“Kung Fu Panda 2″ talkback

Betsy Sharkey in The Los Angeles Times says: “This is the first movie in a long time that you won’t mind paying for the glasses because what’s on the screen is multidimensional magic.

However, A.O. Scott in New York Times was less pleased, saying “…the studio worked up this sequel, which accomplishes the depressingly familiar mathematical trick of being both more and less than its predecessor.

Today’s the day – and its your turn. If you’ve seen the movie and want to state your opinion, please share it in our comments section below.


  • http://artofthecartoon.com artofhtecartoon

    I enjoyed KFP2. I agree that its not as good as the first and it seemed like the story was there just to get from one lavish action set piece sequence to the next. But those action sequences, and the whole movie, was animated beautifully and was a pleasure just to look at. Much like the first KFP, KFP2 was just entertaining to watch as well. I also liked how they weaved in 2D animation here and there as well.

  • http://beaudetteblog.blogspot.com Grant Beaudette

    I can kinda see where Scott is coming from.

    Visually the film was fantastic. I loved the mix of 2D animation as well as the more graphic style they took with elements like the explosions. It really shows that animated films still have a lot of room to explore visually.

    Story-wise I thought the film was good, but paled somewhat compared the the first movie. In making a grander, more epic plot it feels a bit rushed and doesn’t have a strong character relationship like with Po and Shifu in the first movie. It was satisfying in parts, but a little hollow as a whole.

    All told I really liked it and will most likely see it again, but I think the first was a bit better.

  • HH

    Saw it at midnight showing. I love the first movie but this one was disappointing. The story was trying to put so much humor on every moment it has and don’t know when it should be sad or serious. There were a lot of jokes that should’ve been left out. Visually it was great. Not the best sequel but still something to watch.

  • http://www.sfs.org.sg/animation Dave

    I thought it was a triumph for Dreamworks and Jennifer Yuh Nelson. The designs and graphics were beautiful; some scenes you just wanted them to slow down so you could admire it. The 2D animation that was used for flashbacks (and the starting info dump) was great. Comic timing was great and spot on, and while the story was not spectacular it served its purpose.

    I do have one complaint; the action scenes went by too fast; it was hard to register what was going on. That said, I loved how the filmmakers have tapped on wuxia films and extended the creativity that you find in the genre.

    3D was good but not essential. I enjoyed it, and it was definitely miles ahead of Pirates 4.

  • http://www.beauhufford.com Beau Hufford

    I feel like the the makers of KFP2 didn’t totally understand what was so good about KFP1. The first one seemed so magical and perfect in it’s timing and humor and this one is just stale, unbelievably boring (even with all the action) and completely lacking of that magic. It’s sort of like when a trained dog brings the newspaper to you and you smile, tell them good boy and throw them a treat only to have that dog start bringing you dead animals hoping to get the same praise. It’s ain’t the same people. I can only yell “Bad Studio” and hope to god the dog understands! I’m pretty sure this dog doesn’t get it though.

    • Joe Bluhm

      I love you Beau.

      • http://www.beauhufford.com Beau Hufford

        I love you too Joe.

  • Blues

    It’s good. Not quite as elegant or streamlined as the first but there are some really wonderful moments.

  • rezz

    I thought it was quite excellent ….I can’t decided if I like the first one more or second.

    I felt like dreamworks took a risk with this one, esp with their track record of never taking any sort of risk. However, there are moments that scream out “OH BTW ITS A DREAMWORKS MOVIE SLOW MO TIME!”

    I don’t want this to come off as to harsh but, after making 22 movies, they are slowly figuring out how to tell a good story. The last few years have been looking up for dreamworks

    • Ethan

      “””after making 22 movies, they are slowly figuring out how to tell a good story.”””

      That doesn’t make any sense. The screenplay was written by Glenn Berger and Jonathan Aibel, they also wrote the first film. It was directed by Jennifer Yuh, she was head of story on the first one too. These artists have no relation with the other 20 films you speak of. They couldn’t possibly have “slowly figured out” anything, it seems to me they were good already. Same thinking applies to the writers/directors of HTTYD.

      It would make more sense if you would tell us which writers and directors at Dreamworks didn’t know how to tell a good story. In your opinion.

      Over the last few years, Dreamworks Animation managed to add a vast number of great screenwriters and directors to it’s teams, at the expense of competing studio. It is most probably the reason I enjoy their latest films much more than the older ones.

      • http://aalong64.blogspot.com Aaron Long

        I think rezz is referring to the company as a whole, specifically the non-creative executives, ALLOWING the directors/writers/artists to tell better stories.

      • http://www.spitandspite.com abe

        Yea, pretty sure he was referring to the fact that the HEADS of the studio, not the talent (writers, story artist, directors, animators, etc) were figuring out how to let a story be “un-filtered”.

      • Ethan

        Oh really.

