Kung Fu Panda 3, from DreamWorks Animation, is the third film in the popular Kung Fu Panda animated series. Here, many questions are answered without very many left over, including more about Po’s (Jack Black) past. Warning: Spoilers ahead!
The film starts with a familiar tortoise happily meditating in the spirit realm next to a peach tree. Master Oogway (Randell Duk Kim) is then attacked by his old friend turned enemy, the evil spirt Kai (J.K. Simmons). As Kai defeats Oogway and is stealing his chi, Oogway tells Kai that he will be defeated by a master of chi, the Dragon Warrior. From there, Kai finally escapes the spirit realm after 500 years of being trapped there. Going to the Jade Palace, Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), tells Po that he must now teach the Furious Five. After humiliating himself with his teaching attempt, Po learns from Shifu about the power of chi, the energy that flows through and connects all living things. Jump forward a little bit, Po is encountered by none other than his birth father, Li Shan (Bryan Cranston), and is told about a secret village of pandas hidden deep within the mountains. Soon after this, Po, Shifu, and the Furious Five encounter the “jade zombies” (jombies), which are just the Kung Fu masters being controlled by Kai after he has stollen their chi. Po finds that he must learn how to master the power of chi in time to stop Kai and learns that the pandas 500 years ago could use chi. Li Shan convinces Po that if he comes back to the village, they will be able to teach Po how to use chi. Once there, Po has to then get all of the pandas ready for an attack from Kai, none of which goes as planned.
One of the things that was great about this movie was the dialogue. As typical with a DreamWorks movie, comedy is everywhere. The majority of the jokes and comedy are really funny, with only a few groan-inducing moments. But more than that, the dialogue was very well done, and made everything flow together in one fantastic piece. Nothing was left unexplained, there were no flubs in the language, and every time a character made an important speech, sad and heart warming or filled with energy at the start of a battle, it really made you feel what the animated characters were feeling.
Another thing that was fantastic about the movie was how many of the unanswered questions left by the previous two movies finally got their answers. And more than that, the way that some of those questions were resolved were very fitting and not so far out there. We find out that Po isn’t that last of his kind and that he still has a father. They reveal some of Oogway’s past and with the fact that he was over 500 years old. They finally linked chi into the Po’s training and how it is used. Even a few smaller questions were answered that weren’t story involved, like what Po’s birth name was.
One part of the film that wasn’t so great was Kai’s interactions with Po, or really the lack there of. It would have been nice if there had been a better interaction between the two characters, instead of just one fight, although it was a well done fight scene. But other than that one thing, there wasn’t much else that was wrong with it or done poorly.
Kung Fu Panda 3 was a fantastic movie and a great way to possibly end the movie series. With awesome dialogue, great animation, and an ending that left more answered questions than not, this movie could really have only used a little more antagonist interaction with not just the main protagonist, but everyone else as well. Overall, Kung Fu Panda 3 was amazing and gets a full 4 out of 4 stars.