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Kung Fu Panda - the Film and the Videogame

Updated on March 14, 2014

Kung Fu Panda is a Hit!

Dreamworks Studio has done it again. The best animated feature of 2008 and the summer's biggest animated blockbuster hit in 2008 is Kung Fu Panda. Released on June 6, 2008 in the U.S., Kung Fu Panda grossed nearly $190 millon in its first four weeks (more than Sex and the City in its first month of release!) The PG film features top talents, including Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and additional gifted actors who lend their voices to the Furious Five, Master Shifu, evil Kai Lung, and bumbling Po, the Panda Bear.

The Kung Fu Panda story is set in a rural Chinese village in the Valley of Peace. Po awakes from a vivid dream wherein he is fighting Kung Fu with the masters. Sadly, his life in reality is limited to serving up noodles to customers with his father - inexplicably, a goose. Meanwhile, high up on the mountain above, the Furious Five (Tigress, Mantis, Monkey, Viper and Crane) get set to try out in a ceremony for the honor of "Dragon Warrior," the chosen one who will defeat the evil Snow Leopard Kai Lung if he escapes from prison.

Po slips away from his noodle responsibilities and tries to get beyond the palace gates to witness the kung fu skills of the masters. Hilarity ensues as the panda bear finally explodes into the center of the square, just as Master Oogway, the wise old tortoise, is pointing at the Dragon Warrior. Could he really be choosing fat, clumsy Po? You must watch Kung Fu Panda to see this scene!

Po leads the pack at Kung Fu Panda
Po leads the pack at Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda Movie Trailer

Characters of Kung Fu Panda

Jack Black is masterful as the innocent, annoying Po in Kung Fu Panda. He knows he doesn't belong at the palace, but he gives it his all to learn Kung Fu skills, and even shows Master Shifu that he knows one or two secret tricks.

But Shifu and the Furious Five believe that Po is a fraud and should be driven out of the palace so that one of the true Masters can take the title of Dragon Warrior.

Rigorous training and embarrassing errors still do not get the message through to Po, however. Eventually, even Shifu comes to realize that he must accept by faith Oogway's selection of Po as the Dragon Warrior. And he must seriously work with Po to prepare him to face the evil Kai Lung, who will threaten the safety and lives of all the villagers in the Valley of Peace below.

The evil Kai Lung in Kung Fu Panda
The evil Kai Lung in Kung Fu Panda
Tiny Master Shifu shows Po how its done
Tiny Master Shifu shows Po how its done

Best Scenes of Kung Fu Panda

Some of the best scenes of Kung Fu Panda follow as Master Shifu, voiced by Dustin Hoffman, takes Po to a remote location to train him to face Kai Lung. Meanwhile, the Furious Five have left the palace to try to track down the enemy themselves, believing that their skills would be a better match.

Additional information about the story line will not be revealed, so as not to spoil the enjoyment of those that have not seen the film. As a mom of four children ages 5-10, I give it 4 out of 5 stars. The movie runs about 1 1/2 hours, and is entertaining throughout the entire time. It is rated PG, but only because of the mildly violent nature of the Kung Fu fighting. The villain is a little scary, but not as bad as some Disney films or other popular animated features. In fact, the story line may even rouse feelings of sympathy for Kai Lung.

Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda Merchandise

With the popularity of Kung Fu Panda, kids were clamoring for its merchandise! Not surprisingly, McDonald's tied in Happy Meal toys with the release of the film. Collectors are offering complete sets on eBay. There are a number of easy-to-read Kung Fu Panda books for young readers to enjoy. A soundtrack is also available, as shown to the right.

Posters, sticker books and more items may end up on gift lists for your children or their friends. However, the hottest deal is probably the Kung Fu Panda video game! Watch the trailer below. The game can be played on all current platforms (XBox 360, PS2, PS3, Wii, Nintendo DS and Microsoft Windows). It is rated "E" for Everyone, and recommended for ages 10 and up. It has both single and dual-player modes (multi-player and co-op). Much like the movie, the game takes you through a variety of environments, Kung Fu training and ultimate battle against Kai Lung and his minions.

There are 13 levels in the game in which players must overcome obstacles and solve puzzles in training to become the Dragon Warrior. Rating is based in part on mild language and "fantasy violence."

For a list of all cheats, click here!

Kung Fu Panda Gaming System

Should You Buy Kung Fu Panda?

For children, the Kung Fu Panda experience is definitely "awesome!"

And for parents, this movie is entertaining enough that you may want to go along to enjoy the antics of Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman too. Compared with the other recent animated movie release in 2008 (Wall-E), I would buy the DVD - and watch it - anyday!


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    • captainchris profile image

      captainchris 7 years ago

      An all time favorite! Thanks!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Jennykim - I love your avatar! And I'm with you too - Kung Fu Panda is one of my favorite movies in 2008! :-) Steph

    • jennykim profile image

      jennykim 9 years ago from Philippines

      This is a great movie! One of my favorites so far!..^^..well, it's obvious on my avatar, right?

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Coggster - I have yet to meet someone who has not loved Kung Fu Panda! Enjoy! - Steph

    • coggster profile image

      coggster 9 years ago

      I can't wait to see this movie. Everything, including this review and feedback, has got my expectations up. I mean Jack Black as a fighting panda bear. That has to be great.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Compu-Smart - what is not to like about a kung fu fighting panda bear? Yes, its very funny!

      Patty - it truly is enjoyable. I hope that you get a copy from your instructor friend. And taking costume tips from a tiny Shifu? Your class will love you for it. :-)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      From the reviews, this sounds like a genuinely good movie. My instructor friend in Michigan collects these movies and is sure to send one my way.

