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Kung Fu Panda 3 - Blu-ray Review

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Kung Fu Panda - Movie Review

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4 stars

The skadoosh has returned.  After a five-year break, things effortlessly click back into place for the third (and more probable than not) final Kung Fu Panda movie.  It is an animated feature that hugs as much as it kicks with Po’s (Jack Black) swift swipe-to-air combos.   

What we have throughout much of Kung Fu Panda 3’s brisk running time is a relatively honest attempt at father and son storytelling as a new panda, Li (Bryan Cranston), arrives in Po’s valley and claims to be – much to everyone’s surprise – his real father.  This announcement resonates emotionally as Mr. Ping (James Hong) finds himself in an awkward position, competing for Po’s attention. 

While emotionally evocative, much of the third film makes us laugh as much as the previous installments did and manages to – rather successfully – bring things to a conclusion that satisfies. 

Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) – even though there hasn’t been a lot of conflict since Po assumed Dragon Warrior status – is still troubled with thoughts that the orphaned panda doesn’t appreciate what his title means.  He is forever encouraging Po to find his inner chi. Yet, the sudden appearance of Po’s real father sets things spiraling for the citizens in the Valley of Peace as Gen. Kai (J.K. Simmons) takes it upon himself to load the world with armies of zombies and jade warriors.

Po is invited to Li’s special Panda habitat – high in the mountains – and the boy simply cannot resist the view.  Especially, what Mei Mei (Kate Hudson) offers as a fun and flirty ribbon dancer.  Can he truly give up his lifestyle of kung fu whack attacks and settle down? 

Open the dragon-crested doors and enter the scaled skin of doubt as Po wrestles with his conscience. 

Seems like Dragon Warrior Po and the Furious Five Warriors needed the extended rest because gone from Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger’s script is the overreliance on the familiar tropes that somewhat marred the overall enjoyment of the sequel to Dreamworks’ hit animated film.  Don’t get me wrong.  It was a good and funny film but it hit somewhere below where the original landed for me. 

Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni, Kung Fu Panda 3 earns much respect for its tale of two pandas and for its expressive animation, which continues to present a very metal-minded Asian influence to youngsters.  It’s all so very beautiful-looking and crisp with its environments that any flaws in the narrative (there are a few moments where the continued emotional teases get tiresome) will go largely unnoticed against this garden of colorful delights.

Go alone or take the kiddos.  Kung Fu Panda 3 is worth it.

Kung Fu Panda - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG for martial arts action and some mild rude humor
Runtime:
95 mins
Director
: Alessandro Carloni, Jennifer Yuh
Writer:
Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
Cast:
Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman
Genre
: Action | Family
Tagline:
The weight is over
Memorable Movie Quote: "Oh you want to spare me huh? How about you spare me the chit-chat alright let's do this."
Distributor:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Official Site: https://www.facebook.com/kungfupanda
Release Date:
January 29, 2016
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available
Synopsis: When Po's long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible—learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas.

Kung Fu Panda - Movie Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - June 28, 2016
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; French: DTS 5.1; Danish: DTS 5.1; Dutch: DTS 5.1; Finnish: DTS 5.1; Norwegian: DTS 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Swedish: DTS 5.1; Flemish: DTS 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-50, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: A

20thCentury Fox presents Kung Fu Panda 3 with a strong 1080p transfer that pleases even the stingiest of 3D participants. With a depth that seems unmeasurable and a strong level of consistent black levels, the MPEG-4 MVC encode is a source of true beauty. It keeps the same animated spirit of the two previous entries and, with a nice focus on its backgrounds, also seems to trump what came before. Colors are bright. Tones are good throughout the presentation; it is flawless. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack is atmospheric and delivers a good sonic punch to the on-screen happenings.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

With a pair of new animated shorts included with the release, it’s no stretch to suggest that the best supplemental item is the one that focuses on a real look at the baby pandas and their movements. Sure, you get a featurette on origami and one on the skadoosh origin, but that’s all child’s play to the real treat of seeing baby panda bears be cute. It is footage that the animators used in the movie to help illustrate their creations. Hosted by the film’s directors, this one is a must watch. A close second is a detailed look at Po’s dragon warrior posters. Presented as a stylized motion-comic, this is sure to entertain the tweens out there. Rounding out the collection are deleted scenes, still galleries, and a music video. A DVD copy of the film and a voucher for a UV/iTunes digital copy are included with purchase

  • Everybody Loves a Panda Party
  • Everybody Loves a Panda Party - Karaoke with Po
  • Po's Posters of Awesomeness
  • Panda Paws
  • Make a Panda Party Paper Pal
  • Play Like a Panda
  • The Origin of "Skadoosh"
  • Faux Paws
  • Gallery of Epic Artfulness
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • The World of DreamWorks Animation

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