Kung Fu Panda 2

Rated 3.0

The loveable, plump panda, Po (Jack Black), is back again, happily guarding the Valley of Peace since becoming a respected Dragon Warrior. But serenity won’t last long, because the evil Chinese peacock Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), is determined to take reign over China with the aid of newly developed explosives, disrupting the peaceful philosophy of Kung Fu. When Po and his friendly fighting gang attempt to stop the peacock, Po learns that Shen was responsible for his parents’ death years ago, only heightening Po’s incentive to defeat the evil lord. Set against the backdrop of ancient China, the film’s homage to Asian cultural traditions is refreshing. The references to meditation practices and themes revolving around finding one’s “inner peace” may seem too philosophical for kids, but they elicit a straightforward lesson: be confident with yourself and you can do anything. Also, from a technical standpoint, the film explores a different path. We get the high-tech CGI animation, but it’s complemented by a pseudo comic-book-style approach that’s used to represent Po’s internal thoughts. These sequences respectfully keep the “old” styles of animation alive in a simple but striking manner. Cinemark 14 and Feather River Cinemas. Rated PG