[Screen It]


(2008) (voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman) (PG)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
None Minor Heavy *Moderate Heavy
Moderate None Moderate None None
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Minor None Mild Moderate Moderate

Animated Comedy: An out of shape panda and others are shocked when he's chosen by a martial arts master to be the topmost warrior.
Po (voice of JACK BLACK), an out of shape panda, has always dreamed of being a martial arts fighter. Yet, his lack of fitness means he's probably relegated to one day taking over the noodle shop run by his father, Mr. Ping (voice of JAMES HONG). When word gets out that esteemed martial arts legend Master Oogway (voice of RANDALL DUK KIM) is going to announce the new Dragon Warrior, Po enthusiastically races to the Jade Palace to watch the ceremony.

The odds on favorite would seem to be one of The Furious Five, the quintet of students training under Oogway's assistant, Shifu (voice of DUSTIN HOFFMAN). Yet, for all of their martial arts prowess, Tigress (voice of ANGELINA JOLIE), Monkey (voice of JACKIE CHAN), Mantis (voice of SETH ROGEN), Viper (voice of LUCY LIU) and Crane (voice of DAVID CROSS), don't make the sort of accidental impression Po does. To everyone's shock, Oogway announces he'll be the next Dragon Warrior.

Nobody's more surprised than Po, and Shifu immediately sets out to prove the roly-poly panda is the wrong choice. Yet, Po perseveres, and Shifu eventually realizes the wisdom of Oogway's decision. All of which is important since feared warrior Tai Lung (voice of IAN McSHANE) has escaped from the prison run by Commander Vachir (voice of MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN) and is now headed for the Jade Palace, desirous of being the Dragon Warrior, a role he believes is rightly his.

With time running out, Shifu tries to train Po as best as he can for the confrontation, with the initially reluctant Furious Five soon joining forces with him to battle Tai Lung.

It's a good bet many younger ones will.
For sequences of martial arts action.
It's debatable whether kids view non-human animated characters as role models, but here's a quick look at their major characteristics.
  • PO is the out of shape panda who dreams of being a martial arts master rather than one day taking over his father's noodle business. He gets the chance when Oogway unexpectedly chooses him to be the next Dragon Master. Willing but insecure and prone to overeating when nervous, he must contend with Shifu and the others doubting him and/or trying to drive him out. Nevertheless, he perseveres, and must then contend with battling Tai Lung.
  • SHIFU is his initially unwilling mentor who'd rather drive him out than train him (due to thinking he's a poor choice for the role thrust upon him). He eventually sees the error of his thinking and does his best to train Po, all while knowing all too much about Tai Lung.
  • TAI LUNG is his former student and adopted son, a formidable fighter who turned bad upon the disappointment of Oogway not choosing him to be the Dragon Master. He escapes from a maximum security prison and then sets off for the village to claim what he believes is his.
  • TIGRESS is one of Shifu's students, and she's a no-nonsense warrior who thinks Po is the wrong choice, but eventually sides with him.
  • MONKEY, MANTIS, VIPER and CRANE are the other students who share similar sentiments.
  • MR. PING is Po's father, a goose who runs a noodle business, hopes his son will follow in his footsteps, and dispenses various bits of wisdom.
  • MASTER OOGWAY is the old master arts master who shocks everyone by choosing Po as the next Dragon Master, but obviously knows what he's doing.
  • COMMANDER VACHIR is the cocky warden of the prison holding Tai Lung who isn't above taunting his lone prisoner, but must then contend with the repercussions of that.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated animated comedy. No profanity is present, but various colorful phrases are. A character refers to his testicles when hit there, and is separately seen with bowls on his chest that makes it appear as if he's wearing a bra of sorts.

    Violence consists of all sorts of physical contact during both martial arts training and actual fighting. There are hard blows, but no one is killed (although one character dies from old age). Some of that material as well as various visuals might be unsettling or suspenseful to younger kids, but probably few if any others, while the martial arts training/fighting and other behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while a little bit of tense family material is present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from flashes of lightning toward the end of the film.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some bouncy camera movement from time to time.

