Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kung Fu Panda

I never went to see Kung Fu Panda in theaters. A shame, really.

My roommate got the DVD from NetFlix and let me borrow it.

I must say, it is the absolute best DreamWorks animated movie I've seen.

Three reasons, mostly

1) They avoided the "cast animals as people and then forget that they are animals" drudgery that was very evident in Shark's Tale. But in Kung Fu Panda actually played on the individual qualities of the animals; how they move, how they pose, and even how to use their abilities in their martial arts.

2) They didn't litter the movie with pop culture references like they do in other DreamWorks animated films.

3) They didn't try to bank on the film being like other films on the market at that time (i.e. there were no other furry animated fighting animals showing on the big screen at the same time that I can remember)

They even went so far as to actually provide reason for the setting and use the culture and environment to their advantage in the film (something Disney really lost with The Emporer's New Groove... Did it necessarily have to be in an ancient South American civilization?)

To put it simply... I enjoyed the film very much.

1 comment:

Base said...

Kung Fu Panda was one of their better works, I agree. You should see Monsters vs Aliens though, for a couple of reasons you listed for kung fu panda. They seem to be improving greatly as a studio.

1: The models appeared to take a drastic increase in quality. Characters had more personality to them because their faces and bodies were more detailed, which greatly aided in animation.

2: Characters behaved like actors (an important part of animation!), and had their own subtleties to their personality that showed in body language. This was their biggest improvement by far, I feel.

3: They didn't rush things, they didn't copy Pixar in an attempt to compete, they simply came up with an original idea, and spent all the time they needed to make it good.

That last one I feel was their biggest change that really did it for them. Dreamworks never really was my favorite animation studio but they proved with this movie that they're serious about the work they do (Unlike some of their previous works...).