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Kung Fu Panda Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Though occasionally visually inventive, Kung Fu Panda is a disappointment when it comes to matters of simple black and white: the script.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The essence of the film is slapsticky, chopsocky action, rendered with great verve and accompanied by bromides having to do with the need to believe.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Everything about Kung Fu Panda is a little better, a little sharper, a little funnier than the animated run of the mill.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The stroke of genius is, of course, the film's hero -- the big, lovable bear that is the Chinese panda.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Light and goofy, yet the fight scenes, which are the heart of the film, are lickety-split mad fun.

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  • See all Kung Fu Panda reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

Appealing kid-friendly comedy; some scary scenes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids will definitely want to see this heavily promoted (including McDonald's Happy Meals) animated film -- which stars kid fave Jack Black as the voice of the main character, Po. And its humor and heartwarming story will appeal to grown-ups, too. The movie boasts positive messages about being who you are and believing in yourself, but it is martial arts-themed, so expect plenty of fast-paced battle scenes with kicks, punches, falls, and more. Even though they're animated, some sequences -- especially the one in which intimidating villain Tai Lung escapes from prison -- may be a little too scary for kindergartners and younger. Families who buy this on DVD as the "Pandamonium Double Pack" are also getting a cartoon short called Secrets of the Furious Five. See our review.

  • Families can talk about Po's decision to follow his dreams and pursue martial arts greatness. Was he right? What makes Po different from the other heroes in the movie? What do they learn from him? And what does Po's ease with himself teach young viewers? What makes him such a great kung fu warrior?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Po discovers that there's no secret ingredient to greatness -- you just have to be yourself. This positive theme resonates throughout the film. The issue of eating as a coping mechanism is raised (Po has to unlearn that habit).

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Po also has a good attitude in general, taking the Furious Five's initial chilliness in stride and ultimately giving his all to his training. Bad guy Tai Lung is a total bully -- but flashbacks soften his character slightly.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Not surprisingly, there's lots of martial arts action -- expect tons of high-flying clashes that include punches, kicks, falls, and more. That said, the fights are generally more thrilling than frightening, though they could upset kids 5 and under -- particularly the sequence in which villain Tai Lung breaks out of a maximum security prison.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not applicable

  • language false0

    Language: Fairly clean, though the word "suck" is used prominently, and insults are hurled at Po by nearly everyone.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Lots of mentions of the fictional martial arts movies that the Furious Five and other kung fu masters were in. The movie also has many promotional tie-ins.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable