Alex is leaving tomorrow to see her dad in Hawaii. Last night was my last chance to use her an an excuse to see the movie that I have been anticipating since I saw the first cardboard poster displaying its name. Kung Foo Panda.
Like the genius that is Snakes on a Plane everything that is genius about this movie is said in the title. A pudgy, awkward Panda who collects Kung Fu action figures and dreams of "awesomeness" finds out that what seemed like an impossible dream is really his destiny.
Cue Jack Black. Yes, my friends this movie is a true Jack Black classic right up there with School of Rock, and his performance in High Fidelity. He makes this movie, but not on his own. The animated film makers at Dream Works don't have a great track record with me. (Sorry Shrek fans). I'm a fan of John Lassater and the script writers at Pixar. The thing that most none Pixar movies lack is story. Kung Fu Panda has one. It had great characters who deliver lines that get a laugh out of the kids and adults at the same time. Unlike previous movies where Dream Works has taken to adding inappropriate humor (that doesn't fly over my child's head) and lame pop culture references that will have future generations thinking.. "uh?". I found myself waiting for the credits so I could see who the geniuses where that wrote the screen play. It also had what any good Kung fu movie must. Action sequences. These were awesomely geeky a la Kill Bill. The animation too was a nice blend between CGI animation and backgrounds that payed homage to ancient Chinese art. This movie raised the bar for non Disney Studios. If Dream Works carries this kind of film making into its next projects, John Lassater will need to start watching his back.
If you don't like Jack Black, don't know how to be a kid, and can't stand action movies, don't go see this one. I, on the other hand am counting the days until I can buy the DVD.