TMG Scale 4.0
Starring voices of: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Seth Rogen, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu

TMG has to admit he never saw the original Kung Fu Panda back in 2008, I was probably doing something more entertaining like changing my oil, changing a diaper or doing my taxes.  This effort proves once again using big names for voices does not insure a quality product. You have to have good writers.

Po the Panda finds himself chosen as the Dragon Warrior. He is sent off to with five other characters to save somebody from something.  Who knows? Who cares? It is funny to see a panda try to do martial arts but nothing really fits in this movie. It is just a bunch of disjointed scenes so we can watch animals perform kung fu. The Tigress (Jolie’s voice) is kind of a cool character you would not want to mess with, but beyond that, there is just not much to be interested in. It all pretty much reminds me of Saturday morning at my sisters house with her kids and seventeen of the neighborhood gang running everywhere and destroying things. Lots to watch and fear but all I really want to do is get the heck out of there.

The TMG Golden Rule for successful animated kid films: Adults take kids to movies, you need to write for and entertain them too. So this movie pretty much sucks for adults. Did kids even enjoy it?  TMG took his eight year old nephew and six year old niece.  Both said “yeah, it was good.” Really?  I think they were referring to the popcorn, coke and candy I bought them…and of course,  just four hours away from mom and  out with their wonderful uncle!  My niece was pretty much asleep on my lap before it ended—certainly a few quiet moments I treasured. My nephew was curled up in his seat and looking around at the projector half the time. I never heard them once laugh, squeal or utter one “ooohh” or “ahhh.”   I took them after the show to see a beautiful church deep in the woods of the Missouri Ozarks called the Shrine of St. Patrick. It got lots of oohs and ahhs from them and was certainly a much more meaningful experience. But no panda bears.