It’s surprising that Hollywood has taken until 2008 to come up with Kung Fu Panda. Taking your factory-issue period-piece martial arts plot — wherein schlubby protagonist finds his inner warrior as a means of expressing filial piety and ensuring the harmonious survival of his village — and combining it with supercharged computer animation, PG-friendly combat, and a flurry of cute animals just makes good business sense. One could argue about the logic of surrounding Jackie Chan (voicing a monkey who’s also a kung fu master) with a Hollywood stew of A-list talent eager to scoop up some easy voice-actor money, but when the film’s star is an overweight panda voiced by Jack Black, such kvetching is almost beside the point.
Kung Fu Panda opens today and is truly awesome. Read the full review at filmcritic.com.