At this time of year, much of the country is cold and gray. Movie goers in need of an infusion of color into their lives need only go to the movies. Although the hero of the “Kung-Fu Panda” films is black and white, his world is saturated with bright colors and textures. “Kung-Fu Panda 3” opened in theatres this weekend.
The film continues the story of Po (voiced by Jack Black), a panda who is a member of a skilled kung-fu team which also includes Tigress (voiced by Angelina Jolie), Monkey (voiced by Jackie Chan), Crane (voiced by David Cross), Viper (voiced by Lucy Liu), and Mantis (voiced by Seth Rogen). Although he has become a skilled martial artist, he still has more than his share of personal and familial insecurities. His team, led by the venerable Shifu (voiced by Dustin Hoffman), face a powerful new enemy: Kai (voiced by J.K. Simmons), a yak. Po was raised by Mr. Ping (voiced by James Hong), a goose who runs a noodle shop. The very loving Mr. Ping is unhappy when Po’s long-lost real father, Li (voiced by Bryan Cranston), reenters his son’s life. Li may hold the key to defeating Kai. He takes Po to his village, where he meets many other pandas, such as Mei Mei (voiced by Kate Hudson).
Like the other films in the series, “Kung-Fu Panda 3” has great animation and some strong action scenes. This is especially true of the final battle.
Jack Black is excellent as Po. He is very funny, yet we feel sorry for him since he faces challenges that seem beyond his reach. Bryan Cranston is equally good as Li, who tries to be a good dad. J.K. Simmons is memorable as Kai. He is solid villain.
“Kung-Fu Panda 3” offers a delightful and colorful story for audiences of all ages.