KUNG FU PANDA 3 Another go for Po
released 11 March PG | 95 minutes
Directors Jennifer Yuh Nelson,
Cast Jack Black, JK Simmons,
Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman
DreamWorks’ chopsocky saga has always been a bit of an odd one: the ongoing tale of a morbidly obese panda who can drop- kick ninja rhinos but has trouble walking up the stairs. Luckily, three films in, it’s still kicking the furry butt of most of the other ’ toons around.
Mixing the training montages of the first film with the soul searching of the second, part three is pure Star Wars, with the titular Po learning to master the Force- like power of Ch’i and find out who his father really is before the new dark side baddie sucks him into the spirit realm with an army of jade zombies.
JK Simmons’ gravel- voiced demon bull Kai and Bryan Cranston’s bumbling fat- dad Li both threaten to steal the film, but it’s still Jack Black’s show – keeping up the knockout quips and making Po look as huggable as possible amid all the flying feet and fists; helping the series seem ever more heartfelt with age.
Animated with exceptional depth and beauty, it’s given epic new heft by Hans Zimmer in the orchestra pit. It’s a rare animated franchise that can grow up so quickly and still giggle at its own butt jokes. Paul Bradshaw
Four of Angelina Jolie’s kids are extras in one scene; she says they now “think Mommy’s job is ridiculously easy”.
Uneven sun tans: a real bummer.