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Kung Fu Panda Two - Pack (Kung Fu Panda Widescreen Edition + Secrets of the Furious Five) by John Stevenson, Mark Osborne, Raman Hui (Directors)
Review by Charles Mohapel
Dreamworks Animated DVD  ISBN/ITEM#: B001G6E7QK
Date: 01December 2008 List Price $34.98 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Upon first seeing a trailer for Kung Fu Panda, I just knew it would be a hilarious animated film. Once again Jack Black is in his element as the even more well-rounded Po, the Giant Panda. Obviously the adopted son of Mr. Ping, the Chinese Goose, Po dreams of being the most awesome Kung Fu master in the world and hanging around with the Furious Five, at least not when they're fighting against overwhelming odds.

Cast:

    Jack Black ... Po, the Giant Panda (voice)
    Dustin Hoffman ... Master Shifu, the Red Panda (voice)
    Angelina Jolie ... Master Tigress, the South China Tiger (voice)
    Ian McShane ... Tai Lung, the Snow Leopard (voice)
    Jackie Chan ... Master Monkey, the Gee's Golden Langur (voice)
    Seth Rogen ... Master Mantis, the Mantis (voice)
    Lucy Liu ... Master Viper, the Green Tree Viper (voice)
    David Cross ... Master Crane, the Red-crowned Crane (voice)
    Randall Duk Kim ... Master Oogway, the Galápagos Tortoise (voice)
    James Hong ... Mr. Ping, the Chinese Goose (voice)
    Dan Fogler ... Zeng, the Chinese Goose (voice)
    Michael Clarke Duncan ... Commander Vachir, the Javan Rhinoceros (voice)
    Wayne Knight ... Gang Boss (voice)

Kung Fu Panda Disc Includes:

Kung Fu Panda
With daydreams of being the most awesome Kung Fu master in all of China dancing through his mind, the make believe world of Po the portly panda comes to a screeching halt at the sound of his father's voice. All Po's father, Mr. Ping the goose, can think of is noodles. When Po speaks of going to the Jade Palace where Crane, Mantis, Monkey, Tigress, and Viper will compete to be chosen as China's Dragon Warrior, Ping tells him that he will sell noodles to everyone present.

After being delayed and arriving just in time to see the palace gates closing in his face, Po goes to great lengths to get in and ends up launching himself over the palace gates and literally crashing the ceremony. When aging Master Oogway declares Po to be the next Dragon Warrior, everyone is stunned, not the least of which is Po himself.

Beginning his training under the skeptical Master Shifu, Po absorbs the kind of punishment once seen in the Merry Melodies, yet he stubbornly refuses to quit. When asked by Master Shifu why he doesn't quit, Po replies that they've done nothing to him he hasn't faced before. These words and Po's determination earned Master Shifu's grudging respect and he realizes that he will have to create completely new methods to train Po to defeat the evil Tai Lung.

When Tigress, Monkey, Mantis, and Viper all fall victim to Tai Lung's special nerve-strike and Crane is defeated , Master Shifu attempts to defeat him. Before Tai Lung can kill Master Shifu, Po challenges Tai Lung. The resulting battle produces the kind of scenery destroying action that reminded me of Obelix, the equally portly Gaul in the Asterix comics written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. If Po and Obelix bump bellies, I believe the result would be a Magnitude 4 earthquake at least.

Special Features
Filmmaker Commentary – view the film with Directors John Stevenson and Mark Osborne

Meet The Cast
This is one of the more hilarious bonus features on the disc.

Pushing The Boundaries
'OUTSTANDING' was the first word that came to mind when watching how Directors John Stevenson and Mark Osborne and their very talented animators pushed the boundaries of animation.

Sound Design
An interesting short feature.

"Kung Fu Fighting" Music Video by Cee-Lo
If only they had used the original vocals by Carl Douglas with the video.

Mr. Ping's Noodle House
Watching Danny Yip, Executive Pasta Chef at 'Mr. Chow' in Beverly Hills was like watching a master hand tossing pizza dough. Surprisingly enough I found this quite entertaining.

How To Use Chopsticks
Aimed at a younger audience, you too can learn to eat properly with chopsticks.

Conservation International: Help Save Wild Pandas
With Humanity encroaching steadily on the habitat of the wild panda in China, the very survival of this species is seriously threatened. If you love animals, help these gentle giants.

Dragon Warrior Training Academy
This is a hilarious little interactive game.

Printables & Weblinks
Insert this disc into your PC for cool stuff for kids.

Dreamworks Animation Video Jukebox
Another funny feature.

Trailers:
Monsters vs. Aliens (In Theaters in March 2009)
Watching this trailer immediately brought Monsters, Inc. to mind, at least from a visual viewpoint.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (In Theaters in November 7, 2008)
If you loved Madagascar, go see it. If you missed Madagascar, go rent it, then go see Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa in the theaters.

Secrets of the Furious Five
This is a fun teaser that gives you a peek at what lies on the second disc in this twin pack.


Secrets of the Furious Five Disc Includes:

Secrets of the Furious Five
This featurette follows Po, now the most junior of Kung Fu masters, as he takes on his very first task – teaching the newest students. The lesson he teaches them is that Mantis, Viper, Crane, Tigress, and Monkey all needed to learn one different life lesson before they could truly become Kung Fu masters.

Po's Power Play

  • Learn To Draw – good for kids with artistic talent
  • Dumpling Shuffle – a cute game
  • Pandemonium Activity Kit (PC needed)
    • Sound Machine
    • Printables
    • Kung Fu Panda Activision Video Game Demo
    • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Activision Video Game Demo
    • Requirements

Land Of The Panda

  • Learn The Panda Dance – Geared towards pre-schoolers
  • Do You Kung Fu? – Talented young karate students demonstrate movements from the real Mantis, Viper, Crane, Tigress, and Monkey styles of Kung Fu, as well as the fictional Panda style.
  • Inside The Chinese Zodiac – Find your Year of Birth and see what sign of the Chinese Zodiac you were born under.
  • Animals Of Kung Fu Panda
  • What Fighting Style Are You? – A fun game where you answer a quiz and find out what your 'fighting' style is.

According to Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung_Fu_Panda ), "Jeffrey Katzenberg has publicly stated that because the film's premiere exceeded expectations, a Kung Fu Panda series of up to six films was likely, depending on the overall performance of the initial film's release. With the subsequent strong box office performance of the film, preproduction of the first sequel is underway. On October 2, 2008, it was announced that the sequel would be called Pandamonium and would appear in theaters in June 2011."

My Opinion
As much fun as it was to watch Kung Fu Panda on the silver screen with a theatre full of screaming kids and laughing adults, this 2-pack is probably better. Now you can pause, rewind, or replay and catch everything that you missed the first time, all to your hearts content.

This is another movie for kids of all ages and lovers of animation.

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