Monday, June 16, 2008

kung fu panda

So for Father's Day, I took my 6 year old to see Kung Fu Panda and was really blown away by it, which took my by surprise. It was strong on pretty much every level. Usually I can take movies with a grain, say, Bee Movie, where there are a lot of structural problems and story issues, but has some outstanding animation in it, and just appreciate it. Here, the star casting, which usually bugs me, dissolved right into the characters so I didn't feel like it was, say, Seinfeld in a bee costume. I think it was the tight writing, strong editing, and amazing shot layout. Some of those action sequences were better than live action and pushed incredibly far. This is what I love about animation - when things get pushed past realism into that weird realm of plausible deniability, where I don't care that a tiger can jump 80 feet into the air or want to nitpick the fact that it's hapenning...I was listening to my son shout "awesommmmeee!" during some of the rooftop fight scenes, and I was there with him.

Not only did it work in a broad stylized way, but man, there was some fantastic acting. Seeing the wizened old turtle was a thing of beauty...he'd trail off in a dreamy way, licking his lips and showing he was old purely through movement. The contrast was pretty remarkable.

I haven't walked out of a movie that inspired in a really long time, so preorder the DVD, and see it as soon as you can.


Brent said...

Great review Jeff! I completely agree (except for Bee Movie, which I didn't even enjoy the animation in). Kung Fun Panda was so awesome. It was the first time my daughter actually sat through the entire movie, no complaining, no lap climbing, no wanting popcorn, no needing to go to the bathroom. She was captivated the entire time, as was I.

Jean-Denis Haas said...

It was awesome! I can't wait to see it again!

Steve Masuda said...

I was quite amazed with Kung Fu Panda as well. I walked out satisfied that the story and the animation were both in the realm of solidity.