Kung Fu Panda 2 Directed by: Jennifer Yuh Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan Rating: PG Release Date: May 26, 2011
TRAILER SCORE: 8/10
Thoughts by TSR:It's a rarity that I get this excited about an animated sequel. in fact, I feel like it's safe to say that I rarely ever see animated sequels. What's refreshing about Kung Fu Panda 2 is that it's very much aware of the movie that came before it.
Rather than cash in on that previous movie's success, it looks like it actually builds off of it. What's that? Character development in an animated movie? believe me, I was as shocked as you, but I think it might be one of the few examples. I was surprised that directors Mark Osborne and John Stevenson didn't return for this second installment, but what is their loss seems to be Jennifer Yuh's gain. What's nice about this passing of the torch is that the writers remained the same, so I'm expecting at least a little consistency with these characters.
After all, even though Po has proven himself to be a kung fu master (spoiler alert... I guess?) he's got that same dopey charm that made him so likable the first time around. Once again, Kung Fu Panda 2 doesn't seem to be content recycling the same old characters time and time again, but rather it builds off the last one. Still, I'd by lying if I said I wasn't most excited for the return of supporting cast members. Just hearing David Cross's voice is enough for the price of admission. Even the new cast members look promising. Jean-Claude Van Damme relying on something other than his muscular physique? I may be a little nervous, but at least I'm interested. All in all, unlike most animated sequels, from the looks of it Kung Fu Panda 2 has a surprising amount going for it.