Peter Spencer’s review published on Letterboxd:
Prepare for awesome-ness!
When I first heard about this film, I had doubts. But after watching it, it was freakin' awesome!
Epic cast; Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Ian McShane, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Seth Rogan, James Hong and Randall Duk Kim. Although, I would assume Mako Iwamatsu would've been considered the role as Master Oogway. Perhaps the studio were thinking about before his passing.
Anyway, I thought the film was very funny, and the fight scenes were epic. Brilliant characters too.
Po: a hardcore geek fanboy of kung fu. Always dreams about being learning kung fu, until dream finally comes true. At first, he seems incapable of mastering kung fu, until after some "unusual" methods, he quickly adapts. Despite his appearance, he is a true hero.
Shifu: Shifu is very intense throughout the film. It is revealed that he failed with Tai Long, whom he had high hopes for. When he hears from Oogway that Tai Long will escape, Shifu tries to avert this. But his fear of the news, as well as his need to control everything only made Oogway's vision come true. Eventually though, after training Po, Shifu finally became in peace with himself.
Tai Long: an egomaniac and villain in the film. Tai Long felt betrayed that he was denied the right to become the Dragon Warrior. But you can't help but feel a little sorry for him; after everything he's done, the pain he endured, the path he chose, only to find that the Dragon Warrior scroll was empty (in reality, it was a placebo effect, to give a message that the true power was within). Unlike Po, who accepted this, Tai Long was furious that he went through everything for nothing. What's amusing is that throughout the film Tai Long is a real bad ass; defeated a thousand tough rhino warriors, the Furious Five and even his old master. But when he went up against Po the panda, he was no match! Ironic, huh?!
Oogway: a wiseman of kung fu, who invented it. Oogway was kind, patient, wise and pure. A very sad departure that he left. But his words of wisdom did inspire me, what he told Po; "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why they call it present." I play that in my head everytime, and I try to follow that, learning to let it go and move on.
This was a pretty cool animated film, better than Shrek and Madagascar. I hope one day they'll make a crossover film with How To Train Your Dragon. That'll be sooo cool!