Kung Fu Panda

Rated 3.0

In a Chinese fairy-tale animal world, a lowly noodle-shop panda (voice by Jack Black) is chosen to defend his valley against a wicked kung-fu leopard (Ian McShane) who has escaped from prison. The script (by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris) walks a tightrope between (on one hand) spoofing the stale fortune-cookie clichés of martial-arts movies and (on the other) embracing them wholeheartedly; meanwhile, directors Mark Osborne and John Stevenson use dynamic animation and slapstick humor to compensate for the story’s lack of originality. Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman (as the panda’s exasperated teacher) carry most of the dialogue, with a bevy of guest-star voices (Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, Michael Clarke Duncan) putting in a few words here and there.