The king of comedy
There are only a handful of sequels — The Godfather-Part II, for example — that it can be said improves upon the original. Thankfully, the follow-up to the 2008 animated hit is one of them.india Updated: May 27, 2011 23:50 IST
Kung Fu Panda 2
Direction: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Voices: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie
There are only a handful of sequels — The Godfather-Part II, for example — that it can be said improves upon the original. Thankfully, the follow-up to the 2008 animated hit is one of them.
Po, the podgy panda (superbly reprised by Black) flexes his muscles again to save China from a new villain, an albino peacock (dubbed in appropriately terrifying tones by Gary Oldman) intent on conquering the country.
First-time feature film director Nelson relies on the simple story, for which Guillermo Del Toro is co-credited as consultant, to keep viewers engrossed. The whiplash wit and whirlwind action sequences are matched by a visual panache that is breathtaking.
Though they are not given as much screen time as in the first film, Po’s warrior-comrades (returning vocal talent Jolie, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu and Seth Rogen) are still infectiously endearing.
Among the roster of newbie characters count a reformed crocodile criminal (voiced, in a casting coup of sorts, by Jean-Claude Van Damme) and a goat-soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh).
The swooping camera movements, background details and sound design are rendered with a meticulous attention to detail. The fundamental message — it’s essential to find inner peace in order to achieve one’s goal — is forcefully conveyed.
The encounters between Po and his adoptive father-goose (James Hong, wonderfully expressive) are as heart-warming as they are hilarious.
Few recent films, animated or live-action, have displayed the ceaselessly comic creativity of Kung Fu Panda 2. Here, then, is one of those rare sequels that will leave you wanting more, more and even more.
First Published: May 27, 2011 23:45 IST