Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Movie


Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

After a year of being the dragon warrior, obesitized but fearless Po (Black) is a hero in China along with Crane (Cross), Mantis (Rogen), Monkey (Chan), Viper (Liu), Tigress (Jolie), and Shifu (Hoffman). But trouble pops out when villian Shen (Oldman) begins chaos. Everybody is ready to fight, but Po is unprepared when he learns Shen was his enemy in his infancy.
USA
China
IMDb   7.2 /10
Metacritic   67 %
TheMovieDb    6.9 /10
RottenTomatoes
FilmAffinity   6.2 /10
Creators
Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Writer Jonathan Aibel
Writer Glenn Berger
Writer Ethan Reiff
Writer Cyrus Voris
Information
Release Date2011-05-25
Runtime1h 30mins
GenreAnimation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Content RatingPG (PG)
AwardsNominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 46 nominations.
CompanyDreamWorks Animation
CountryUSA, China
LanguageEnglish
Po (voice)
Tigress (voice)
Shifu (voice)
Shen (voice)
Monkey (voice)
Mantis (voice)
Viper (voice)
Crane (voice)
Mr. Ping (voice)
Soothsayer (voice)
Wolf Boss (voice)
Master Ox (voice)
Master Croc (voice)
Master Rhino (voice)
Gorilla Guard 1 (voice) (as Michael Patrick Bell)

Kung Fu Panda 2

Kung Fu Panda 2 is a 2011 American computer-animated wuxia comedy-drama film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is the sequel to Kung Fu Panda (2008) and the second installment in the Kung Fu Panda franchise. Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson (in her feature directorial debut), the film stars Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, and Jackie Chan reprising their character roles from the first film, with Gary Oldman, Michelle Yeoh, Danny McBride, Dennis Haysbert, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Victor Garber voicing new characters. In the film, Po and his allies travel to Gongmen City to stop Lord Shen from conquering China while also rediscovering his forgotten past.

The film was released in theaters on May 26 in 2D, RealD 3D, and Digital 3D, and received positive reviews from critics. It grossed $665 million worldwide against its $150 million budget, becoming the highest-grossing film directed by a female director until Frozen (2013), as well as the highest-grossing film solely directed by a female director until Wonder Woman (2017). The film was the highest-grossing animated feature film of the year and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 84th Academy Awards, losing to Rango. Nelson became the first woman to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature since Marjane Satrapi for Persepolis (2007). The sequel, Kung Fu Panda 3, was released in January 2016.


Plot

Po is enjoying his new role as a Kung Fu Master alongside the Furious Five, though Master Shifu warns him he has not yet achieved inner peace. When, a wolf army raid the Musicians' Village, Po and the Five intercept them; however, a symbol on the Boss Wolf's armor gives Po a flashback of his mother. Po confronts Mr. Ping, and the goose reveals that baby Po arrived in a shipment of radishes outside his restaurant. When no one came forward to claim the cub, Ping adopted Po as his son.

Po and the Five are next dispatched across the sea to Gongmen City, after learning Lord Shen, the Peacock son of peacock rulers whom they had him exiled for a panda genocide years ago, has returned and made cannons and used one to kill Master Thundering Rhino, who had been left as regent of the city. Shen and his wolves have also captured Masters Ox and Croc, taking over Gongmen City, though Shen's goat soothsayer still warns him of his probable defeat. During the voyage, Master Tigress notices Po is distraught, and Po admits to her Mr. Ping is not his real dad. Upon arrival, they free Masters Ox and Croc, but the duo believes Kung Fu died with Master Rhino, and will not help.

Po and the Five deliberately surrender to Shen, who is amused by Po's naivete and prepares to kill them all without ever letting Po know he had reason for revenge. Master Mantis, who was not captured per the plan, frees the others; they destroy one of the cannons, but Po sees the same familiar symbol on Shen's plumage, which distracts him long enough for Shen to escape and destroy Gongmen Palace with his cannonade. The soothsayer tries to stop him, but Shen banishes her.