        Honestly, if the credits say “written and directed by Alan Smithy”, I will blame Alan Smithy for the bad story and bad direction. If Alan Smithy is restrained to the point where his amazing story is turned into crap by an unnamed executive, he should leave, citing “creative differences”, and he should refuse to put his name there.

        Have you seen the latest film from Universal? They are getting much better at telling a story after 90 years, but I don’t understand why they are so inconsistent. It’s like they figured out how to tell a good story, and a few months later, they have forgotten.

      • http://animationinventory.blogspot.com/ teodor

        Someone forgot Katzenberg.

      • ZigZag

        Ethan is correct in principle. But his comments are totally separated from reality. Directors, writers and story artists above all would like to keep their jobs. And producers and executives can’t keep themselves from meddling with a production. So, everyone plays ball, and the end result is a team effort. But theoretically, the director did most of the directing, the writer did most of the writing, and the story artists did most of the storyboarding. So, the credits go to them.

        rezz is also somewhat correct in pointing out Dreamworks’s improvements. Their first movies were pretty rough, and their latest are often sold as “the best Dreamworks movie I’ve seen yet”…which isn’t saying a whole lot. But yes, their stories are getting better. HTTYD was good…though not really inspiring beyond their usual technical wizardry.

        All that said, none of their films are even past junior varsity yet. If KFP2 is not as good as the first KFP shrug, then I’ll save my eleven bucks and ninety minutes.

      • Ethan

        ZigZag,
        Okay, I might be a little naive, but you have described how every single big budget film is produced. I have no doubt the meddling has an impact, but anyone involved in a big budget film has to deal with that, compromise, and work around the imposed restrictions, whether the film is animated or not.

        Where I’m getting at is: Why then do we always judge the big Hollywood films by their directors and/or screenwriters, but we judge the animated films by the studio? ALL the big Hollywood studios also have their scary focus groups, with execs changing things and being reactive to the market. It’s wrong that the animated films stories are judged by the studio’s name, completely wrong.

        I can’t help thinking that if some animated films were changed SO MUCH that the directors, writers and storyboard artists had their masterpieces turned into completely different crap stories by an executive, we would have seen burned-outs directors, or directors going on a sabbatical, or on a leave of absence, or leaving for other studios… no wait…

  • Bob

    I thought it was an amazing movie, an improvement on the first on many many levels and truly EPIC in scope. Great character growth and a great continuation of the storyline.

  • Courage, A Cowardly Dog

    It was Kung Fuier. That is for sue.

  • Tobias

    Myself I really enjoyed it, for me the story was fine. I’m quite happy it wasn’t a retread of things and instead an expansion, I’ll agree with Rezz that it felt like DW actually took a risk with this one.

    Animation-wise, it’s certainly chock full of great visuals…especially since there’s more 2D animation in this one.

    I’ll also point out Gary Oldman is a hoot as Lord Shen.

    Overall, I feel this is actually the best sequel DW has done. I know that’s not saying much, but still…it’s a solid film that I was happy to see the midnight screening of. (Instead of Hangover pt. II, to which my friends stated. “It’s not a sequel, it’s a remake that’s not as funny.” ouch.)

  • http://www.mike2d.blogspot.com Mike Caracappa

    SPOILER ALERT!

    I thought it was a worthy, very well designed and executed. I don’t love it as much as the first, but I enjoyed the ride and thought it had a good message.

    My only complaint is…did they really have to kill Lord Shen? They went through all the trouble of developing his character, giving him a conscience and some doubt over what he is doing, especially when the soothsayer predicted he would lose, and yet he still fights to rule China. And then at the end when he’s offered the path of redemption, he makes the wrong choice and tries to kill Po, resulting in his death. I think this was a mistake by the filmmakers. They made the same mistake in the first movie where the villain is offered the same choice, a more humbling path, and instead choses the path of vengeance, resulting in him being killed. Both characters should have been made humble by their experiences when it’s made clear that they chose the wrong path to begin with. They both did terrible things, but neither of them deserved to die, even when the chance of redemption was offered to them. I liked the movie, but It would have made a nice change of pace had the villain chose to redeem himself in the end, and it would have made a more complete arc of his character.

