Movie review: "Kung Fu Panda" (2008)
The gist: An animated, anthropomorphic, slapstick martial arts fable for all ages. Put simply, funny animals fight! In a China that never was, noodle cook Po has greatness thrust upon him when the master of the local temple declares him to be the "dragon warrior". Can the pudgy panda stop the evil snow leopard Tai Lung from decimating his village?
Selling points: Looks and sounds amazing. Kids will love the critter-filled story; adults will appreciate the cleverness with which it's told. Features the voices of Jack Black (as Po) and other Hollywoodlums – how many can you work out before the credits roll?
It's kinda like: Three things I can think of... Big-screen cartoons such as "Over The Hedge". A comedy version of the long-running comic "Usagi Yojimbo" (about a wandering samurai rabbit). Playing the giant panda character in the "Tekken" videogame series.
Final word: Its kung-fu is strong!
[Australian cinema relase date: June 26]