Kung Fu Panda 3 – kicks sass

Release Date: January 29, 2016

Running Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes

Directed by: Jennifer Yuh

Rated PG

Grade B


Jack Black as Po

Angelina Jolie as Tigress

Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu

Jackie Chan as Monkey

kung-fu-panda-3Seth Rogan as Mantis

Lucy Liu as Viper

David Cross as Crane

James Hong as Mr. Ping

Bryan Cranston as Li Shang

Kate Hudson as Mei Mei

J.K. Simmons as Kai

and Randall Duk Kim as Master Oogway

You must take the next step on your journey, from warrior to teacher.

As Po is reveling in the glory of being the Dragon Warrior, a supernatural enemy name Kai threatens the Valley of Peace. After capturing the Chi of Master Oogway in the other world, Kai proceeds to capture kung fu masters from across China on his way to destroy the Jade Palace. Word gets to Master Shifu who is trying to get Po to take the next step and become a teacher. After a hilariously unsuccessful attempt at training The Furious Five, Po is intimidated by the task of training his long lost Panda family to become warriors. As he is feeling down, Po is reunited with his birth father. Po’s adoptive father, Mr. Ping, is feeling left out so he tags along on the journey to the secret panda sanctuary. As Kai gets closer and closer to fulfilling his dream of being the most powerful evil spirit in the universe, Po must rediscover what it is to be a panda in order to prepare for battle and save the world.

I have returned! The master of pain, beast of vengeance, maker of widows…

Returning to the big screen after a very long 5 years, Kung Fu Panda 3 really delivers in storytelling, art direction, and animated good-hearted humor. Jonathan Aibel and Glen Berger return for a third time to create a story that brings the trilogy full circle. As teased at the end of KFP 2, the writers introduce Po’s biological father while emphasizing the importance of his adoptive father. They also bring continuity by including flashbacks from the previous films. Max Boas returns after being in the art department for KFP 1 to oversee the spectacularly rich visual aspects of the film which are best viewed in 3D. As far as cinematography goes, KFP3 is by far the best of the trilogy. Our favorite characters, led by Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman, also return with the addition of a few new ones (Bryan Cranston, Kate Hudson, and J.K. Simmons) to add to the smooth transition between films and entertain audiences of all ages with their talents. In order to elevate this film to an ‘A’, I would’ve preferred to see more of the Furious Five and more humor, but this addition to the franchise takes the dumpling award for its story and visual effects. For whole-hearted fun with a terrific message of perseverance, teamwork, and self-awareness, please karate chop your way into the theater to catch this one!

~Movie Buffette

If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be better than what you are

Even though I had not seen the first two films, I was able to quickly pick up the story. The animation and vivid imagery were outstanding.  The color palette the animators used is exceptional. I thought that Director Yuh did a masterful job creating the panda village in the mountain. Her cinematography is right up there with a live action film. She created a vast landscape and made it real. She also did an excellent job with the transition from the real world and the other universe. I really enjoyed the humor displayed by the characters and the charm of Mei Mei. The screenplay by a talented team of writers ensured that important themes like friendship, family, hope, courage were interwoven in the script. There are many lessons to be learned from the film. I liked how Po had fun with his friends like we all should, but learned when it was time to be serious. Po matured, became a teacher and most importantly, believed in himself. This is a fun film for families and those young at heart. ~A.S. MacLeod


About Leigh Ann Rassler