I went to see Kung Fu Panda 3 with a friend of mine on Monday and let me tell you. I can finally scrub Norm of the North from my brain thank goodness for DreamWorks animation for they have done it again. another great work of brilliance from the Kung Fu Panda team, and I shall explain why.
Story: It turns out that Po is not the only living panda for a stranger comes into town turning out to be his real father. after spending time with him, they learn that a old ally of Master Oogway has imprisoned him and other Kung Fu masters with his jade-like powers. The pandas knew about a source of energy called chi that could be used for great power and so his real father (Not the goose) go to his village to teach Po this power to overcome the evil. From all that I have watched, this story get to things pretty quickly when telling its story but for the most part, it does it's job failry well in telling said story. No moments feel out of place and the humor is well written all thanks to the duo of Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger (Kung Fu Pandas 1 and 2) who don't miss a beat, even after doing the first two films.
Characters: Now, I never got around to reviewing the last two films since I didn't start reviewing till 2009 and I missed out on years 2011 and 2012 after my move into the Adult Foster care, but for this review, im just gonna talk about the new characters. First we have the villain Kai (J.K. Simmons, Oscar winner for Wiplash, and Farmers commercial guy) who is brought back to earth after defeating Oogway in the spirit realm using a power to turn his victims into harnessed chi that he can wield and send back at his opponents. He was the Brother-in-arms to Oogway but wanted to use chi for his own gain. Li Shan (Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, Trumbo) is the biological father to Po and a very caring leader of his people, er, pandas. He had lost Po before, but he wants nothing more then to not lose him again like any caring parent. Their really isn't in much of the way many new characters that benefit the story, but for what we have here, they really pull the job off well. Li Shan is a very passionate father and you can really hear that in Bryans readings of the character especially in the scene where him and Mr. Ping (Po's adopted father voiced by James Hong) have a heartwarming talk after being shot down by Po for over protecting him. As for the villain, yea he's cool, but he doesn't really carry that much weight (pun intended, you'll see when you watch the movie) of a character like Lord Shen (KFP2) or Tai-Lung (KFP1) All he pretty much is is Oogways old friend, who I supposed did help him out a lot, but the film didn't really help illustrate that all too much, but I still think he's great, just not a strong character as my favorite one, Lord Shen.
Animation: If their's one thing that Kung Fu Panda really sticks out for, well, TWO things its sticks out for Is the high action Kung Fu, and the gorgeous set pieces and color that really help set the mood of China. Every area is filled with great detail and lighting and help set the beautiful backdrops of China to a well deserved T. The action, while swift and somewhat blurry, is all choreographed to perfection and do not overstay their welcome, and both the animation and fighting complement each other like peanut butter and jelly, with set pieces being destroyed or used to fight, along with the special effects of light, smoke, color, and weather. In shorter words, This is a pretty film.
Music: what better way to show off the beautiful landscapes of china then with an oriental score to compliment it, and this film delivers once again, with some accompanying tunes from the previous KFP films. Our lord and savior Hans Zimmer (Lion King, Spirit, Inception) delivers to us, once again, the beautiful plucks and clashes of Chinese music to really help sing the praises of this film franchise. Everything from montage to subtle moments, Hans pretty much got it down pat.
All in all, this movie gets the score of 9 out of 10 for me. It is a must see for Kung Fu Panda fans, it is a must see for anyone who loves animation. It is a must for people who want a GOOD animated film in January. and last of all. IT IS A MUST for anyone who wants to scrub the horrendous leach that was Norm of the North out of their brains and into the pit of forgotten animation with other films like Food Fight and the Italian Titanic films. seriously, go watch Kung Fu Panda 3, you will thank that tumor caused by Norm of the North who suggested it to ya.