After their narrow escape, Tigress confronts Po, and Po reveals he has remembered Shen was there the day he was abandoned. Tigress sympathizes but refuses to allow Po to come with them for fear his lack of focus will get him killed. The Five leave Po behind at Gongmen Jail and proceed to Shen's cannon factory with the intent to blow it up. However, Po follows and confronts Shen, inadvertently spoiling the plan and allowing the Five to be captured. Shen lies and says Po's parents hated him, and shoots him.

Badly wounded but alive, Po floats downriver and is rescued by the soothsayer. She tells him the truth about the panda genocide, and encourages him to embrace his past. Po, finally achieving inner peace, is able to recall that his father went down fighting, while his mother hid him in the radish crate and drew off Shen's army so he could survive.

Rejuvenated, Po returns to Gongmen City, where Shen is sailing downriver with his cannons and army to start his invasion of China. Po frees the Five, and with the help of Masters Ox, Croc, and Shifu, they are able to wreck the foremost ships and prevent Shen's forces from reaching the harbor. When the Wolf Boss refuses to follow Shen orders to fire a cannon to clear the way as it would kill their own, Shen kills him and fires it himself. The only uninjured Master after the blast, Po stands alone against Shen, using his newfound inner peace skills to deflect all the cannonballs shot at him back at Shen's fleet, destroying it. Po tells Shen that he needs to let go of the past, but refuses to listen and attacks Po with a spear, inadvertently severing the cables holding up one of the cannons. It falls and explodes, killing Shen, while Po only just manages to jump clear.

Back at the Valley, Po is tearfully reunited with Mr. Ping, and calls him "dad" again. Meanwhile, at a secret panda village in the mountains, Po's biological father Li Shan is revealed to be still living, and senses his son is still alive.


Voice cast

  • Jack Black as Master Po
  • Angelina Jolie as Master Tigress
  • Michelle Yeoh as Soothsayer
  • Gary Oldman as Lord Shen
  • Seth Rogen as Master Mantis
  • Lucy Liu as Master Viper
  • David Cross as Master Crane
  • Jackie Chan as Master Monkey
  • James Hong as Mr. Ping
  • Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu
  • Dennis Haysbert as Master Storming Ox
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme as Master Croc
  • Victor Garber as Master Thundering Rhino
  • Danny McBride as Wolf Boss
  • Fred Tatasciore as Li Shan
  • Lauren Tom as Market Sheep
  • Conrad Vernon as Boar

Production

After the original Kung Fu Panda was released in June 2008, DreamWorks Animation planned a second film with the subtitle Pandamoneum, which was changed by 2010 to The Kaboom of Doom before simply being retitled to Kung Fu Panda 2. Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who was head of story for the first film, was hired to direct the sequel. The original film's cast members reprised their voice roles. Like every DreamWorks Animation film from Monsters vs. Aliens onward, Kung Fu Panda 2 was produced in DreamWorks' stereoscopic 3-D technology of InTru 3D.

Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, screenwriters and co-producers for the first film, returned to write and co-produce the sequel, with Charlie Kaufman consulting on the screenplay early on in the development process.

In Kung Fu Panda 2, the production crew showed increased familiarity with Chinese culture. In 2008, after the release of Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and other DreamWorks members including production designer Raymond Zibach and director Jennifer Yuh Nelson visited the city of Chengdu, which is considered as the "panda hometown". In addition to seeing real pandas at the Giant Panda Research Centre, the production designer crew members learned about the local culture. Katzenberg has stated that the sequel incorporates many elements of Chengdu in the film. The film's landscape and architecture also found inspiration from those found at Mount Qingcheng, a renowned Taoist mountain. In an interview with the China Daily, Zibach recounted that the Panda research center influenced the movie in a big way, as did their experience of holding a month old panda cub named A Bao, which gave the idea for baby Po in a flashback. It also gave them the idea of featuring Sichuan Food like Mapo toufu and Dandan noodles. In an interview with Movieline, Berger stated that "we never really thought of this as a movie set in China for Americans; it's a movie set in a mythical, universalized China for everyone in the world."


Release

Kung Fu Panda 2 was screened at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival in early May before its commercial release. In the United States, it premiered on May 22, 2011, at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, in Hollywood, California. The film was widely released in the United States and South Korea on May 26, 2011, in the United Kingdom on June 10, 2011, and in Australia on June 23, 2011. It was also released in IMAX theaters in the EMEA region.

