Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Angela Jun 8, 2008

So I went to see Kung Fu Panda today, if only to stave off my starvation for a new animated film.  (Wall*E is just taking FOREVER to get here.)  Having experienced more than a couple of disappointing outings from Dreamworks as of late, I wasn't expecting a whole lot from Panda...... but color me wrong, because the movie ended up being a very pleasant surprise.

In fact, it feels less like a Dreamworks film, and quite a bit more like a Pixar one.  It doesn't go terribly overboard with pop-culture and satirical references, but simply aims to tell a solid coming-of-age tale, and the importance of acceptance.  A couple of folks have even likened it to the caliber of Brad Bird film-making, and though I wouldn't go that far, it's definitely got the heart of one.  There is of course the fight scenes, which admittedly doesn't pick up until well into the second half, but once they get going, they're an absolute blast to watch.  The casting is generally good all around, but the accolades clearly go toward Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman for their stellar performances as Po and Shifu respectively.  The inclusion of James "Oh, five, ten minutes...... Seinfeld, four!" Hong as Po's pop automatically earns the film another star in my book.

I'll need to give the soundtrack a more careful listen, but the first impression I got was Zimmer channeling a bit of his style from Pirates of the Caribbean's Singapore material - just more upbeat and more progressive in orchestration.  It's probably not a stretch to assume John Powell handled more of the tenser cues.

Angela Jun 8, 2008

Idolores wrote:

Curious. What Dreamworks animated productions have you not liked?

Flushed Away, Over The Hedge, Shrek The Third, and The Bee Movie all readily come to mind.  Some are further down the scale than others, but none of them are what I'd call particularly good films.

Pancreatic Porcupine?  Now there's a Metal Gear boss name in the making.

Jodo Kast Jun 8, 2008

longhairmike wrote:

if i remember correctly she was pretty mixed about Pancreatic Porcupine...

What about the Titillating Tardigrade? or the Magnanimous Mesoblast?

Or how about the Bashful Brown Recluse?

longhairmike Jun 8, 2008

Jodo Kast wrote:
longhairmike wrote:

if i remember correctly she was pretty mixed about Pancreatic Porcupine...

What about the Titillating Tardigrade? or the Magnanimous Mesoblast?

Or how about the Bashful Brown Recluse?

dont get me started with the species,, ive been playing an awful lot of Wii African Safari lately...

Abrahm Jun 14, 2008

I saw it Thursday evening.  I saw it again Saturday afternoon.  I love it. 

"There is no charge for awesomeness, or attractiveness!"  Man, only Jack Black can say something like that.  It just wouldn't be funny if someone else said it.

- Voice acting quality was solid (though I thought I heard Jim Cummings when Shifu first spoke).
- Fight scenes were fast and well-choreographed.
- No toilet humor, no overused pop culture references, and no humans!
- As good as Shifu and Po were, I have to say Tai Lung was my favorite.
- Michael Clarke Duncan hasn't gotten any better at voice acting.  He's just as bad as he was in Brother Bear.  sad

Now, bring on the Blu-ray disc!

SonicPanda Jun 14, 2008

Abrahm wrote:

- Voice acting quality was solid (though I thought I heard Jim Cummings when Shifu first spoke)

Y'know, that's a question. What the hell is that guy doing these days? I can't think of anything besides Disney edutainment he's done in the last few years, and he was EVERYWHERE in the 90s. Burnout?

Abrahm Jun 15, 2008

SonicPanda wrote:

Y'know, that's a question. What the hell is that guy doing these days? I can't think of anything besides Disney edutainment he's done in the last few years, and he was EVERYWHERE in the 90s. Burnout?

The last film I heard his voice was TMNT (he's one of the thugs Raphael deals with), and that was in 2007.  I doubt he's looking for work, though; he'll have a job as long as Disney keeps Pete alive.  neutral

Adam Corn Jan 5, 2009

Recently saw this and was surprised to find the voice acting pretty drab, which is something I hardly ever notice in an animated movie.  Dustin Hoffman as the mentor was the weak link I think. (Certain aforementioned performances were worse but less prominent.)

Two less negative, more specific thoughts that sprung to mind while watching this:

1) The 2D animation in the prologue and the Furious Five trailer I found far more striking than the CG.  Had an anime look to it but with bold outlines and just the right amount of fluidity.  Does the Furious Five feature look that good throughout?

2) Why oh why did the evil tiger dude not throw a fireball in the second-to-last battle.  When he has both hands in blue flame and is coming up from a crouch all I could think was "Hadoken!  Hadoken!!"  Surely somebody on the staff must have been tempted to do that - would've been sweet!

Angela Jan 11, 2009

I knew I'd forgotten to reply to this one. But before I do, I just want to say: Adam, you're daft. Hoffman ROCKS as Shifu.  ;)

Adam Corn wrote:

1) The 2D animation in the prologue and the Furious Five trailer I found far more striking than the CG.  Had an anime look to it but with bold outlines and just the right amount of fluidity.  Does the Furious Five feature look that good throughout?

The Furious Five feature combines CG and traditional hand-drawn animation, and fluctuates between the two throughout.  The bold outline style is used the most sparingly though, so to answer the question, no, it isn't like that for the whole thing.  Still, it's a neat watch, and I appreciate the hodge-podge of styles that they used to make this.

By the way, to those who inquired about Jim Cummings -- while he isn't in the main Kung Fu Panda movie, he DOES actually have a role in the Furious Five feature.

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