By: Chris Sweda

Directed by: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Produced by: Melissa Cobb

Written by: Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger

Starring: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen David Cross, James Hong, Victor Garber, Michelle Yeoh, Dennis Haysbert, Gary Oldman, Danny McBride

Music by: Hans Zimmer and John Powell

Studio: DreamWorks Animation

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Release date: May 26, 2011

Running time: 95 minutes

Rating: GO SEE IT!!

The hilarity and awesomeness of Kung Fu Panda has returned in DreamWorks Kung Fu Panda 2. Po is living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung Fu masters;the furious five! Tigress, Monkey, Viper, Mantis, and Crane return to once again fight evil and save the day, But Po’s new life is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain! Lord Shen (voiced by Gary Oldman),plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy Kung Fu.

There are some new faces joining Po and his friends.  Master Croc is voiced by Jean-Claude Van Damme (yes I said Jean-Claude Van Damme). He has very little speaking time and most of his words are grunts and three word sentences. Master Oxen, voiced by Dennis Haysbert, follows the whole “stubborn as an ox” persona. Master Thundering Rhino, voiced by Victor Garber,  is the leader of masters council. These characters only show up a few times in the film but play an important role. They are mighty protectors of China that fall to Lord Shen. Another character to note is the Soothsayer, voiced by Michelle Yeoh. She has some great lines in the film, but her main role is helping Po discover his past and who he is.

The overall look and visual elements of the film are stunning compared to the first.  Once again, DreamWorks brings the beauty of China to life with detailed textures, great lush landscapes, and immersive backdrops as creatively if not more than a Disney Feature.  The animators where attentive to detail. Adding  moss to the rocks of this cave scene as well as  plants hanging from the cliff rocks and water falling from the falls.  This detailed artwork is carried though out the film, and brings a definitive view of ancient China to its audience..

The story is solid and keeps the viewer interested in Po’s discovery of who is is and where he came from. The action is just as entertaining as the first movie. The movie score is also enhanced with a little bit of scoring from Hans Zimmer (almost every major movie flick).This film definitely is a family must see and also part of the summer blockbuster movie parade.

Here are some other DreamWorks films you might like;

Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five, how to train your dragon, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Shrek

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