Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010 TV Short)
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Even though its not as good as the first movie, the plot isn't bad. But it doesn't have any funny or good moments like in the movie. Good thing is that Dreamworks did not try to make a movie out of this, else it would've been bit boring. Anyway if you did love the movie, you can watch this one
Although, not as great as the original's plot, the plot in this holiday special wasn't that bad. The computer animation was beautiful with the same lovely visuals. The characters are once again likable and the voice acting was as perfect as the original's. Even the music from Hans Zimmer and John Powell (accompanied by Henry Jackman) was pretty good.
Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special would always be recommended to fans of the franchise as one of Dreamworks' wonderful holiday specials.
The story is precisely the sort of crap you expect in the worst such specials --- Po learns a valuable lesson about the importance of family, blah blah --- with absolutely none of the surprise, subversion, or humor that one finds in the better such specials.
The animation is likewise derivative, generic, with none of the originality of the movie.
Saddest of all was the attempt to pretend that what we are watching is Christmas (as understood by East Coast America --- no snow in LA!) without ever actually saying the word; instead we get vague references to the "Winter Feast".
It is a short cartoon with a positive message of listening to your heart might help you make the right decision.
The Winter festival is approaching. As always Po wants to celebrate it with his father by cooking a meal together.
Master Shifu tells Po it is his duty to host the annual winter feast as a Dragon Warrior and for all the other masters and it is a ritualised affair.
Po gets help from the Furious Five to prepare for the feast but Po realises that he should be with his father for the holidays.
As a Dreamworks short this is passable and the kids would enjoy this. I found the animation average and certainly would not past muster for cinema release. The plot is rather syrupy and moralising when it needed to be spiky.
Story-wise I was not really impressed though. The Christmas reference was basically limited to Panda asking himself whether to spend Christmas night with his fellow Kung Fu masters as he's obliged to or with his dear ones. The problem wasn't really that the outcome couldn't be more obvious (that's usually the case with holiday short films), but that the Christmas message got a bit lost in the action sequences and goofy fun parts. Although the ending was executed very nicely, it couldn't really make up for everything before. Maybe they should have limited it to 15 minutes max. It's an okay watch for the holidays and a fine way to reduce the waiting time till the third Kung Fu panda movie in 2015, but that's pretty much it.
"Kung Fu Panda Holiday" is quite a sweet animation film, because it is fun as usual. The jokes are funny, and I giggled quite a few times. The fact that they highlight the struggle two different duties is a good thing, because this might be unfamiliar to Western people, but all to familiar to people in the East. The festive theme makes the story light and fun. I enjoyed it.
This is a functional family holiday fare. It's got the original cast and the familiar characters. Po learns another lesson and it all ends well. It's not particularly unusual.