Kung Fu Panda

Release Date: June 6, 2008

Movie of the Day for Friday, November 2, 2007
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On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
4/196 Max Braden I can understand how non-Jack Black fans would skip this, but the editing is sharp and really supplements the comedy.
4/98 David Mumpower Immediately surpasses Over the Hedge to become (easily) my favorite DreamWorks Animated release. I even bought a stuffed animal of Tigress.
6/43 Kim Hollis Wonderfully animated, consistently enjoyable and completely heartwarming. See it now if you can.
18/31 John Seal Delightful and beautifully animated kiddie flick
19/21 Jason Lee Fun characters and colorful animation but pretty substance-free.

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The white-hot CGI animation trend continues with Kung Fu Panda. Shrek the ogre was one of the hottest concepts for family entertainment in recent years, with a reluctant, underachieving protagonist being pushed to display heroic qualities he never even knew he possessed. Imagine if rather than going on a quest to save his forest, Shrek decided to become a crazy, kung-fu fighting ogre instead. Substitute panda for ogre and you already see the project's appeal.

Screenwriters Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reiff, fresh off of Bulletproof Monk, found themselves thinking, "What if we do another movie similar to this, but we upgrade from Chow Yun-Fat to a fat panda? If we can sell Eisner or Katzenberg on this..."

Cha-ching! According to Hollywood Reporter, DreamWorks SKG co-principal Jeffrey Katzenberg said at the time they pitched it that the idea was "One of the funniest we've heard," optioning the script for an amount in the six-figure range. The film has been developed into a fully-animated, CGI production by Pacific Data Images and is very much in the vein of Kung Fu Hustle and other humorous martial arts film of its ilk. Jack Black provides the voice of a lazy panda named Po who has been prophesied to save the Valley of Peace. Dustin Hoffman portrays a tough martial arts master who is tasked with the duty of training Po. None other than Jackie Chan plays Master Monkey, a dedicated kung fu warrior with plenty of talent - and a daily example to remind Po of what he is not. The villainous snow leopard Tai Lung is voiced by Ian McShane (Deadwood's Al Swearengen). Other voice talent includes Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu and Seth Rogen

Since the movie has been in development for a few years, changes have naturally taken place. While Voris and Reiff provided the original idea, the screenplay was rewritten by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab. John Stevenson and Mark Osborne team up to direct the film. BOP's personal friend Cee-Lo handles the remake of Carl Douglas's 1970s song Kung-Fu Fighting. (Kim Hollis and David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Kung Fu Panda
Main Cast Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie
Supporting Cast Ian McShane, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan
Director John Stevenson, Mark Osborne
Screenwriter Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab
Distributor DreamWorks
Screen Count 4,114
Awards Awards page for Kung Fu Panda
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Kung Fu Panda
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Shrek 5/18/0142.35 45.20 3587 11805.00 12118.4 267.65 285.66 6.32



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