“Kung Fu Panda” stars Jack Black, Dustin Hauffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Ian McShane, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, and David Cross. It’s directed by Mark Osborne and Glenn Berger.

Po the Panda (Jack Black) is a shiftless and bovine character who’s dream is to become a kung fu master. Although he has an eating problem and seems like the most unlikely being to become “The Dragon Warrior”, he is picked by a wise turtle named Oogway. This leads Po the Panda on his quest to fulfill his dream and possibly learn how to like himself.

The wonderful background colors congruent to Chinese paintings, vivid characters with exuberant personalities, and the focused animation lead me to believe that this is the best animated film I have seen in a couple of years. Jack Black, the clown of epic proportions, shines with his cardinal charisma and extravagant voice. The rest of the cast have such an inobtrusive yet reigning approach to their characters, that their voices are nearly unrecognizable.

Like every other animated film, the story is familiar and has that moral that is either touching or insipid depending on ones point of view. Not to mention the ending is predictable. But these are things that only cynics will dwell on and kids wont even heed these problems. It has some of the best fist-to-fist action I have seen in a while and tops it off with consistent humor from the cumbersome Panda Po. Adults will laugh and the kids will be ecstatic leaving the theater. The top-notch 2D animation at the beginning of the film is impressive and the 3D animation is just as potent.

“Kung Fu Panda” is sure to be nominated for best animated picture of the year. This is more of a homage to great karate flicks like “The Karate Kid” rather than being a clich√©. A tribute rather than a trite expression. This lovable and adorable Panda might spawn a sequel and become the next big animated trilogy and I wouldn’t be surprised one bit. 4.5/5 stars

Written by Derek Fleek at www.popcornmonsters.com, where you get compensated for your reviews.