Movie Review – Kung Fu Panda 4


With the likes of Shrek, How to Train your Dragon and more under it’s belt DreamWorks has definitely cemented itself as more than just not-Pixar. With more franchises than it’s Disney counterpart there are many characters that audiences have come to know but none can sha-doosh more than the Dragon Warrior. While Po’s journey may have completed in the Kung Fu Panda trilogy, is there a little more left in the tank for the fourth?

If you are not familiar with the Kung Fu Panda series but love animation you really should watch them as they have grown in both scale and quality with DreamWorks own capabilities and the technology available. But if you have not seen them in sometime let’s give you a quick refresher.

Set in non-descript Asia where people are animals Po, the adopted Panda and son of a Goose (not an expletive, his dad is a Goose), is sent to sell Noodles in front of the Jade Palace on the day the new Dragon Warrior aka Protector of the Valley of Peace is to be named by the Turtle spiritual leader. The Panda voiced by Jack Black is of course named the new Dragon Warrior despite not having a lot of Kung Fu skills and mostly just fanboying out over meeting the likes of other masters such as the Furious Five protectors who are voiced by the likes of Seth Rogan and Angelina Jolie to name a few.

Word gets out about the new Dragon Warrior and a previous foe of the Turtle escapes his prison to seek revenge which the Panda defeats by embracing his Panda’ness of course. This continues across into the next film with Po being the Dragon Warrior against a warlord, learning inner peace and getting flashes that he may not be the solo Panda orphan that he thought he was. This is before the 3rd film reunites Po with his Panda father as he travels to the spirit realm and back where the Turtle master now endows him a magic staff that lets him cross back from the Spirit realm where he defeated one who escaped. And now Po has two Dads too.

While the firs few films are about the Po/Panda journey the latest film looks to complete the Dragon Warrior journey to come full circle to ask Po to choose the next Dragon Warrior. Not exactly wanting to give up the kicking butt and forgetting to take names Po instead finds an opportunity to go on one more Dragon Warrior adventure with a Fox thief to track down a shapeshifter who took the form of Po’s first major foe (not stairs).

The latest film while having the plot and some sectioned paced like it came from the King Fu Panda TV Series, does occur in the background to Po and his new Fox friend’s journey with the animation and attention to detail in every shot again surpassing the films that came before it. While not quite as multi-location spanning as some of the previous films and feeling much shorter despite having a similar runtime there are still plenty of great action sequences (although they are more in shorter bursts which may be what gives that shorter feel).

So should you go see it? The film itself was delayed a little for Australia to come out for the Easter long weekend with previews of the film happening the previous weekend so you may have even already seen this. But if you are a fan of the Jack Black as a Panda franchise and want to see the end of the Kung Fu path vs the Po finding his origins path this might be the epilogue you were after.

Kung Fu Panda 4 is in cinemas across Australia from today

Andrew B

Current Resident of Reality C-137. Possible Robot from Westworld. Does lots of random stuff.

Story and Characters
Visuals and Effects
Enjoyment Factor
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Current Resident of Reality C-137. Possible Robot from Westworld. Does lots of random stuff.
movie-review-kung-fu-panda-4Kung Fu Panda 4 is not really a wrap up to the trilogy but more setting a place for the Dragon Warrior adventures to end before we end up with Kung Fu Panda 27: Maximum Sha-Doosh. The film is beautifully made with DreamWorks animation and background detail from the earlier films making now every film look like their big budget flagship ones. While a much more simple plot and a GREATLY reduced voice cast seeing many characters return in non-speaking appearances this is less epic end and more tidying things up for a possible end. P.S. You do not need to wait until the end of the credits but you can hang around a little at the start of them for a tiny bit more montage.