Friday, July 11, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Yesterday was Josh's first day "out" since his surgery. Fortunately, it was a day he didn't ask for any pain medicine and his tongue is apparently on the mend. I had to work but told him if he could make it from 9-1, we'd go see Kung Fu Panda afterwards. He was a great trooper and made himself a "nest" in the backseat and watched movies we got from the RedBox.

I highly recommend the Kung Fu Panda movie. I'm not impressed a lot with movies these days but this one was very, very good. I think what I liked most of all was the message. If you haven't seen the movie and don't want any spoilers, just don't read any further because I will be talking about the movie, including it's ending.

Panda (Po) gets chosen "by accident" to be the Kung Fu Dragon -- the "big cheese" of Kung Fu, to fight some really bad Kung Fu warrior, Tai Lung, who is the best in the land and currently in jail. The Turtle Oogway (head Kung Fu dude) tells Kung Fu Master Shifu there are no accidents. YAY!!! No, there aren't. There is a God who is in charge of all things. It's Po's lifelong dream to be a Kung Fu Master.

Poor Po appears to have no skills and the other kung fu warriors tell him he is fat. Ahh... now, there's a story we've heard before, unfortunately. Po is also very ungraceful, falling down a lot, breaking things -- typical boy fashion. Master Shifu says he can't train him. Finally, after the Turtle Oogway dies and Kung Fu Master takes over, and realizes he has to try to train Po. Ironically, he realizes that Po has talent as long as he is motivated by food. He then says, "I am sorry. I just have to use a different method to train you than I did the other Masters." Well ... another truth. All people learn differently and that doesn't make you stupid.

Finally, Po is trained and is set to get the Dragon Scroll (it has been closed for 1000s of years). When he get it, it is blank -- or so they think -- and so the entire town is evacuated because the evil Tai Lung, a snow leopard Kung Fu master gone bad, is escaped from prison and coming back to wreak havoc and kill Master Shifu.

Po, forgetting the Kung Fu skills he learned, leaves town with everyone else because he thinks he didn't get the powers he expected from the Dragon scroll. Then, he looks at it one last time and see that it's a mirror -- reflecting his imagine -- and realizes that the power to do everything is already inside him. AWESOME.

And so he and Tai Lung have their big fight and we can all guess who wins. Tai Lung gets the scroll from him and sees there is nothing on it and Po explains to him that he "didn't get it" at first either, but that the power comes from within.

My favorite scene in the movie -- where it finally dawned on me that Po OBVIOUSLY has ADHD is this one:

Po: [checking to make sure Shifu is okay after his fight with Tai Lung] Master! Shifu! Shifu, are you okay? Shifu: [coughs] Po, you're alive. Or we're both dead. Po: No, Master I didn't die. I defeated Tai Lung. Shifu: You did? [Po nods and smiles] Shifu: Wow. It is as Oogway foretold, you are the Dragon Warrior. You have brought peace to this valley and... and to me. Thank you, thank you Po. Thank you, thank you. [slowly lays his head back down, assumingly dead] Po: [Po looks disbelievingly at the red panda] No! No no no, don't die, Shifu please! Shifu: I'm not dying, you idiot! [he catches himself] Shifu: Ah, Dragon Warrior, I am simply at peace. [lays down and folds his hands together, smiling] Shifu: Finally. Po: Ooh, so um, I should.. stop talking? Shifu: If you can.

Poor Po, of course, can't. *smile*

After the movie, I tried to talk to Josh about the lessons he could get from the movie about learning different ways, how the power to do well is within you, how it doesn't matter what size you are, etc. He looked at me and said, "Mama, it was just a movie."

Ahh... yes.

The scenery and Chinese references in the movie were also very beautiful and well done.

One interesting fact that I kept thinking was going to be explored in the movie, but it wasn't, was that Po's father was a goose, who owns a noodle making business and keeps talking about telling Po that he is going to tell him the secret ingredient in his noodle soup. Toward the end of the movie, Po says to his dad something like, "Sometimes I don't feel like I'm like you" or something to that effect. His dad says, "Po, I have a secret to tell you. It's something I should have told you a long time ago." At this point, I'm thinking he's going to reveal that Po is adopted, but he simply tells him there is no "secret" to his "secret noodle soup." So. It would have been nice to have seen that explored a bit, but maybe they ran out of time -- or maybe it was just for comedic effect. Who know?

It's a movie I WILL want to see again -- not something you hear from me often. Skadoosh!

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

We loved it too! I thought it was very clever about the goose being his father. Yes, he is obviously adopted, but his father just sees his son when he looks at him. It really is a beautiful animated feature.