Kung Fu Panda 2 (Blu-ray) (2011)

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Released 24-Nov-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio & Animation
More…-DVD Copy & Digital Copy
Audio Commentary
Audio-Visual Commentary
Trivia
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Deleted Scenes
Game
Featurette
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 90:23
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jennifer Yuh
Studio
Distributor
Dreamworks
Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Jack Black
Angelina Jolie
Dustin Hoffman
Gary Oldman
Jackie Chan
Seth Rogen
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $49.95 Music John Powell
Hans Zimmer
Maryann Brandon


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Danish Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Norwegian Dolby Digital 5.1
Finnish Dolby Digital 5.1
Swedish Dolby Digital 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Danish
English
Spanish
Norwegian
Finnish
Swedish
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Information
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     About this time of the year in 2008, I had the pleasure of reviewing the original Kung Fu Panda. Considering that there have been a few recent misfires in animated sequels such as the disappointing Cars 2, I was interested to see what Dreamworks had done with a sequel to the original high-quality blockbuster. In general terms, this film is at least as good as the original if not better.

     This time around Po and the Furious Five need to rise to the challenge again as China is threatened by a megalomaniac Peacock called Shen (Gary Oldman). He wants to get revenge for the way his parents treated him and so has developed a weapon which he believes will defeat Kung Fu. The weapon is a number of large cannons. He has been sending his henchmen to villages all over China collecting metal to be melted down and turned into cannons. They attack a village near the temple where the Furious Five live which causes Po and his friends to set out across China to defeat Shen and save the country. Along the way, it is revealed to Po that the goose he grew up with is not his real father (not a major surprise to others). As well as defeating Shen he also wants to find out who his real parents where and what happened to them. Shen seems to be involved in some way.

     The original voice cast returned for this film including Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie and Jackie Chan. New voices are provided by Michelle Yeoh, Jean Claude Van Damme, Denis Haysbert and Gary Oldman amongst others. The animation is truly amazing with the CGI style animation showing fantastic detail along with some marvellous anime style animation and some sequences which replicate the look of Chinese shadow puppets. The animation quality in the first film was exceptional but this film is on another level, especially when viewed on Blu-ray. The music is also excellent once again with a score by Hans Zimmer and John Powell.

     The movie is exciting, funny and has a good plot. A marvellous sequel. Highly Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is excellent. The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC.

     The picture was extremely clear and sharp throughout as modern animation generally is on Blu-ray. The shadow detail was excellent. The colour was excellent showing off the fantastic use of colour in the animation.

     There were no artefacts.

     There are subtitles available in Danish, English, Spanish, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, English for the Hearing Impaired. They are clear and easy to read.

     There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is fantastic.

     This disc contains a English soundtrack in Dolby TrueHD 7.1 along with alternate soundtracks in Danish Dolby Digital 5.1, English Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Norwegian Dolby Digital 5.1, Finnish Dolby Digital 5.1, Swedish Dolby Digital 5.1 and an Audio Commentary in Dolby Digital 2.0. The TrueHD track is excellent with loads of surround activity and thumping subwoofer.

     Dialogue was very clear and easy to hear and understand.

     The marvellous score by Hans Zimmer and John Powell sounds fantastic and is wonderfully integrated with the rest of the soundtrack.

     The surround speakers were used constantly for lots of incredible surround effects, atmosphere and music. The subwoofer was also in nearly constant use for action scenes, music and lots of thumps and thuds.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

     The menu included music and some fantastic extra animation.

DVD Version

     A DVD version is included which includes many of the extras and is also of high technical quality.

Digital Copy

     Codes and files are included to put a digital copy on your computer/iphone/ipad/whathaveyou.

Commentary - Director, Producer, Production Designer & Supervising Animator

     This is quite a good commentary but more for the animation buffs than the kiddies. It covers why certain approaches were taken, inspirations, the use of water imagery, voice casting and small details in the various scenes. Subtitles are available. Well worth a listen.

Trivia Subtitle Track

     A decent trivia track which includes a Po eating counter and an inner peace counter for the film. Blu-ray only.

Animation Inspiration (11.33 total)

     An interactive feature about the animators’ trip to China and the various locations they used for design inspiration. It starts with an intro by the director and then has a variety of featurettes available for selection via interactive map or a play all option. Blu-ray only.

Video Commentary - The Animators Corner

     This is a picture-in-picture video commentary featuring the technical crew such as the producer and director talking about the detail of the animation and how it was done. Examples are also shown of pre-visualisation and early sketches. Certainly of interest to animation buffs. Blu-ray only.

Kickin' it with the Cast (12:42)

     Interviews with the voice cast about their roles plus footage of recording sessions. Pretty standard animation extra.

Deleted Scenes (4:21)

     Three deleted ideas which only got developed to rough drawing stage. They are amusing and include intros by the director.

Panda Stories (7:42)

     Focuses on real life Pandas in a research centre in China & the US and the animators and cast interacting with them. Also includes footage of promotional activities at zoos. Ok.

Kung Fu Shuffle

     Two quite similar and simple games which either hide a rabbit under a barrel or Baby Po under a case and then shuffle them around for you to guess which of the three they are under. Will provide short term fun for the littlies.

Ni Hao

     Interactive list of Mandarin words, which when selected are spoken in Mandarin and shown in Chinese characters. Kids can learn a little Mandarin.

World of Dreamworks Animation

     Trailers for other films.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This set is similar in the US, however it adds the short animation film (23 Minutes) - Kung Fu Panda - Legends of the Masters. I am sure this will be released separately here locally. Region A wins. The UK release is the same as our local one.

Summary

     A fun and exciting sequel to the original Kung Fu Panda.

    The video quality is excellent. The audio quality is fantastic.

    A great set of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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