Starting in the exploding mountains of the spirit realm and concluding with a spectacular musical set piece – what else but Kung Fu Fighting? – this third instalment of the animated children’s franchise knows how to impress. There’s a formidable array of stars, including JK Simmons voicing the blade-wielding bull spirit Kai, Jack Black as Po, the rotund dumpling-muncher of the title, and Dustin Hoffman returning as his diminutive guru Master Shifu. But it’s in the more intimate moments that Kung Fu Panda shines – for instance when Po discovers his biological father, and goes on a mission to embrace his panda identity, but still finds space in his life for his adoptive dad, Mr Ping, a noodle-hawking goose. With Kate Hudson putting in a cameo as a ribbon-dancing panda temptress, this is a visually sumptuous kids’ film that will also charm adults.
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