With powerful enemies at the gates, all hope has been pinned on an ancient prophesy that a hero will rise to save the day. But among all the martial arts masters who come forward, none has shown the mark of The Chosen One … until now. When Po unwittingly shows up in the midst of the competition, the masters are shocked to see that this unmotivated panda bears the mark. Now it is up to them to turn this gentle giant into a kung fu fighter before it’s too late. Dustin Hoffman is the voice of Shifu, the by-the-book and tough-as-nails Kung Fu master, who has been given the unenviable task of turning the undisciplined Po into a kung fu fighter. Jackie Chan’s voice is attached to Master Monkey (we’re sure in very broken English), a strong, agile and dedicated kung fu warrior, who serves as a daily reminder to Po of everything he is not … yet. Ian McShane (Deadwood) is the voice of the villainous Tai Lung, a ferociously powerful snow leopard, who breaks out of prison, intent on using his kung fu skills to destroy the Valley of Peace. Lucy Liu signed on as the voice of Master Viper, another of Po’s teachers, who can be coy and feminine when she needs to be, but can then uncoil the lethal kung fu warrior within.
We’re not sure if pandas will be as popular as penguins on the big screen but if “Kung Fu Panda” is half as good as it promises to be, it will be one of the most popular family films of Summer 2008.