Kung Fu Panda 3 is the most awesome Kung Fu Panda movie!

In my opinion Kung fu Panda 3, released on January 29, 2016, is the best Kung Fu Panda movie ever made todate. It is better than Kung Fu Panda 1, better than Kung Fu Panda 2 and certainly better than even the beloved Kung Fu Panda TV series of which i couldn’t enough of. So what makes Kung Fu Panda 3 great in my frank opinion?

First the story is intelligently laid out in such a way that as it unwraps we get sucked in to the whole saga, making the audience invested in the story from the very start. It may sound simple, but very many movies are too complicated nowadays. In Kung Fu Panda 3 we meet the antagonist (bad guy) from the very first scene, and he is one crazy guy called Kai.

Kai is totally bad-ass without hiding anything. But in this particular case, his meanness is his ego. He wants to be the best master in the spirit world and in the mortal world. So when after defeating Oogway (the very old grand-master who is sooo cool and wise), he learns there is another master that can beat him – Po. And that sets the stage in just 10 min for the entire movie. The fact that it doesn’t beat around the bush and yet does not reveal the full plot all at once, is both intriguing and testimony of a great story well told.

Secondly, Po meets his panda dad Li Shan in this movie. The way that meeting is introduced and the personal conflict Po undergoes of having two dads at the same time and balancing these two families is complicated and yet handled gracefully done with the seriousness the issue deserves.

It is also extremely emotional for both Po and his two dads to work things out given the emotional bonds each one has, but i think the very best part comes when Po’s dad Li describes Po’s mum to Po. The music tone is soft, the colours minimal, the movement of Li slow. Po see’s a photo of his mum holding him taken when he was a kid full of energy. Then his dad delivers the arguably the best, most emotional words of the movie:

Po: (Looking at picture of him and his mum) This is…my mun 

Dad: shakes head acknowledging, yes, 

Po: what was she like?

Dad: Oooh…she was the total package. Smart…beautiful, tremendous appetite. 

Po: haha (probably relating to his own appetite)

Dad: She was the love of my life. And then, just when i thought i couldn’t get any luckier, along you came, my little lotus…i had it all…..until that one moment, when i…..i lost everything

Third: The movie is totally funny. The bunnies are totally dumb as usually following the goings on in town so blindly it is innately funny. Po and food. Enough said. Po meets a chic – Meme – who so disorganizes with her confident energy that Po he doesn’t know what the hell to do with her moves. Third, Po pukes, like three times! Be ready to get your ribs cracked.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K77YBHUOGNc

Fourth: The all star cast delivers a totally believable performance using mostly their voices only. This is one movie you can see only by its sound. A vocal masterpiece. Check out below behind the scenes.

Fifth: There are actually some good real life lessons to be learnt from Kung Fu Panda 3. Here is a summary:

  1. Have fun all the time: And especially when things are thick, there is doom and gloom everywhere – everyone is so serious, we see how Po finds a way to have fun and we love him for it. Life is not that serious, lighten up guys!
  2. Tai-Chi is a life lesson: We learn that inner peace (or love) is not a simple thing to maintain once you get it; it’s a constant battle. No wonder at any given time there are conflicts in the world. Peace from within is achievable. Be aware of your inner Chi and keep it strong always.
  3. Be yourself: Your best strength comes from discovering your inner you, and accepting yourself as you are. That is the start of wisdom.
  4. Family comes first and sticks together. Be there for your family. Through thick and thin…but what happens when you have 2 families and you have to choose one? Po chose both his families, twice.
  5. With Popularity comes great Responsibility. In life, people (like bunnies, or Po’s village) look up to their leaders to give direction. When you are leader, do not be afraid to fail as people need your leadership, but at the same time, to succeed you need the very same people to correct you when you stumble. So be responsible, lead them from the front by setting a good example and teach them your vision. The very same people looking up to you can be the very answer you are looking for. The name Po looks like short for Popular.

I rate the movie 8.5 out of 10 as this is the one movie this year that beat all expectations! Definitely a must watch.

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James Maina is the editor of What To Watch. Passionate about the creative world of film and media, James loves to create magazines, video games, websites and android apps in his spare time, but he is most passionate about one thing: Movies on the big screen. Email your feedback to info@whatyouneedtowatch.com