Review: ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Punches Out Quality Kiddie Chuckles

The first Kung Fu Panda was a plump dumpling filled with gorgeous oriental artistry, A-grade martial arts animation, and meaty family comedy. The sequel, and I realise I’m one of the very few to say this, was a matured masterpiece. With Kung Fu Panda 3, we’re treated to less of the same, and while that is disappointing, it doesn’t deny this trilogy from being one of the best franchises to come out of DreamWorks Animation Studios.

Po (Jack Black) is reunited with this panda father Li (Brian Cranston), much to the annoyance of his jealous Goose father Mr. Ping (James Hong). Po and Ping’s relationship has been both unquestionably funny and unavoidably sweet throughout the series, and this third entry slam dunks that sense of parenthood with Li’s introduction. It’s also good to see the story come full circle with the Dragon Warrior prophecy.

Unfortunately, other areas aren’t so consistent. Po’s nerd-like respect for Kung Fu Legacy doesn’t seem to mean much anymore, especially in a scene that sees him and Li trashing the warrior museum just for fun. And while a pair of God of War yo-yo blades and the voice of JK Simmons make lead baddie Kai look cool and sound menacing, his reasons for world domination are pretty weak compared to Shen’s and Tai Lung’s. He’s not a memorable villain, and the film literally treats that as a joke.

“But hey, it’s a kids film!” I hear ya, and while it isn’t on Toy Story 3’s level, Kung Fu Panda 3 still nails the basics by punching out quality kiddie chuckles, creative set-pieces, art that still amazes, and a storyline that wraps everything up – just not with a bowtie.

‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Movie Times | ‘Kung Fu Panda 3 3D’ Movie Times

Other Great DreamWorks Animated Films You Can Watch RIGHT NOW: The Croods, How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek