We got new details last week on the upcoming Kung fu Panda 3 and I have to say I am not impressed. You guys know I am not a big Dreamworks fan. I love Prince of Egypt and think the How to Train Your Dragon movies are very good but aside from that most of their movies are too silly for my taste with the dopey humor and pop culture references.
The Kung fu Panda series is an interesting study because just this week I rewatched the first one and to be honest I didn’t think it held up very well. I liked it ok when it first came out but now the jokes felt incredibly dated and unfunny. The villain is bland and while it looks nice it didn’t do much for me. The second movie I saw on a plane years ago and remember thinking it was better than the first. At the time I thought it had a better villain, more action, less reliant on the jokes and had more fleshed out depictions of the Fierce 5. I know that will bring much discussion on the blog but I haven’t seen it since then and I don’t LOVE it so calm down.
Last year Dreamworks had a pretty good year for me but not at the box office . I liked Mr Peabody and Sherman, Penguins of Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon 2. None of them were my favorite of the year but they were all solid. Then I saw Home and hated that but it did very well at box office. That and Illumination’s Minions success shows how much my taste can predict box office!. Then they announced Kung fu Panda 3 and we got a teaser trailer I didn’t like. It looked to be going back to the typical Dreamworks silliness and lame jokes.
Anyway, then we get this news about the plot and I am even more skeptical.According to Entertainment Weekly:
“The next villain will be Kai (J.K. Simmons), a bull who is especially notable because he is the first supernatural big bad of the series. “He’s somebody that’s beyond Tai Lung, beyond Shen,” says co-director Jennifer Yuh Nelson of the new antagonist, who has large horns, leather armor, and uses two jade swords with chains attached as his go-to weapon.
Nelson says of the early stages of the film, when she and her fellow filmmakers were deciding where to take it, “and it was like ‘You can’t go brawler because Tai Lung was brawler. You can’t go smarter because Shen was smarter. Where can you go? You have to go supernatural, bigger, and even more intimidating.”
Aside from the casting of JK Simmons this sounds like a horrifically terrible idea and their logic is bizarre. You can’t go brawler or smarter so you by necessity have to go supernatural? In what world are those the only 3 options? How about doing a combination of brawl and smarts making him a lethal mixture? Or how about making him politically powerful with an army at his disposal (why has Po only faced 1 villain at a time?)? How about make it a female bear and her sexy and a vixen to tempt Po? I can think of about a million other types of villains they could use rather than having him be some kind of alien.
Even the design of the bull alien looks awful and like something out of a bad video game. And like I said I was not impressed with the animation or where it was going in the teaser trailer with Po’s father being introduced to begin with. Groan…
Don’t get me wrong- it could be good. I always go into a film with an open mind and when I like it I will say so even if everyone else hates it . However, everything I have heard or seen so far makes me incredibly skeptical of the entire project.
I even wonder how much faith Dreamworks has in Kung fu Panda 3. January is notoriously the dumping ground for bad movies and its release date of January 29, 2016 is highly suspect. I don’t get it. If they believed in the movie they would release it over the Christmas holiday where they could make bank right?
Anyway that’s my thought of that. What did you guys think of these new plot updates for Kung Fu Panda 3? Are you as skeptical as I am?