    • http://www.spitandspite.com abe

      So a happy ending for all? Aren’t happy endings cliche (hollywood)? Guess there’s still a market for that after all cause’ you know, there’s just not any bad people in the world…

      • http://www.mike2d.blogspot.com Mike Caracappa

        It’s also a cliche when the villain is always defeated without them learning anything from their experience. Not everything should be black and white. Shen was doomed to fail from the beginning, and the soothsayer warned him that he would be taken down by Po, but he refused to listen to anybody. He was set up to take the fall. It seems only fitting that when Shen loses everything and starts questioning what happened in front of Po that he be offered forgiveness and the chance for redemption. Don’t you see he was set up for this to happen. Redemption is offered to him, and yet in typical fashion, he refuses and tries to kill Po anyway resulting in his death, because the bad guy has to get what he deserves. Only I don’t think he deserved it. He’s a guy who, like Tai Lung in the first film, felt cheated earlier in his life, which led them both on the path of vengeance. We have sympathy and understanding for what they went through even though they chose the wrong path. I’m not saying it should be a total happy ending, Shen should pay for his crimes or be made humble in some respect. In the first film, after Tai Lung felt cheated by Shifu because he thought he was the dragon warrior, Shifu apologizes for wronging him. Tai Lung could have accepted his apology. He could have even been made humble by working at Po’s noodle restaurant. But neither Shen or Tai Lung deserved to die. They both had the chance to redeem themselves, why not for once let them take it?

  • http://amber-gail.blogspot.com Amber Gail

    Saw the first KFP a couple weeks ago, so this isn’t nostalgia speaking, but I liked the first one better. The story in the 2nd movie took a lot of detours from the main plot point and the new characters it introduced seemed unnecessary.

    Wished there wasn’t so much 3D in the 3D parts! Transitions and things jabbing out forward at me were too much.

    It also would have really been nice if the hand drawn flash back sequences were full animation.

  • Pedro Nakama

    I liked the film. Loved the opening animation sequence and wouldn’t mind seeing an entire film animated like that. The only thing I didn’t like was the set-up for a sequel at the end.

  • Ethan

    I loved it! They really went epic with that one. Great visuals everywhere: characters, colors, environments, animation, lighting, great particles and effects (the cannon blasts and cannon balls were very cool and looked much more “stylized” than “simulated”, all swirly and beautiful).

    The 3D was great, a bit less impressive than the three previous films from Dreamworks, which had the best 3D I’ve seen yet. I’m being picky, this time there was a lot of fast action and very dim scenes, my cinema had a dim lamp too, so once in a while I think the eyes didn’t adjust quickly enough between the cuts.

    Many many amazing fighting sequences at an epic scale, it’s just mind blowing, they may very well be among the best fighting sequences of any film of any genre. I loved the precise synergy and complicity between the Five and Po. Po can jump down an abyss and trust Crane to reliably pick him up at the right moment. That was fun!

    I enjoyed that the story and all the characters have a more serious tone. There are still funny jokes, but they aren’t in the way. I appreciated the more mature and complex theme (closure?) which is not easy to develop in a film for children, the parts about childhood psychological trauma, the significance of dreams, repressed memories, etc… that was well done and surprising, it had a pleasantly slow progression through the film.

    For the bad points, there were a few bad dialogs here and there and I didn’t like the repetition of phrases from the first film.

    Music was great, this time it was a huge orchestra, it sounded epic, versus the first one which was more intimate (as it should be), On the soundtrack, “Zen Ball Master” is my favorite, I liked the beautiful harmony around 4:30.

    Congratulations to Jennifer Yuh, and everyone else who worked on this one, it was truly great.

  • Rezz

    Ethan,

    I just meant it as a general thing for dreamworks, not necessarily pointed at KFP team or HTTYD team.

    My fav films from dreamworks are KFP and How to train your dragon

    I can’t remember the last time I put on any other dreamworks film ….esp bee movie, sharktails, monster vs aliens, megamind etc. etc. I still think they are heading in the right direction in any case. Each films is still getting better and better. I want to believe they are trusting their artist which is why things are getting better.

    Spoiler* I felt like KFP2 took some great risk that I haven’t seen in any dw film. For a second I really thought they were going to get rid of Poe’s parents, which would have been amazing story wise (bond between poe and tigress stronger) to throw his parents in the end it sorta takes away that extra punch and what to expect for KFP3.

    • Ethan

      Sorry I didn’t see you had answered here.

      Yes, I agree with you, there was probably more exec meddling in the past at dreamworks. But I’d say adding new artists near the top to complete a team have a MAJOR impact on the output. The good move from the execs was succeeding in hiring so many great artists over the years and keeping them. Possibly by giving them a little more creative control, but it still starts with the artists. In an ideal world, it’s their reputation which should rise, more so than the studio.

      Try this: look at who the writers/directors are on those films you didn’t like, and search for what they worked on in the past at other studios, or the same studio. I’ll bet it’s mostly films that you, personally, didn’t like either. Do the same test with the films you liked. Same result.

      Myself, I liked the screenplay of Megamind, and I also think Tom McGrath is a rising star at dreamworks, getting much better with each film, so I noticed how often people blamed the executives thinking that the artists were not allowed to make a good film, while the reality is that they simply didn’t like that specific kind of film, or that specific kind of comedy.

  • Bud

    There was nothing wrong with KFP2, and not much right, either. Mechanically speaking, it’s the same film as the first pretty much–but as others have said, it lacks a spark of magic and imagination that made the first film more fun. Neither film is “great,” but I sure liked the first one better.

