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The Delphi

The Student News Site of Delaware Valley Regional High School

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What movie are you most excited for this summer?

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“Kung Fu Panda 4” releases in theaters

A new addition to a great series
The+poster+for+%E2%80%9CKung+Fu+Panda+4%2C%E2%80%9D+out+in+theaters+on+March+8.
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The poster for “Kung Fu Panda 4,” out in theaters on March 8.

The newest addition to the “Kung Fu Panda” series released on March 8: “Kung Fu Panda 4.”

This movie is similar to the other three in the series, but script writer Jonathan Aibel did a great job progressing the movie forward, such as introducing some important and long-lasting characters for future sequels. 

The plot of the new “Kung Fu Panda” movie is similar to the other films, as the story begins with a new villain being introduced, the Valley of Peace is alerted of the danger and the main character Po tries to save the day. It can be predictable if you’ve watched the other movies, but there are still great plot twists.  

Two things similar in this movie to the other three are themes and humor. Most of the humor comes from Po cracking jokes mid-battle, and the theme is doing the right thing. Po always preaches peace and changing for the better, which is a great theme for a kids movie. 

One change to this movie compared to the other three is the engagement of the parent audience. Both of Po’s parents play a huge role in this movie, and they even risk their lives for Po’s safety. This is important as parents are the ones bringing their kids to this movie, so they can relate to a heartwarming message.

The “Kung Fu Panda” series is known for having great transitions, and this movie was no exception. After nearly every scene, director Mark Osborne used a clever transition to bring the audience into the next scene. “Kung Fu Panda 4” also had great visual aspects during the fight scenes, such as a sick slow motion scene.

Another aspect was the glowing trail during fights; they have used this in past movies, such as the first movie with Tai Lung has a blue glowing trail during his nerve punch. In the fourth movie, Po had a glowing green trail when using the Staff of Wisdom. I personally found this aspect of the fighting aesthetically pleasing throughout the sequel and was happy when they continued it in this movie. 

Which is the best "Kung Fu Panda" film?

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Po is voiced by Jack Black. Black brings humor throughout this movie, just like he has done with the other three movies. Two new and important voice actors are Viola Davis (Chameleon) and Awkwafina (Zhen). They also fit their roles amazingly. It was a nice change for “Kung Fu Panda” to get more female voice actors as it has been a series mainly dominated by male voice actors.

However, while talking about characters in this movie, it’s important to note that the Furious Five are not a part of this movie. This disappointed me, as I loved the group when watching the first three movies as a kid, and they had tremendous and funny voice actors, such as Seth Rogan. 

When stacked up to the other three movies, this movie does fall short. Even though it was similar in aspects such as cinematography, humor and themes, it mainly lacked in action. There were still a couple fight scenes, however the last and main fight scenes were too short, especially when comparing to the first movie’s final fight scene between Po and Tai Lung. This final fight scene did not live up to the expectations created by the first three movies.

If you enjoyed the first three movies of the sequel, you would definitely still enjoy this movie. Aibel did a great job incorporating new aspects into the sequel such as female characters, engaging the parent audience and setting up the next installments of the sequel as the film established a new main character.

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Danny Shapiro
Danny Shapiro, Contributing Writer
Danny Shapiro is a senior at Del Val and a contributing review writer for "The Delphi."
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