MPAA Rating: PG, for sequences of martial arts action
Age range: Ages 4 and up
Runtime: 91 minutes
Starring: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
Release Date: June 6, 2008
Kung Fu Panda - Summary
When he's not working in his father's noodle shop, Po the panda (Jack Black) loves dreaming about kung fu and the Furious Five - Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Crane (David Cross), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu) and Monkey (Jackie Chan). The kung fu heroes train under Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), and Po is very excited when he learns that the long foretold day has finally arrived for Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) to choose one of the Five to be the illustrious Dragon Warrior. Surprisingly, Oogway does not choose one of the Five; his old and wise tortoise finger points to none other than the gigantic panda, Po.
The Dragon Warrior is said to be the only one who can defeat Tai Lung (Ian McShane), a terrible snow leopard who has mastered the art of kung fu and will stop at nothing to become the powerful Dragon Warrior. The Furious Five are furious about Master Oogway's decision, but none more so than Master Shifu, who has worked hard in preparing the Five so that one of them might receive the ancient honor. The kung fu masters try to get rid of Po, but he does not give up.
When Tai Lung breaks out of prison, the Five take it upon themselves to defeat him. Their failure to do so strikes fear into the hearts of everyone, and Tai Lung sets his sights on the Dragon Warrior - huge and harmless Po. Even with Master Shifu's training, Po seems to stand little chance against the powerful Tai Lung. Maybe Master Oogway was wrong. Will Po meet an untimely demise due to a mistaken destiny?
Kung Fu Panda - Guide Review for Parents
Kung Fu Panda delivers a fun story, unique characters, and animation that is, in the words of Po, AWESOME! The fast-paced animated action immerses viewers in an Asian-inspired world where talking animals revere the ancient tradition of kung fu. Although the story is predictable, the movie is still interesting and funny for both parents and kids. However, expect that small children may leave the theater screaming "Hi-ya!" and hitting or kicking anything they can.
With a title like "Kung Fu Panda," you would expect a lot of martial arts fighting, but this kids' movie has a LOT of martial arts fighting. Characters spar, delivering strong blows that result in relatively minor and brief injury. The movie also contains other types of physical comedy where injury without real consequence is the focus of the joke. Older kids will get that it is all make believe, but little ones may decide that kung fu looks like a fun thing to practice on anyone, anywhere. It is also important to note that weapons such as throwing stars, swords, and archery bows are shown or used in a few scenes.
While the fighting is broken up by a lot of comedy, small children may be frightened by Tai Lung. He is portrayed as diabolical and mean, and his prison break has him besting a legion of gruff rhino guards despite their armor and weapons. Some children may also be disturbed by the peaceful passing of one character and another character who looks to have been killed by Tai Lung but turns out to be fine.
Characters in the movie talk quite a bit about fighting, and use threatening words as they spar. Some characters also make fun of Po and insult him due to his large size. At one point in the movie, Po laments about how much he "sucks" as a kung fu fighter, but the moral point of the story is that he must learn to look within himself to find his own greatness.
Kung Fu Panda - Content OverviewThe following lists a few of the most prominent examples of possibly offensive content in the movie (may contain spoilers):
- Most of the movie is made up of martial arts fighting scenes. Characters hit, punch and throw each other among other things. When Po begins his training, Shifu tells him that the only souvenirs they care about are "bloody knuckles and broken bones."
- Tai Lung breaks out of the prison where he has been bound by chains and a shell of immobilizing armor. He breaks free and goes after the hundreds of rhino guards. They try to stop him using weapons including cross bows, javelins, axes, and even dynamite, but he easily beats them all with his martial arts prowess.
- The Furious Five go after Tai Lung and attempt to fight him. He beats them all and they stagger into the training center beaten and bruised. Tai Lung also fights Shifu and Po. Characters are hit, kicked, thrown into walls, and more. One character seems to have died, and another is assumed to have died in a flash of light after a certain kung fu move is performed.
- Po puts two bowls on his chest and other characters laugh.
- Po gets hit between the legs and remarks, "Oh, my tenders."
Bad/Disrespectful Behavior (Medium)
- Po declares that while doing kung fu he "sucked worse than anyone in the history of sucking."
- The Furious Five mock Po and try to get him to quit. Po is mocked for being "fat" or "flabby."
- Tai Lung is bitter about not being named the Dragon Warrior. He fights Shifu, the Five and Po so that he can obtain the Dragon Scroll.
Scary Scenes (High)
- The scenes listed under violence may be particularly frightening for young children.
- Some children may fear for Po when he has to face a dangerous gauntlet during his training.
Sad/Unsettling Scenes (Medium)
- A character says goodbye and disappears into the wind.
- A character explains Shifu's sadness about Tai Lung's rebellion.
- Characters are sad that another character has died, but it turns out that he is actually fine.
Kung Fu Panda - Discuss the Movie
- After watching Kung Fu Panda, children may have questions about the following topics: kung fu, martial arts, ancient prophesies, kung fu masters, prisons, destiny, finding power from within, carrying on the family business, eating due to being upset, being overweight.