Home media

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 13, 2011, accompanied with the short film Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters and an episode of the Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness television series. As of February 2013, 6.5 million home entertainment units were sold worldwide.


Reception

Critical reception

On the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 81% based on 181 reviews and an average rating of 6.91/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The storyline arc may seem a tad familiar to fans of the original, but Kung Fu Panda 2 offers enough action, comedy, and visual sparkle to compensate." On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 67 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Variety called the film "a worthy sequel that gets an extra kick from the addition of dynamic 3D fight sequences," while The Hollywood Reporter similarly praised the film. Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, praising the sequel as superior to the original and as an ambitious extension of the previous story.

Some critics noted the influences of executive producer Guillermo del Toro's works in the film's darker themes, and Jim Tudor of TwitchFilm.net describes that with del Toro on board, the film "effectively probes deeper into Po's emerging hero's journey and personal issues, evoking a truly fulfilling Campbellian archetype, but also remains fully viable as mainstream entertainment suitable for all ages."

As with the first film, the animation has been praised. Frank Lovece of Film Journal International describes the film as "truly beautiful to behold" and states it "works on both aesthetic and emotional levels". Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times writes that "For Panda 2 is not just wall-to-wall animation, it is artistry of the highest order." Many critics praised Gary Oldman for his voice acting and developed characterization of Lord Shen, with some comparing him favorably to Ian McShane's voice performance as Tai Lung in the original film, with Angie Errigo of Empire Magazine calling him "fabulous as the feathered fiend and his character animators do his performance proud with a stunning, balletic fighting style, the fan tail flicking with lethal fascination." Kyle Smith of the New York Post said, "It's a bit hard to be terrified of a peacock (the snow leopard in the first movie was way more sinister). But the animators are in charge, and they succeed in dazzling with Lord Shen's look."

Box office

The film grossed $165.2 million in the United States and Canada, along with $500.4 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $665.7 million. In total, 3D contributed approximately 53% of the film's worldwide gross. Worldwide, it is the sixth highest-grossing film of 2011 and the 26th highest-grossing animated film. On its first weekend, it earned $108.9 million worldwide, ranking third behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and The Hangover Part II. It was the highest-grossing film directed by a woman until Frozen two years later, as the well as the highest-grossing film directed solely by a woman until Wonder Woman.

In North America, the film earned $5.8 million on its opening day (Thursday, May 26, 2011), ranking second behind The Hangover: Part II. On Friday, the film earned $13.1 million, which was behind the first film's $20.3 million opening Friday. Over the three-day weekend (Friday-to-Sunday), the film earned $47.7 million, which was behind the first film's $60.2 million debut and it finished second place at the box office behind The Hangover Part II. The film went on to make $13.2 million on Memorial Day, bringing its 4-day weekend to $60.9 million.

Outside North America, the film debuted with $55.5 million on the same weekend as its North American debut, topping the box office in nine out of eleven countries in which it was released. It ranked third overall behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and The Hangover Part II. The film topped the box office outside North America on two consecutive weekends (its third and fourth weekend).

In China, its highest-grossing market after North America, two different grosses were reported, one a $19.3 million two-day weekend and the other a $16.7 million two-day weekend. Either way, the film set an opening-day record in the country. It earned $93.19 million in total, making it the highest-grossing animated film released in China, surpassing previous record-holder Kung Fu Panda ($26 million). It held the record until 2015, when it was surpassed by Chinese Monkey King: Hero Is Back. The Asian-themed film scored the largest opening weekend for an animated film in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, in South Korea and Thailand. It became the highest-grossing film released in Vietnam, surpassing Avatar.

