Ethan T’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Kung Fu Panda trilogy was pretty much my childhood, especially 1 and 2. I remember loving them and rewatching them multiple times when I was younger, and considering I haven’t seen the first two since I was 11, I decided to see if they still held up or if I was just blinded by nostalgia.
This movie is 12 years old....12 years later since I first watched it, it still holds up. While the CG hasn’t aged perfectly; it’s nowhere near bad, and the animation is still incredible. It still is an stunning looking movie visually, and filled with creativity.
How does one make a fight over a dumpling so engaging and creative?
It’s that scene and a hundred more that are executed insanely well from action, but at the centre of its core, the messages and the characters resonate.
Po, Shifu, Tigress and Tai Lung are some examples of the characters who all battle with their fears of failure and not being able to live up to their masters and their purposes, but it’s those who learn to believe in not only themselves but also in others who truly grow from this. It’s satisfying to see, and even all the small details, even from the dumping fight play a huge role in that final battle. It’s executed fantastically for a family film with such a short run time.
It works. This movie really works. I can’t wait to rewatch the sequel.