"Kung Fu Panda" in IMAX

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What a refreshing comic experience…you must see Kung Fu Panda. It has been a long time since I have been to an animated feature that was so much fun. The IMAX film experience was gorgeous. If you see the film this is the way to see it. Jack Black is brilliant as Po the overweight not ready for prime time kung fu master. The story is what makes this movie sing. Dustin Hoffman as the voice of Master Shifu was a much unexpected performance. I loved him. Considering he is playing against type, I was very impressed. Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Ian McShane, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Michael Clark Duncan, Randall Duk Kim, James Hong and Dan Fogler provided some of voices for this great film. Mark Osborne and John Stevenson did a excellent job directing an animated film with very realistic kung fu action sequences. The film has some of the most beautiful art direction. Fantastic colors weaved into a world with a masterful mystical landscape. You can see the influence of some Manga, Kung fu and Asian filmmaking. The animation was refined state of the art work. I never felt like I was taken out of the world of Po. The facial expressions and kung fu fights demonstrated some of the cream of the crop talent at Dreamworks. Unlike many other furry animated films, this one had a refined touch that never made me feel like I was watching furry critters. I was completely absorbed into the world.

Jack Black plays Po a dreamer turned reluctant hero. He dreams of becoming a kung fu master as part of a team of five skilled legendary masters, The furious five are living in a compound above the city training with Master Shifu. Po lives a very simple life with his father. Fate decides it has bigger plans for Po. Po is easy to embrace and relate to as a character. All of us have been at this crucial turning point in our lives…we cheer for Po because we want to know that our dreams do come true.

I highly recommend this film for families, kids and anyone who loves Kung Fu movies. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t like this film. Dreamworks Animation has evolved into a storytelling master in it’s own right. I am looking forward to seeing more…

*****
Weak: 1 Star   Average: 2 Stars   Good: 3 Stars   Very Good: 4 Stars   Excellent: 5 Stars

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About Author

Akiko Ashley

Akiko Ashley is Founder and Partner in Luminetik Studios in Santa Monica California. Akiko has worked in the entertainment industry for over 30 years in video games, music, and film (producer, VFX producer, and animation production). Luminetik has done a full CG short based on their own IP ahead of it's time in "Kuriocity" with two female leads in 2007. Luminetik has worked done VFX for motion pictures, television, & commercials including a set of Superbowl Commercials for Arm & Hammer starring Jason Giambi. Akiko helped Luminetik become one of the first sponsors of DV Expo in NYC. Akiko has been a strategic advisor to Architosh magazine for 10 years and has been on the Advisory Board of Keyframe Magazine and HDRI Magazine. Akiko has been a speaker at SIGGRAPH, and did speaking engagements at Art Institute for for IGDA. Currently Akiko is freelance producer, and freelance editor and writer for young adult books, comics and magazines. In addition she is a photographer capturing candid moments of celebrities and other well known personalities.

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