      I think I am going to find a costume like Shifu's for teaching my class. The Korean grandmaster's robe is just to gauzy for me so I wear the red-white & blue flag style uniforms. lol

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 9 years ago from London UK

      If this film is as funny as the title, its should be hilarious!!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Cailin - I think you'll enjoy it! Nothing like a summer weekend to go to a matinee. :)

    • Cailin Gallagher profile image

      Cailin Gallagher 9 years ago from New England

      I can't wait to bring my kids to this one! Thanks for the review!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi SweetiePie! Yes, my kids are begging me for the videogame. Of course, they all loved the Kung Fu Panda movie so much that they want to see it again. Thanks for passing the hub along. :-) Steph

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      This movie and game looks like something my niece and nephew would really like. I will pass this hub onto them. Thanks for the cute and informative hub.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Master Patty! That must be quite interesting...

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Yes...some of my students are also 3 feet taller than myself. And they also fall down a lot. :)

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      You really do have to go - Po is obviously based "largely" (no pun intended) on Jack Black's actual character. You'll have a great time at Kung Fu Panda, I promise. :-)

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 9 years ago from California


      Although I have only adult age "kids" they ALL want to see KUNG FU PANDA! We simply need to make it a family outing I guess! They are all Jack Black fans so we must see the flick!

    • chantelg4 profile image

      chantelg4 9 years ago from Northern Ontario

      My kids and I really enjoyed this movie and the laughs! Nice Hub!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I hope you like it Christine! Its definitely one of the best animated features I've seen in a long while! Steph

    • christinekv profile image

      christinekv 9 years ago from Washington

      After your enthusiastic, review I'm more interested in seeing this w/ my boys. Thanks!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Travelgirl - I truly am enthusiastic about this movie! I would not have otherwise reviewed it. Hope you and your son LOVE Kung Fu Panda.

      LDSNana - This will be great fun for both you and your granddaughter. My own daughter is 5 and she giggled with laughter throughout the entire movie. I would say that you should get to McDonald's soon because the Kung Fu Panda toys may not be there much longer! (they'll cost you more on eBay - LOL). Have fun! Steph

    • LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

      Kathryn Skaggs 9 years ago from Southern California

      I can't wait to see Kung fo Panda. I am going with my little grand-daughter this week. I guess it will need to include a trip to McDonald's as well. You make this movie sound so much fun. I am a fan of Pixar when it comes to these animated films. They do an incredible job. the characters look very engaging for children as as well.




    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Robie, yes! The movie has so many great messages. The one that also comes through is never give up! Po the Panda Bear keeps on fighting no matter what the others think of him. Thank you! - Steph

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 9 years ago from Central New Jersey

      Loved the trailer--love the character of Kung Fu Panda. He's a great role model for kids who are not slim and athletic--and loved your review. Here's to Dreamworks and to you.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Solarshingles - you have an excellent point. We saw Kung Fu Panda about 2 weeks ago and my kids are still constantly imitating the moves (and arguing over who gets to be Shifu and who gets to be Po). The soundtrack for the film includes a re-mix of "Kung Fu Fighting" and some pop songs, as well as Chinese music. Like the movie, something for everyone. And the game - well, it looks fabulous. I see a trip to Target Superstore in my near future.

      Amy - yes, this movie is not just for the boys! I haven't written a movie review Hub yet, but I thought Kung Fu Panda was particularly good, fun for the kids and something that parents would enjoy as well. It is worth the price of admission at the theatre!

      Eileen, you have hit the nail on the head. I wonder how many people from which the nearly $190 million the film has made so far were adults over the age of 18? A fair number I would say! Dreamworks was ingenious in their selection of actors to voice the characters. I would be surprised if this movie wasn't up for Oscar consideration next year (I know, I know - the year is young....)

      ChrisSnil - only a few more days before it hits theatres in the UK. Sometimes movies have so much hype and then they disappoint. Kung Fu Panda is a refreshing exception to that rule. I hope you see it and enjoy! - Steph

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Creativita - thank you! Kung Fu Panda certainly is great balls of white and black fur! LOL!

      Louie - even if you are not a kung fu fan, you may enjoy Kung Fu Panda if you liked Madagascar. Talking animals with human qualities and a lot of funny lines. I understand Madagascar2 is coming out later this fall. It looks pretty funny to me based on the trailer, but I give this one the edge based on originality!

      DiamondRN - thank you! I really do not think you'll be disappointed. Adults in particular will laugh at the actors' voices behind the characters. The animation is gorgeous and the story line clips along at a fast, fun pace.

    • ChrisSnil profile image

      ChrisSnil 9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very much looking forward to the film when it comes out here in the UK :)

      Am usually very skeptical when it comes to games based on films - but this one actually looks pretty decent, certainly one to watch for getting in future :)

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      You have shown it so well. I would love to see these, lets face it we are still kids at heart. Dont you agree.

      Why should the kids have all the fun. Great hub thanks for that

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Kung Fu Panda looks like tons of fun! My girls will definitely like this. Thanks for the detailed review!

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 9 years ago from london

      I love this movies and games. We had real fighters like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, our kids have Kung Fu Panda and similar heroes. These video trailers and especially their music also remind me to Quentin Tarantino's films.

    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 9 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      Thanks for the heads up. I was wondering what the stir was all about. I'll have to go see it now!

    • Louie Jerome profile image

      Louie Jerome 9 years ago from UK

      We have only just started to get the trailers for this film here in UK. I'm not sure it's for me, but I loved Madagascar which seems to be the same type of film, so you just never know. Great hub!

    • profile image

      Creativita 9 years ago

      Great Balls of White and Black Fur!! Verrrrrrrrrrrry Interesssssssssssting hub, StephHicks...keep up the good work.