It was inevitable that Kung Fu Panda would get a sequel and eventually become a trilogy. With it’s second instalment, it’s hard not to fall in love with the idea all over again. The same ingredients, the same recipe, how can it fail? Clearly the studio played it really safe with this one, not trying anything new, just sticking to the tried and tested, can you blame them?
The team is back, this time with a nasty peacock as the villain, and seemingly fresh message about inner peace. The same voices, so the same complaints from our end in that department. Nothing new and innovative is also a let down. It’s clear that the technology behind CGI has advanced, so we were kind of hoping the animation would be a lot more stand out.
There is a segment towards the end of the film were Po and some of the other team are wet because of some horrible business involving boats and canons, it is clear at this point at how behind the animation department really is at Dreamworks. You must compare it with Pixar’s Ratatouille, were achieving the wet look was already mastered a year before the release of the original Kung Fu Panda. Instead of spending millions on talented live action actors, it could have been better spent on bettering the medium at hand, namely CGI.
With everything feeling recycled, you’re left wanting more from part 2. The story to Po and his origin is expanded only to be completely torn down at the very end, which if you’re totally invested by this point is very emotionally frustrating. So, you have no choice to wait 5 years for part 3, so harsh!
Again, there is a message of philosophical proportions, and this is to find inner peace. Again Master Shifu congratulates Po for finding inner peace and then comically adds, “at such a young age,” almost to suggest that most of us won’t find inner peace till we’re old and past the bloom of youth. Whatever the case, inner peace is powerful, and if there is anything to take away from this sequel let it be that.