  • http://tresswygert.com Tres Swygert

    I like the ending better; however, I felt that the movie all around had trouble with its’ pacing. It was too quick to where the jokes weren’t as funny as small segments in the commercials. Another problem was the minor characters really being distant or not having much to say compared to Po and Tigress. Felt the film really cater to their attention more then a full cast. I did like Lord Shen though, and I know we’ll see a sequel for this movie, with the way it ended. 2 out of 4 stars for me.

  • Mike

    Most of the movie, particularly the first two acts, felt fairly ‘meh.’ I thought it improved and became more compelling towards the end, though as other have noted, the setup ending robs a lot of the emotional payoff of Po’s character development in the movie. I thought Lord Shen was a weak villain with vague motives, and that the movie was a bit disjointed at times and not really very funny. It looked nice, but I thought the first KFP was rather more refreshing and enjoyable all around.

  • Timanim

    Hmmm, I guess I’m in the minority in thinking the 2nd film felt a whole lot better than the first one.

    Of course I really enjoyed the first film, and thought it was the best dreamworks film up to that point, but to me KFP2 seemed improved in many aspects. I thought it was funnier, action scenes were cooler, and characters a lot more emotionally fleshed out.

    Shen was an awesome villain, though. He was so much cooler than Tai Lung who was just a really strong guy. Shen, however, was a kind of crazed and commanding villain that I thought was much more intimidating.

    I definitely thought this sequel was handled better than Toy Story 2. Maybe KFP3 will be as good as TS3…? Here’s to hoping.

    • Flashkid

      I agree with Tim, KFP2 was a much more satisfying experience for me than the first one.

      The beginning of the film was kinda rocky, but after the scene on the boat the story seemed to go along much more smoothly.

      What did it for me were the action sequences, especially the last battle scene with Po and Shen. In the last film, the final fight between him and Tai Lung fell so flat. You were given this epic fight scene between Shi Fu and Tai Lung and all of a sudden Po blows him up, when all along I was expecting him to actually have a legitimate kung fu fight. But in this film not only does Po actually use kung fu, but he gets to have his epic stand off between himself and the main villain.

      Personally this film gave me everything I wanted to see in the first one. It had great fight scenes, more 2D animated goodness, and a feel good ending that I felt was much more emotional than the first. Kudos to the Dreamworks crew, I hope they do as good a job on the next KFP.

      • http://natearts.blogspot.com Nathan Billington

        I have to agree! I LOVED KFP2. It had depth, great action, great comedy, excellent story arc. Loved it! But there did seem to be a few too many “hey look its funny cuz he’s Po” moments. You know, like landing the wrong way, etc.

        It didn’t annoy me as much as it did detract from Po’s character. I think it would’ve been much stronger if Po had turned into a strong, but humble and fun-loving hero. You know, he grew up a bit!

  • MissConception

    Po was being a little too “Po” in this one. In the first movie, it was forgivable and humorous because Po was just starting out. It offered a great contrast between him and the Five. But Po’s isms seemed very forced and out of place in some sequences. They acted like speed bumps to the story and any character developing moments. I have nothing against Po staying in character, but you would think all of that training and life-changing events would make him at least a little more serious. If anything, he became goofier in this movie.

    Though the story felt a bit rushed and campy at times, I did enjoy the new message of this one. Instead of another tired “follow your dreams” or “be yourself” moral, this one is about choosing who you are despite what has happened to you in the past or where you came from. A relevant topic for today’s audience, if you ask me.

    Artistically, it was beautiful. They used the elements of the first movie’s style very well while also adding newer ideas, like the shadow puppets at the beginning. Very nice.

    All in all, I’d say it was about 90% of the way there to being as good as the first one.

  • Matt

    Kung Fu Panda 2 was marvelous. I’ll start this out by saying that. I loved it.

    Po is treated with a bit more respect. We finally get to see him grow into a more serious character. They went in a different direction by placing more heart than humor into the story, not saying that it still wan’t funny. You will still be laughing at all the comedic grunts, groans and screams Jack Black brilliantly preforms for his character Po. (I was laughing my ass off at the slow motion “III LLLOOOVVVEEE YYYOOOUUU GGGGUUUYYSSSS” and when Po does the “I’ve got my eyes on you” gesture at the final battle.)

    Action scenes were simply amazing. Just like the first movie, your getting a hardy handful of fights and battles.

    Po’s “Inner Piece” sequence is visually brilliant and just as emotional as the ending Toy Story 3.

    Now to defend why some people are saying the movie was bad:

    Less humor- The characters have been established in the first movie. Let’s finally have some fun with them. Po doesn’t have a lot of those slapstick scenes where he’s getting hurt and beaten. Why would there need to be? He’s not a noob anymore. HOWEVER, there are still MANY parts where he is the same clumsy Kung Fu FanGeek that established his trademark persona in the first place.

