When it comes to Dreamworks films, they are second tier Pixar in all forms of animation, but as stories go they're either really good or really meh. But they're most successful franchise besides Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon is Kung Fu Panda with the sequel being my personal favorite. With the the second film, the film cliffhangs you with absolute promise of a third film being much more significant than the second.
In 2016, one of the most successful animated franchises in the world returns with its biggest comedy adventure yet, KUNG FU PANDA 3. When Po's long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible-learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!
In the second installation in the franchise, we saw Po grow as a character that we can relate to and sympathize with. Now with the third film in the franchise, for some estranged reason it feels as if all the character development for Po was thrown out the window. The reason I say this is because, he is just as immature as we saw him in the first film. He is still a Panda man-child and his biological father is no different. Where in the ending in the second film it left us on a note where we question, wow all these different pandas are they going to be very wise intellectual creatures apart from Po or are they going to do the ongoing fat joke because they're pandas? Take a very wild and disappointing guess onto what they do?
It's a shame they do that, but all of the faults in character and story does make up for the animation, martial arts action, and bits of elements sprinkled into the story. What can you say the animation in this franchise is beautiful and the addition of adding a majestic looking spirit realm is proof in of itself that the franchise can do different things. The villain is different from the others, but not as memorable. Kai is a good villain, but he's lacking of character to a point when Po just shit talks him you just feel as if you're on Po's side. The action here is still badass, but unfortunately even in the fast pacing of the story, it's a bit too rushed. There is a training montage that is so fast that it just feels unbelievable.
The best element in the story is the dad rivalry between Po's duck dad and his panda dad and it serves some real emotion to the story. Yes there are a lot of problems with this film especially since this time around the demographic is for smaller ones, but overall its still a damn good film. When there is nothing out there for kids to go out and see, this is the perfect film to showcase them especially this early in the movie. I mean it's either this or Norm of the North, of course its easy for them to make their choice. By the moment the movie ends you get the sense of a good trilogy that has a damn near perfect ending to a trilogy.
Dreamworks know how to use their 3D to good advantage, but recently like their films they've been falling off, but with Kung Fu Panda 3 they're back on track. The film 3D is really good especially when they display the Chinese stylistic background. There are lights and petals that occasionally fill the screen and when they flow at you they're nearly majestic.
Not as strong in the character growth and story as its predecessors, but in accounts to animation, style, and quickly paced action Kung Fu Panda 3 should deliver enough for families everywhere.