  • None.
  • During a battle, we see a close-up view of Po's large butt landing on Tai Lung's face (played for comedy).
  • No longer affected by Tai Lung's blows, Po starts laughing as they only tickle him, with him pleading for Tai Lung to stop, saying he's going to pee from all of that.
  • Commander Vachir purposefully stomps down on Tai Lung's tail.
  • Shifu doesn't approve of Po as Master Oogway's choice as the next dragon warrior. Accordingly, he badmouths and physically abuses him, at least at first.
  • Shifu makes fun of Po being fat, as do the Furious Five.
  • Tigress has a bad attitude toward Po, at least initially, but only based on Master Oogway choosing him over her as the next dragon warrior.
  • We see a flashback to Tai Lung causing all sorts of property damage after becoming upset that Master Oogway didn't choose him as the next dragon warrior. He also knocks Shifu aside before Master Oogway does a nerve paralysis blow that essentially renders Tai Lung unconscious/paralyzed. In the present story, Tai Lung escapes from prison, determined to return to the palace and claim the title he believes is his.
  • Po mocks the way Shifu looks and behaves.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers but probably few if any others.
  • Some of the imagery in the film (especially of Tai Lung appearing menacing, with glowing eyes and sharp teeth, etc. as well as some briefly seen, but fierce-looking dragons) might be unsettling, suspenseful or maybe even scary to younger viewers.
  • The dark and foreboding prison holding Tai Lung might be scary looking to some younger viewers, especially when we aren't initially sure who or what Tai Lung is, and only see him splayed out and bent over, chained to a platform.
  • Spoiler Alert: Master Oogway tells Shifu the time has come and then slowly dissolves away into the sky (meaning he's died). This isn't played in a suspenseful or scary way, but kids might be upset by it.
  • Kids may worry that Shifu has died (after battling Tai Lung), but he then tells Po he's just meditating and wants him to be quiet.
  • Swords/Crossbows/Arrows/Spears/Axes/Harpoons: Carried and/or used to attempt to attack others. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see several throwing stars embedded in Po's wall, but he can't get the last one to stick despite repeated attempts.
  • Guards carry spears and axes.
  • Crossbows are aimed at Tai Lung.
  • Various swords and other weapons are on display in a chamber.
  • Phrases: "Maybe you should chew on my fist," "Kung-fuey," "Sorry doesn't make the noodles," "I love kung fuuuuuu!" "No way," "Whoa," "Get ready to feel the thunder," "My tenders" (testicles), "You're awesome," "Sucked," "Sucking," "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow's a mystery. But today is a gift. That's why they call it the present," "I wish my mouth was bigger," "That's cool," "Oh c'mon," What are you gonna do big guy, sit on me?" "I am the big fat panda" "Skidoosh," and "I'm not dying, you idiot."
  • Some/all of the martial arts fighting and other action might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Po attaches many fireworks to a chair and then lights them, hoping they'll blast him up and over the palace wall.
  • Po mocks the way Shifu looks and behaves.
  • Two rice bowls end up stuck to the front of Po, unintentionally mimicking a bra or bikini top on him.
  • None.
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful/ominous and action-oriented music occurs in the film.
  • None.
  • None.
  • When Po is accidentally hit in the crotch, he exclaims, "My tenders!"
  • Two rice bowls end up stuck to the front of Po, unintentionally mimicking a bra or bikini top on him.
  • None.
  • Spoiler Alert: We learn that Tai Lung was Shifu's adoptive son who ended up turning bad. The two meet again late in the film where they battle.
  • Martial arts.
  • The comment that everyone has their place in the world.
  • The comment that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
  • The fact that Po eats a lot while nervous.
  • The comment that there are no accidents in life (meaning everything happens for a purpose).
  • The comment that one only has to believe to make something special.
  • We see a dream Po is having (shown in old style animation) where his kung fu character hits and strikes (punches, kicks, other blows, etc.) various enemies before blasting many of them away.
  • Shifu's five students all try to attack him (before we know their connection and that this is part of their training), but he easily fends them off with his cane.
