In a little village somewhere in China, a Panda named Po dreams of becoming the Dragon Warrior, and lashing it out together with the Furious Dive - his idols, and the fiercest warriors in all of China. They're animated animals after the five styles of Kung Fu with animal names: Crane, Mantis, Monkey, Tiger and Snake. In reality maybe there are more? I'm not sure...
Have you ever seen the Panda style, though? I bet you haven't! Not in the old (and awesome) Kung Fu movies of times past, nor in the newer ones, or in animated form... unless you've seen some of these movies! They're definitely worth it. The main cast's voiced by none other than Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu and David Cross, and they're all perfect in their roles. Ian McShane steps in as the villain. Also props to the Shaw brothers, who get a subtle homage, and one of them voiced by Kyle Gass no less! The guy from Tenacious D, you know?
The story's great - simple but intense, full with wit and humor and crisis and all of those things a good script should have. Bonus points on the humor. More humor than your average animated animal movie, really, even if it has a serious message to boot. Dreamworks have made their mark.
Compared to the sequels this one's not all as dark or pompous, which is great; it really grows with each one. Here it begins in a great way! The legend... of the Kung Fu Panda.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle