Po and the Furious Five must stop an evil peacock from
conquering all of China with a deadly new weapon.
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
Directed by Jennier Yuh Nelson
Written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger
Starring Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Michelle Yeoh, Danny McBride, Dennis Haysbert
Sequel to 2008's Kung Fu Panda
Oscar Nominations - Best Animated Film
Kung Fu Panda 2 doesn't quite reach the dramatic and inspirational heights of the first film, but in terms of story and character development, it does a decent job. We learn more about Po's backstory, and how he was adopted by a goose who loves noodles. My only real problem with the movie is the pace. It starts out strong and it ends strong, but the middle is a bit of a slog. I nodded off a few times. I can't imagine how many kids momentarily lost interest.
Meet Shen (Oldman), an evil peacock with a chip on his shoulder. He's a mechanical genius as well as a kung fu master, and he's developed the world's first cannon. He plans to conquer the world and destroy his fearsome enemy: The warrior of black and white that his soothsayer said would cause his downfall. Po (Black) and his new friends go up against Shen, only to realize kung fu might not be enough to stop his new weapon. Also, Po learns that Shen is the one who caused all the pandas to either leave the valley or die, it wasn't very clear.
There are lessons here about finding your inner peace and not letting the past dictate your future. But overall, it's just not as memorable as the first film. The voice work is still top notch, and Gary Oldman's involvement in any project is always a win, but this doesn't feel like a movie I'd go back to.