    “Jolie, Chan, Van Dam, and Rogan don’t have enough lines.”- It’s not their movie.

    I’m really disappointed that some of the comments on here are saying it was “okay”. It truly is up there in one of Dreamworks’ best films.

    • KNSat

      Why have big names like Jolie, Chan, Van Damme, and Rogan in a movie if you don’t use them well? Jack Black makes sense because his personality is fully utilized in the main character. It sounds like Jolie’s character could have been voiced by anybody. The cynic in me thinks it’s just for their appearance on the marquee and poster and the red carpet.

      • Someone

        Yeah. It was a marketing ploy.
        So what?

        It doesn’t actually hurt the film at all.

  • http://www.toonhole.com Ryan Kramer

    SO GOOD! Beautiful set pieces, wonderful animation (traditional and 3D), super dynamic (laughed, cried, clenched my fists)…
    Sure it didn’t have the “magic” of the first one, but that’s probably cuz KFP was new to the world. This was one of my favorite sequels I’ve seen in a long time :)

  • http://www.coffeeroll.com JPDJ

    It was overstuffed and overlong in some places. It does indeed drag a bit between fight scenes. But the visuals are killer. My sister loved the animation on Lord Chen. I thought the whole thing was great, great, great eye candy with a decent story sprinkled throughout.

    And Tigress–she became a MUCH more interesting personality here.

  • Glowworm

    I just saw it with my boyfriend today. For a sequel it was quite good– although I was a tad disapointed with the plot of Po seeking where he came from–although it was rather nice to see that it didn’t really matter who he was but rather who he chose to be.

    In particular, I loved this particular line from Po’s foster father regarding how he found Po. “There was no note. Of course, you might have eaten it.”

    I also loved the introduction–such lovely animation, as well as the flashbacks shown through traditional animation.

    I really liked the character of the soothesayer–she was quite awesome continuously battling Shen’s retorts with her wit and wisdom.

    As for Lord Shen himself–he was a rather campy villain. Sure, he’s depicted as a sadistic madman hungry for power, but the way Oldman portrayed him kept making me laugh rather than shiver with genuine fear. Then again it probably didn’t help that Shen reminded me of a previous villain Oldman voiced, Ruber from Quest for Camelot–although Lord Shen was a much better character. Also, let me remind you, he’s a peacock–which isn’t exactly a very menacing animal to begin with–and unlike Ned Baetty who proved that he could truly make a strawberry scented teddy bear a frightening villain, Oldman’s depiction of Shen comes off as campy at best–especially when he laughs.

    I also couldn’t help but notice a rather familiar sounding line from Shen near the end:”How many times must I kill the same stinky panda?” That sounds eerilly enough like Jafar from Aladdin “How many times must I kill you, boy?”

    I also admit that I missed seeing Master Shi Fu interact with Po. Yet what little time he got in the film was wonderful.

    Also Po’s inner peace with the fireworks was beautiful to watch.

    All in all, it was a very enjoyable movie.

  • Glowworm

    I forgot to mention that the scenario regarding Po and the Furious Five beating up wolves while wearing a Chinese Dragon costume was hysterical–and creative.

  • http://n/a FOGHEAD LONGLEGS

    I was willing to give it a shot, considering Dreamworks shoddy record at high quality sequels. The opening sequence was gorgeous, looking like the great master silhouette cut-out animator Lotte Reiniger after having taken psychedelics. The beginning of the story itself looked beautiful & promising, with the Yoda-like wise master chanting “inner peace”. But soon thereafter all degenerated into massive, & to me, senseless, flying, spinning, rolling, tumbling, fighting ad nauseum, and I left. I’ve left films about 5 times in my life. I never do it. I was bored silly. I then smartly walked next door and saw a gem of a comedy, an actually FUNNY film that had all of us in stitches: Bridesmaids. Kristen Wiig is a comic genius. I forgot all about the panda, and have been remembering the numerous hilarious scenes in Bridesmaids instead. Oh, & I’m not a female. It’s REALLY a good script & an excellent cast. Worth every penny. Mature, witty, adult comedy. Yahoooo.

    • http://www.sfs.org.sg/animation Dave

      Well fortunately you didn’t go see Hangover 2 instead.

    • 2011 Adult

      Did you see the first KFP?

  • Glowworm

    My boyfriend and I saw it today. It was quite good for a sequel, although I was slightly disapointed with the outcome of Po searching for his origns–although it was nice to see that he prefered being who he wanted to be rather than who he once was.

    I also was disapointed at the small screen time Master Shi Fu had, although what little he had was wonderful.

    My favorite line was when Po’s adopted father mentions how Po wound up with him. “There was no note. Of course, you might have eaten it.”