Accolades

AwardCategoryWinner/NomineeResult
Academy AwardsBest Animated FeatureJennifer Yuh NelsonNominated
Alliance of Women Film JournalistsBest Animated FilmKung Fu Panda 2
Best Animated FemaleAngelina Jolie
Best Woman DirectorJennifer Yuh Nelson
Annie AwardsBest Animated FeatureMelissa Cobb
Animated Effects in an Animated ProductionDave Tidgwell
Jason Mayer
Character Animation in a Feature ProductionDan Wagner
Pierre Perifel
Directing in a Feature ProductionJennifer Yuh NelsonWon
Production Design in a Feature ProductionRaymond Zilbac
Storyboarding in a Feature ProductionGary Graham
Philip Craven
Nominated
Voice Acting in a Feature ProductionGary Oldman
Voice Acting in a Feature ProductionJames Hong
Editing in a Feature ProductionClare Knight
ASCAP AwardTop Box Office FilmsHans Zimmer and John PowellWon
1st Behind the Voice Actors AwardsBest Vocal Ensemble in a Feature FilmKung Fu Panda 2
Best Female Vocal Performance in a Feature FilmAngelina JolieNominated
Best Male Vocal Performance in a Feature FilmGary Oldman
Critics' Choice AwardsBest Animated FeatureJennifer Yuh Nelson
Golden Reel AwardsBest Sound Editing – Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR in an Animation Feature FilmJohn Marquis
Golden Tomato Awards 2011Best Animated FilmKung Fu Panda 25th Place
Denver Film Critics SocietyBest Animated FilmNominated
Houston Film Critics SocietyBest Animated Film
Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite Animated Movie
Favorite Voice From an Animated MovieJack Black
Online Film Critics SocietyBest Animated FeatureMelissa Cobb
People's Choice AwardsFavorite Movie Animated VoiceJack Black
Producers Guild of America AwardsBest Animated Theatrical Motion PicturesMelissa Cobb
San Diego Film Critics Society AwardsBest Animated FilmJennifer Yuh Nelson and Mellisa Cobb
Satellite AwardsMotion Picture, Animated or Mixed MediaKung Fu Panda 2
Saturn AwardsBest Animated Film
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association AwardsBest Animated FilmJennifer Yuh Nelson
Teen Choice AwardsChoice Movie Animated VoiceJack Black
Visual Effects Society AwardsOutstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Motion PictureMelissa Cobb, Alex Parkinson, Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Raymond Zibach
Women Film Critics CircleBest Animated FemalesKung Fu Panda 2

Marketing

DreamWorks Animation has invested $100 million in creating promotional partners and building up marketing for its films. For Kung Fu Panda 2, DWA has partnerships with McDonald's, AT&T, Best Buy, General Mills (cereals), Sun-Maid (raisins), Airheads (candy), Hint Water and HP. The film's characters are used in products and advertising campaigns across various media. The studio is also pursuing social media efforts to promote the film.

DWA partnered with House Foods America to brand its products, notably tofu, with advertising of the film. Variety reported that the partnership was the first-ever between a film studio and a tofu company. The studio also enlisted the parade balloon of Po from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to tour in six cities, concluding with Los Angeles over Memorial Day weekend in late May 2011.

Merchandise was also produced for the film: Fisher-Price (toys), THQ (video games), Hallmark (cards), and Jem Sportswear (apparel). Publishers VTech, Penguin Books, Dalmatian Press, and Ape Entertainment released books tied to the film.


Soundtrack

Kung Fu Panda 2:
Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Hans Zimmer & John Powell
ReleasedMay 24, 2011
Recorded2011
GenreScore
Length64:26
LabelVarèse Sarabande
ProducerHans Zimmer
John Powell
Hans Zimmer film scores chronology
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
(2011)
Kung Fu Panda 2:
Music from the Motion Picture

(2011)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
(2011)
John Powell film scores chronology
Rio
(2011)
Kung Fu Panda 2
(2011)
Happy Feet Two
(2011)

Kung Fu Panda 2 is the soundtrack of the film of the same name, collaboratively scored by Hans Zimmer and John Powell and originally released on May 24, 2011.


Video game

A video game adaptation of the film was developed by Griptonite Games and published by THQ on May 23, 2011. The game was released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii and Nintendo DS platforms. The plot takes place after the events of the film, and features Po and the rest of the Furious Five troubled by an evil group of Komodo dragon mercenaries. With the help of the other kung fu masters, Po has to uncover the plot behind this siege and put a stop to it.


Sequel

The sequel, Kung Fu Panda 3, was released on January 29, 2016. It was directed again by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, and was produced in co-production with the Chinese-American studio Oriental DreamWorks.