Kung Fu Panda 3: Colorful, but Standard

Antonio Gamez

Co-Editor in Chief

2016 is here, and its slate of film releases has begun with a few hits, including Kung Fu Panda 3. Much like other family film series, not every film in the Kung Fu Panda series has to be seen to enjoy whatever comes next. An essential key for a good family film is being simple, though Kung Fu Panda 3 may have been too simple.

Kung Fu Panda 3 continues the story of Po (Jack Black), who finally meets his biological father (Bryan Cranston) for the first time. However, an evil villain from the Spirit Realm arrives to destroy all of the remaining kung fu masters in China.

Kung Fu Panda 3 manages to satisfy in what modern family movies are so good at: Being fun.

The engaging cast, the easy-to-follow story, and the creative method of blending the typical CG animation with the Chinese-inspired 2D animation, makes this film one of the better defined animated films. From a visual and performance standpoint.

Simple is always good for family films, but simplicity is where Kung Fu Panda 3 falls short.

The “be yourself” message is there, and it’s delivered in a way that is understandable. However, I can’t help but feel that the way this film promoted said message wasn’t all that developed. It’s more of a repeated claim that doesn’t have any sustainability other than that you can succeed, though that success might just be for the sake of avoiding being too dark for kids.

Kung Fu Panda 3 runs at around 95 minutes long, and is perhaps the shortest 95 minutes of my life. I believed the film’s concept held much potential in deeper plot elements and expanding the “be yourself” message in a different style, but this short running time caused the film to disregard that potential.

Kung Fu Panda 3 is enjoyable and colorful, but standard in its roots. Families will be left satisfied (especially younger kids), but there’s nothing new or extraordinary here.


Rating: 3/5

Kung Fu Panda 3 is rated PG for martial arts action and some mild rude humor.


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