    I also loved the traditional animation for the introduction to the movie, as well as for Po’s flashbacks as a cub.

    I really liked the soothesayer. She was quite an awesome character calmly fighting Lord Shen’s retorts with her wit and wisdom.

    As for Lord Shen himself, he was rather campy. Keep in mind, he is a peacock. Peacocks aren’t very menacing to begin with. Yet even though he’s depicted as a sadistic,vengeful, power hungry madman, Gary Oldman’s characterization of him made me laugh at him more than fear him. Perhaps it’s partially because Lord Shen reminds me of Oldman’s previous voice work as Ruber from Quest for Camelot, although Lord Shen is a much better villain IMO. Yet unlike Ned Beatty who successfully made a strawberry scented teddy bear seem downright frightening, Oldman’s performance does not make me any more afraid of peacocks than before this film.

    Also, I noticed that one of Lord Shen’s was quite similar to that of Jafar from Aladdin. “How many times must I kill the same stinky panda?” reminded me a lot of “How many times do I have to kill you, boy?”

    Overall, the movie was quite fun to watch and lovely to look at.

  • Some Girl

    A visual treat, and the story was stronger IMO.
    Shen was darn crazy, and that was pretty awesome. There is a part of the movie that a tear was shed, and the fight scenes packed a punch! Even the humor was more prevelant, not too much to overshadow seriousness, but enough to lighten the mood, and laugh out loud worthy as well.
    Over all, it’s worth the extra money to see it in 3D!
    People who are saying it was boring..

    SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU.

    Seriously, or your just trying to sound smart by saying stupid old DreamWorks jokes.
    I enjoyed the crap out of this film, not afraid to say that either.
    Oh, and Foghead..I hope you are being sarcastic..but then again..who knows. Surely you are, but if you are not joking, your head is clearly fogged. Oh the joy of internet sarcasam.

    • http://natearts.blogspot.com Nathan Billington

      I agree! I feel like a lot of this criticism is just falling into a general flaming of Dreamworks for the sake of bashing Dreamworks.

      I loved KFP2. And Lord Shen… oh those EYES!! So wonderfully disturbing! That’s animation!

  • Jeff Simonetta

    Overall I think the film was enjoyable, but it had a lot of good and bad moments, as well as some disappointing parts.

    The hand drawn/ 2D moments were great! and I was surprised by the number they had, very unusual for Dreamworks to be experimenting like this! I hope to see more of this! In addition there were some laugh out moments in the film as well.

    But unfortunately every scene,joke, and moment was very hit or miss. Sometimes I’d feel delighted, then there’d be a terrible/ackward joke that made me bored, then it would be enjoyable again all within 10 seconds. And this happened very frequently.

    I think Poe was an idiot way too much, particularly at very unnecessary times. I know that’s his character but the pace and frequency of the times felt forced.

    There were too many action/fight sequences. I got too used to the action that it was no longer a thrill when they occurred. They were just something that was occurring; there was no build-up. Although I think independently they were well choreographed, especially when they were in the dragon costume.

    But my biggest issue with one of the subplots. There was this great moment where Po was about talking about his parents with Tigress. They were both revealing a lot about how they viewed one another and it was set up where we were going to find out more. It was such a great intimate moment in the movie but they did absolutely noting with it! I think this was the biggest failures of this movie.

  • http://www.deboss1.blogspot.com Mark C. Dooley

    This is the first “Real 3-D” movie I’ve gone to (our local multiplex got a huge management shake-up and installed the proper equipment just in time for Thor), and while this process may be a lesser degree to IMAX 3-D, it worked well with KFP2.

    As for the movie itself, they had me from the opening titles. Everything just clicked for me, even more so than the first film, which I have raging mad love for. Yeah, I wish all our Furious Five could have more screen time, but Puss N Boots is getting his own movie this winter, and I see no reason that the Five sans Po couldn’t make it in a spin-off sequel with Angelina Jolie behind the wheel.

    The music by Zimmer and Powell is breathtaking and I can’t wait to download the soundtrack.

  • FelixS

    Overall it’s a very well-made movie. Beautifully done animation and spectacular graphics. And don’t get me started on lil’ Po… so cute.

    However, the use of explosions throughout the movie was a bit too much in my opinion. I’d personally like to see more kung-fu action going on, especially from Lord Shen.

    Unlike the first one where we were given so many fight scenes (Furious Five vs Tai-Lung, Po vs Shi Fu over dumplings, Tai-Lung Vs Shi-Fu, Po vs Tai Lung), here we were only shown short minor fights here and there, and mostly just the good guys vs minor peons. The last fighting scene between Po and Shen should be as epic as before, but didn’t live up to my expectation.

    But still, an entertaining movie nonetheless…

  • Lamont W.

