Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) – Jennifer Yu Nelson

It’s hard to find too much objectionable about Kung Fu Panda 2. It’s also difficult to find anything memorable. The world needs movies like this though, one’s with very little to hang its hat on (Gary Oldman’s raucous villain) and not much else. It’s a placeholder between movies about real things and not martial arts animals trying to protect a nebulous China from modern warfare. One’s enjoyment may hinge on how many details one remembers from the original Kung Fu Panda (not many, in my case) but once the movie begins it’s roll down Silly Hill it doesn’t stop until the credits and once it does you realize you haven’t seen anything of importance but you haven’t had to look at spreadsheets or read the news either. It does give one a certain appreciation for a movie like The Adventures of Tintin, which is just as breakneck and has a plot just as silly and characters just as two-dimensional but so much more fun. The best part of Kung Fu Panda 2 is the variety of animation styles, though it’s mostly computer animated, there is some hand drawn work during flashbacks that’s impressive and an opening prologue that achieves a kind of beauty.

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