KUNG FU PANDA 3 An­other go for Po

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased 11 March PG | 95 min­utes

Di­rec­tors Jen­nifer Yuh Nelson,

Alessan­dro Car­loni

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.

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