    ***CONTAINS SPOILERS***

    It was surprisingly meh… boring, predictable story and pacing was all over the place. My youngest nephew fell asleep on it. No great character relationships or developments like the first one… and what was all that with Lord Shen just to kill him at the end? Why have him give these personal feelings about his parents if he doesn’t change or learn or go insane or something?

    It was animated BEAUTIFULLY though. Lord Shen’s acting and movements were incredible. But thats the only notable thing.

  • http://www.danielmaraya.blogspot.com Danny Araya

    I really enjoyed the movie, but I felt like this one was lacking some of the emotional impact the first one had.

    During the fight between Shifu and Tai Lung, there was so much intensity with Shifu feeling guilty and apologizing for driving Tai Lung to corruption, and Tai Lung screaming that everything he did was to make Shifu proud of him. Their fight was about more than just the fight itself, and I think that’s what part 2 was lacking. I just didn’t feel what was going on beneath the surface the way I did with the first one. Po’s and Shen’s inner conflicts had little to do with each other, which I think made their final confrontation emotionally empty despite the fact that Shen killed Po’s parents.

    I also felt like some of the jokes were there just to be jokes and didn’t feel natural to what was happening around them.

    These were really minor gripes I had and I honestly enjoyed the movie a lot. I could go on for hours about how beautiful I thought it all was, I’ll definitely be picking up the art-of book!

  • http://www.bigdaddyanimation.com Big Daddy

    Dreamworks is on a roll!

  • panda

    Loved the visuals but it could have been so much better had they paced the movie properly. There was no climax to be had sadly. It felt very flat to me. Suppose it’s understandable given the director’s background.

  • http://tresswygert.com Tres Swygert

    Box Office Mojo reported that Kung Fu Panda grossed an estimate of $48 mil this past weekend, putting it in second place to Hangover II. This is not good, seeing the predecessor made $60mil…and the competition this year is about to get stronger. We’ll see how the movie fares with Hangover’s success and other newcomers.

    • Ethan

      What do you mean this is not good? 150 million production budget, and it should end up somewhere between 500 and 600 worldwide.

      The speculators thought it would make more, but they forgot 2 things: First, it’s way too violent and dark to reach the babysitting crowd, and second, the teenagers went to see Hangover 2. So are the times.

      It should have legs though… I’m seeing it again today just so I can throw off their early estimates, it’ll be one more :)

      • http://tresswygert.com Tres Swygert

        I can see the movie making more overseas than in the States, seeing more blockbuster movies in the States are coming out soon. Not to mention that it’s harder to get more money in the second weekend for the box office. X-Men: First Class is coming out this Friday, so that’ll give more challenge for KFP 2 this coming weekend.

        I’m thinking instead of $500-600, it’s going to be $400-500. Unless the international support is superb. But yeah, I still think not making as much as your predecessor is not good.

      • Ethan

        Hmmm, I’m still optimistic, looking at the early oversea numbers, it could do 30/70 domestic/foreign, so with 200 domestic, it could end up at 666 millions total.

        In america, I saw that some christian family associations and family-centric online reviews recommended parents to avoid this film (it’s teaching the wrong values, or something). In the past, when this happened, it caused a pretty large difference between US and overseas. 30/70 should be a good guess?

      • http://tresswygert.com Tres Swygert

        Yeah, you could say 30/70 is a good estimate in how it would turn out. If not that, maybe 40/60. The viewing overseas will definitely provide the backbone for this film in the box office.

        It will be interesting to see if it’ll reach up to $600 mil (I’m thinking it’ll make as much as Madagascar did.

        Interesting to hear of Christian reviews directing to steer the audiences from watching KFP 2. Do you remember anything they mentioned as to what they were sharing that was not moral?

      • Ethan

        From memory, it wasn’t about “morals” exactly, just values and views. I understood the problem was mostly about the strong Confucianism and Taoist views in the film, that the Universe is deterministic, not controlled by anyone. It’s obviously incompatible with teachings of monotheist religions (that one true god rewards, punishes, and controls willfully). Problem also about the plot line of Po having “inner demons” which the film explained and resolved by pure psychology, internal personal strength and meditation. That was supposedly wrong, because inner demons are only rid of by praying (therefore with an external strength, god).

        I also saw a thing about Peacocks supposedly representing the church in scriptures, so a bad guy being a despotic peacock insinuates the church is evil, but it doesn’t make sense because the peafowl in KFP2 are a introduced as very benevolent rulers, they just had one bad apple. Also, peafowl are positive symbols in oriental cultures too. So I don’t see the issue.

        There was nothing in the film for anyone to be riled up about. I wish they would teach their children about different cultures and spiritualities instead of hiding them. Kung Fu is Confucianism (pure philosophy and ethics), which gave birth to Taoism (added spirituality and mystical elements). There. It exists. Other culture.

