Kung Fu Panda Kicks Butt
Old story becomes a fun journey in fast-paced martial arts animation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2008 9:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – Dreamworks' animal extravaganza Kung Fu Panda isn't packed full of surprises, the critics say, but top-notch visual and voice acting lift it above the standard animal adventure fare. Jack Black gives the lead character, a pudgy panda who dreams of becoming a martial arts master, a "slightly abashed suburban-couch-potato sweetness," Owen Gleiberman writes in Entertainment Weekly.

An A-list packed cast, including  a "terrific" Dustin Hoffman as a wise old master, helps make the movie "infectious and inspiring, despite one's best efforts to resist its charms," John Anderson writes in the Washington Post. The story of an underdog—or underpanda's—battle against the odds is a familiar tale but with "enough invention and irreverence to make the film feel fresh," Steven Rea writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer.