Kung Fu Panda

Featured In Issue 138, January/February 2009

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
DreamWorks Home Entertainment
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sequences of martial arts action
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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John Stevenson & Mark Osborne
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Poor clumsy Panda Po (Black) spends his days working in his dad's noodle house and his nights dreaming of becoming a Kung Fu master. When he is unexpectedly chosen to learn the art of Kung Fu alongside his fighting heroes Tigress (Jolie), Crane (Cross), Manits (Rogen), Viper (Liu), and Monkey (Chan), under the tutelage of the legendary Master Shifu (Hoffman), Po is eager to step up to the challenge. But Po's newly acquired skills are put to a test of fate when Tai Lung (McShane), a deadly nemesis of Master Shifu, escapes prison and sets out to destroy Shifu and the rest of the masters. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include a feature commentary track; a trivia track; a picture-in-picture The Animator's Corner feature; the following featurettes: Meet The Cast (HD 13:17), Pushing The Boundaries (HD 7:07), Sound Design (HD 3:54), Learn The Panda Dance (HD 4:32), Do You Kung Fu? (HD 9:30), Mr Ping's Noodle House (HD 4:43), How To Use Chopsticks (HD 2:55), Inside The Chinese Zodiac (HD interactive), Animals Of Kung Fu Panda (HD 6:10), and What Fighting Style Are You? (HD interactive); three fun interactive game functions: Master Shifu's Dragon Warrior Training Academy, Dumpling Shuffle, and Learn To Draw; a public service spot for Conservation International: Help Save Wild Pandas (SD 2:00); a music video "Kung Fu Fighting" by Cee-Lo (HD 2:29); an interactive DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox; two BD-Live™ functions: A Day In The Life: A Shaolin Monk In Training and Po Around The World; two previews (HD 4:17); and a digital copy of the movie.

The 2.37:1 1080p AVC reference-quality picture is stunning and gorgeous. The animation is finely detailed, and the contrast is exemplary, with rich deep blacks and excellent shadow delineation. Colors are vibrant, yet not overly so, for a more natural color palette. Detail is remarkable and revealing of the finest nuances. There is no noise or other artifacts noticeable. This a perfectly rendered animated picture that is sure to please. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack is well crafted and at times projects a holosonic® presence, with aggressive enveloping split surrounds and deep bass, at times below 25 Hz. The symphonic orchestral music score is nicely recorded with a deep and wide soundstage presence in the surround channels, providing an enveloping experience. The LFE .1 effects are solid and aggressive. Sound effects, Foley, and dialogue are well integrated throughout, and there is no detectable noise, for excellent dynamic effect. Unfortunately, in some scenes dialogue collapses to monaural without stereo or surround ambience. Nevertheless, this is a superb sonic experience that is sure to please. (Gary Reber)