: Kung Fu Panda
I loved the concept of this, but it’s one of those easily messed up ones and I half-expected it to be disappointing. Instead, I loved it! It’s silly and goofy and clever, but never too much of any of them. For instance, the plot is pretty obvious — a unlikely Kung Fu warrior, a fat panda bear, saves the world — and most movies would try to complicate that with pointless sub-plots or feeble attempts at a surprise ending. This movie just accepts reality and gives you plenty of other entertainment besides the predictable plot, and thus it’s just enjoyable, not annoying. The jokes are a bit, um, heavy on the fatness of the main character, but he’s so lovable and doesn’t seem to mind and even uses his fatness as a weapon and thus such humor doesn’t come across as negative or in bad taste and we feel comfortable laughing when the panda struggles to get up the 1,000-step climb to the Kung Fu headquarters at the top of the mountain. The violence in the film is cartoony and harmless (no one dies or is even injured) so the film is appropriate for youngsters, but there’s enough here that adults will find it pleasant. The conclusive moral is terrific as well: what makes you great is belief, not destiny or some secret charm. The film doesn’t get much deeper than that, but that’s just fine for this kind of movie. Lots of fun and you don’t have to be a martial art fan to enjoy it.