  • A bird messenger accidentally flies into a column.
  • Po runs into the large doors of the palace as they close. He then jumps up and hangs onto the edge of a wall window, but then falls from that and lands hard. Trying to get into the palace, he then punches the huge door, ends up smashing into the wall, and has a bent tree rebound and smack into him. He then tries catapulting himself over the wall, but ends up hitting and bouncing off various rooftops. That's followed by him attaching many fireworks to a chair, with that blasting him into the palace wall and then high into the sky. The fireworks and chair disintegrate and he then falls a long distance back to the plaza where he lands hard.
  • Commander Vachir purposefully stomps down on Tai Lung's tail.
  • Po accidentally knocks over an ancient vase, breaking it.
  • Shifu repeatedly whacks Po with his cane.
  • The Furious Five avoid all sorts of weaponry in a training facility (spiked balls swinging at them, flames shooting up, spiked poles spinning about, etc.). Po then hits a bottom-weighted dummy that rebounds and knocks him back into that course, where all sorts of things hit him, including in the crotch (with him exclaiming, "My tenders"). After going through the flames, he's a bit charred, but otherwise okay.
  • Po accidentally kicks back through a rice paper wall.
  • Commander Vachir grabs a messenger bird by the neck.
  • Guards fire harpoons at Tai Lung as he begins to escape, but he avoids and kicks or knocks some of them back. A massive volley of arrows is then fired at him, but he avoids them by just getting under a platform that's being hoisted out of the pit. Commander Vachir then cuts the chains or ropes pulling that up, sending it falling down. Tai Lung manages to get back up and avoids many guards when not hitting or kicking them about. Commander Vachir then activates a system where massive stalactites crash through the stone bridge Tai Lung's on, but he scurries up one stalactite after another until reaching the top level. From the outside, we then see an explosion of force blow open a door, scattering many guards in many directions.
  • Tai Lung grabs a messenger bird by the neck.
  • As part of his training, members of the Furious Five repeatedly hit and knock Po around, followed by Shifu doing the same (including spinning him around, bending various body parts, and kicking him away). That results in Po falling and bouncing down the very long stone steps leading down from the palace into the village below (played for comedy).
  • Acupuncture needles cause Po pain when they're poked into him.
  • We see a flashback to Tai Lung causing all sorts of property damage after becoming upset that Master Oogway didn't choose him as the next dragon warrior. He also knocks Shifu aside before Master Oogway does a nerve paralysis blow that essentially renders Tai Lung unconscious/paralyzed.
  • Shifu pokes and trips Po with his cane.
  • Shifu discovers that Po has wrecked a kitchen while hunting for and then eating food. After going up quite high to get more, Po then falls hard to the floor.
  • We see a training montage where there's contact between Shifu and Po.
  • Tai Lung and Shifu battle, with the latter initially able to defend himself from Tai Lung who sends a huge boulder, various weapons, and other things at him, while also kicking/knocking him backwards (and causing all sorts of property damage). He eventually pins Shifu to the floor with the latter's cane. He then knocks Shifu around more, chases him around with flaming fists, punches him around, grabs him by the neck, and smashes him down to the floor.
  • Tai Lung and Po battle, with blows and kicks blocked and delivered, as well as the two falling & bouncing down some steps, with Po's large butt landing on Tai Lung's face at one point. The battle and both knocking each other around continues (played for action and comedy), with large metal pans bashed to a face, and parts of a building sent toward the opponent. Tai Lung then blasts Po down onto a road and then smashes into him.
  • As the battle continues, Po blasts Tai Lung backwards, spins him around, and causes Tai Lung to bite his own tail. Po then uses his large belly to bounce Tai Lung so far into the sky that he loses sight of him. Tai Lung eventually falls back and crashes hard into the road. Po then grabs Tai Lung's finger and does some powerful move on him that sends a massive shock wave in all directions, defeating Tai Lung.

  • Reviewed May 8, 2008 / Posted June 6, 2008

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