Kung Fu Panda 2 Is Kickin’

Three years ago, I rolled my eyes at the thought of liking, let alone tolerating, Kung Fu Panda. Cartoon animals performing martial arts equaled lame in my book. Despite the fact that I have a habit of seeing everything that comes out in the movie theaters, I skipped it. A year later, I was floored when I saw it on HBO. Yes, it was corny and tested just how many “fat jokes” it could squeeze into one flick, but it was also beautiful. Beneath the comedy was the perfect introduction to the “hero’s journey” for the juice box set. The savior of kung-fu was to be the most unlikely individual, an out of shape panda named Po raised by a goose. He overcame his limitations and gained the respect of legendary warriors. End of story, right? Right. So cue the unnecessary sequel. Only, you know what? It’s very necessary and surprisingly deep. The coolest part about this series? It takes its mythology very seriously in very silly world. Like all second chapters in a story, the protagonist is plunged into his darkest moment and his escape seems improbably.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.