Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) – A Review
This is the third installment of Kung Fu Panda animated action-comedy movie series. This installment of the franchise has seen the reunion of the crew from the previous movie Kung Fu Panda 2. Jennifer Yuh Nelson is in the director’s role while Melissa Cobb is producing the project. Carloni was the supervisor of animation in the first installment and story artist in the second one, he joined Nelson as co-director upon her request to complete the film in time and strengthen up the directorial role. The story writing is again done by Glenn Berger and Jonathan Aibel and executive producer Guillermo del Toro is back in his role for this one.
The distribution work for this movie is done by 20th Century Fox and as the previous two installments, this one is also a co-production of DreamWorks Animation and Oriental DreamWorks. The screenplay has been written by Glenn Berger and Jonathan Aibel. Under the direction of Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni the movie is the sequel to the previous installment released in 2011. The movie was released on limited basis for a sneak-peak preview on 22nd January in China however, it went for day and date release on 28th January in Russia and South Korea and then on next day in Canada and United States. Other markets will get the release scheduled in the months of March and April and all of them will be in premium large formats and 3D. The film has received overall positive reviews from the public and the critics similar to the previous installments. As on 2nd February 2016 it grossed over $127 million worldwide.
Variety’s very own Justin Chang says “Emotionally, dramatically and perhaps most of all visually (its worth seeing in 3D), this delightful trilogy capper is almost as generously proportioned as its cuddly warrior hero.” Reviewing the movie, Ben Kendrick of Screen Rant states “Kung Fu Panda 3 is a well-meaning piece of escapism for kids – one that shows signs of wear in the larger computer-animated Kung Fu franchise.”
On the other hand Eric Eisenberg of Cinemablend criticizes the lack of a push in the storyline saying “Kung Fu Panda 3 is the weakest feature installment of the series overall, but that ultimately says more about the quality of the Kung Fu Panda franchise than the failings of its most recent chapter.” Stephanie Zacharek of Time also criticizes the pompous nature and lackluster storyline of the film commenting “Like its predecessors (from 2008 and 2011), this third Panda is a blowout of resplendent, lustrous color.” New York Times’ Neil Genzlinger mentions that the film is much more focused towards action animation rather the animal fun and rights “The kiddies might not appreciate the artistry, but grown-ups certainly will.” Katherine Pushkar of New York Daily News has something similar to say about the storyline, she comments “Jack Black is great as Po, but the story is shopworn.”
Overall the film has received positive reviews but much is based on the individual performances. Some have responded positively about the movie mentioning that its a great fun source for the family in terms of entertainment and some have criticized it for the same old story.