Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda ★★★★½


What appeared to be the pinnacle of Dreamworks' goofy style (characters arching an eyebrow on the posters, childish and vulgar comedies, plots so stupid it'd make us wonder what kind of drugs they consumed to come up with) turned out to be one of their biggest surprises. A simple, cute and extremely pleasant film, with a sublime style and visual narrative. Its humor based mainly on slapstick, its argumentative simplicity far from all pretension and a story told with the heart, using different ingredients that alter certain conventions of these tales, were what made it much more interesting, with all the implications that that entails.

Po gives to the archetype of the geeky sidekick a chance to show off and be the hero by being his old self. He's a nobody, someone with nothing special at all, but his innocence and sympathy, his extreme enthusiasm for Kung Fu and how much he enjoys the situation he's involved in make him incredibly adorable and empathetic, much more than what you could think at first. While the Furious Five have a mixed behavior towards him (they like him, but see him as annoying because he's really making a fool of himself and training him is a waste of time), Shifu and Oogway (every sentence he says is pure gold) represent the 2 faces of the coin in terms of the perspective change of a person, and with it the message that gives a distinctive touch to the film.

Tai Lung turns out to be menacing and charismatic enough and his relationship with Shifu is interesting, but his true role is to unleash the masterful and spectacular action scenes, full of dynamism and without forcing. So different from what it could've been, charming, emotional, spectacular and even a bit philosophical when talking about Kung Fu and its background, it seemed to inaugurate a new era for Dreamworks.

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