      • Ethan

        So, I’ve been trying REALLY hard to open that BIG can of worms, unaware of the consequences. Hopefully the Internet slapped me on the wrist repeatedly. Thank you, Internet :-)

    • http://www.sfs.org.sg/animation Dave

      I don’t think anyone at Dreamworks will be crying..

      http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hangover-part-ii-biggest-comedy-192954

      “DreamWorks Animation and Paramount’s Kung Fu Panda 2 also contributed to the boom, grossing $53.8 million in its first four days (like Hangover, Panda opened on Thursday). The 3D toon should end Monday with a five-day total of $68.2.

      Kung Fu Panda impressed overseas, where it grossed a mighty $57 million from 8,023 markets in only 11 territories. In seven territories, it scored the best opening ever for an animated title and in China, scored the biggest opening of all time for a foreign film in grossing $18.5 million. “

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

    I thought this was an incredibly good sequel.
    Hooray!

  • Scarabim

    Saw it today in 2D in a mostly-empty theater.

    Technically, it’s very accomplished. Some of the effects, such as when Po juggles the cannonballs, are amazing. In fact, when it comes to technical eye candy, I’d say Dreamworks is the equal of Pixar now.

    But…the movie left me feeling kind of empty. The “who am I, where did I come from”? bit seemed forced. And once again, DW had Po preach to the bad guy and offer redemption, but the bad guy didn’t listen and got killed. And…I don’t know…it just wasn’t very satisfying, for some reason. Well, at least Po didn’t kill this one. And the ending – “My son is alive!” – WTF? We just got that happy reunion between Po and his feathered foster father. Revealing that Po still has a REAL father took all of the juice out of the prior scene.

    I doubt I’ll go see a third Panda, if it gets made. I think the Panda’s been over-exPOsed. (heh heh).

    • http://www.joestrike.com Joe Strike

      “once again, DW had Po preach to the bad guy and offer redemption, but the bad guy didn’t listen and got killed. And…I don’t know…it just wasn’t very satisfying, for some reason.”

      Yes, you nailed it. Po just didn’t know enough about Shen’s backstory to tell him that stuff – just like Shen didn’t know enough about Po’s to tell him ‘your parents didn’t love you’ DW wanted to hit the same emotional note they did in the 1st KFP but the story wasn’t there to back it up.

      The look on Tai Lung’s face when Shifu confesses his mistake in KFP1 is one of the most powerful character moments I’ve *ever* seen in an animated feature; I can’t blame DW for trying to make it happen again; too bad they couldn’t pull it off.

      • TsimoneTseTse

        “Your parents didn’t love you” was psychological warfare on Shen’s part from how he felt about being “betrayed” by his parents. Shen’s character was fleshed out more AND Oldman’s voice was golden whiched made for a more acceptable ending where he could have regained the throne as a more balevolent ruler (too close to New Groove?). Tai Lung, however, was a killer/warrior that would not have found redemption/subjugation acceptable – but I also found the final KFP battle a little flat (like Banta’s Hulk) No one has mentioned what happened to Shen’s “wolf” captain that tried to redeem himself.

        I can’t stand DW’s need to include bodily function humor in all of its releases – however – my family found the Chinese Dragon fight scene Hi-Larry-Us!!!

        KFP2?
        w-e l-o-v-e y-o-u g-u-y-s!!

        even in 3-D

    • A.C. the actor

      I also saw it yesterday in 2D, also mostly empty theatre. It’s a shame because I felt the movie is genuinely good. Not the best movie ever, but a very worthy follow-up to the original, which I actually re-watched the day before yesterday.
      But the oh-so-obvious sequel-hook ending bothered me as well. It completely undermined the movie’s message that just because your parent(s) adopted you, doesn’t make them any less your parent(s). “Oh, look, there’s Po’s REAL dad!”
      The bad thing, too, is I hadn’t seen some of the advertising so I wasn’t even aware that some had spoiled the “Po is not the last panda” fact, however…I still had a feeling that at the end they were going to do a reveal like that. It felt very obvious.
      Animation was positively gorgeous, especially the cannonball scene, as you said. I actually found Shen pretty intimidating, too. Like the metal on his talons were an excellent touch, very good choice.

  • The Obvious

    Saw the film today. “Kung Fu Panda 2″ missed a lot of opportunities for emotionally engaging the audience by filling every possible moment with action. The ending “reveal” added nothing to the story with the exception of setting up a sequel that I’m not really interested in seeing after this film. “Kung Fu Panda” is one of my favorite films, this film was absent most of that film’s charm and added little new depth, if any, to the characters from the first film.

    • Mark the witt

      Have to agree with everything you say about the lack of engaging with the characters! I have to say one thing that I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet..is it just me or is and has there always felt like a lack of weight behind the blows in the fight scenes in both movies? Especially in the first fight of KFP2 – when Po connects, the bad guys just fly off him without real meaning..also the weak sound effects don’t help either