Saturday, November 19, 2011

Flying fists Panda Too

I just watched Kung Fu Panda II. I recommend it. Of course the comic surprise of a martial arts panda has worn off a little since the first one, but I think the new elements, the story, and the technical fireworks they've brought into it more than makes up for it. Just for one example, they have a whole big city created as a whole in CGI with all kinds of things happening in it, including a car chase with little carts.

Like another crew did with Madagascar 2 and a third with Ratatouille (both of which are also mega-rich visually), this crew physically went to the home of the story to research the look and feel for the place, and they got amazing amounts of details and looks and atmosphere out of it. It's actually so deep and rich (for example in how dark it gets in the dark parts of a set) that it can be difficult to follow. Of course this goes doubly for the fighting scenes where they apparently use genuine kung fu fighting techniques, and where everything goes so fast and often has so many characters fighting at once, that you don't have a dumpling's chance in a panda kindergarten of taking it all in the first time.

All the characters are fun. And I'm amazed that they have managed to make a snake look pretty and sort of sexy. In contrast, I wonder why they made Tigress so masculine-looking. I feel she could easily be as tough as she is, and yet have a hint of a feminine figure, particularly hips. She has no hips at all, and there's just no way that's a woman.

But of course that's just detail. It's well worth seeing for the aforementioned, plus the humor and the grand new villain, a weapons-of-mass-destruction assembling peacock of all things, and the grand scenes of action.


Pascal [P-04referent] said...

..."the fighting scenes where they apparently use genuine kung fu fighting techniques"

Yeah, and I still don't understand how they manage to make awesome, realistically-inspired kung-fu fights with a viper that has no limbs to punch or kick with! A couple of seconds of this seen in the trailer wooed me.
This alone tells me it has to be a good movie in the other aspects too.

Somehow, I have become able to instinctively guess, sometimes at a single glance, whether a movie is going to be good or not. Especially in animation. When it's cheap, it just immediately jumps at your face like a jack-in-the-box. When it seems nice, usually it IS worth sitting down and watching. The contrast can be experimented on a single network of kid films.

Case in point : the cartoon series Robotboy. It sucks raw arab sewage through a caved-in Gaza contraband tunnel. Upstream.
But my 7y/o nephew loves it, simply because it's got a hardcore kick-ass robot. Ta-daa! Commercial franchise success.
This I solemnly vow : my own children will be brought up into better discerning taste.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yea, quality can usually be sensed in every tiny bit of a work.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Speaking of peacocks, have you watched that new cartoon series, Hero:108?
It seems inspired by the success of Minecraft, in that it's mostly made of cubic and polygonal blocky graphics seen in 3-D. The visual result is very unique, with a new outlandish species of animals in every episode.
You might find yourself loving its very special quirkiness.
For instance, the Platypus people fight by turning their bodies into jigsaw puzzle pieces possessing magical powers. While turtles running backwards on treadmills become high-speed tanks. As for ostriches, their attempt to attack from slide tunnels turns them into bald eagles.