With a stacked cast, an intriguing array of new characters and some great animation, Kung Fu Panda 3 feels like a sequel made with love rather than an unnecessary cash grab. With all the elements that made the first 2 films so enjoyable still intact here, the only disappointment is in its story that doesn’t quite hold the same emotional weight and stakes the first two achieved.
When Po’s father unexpectedly turns up in the village, he whisks his son away to a secret panda universe where an entire clan of Pandas have been living with the same insatiable appetite as Po. When the supernatural villain Kai turns up to wreak havoc, Po is tasked with the impossible – making an army out of the clumsy, fuzzy pandas and turning them into the ultimate kung-fu force. The journey is full of laughs and enjoyment throughout and once again the animation is outstanding with bright, vibrant colours and incredibly detailed textures.
Along with its enjoyable story and excellent animation, is an equally stacked cast that all do a great job of bringing the characters to life and continuing the standards set in the previous two films. The stand out is of course Jack Black who’s effortless portrayal of Kung Fu Master Po shines here once again. I’ve said it before but this is the role Jack Black was born to play; a mix of charisma, charm and general goofiness bring the lovable panda to life in this sequel.
Kung Fu Panda 3 never reinvents the wheel though and sticks closely to what made the first two films so good. Whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, questions can be asked on the longevity of the series if another film follows the same formula. It just about gets away with it here while you gawp at the gorgeous visuals and enjoy Jack Black’s eccentricity but there’s no denying the film is a little too predictable at times.
Overall, Kung Fu Panda 3 is a gorgeous, well made animation that’s sure to please kids and adults alike. Its a genuinely funny film, spearheaded by an in-form Jack Black and a stacked cast that help to deliver another enjoyable film in the Kung Fu Panda saga. Its not the best animation you’re likely to see this year but cleverly using the elements that made the first 2 films so good, Kung Fu Panda 3 is good but doesn’t quite hit the same standard achieved by the first 2 films.