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May 28, 2011

‘Kung Fu Panda 2′ review: Animation and 3D with an emotional kick

Posted in: Movies

"Kung Fu Panda 2." (Courtesy of DreamWorks Animation)

"Kung Fu Panda 2." (Courtesy of DreamWorks Animation)

The impressive voice cast of “Kung Fu Panda 2″ — one which includes Jack Black as Po, Angelina Jolie as Tigress, Dustin Hoffman as Shifu, Jackie Chan as Monkey, Seth Rogen as Mantis, Lucy Liu as Viper and David Cross as Crane — is equalled by the film’s visual accomplishments, according to Times’ film critic Betsy Sharkey:

There is much less of the comic book sketching-voice-over combo that was used liberally in the first “Panda” to fill in the blanks. And that is a good thing. For “Panda 2″ is not just wall-to-wall animation, it is artistry of the highest order. I don’t know whether it’s the technology that’s changed, or that the artists, most of whom worked on the first, have grown, but there is a striking new level of emotion in the characters themselves, particularly their eyes, that does much to, well, animate the film. That expressiveness combined with the talented voice cast brings a nuance, a sense of reality that is hard to achieve in animation.

Sharkey goes on to extol the virtues of the film’s 3-D, a technology that seems to add more debate than quality to summer these days.

What makes it appealing in “Panda 2″ is how deeply embedded it is within the film. It’s not just the random fireball being hurled right at us, but that the entire world of Po feels as if it has been carved out of space, rather than sketched out on a page.

Read the entire review here.

– Jevon Phillips

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