Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda ★★★★

Kicking myself for not seeing this on the big screen back in the day, even though I was pretty damn sure I'd like it. Maybe I put it off when I heard there was a Jack Black cover of "Kung Fu Fighting" and had visions of "All-Star" in SHREK; wisely, it's kept til the credits, pop-culture references are avoided, there's no gratuitous love interest, and some questions (like Po's mysterious parentage) are intriguingly left unanswered. Hard to call a film based on so many obvious gags smart, and there's some annoying contrivances (the senior turtle's departure seems like it was written by the same guy who took Poochie back to his home planet), but for what it is, it's a direct line to my pleasure center for 80%+ of the run time.