“Kung Fu Panda 2” offers eye candy, wisdom for kids
“Kung Fu Panda 2” makes one thing clear from the get-go: Lord Shen, he’s one angry bird.
Gary Oldman voices the peacock whose pride may goeth, but not before he causes a storm of destruction in the lovely sequel to the 2008 surprise that introduced us to Po.
Jack Black returns as the voice of the pudgy panda who dreamed of becoming a martial-arts hero. Angelina Jolie returns as Tigress. Dustin Hoffman reprises Master Shifu, Po’s wise, wry teacher.
Along with the Furious Five, Shifu keeps the peace in the optimistically named Valley of Peace. And his father Mr. Ping’s noodle restaurant has the memorabilia to prove it.
Directed with verve and nerve by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, “Kung Fu Panda 2” offers plenty of lessons about misreading destiny as the right to rule unfettered, about parental love and disappointment, about parental love and compassion. If you are looking for age-old parables recast against a vividly rendered world, this kid’s flick bests “Thor.”