by the under-4 crowd. Actually, the masses of kids made it quite exciting - hearing them laugh uproariously and whisper loudly at key climactic points, "what happened?!!" made the experience a lot of fun.

If not already apparent by the images, my favourite character was the turtle Master Oogwey, and his fabulous bottom lip. A highlight, indeed. In fact, the overall design and rendering of the characters was really excellent - better than a lot of recent DreamWorks productions, I thought.

One niggling factor I wanted to see resolved, however, (and this doesn't give anything specific away) was that while there was a very particular boy's coming-of-age motif running throughout, the strong female character Tigris doesn't ever have her own story satisfactorily resolved, which was a shame. I think this may have been due to the fact there was some editing and changes to the film after some audience viewings didn't go down so well. (As evidenced by a hilarious shot in the trailer of Po the Panda using his large belly as a weapon, while uttering a cheeky 'ski-doosh', which, to the Pal's great sadness, didn't appear in the film.) But my inner gender warrior felt they missed a cool opportunity to have a nice fulfilling ending for Tigris, too.

The Pal and I thoroughly disagreed, as we often do, with Sandra Hall's criticism of the issue of Po's paternity. The old "I am your real father" trope has been done to death (quite literally in the case of Star Wars), and instead, I quite enjoyed the comic way in which this film approached the relationship between Po and his (ahem) Goose father.

Overall, a thoroughly delightful afternoon in.

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