Giving Inner Peace a Chance
Kung Fu Panda 2
Review by Ross Anthony

Kung Fu Panda topped my 2008 Top Ten list. It’s a masterpiece of a film. KFP2 is also very good, but slightly less magnificent. I’m giving it only an A and not an A+.

So why is it also excellent? The 3D is rock solid. The animation paints the silver screen as if it were a canvas. Both films are beautiful to simply look at and admire. In KFP2, the flash of peacock tail feathers fanning on and off in combat is but one example. The dance-like kung fu choreography is spot on: fast, clever and fun, with accents that echo the work of Jackie Chan (who voices Monkey). But beneath the fun and games flows a personal emotive drama that calls for reflection from the characters and sympathy from the audience. Both calls are answered.

The pace never stalls, the momentum only increases. Even at its most intense moments, the film never loses its sense of humor. Filmmakers show great confidence and poise by letting the Panda be silly even in the midst of his redemptive and personal climactic scene. And yes, it still works.

So why is KFP2 slightly less magnificent than KFP? Well, the commercials promise that 2 is more Kung Fu-ey than 1. Perhaps this boast proves too true, making the sequel lean toward the “noisy” side. While visually exciting, the extra action mildly interrupts the overall dramatic arc.

In sum, KFP2 offers a bear-size chunk of entertainment, art, heart, and laughs. Plus you might even find yourself choked up a time or two. (Who would have thought?) My buddy and his wife came along. They enjoyed the film as well. In fact, he, an astute lover of film, used the word “Epic!”

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-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Kung Fu Panda 2. Copyright © 2011.
  • Starring the voices of Jack Black as Po, Angelina Jolie as Tigress, Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu, Gary Oldman as Lord Shen, Jackie Chan as Monkey. Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson. Written by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger at Paramount Studios/Dreamworks.

Grade..........................A (3.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 24-May-2011 16:17:07 PDT