Po is a panda who wants to be one of the Furious Five, a group of kung fu masters. But he's big and clumsy and set to inherit his dad's noodle shop. But then he accidentally ("There are no accidents") gets chosen to become the Dragon Warrior. Which would be awesome, but the Furious Five and their master all hate him for being big and clumsy and not a member of the Furious Five.
Meanwhile, a leopard who the master had trained back in the day who thinks he should be the Dragon Warrior is escaping from jail to reclaim his status and probably kill a bunch of people 'cause he's a villain like that.
I really liked Kung Fu Panda. It's one of those "work hard and follow your dreams and you can do anything" movies. It was entertaining and most of the characters were completely loveable. Even the leopard; he's a good villain. Big and menacing and the type of guy who doesn't think twice about killing a thousand rhinosceri.
Heck, I can't think of a character that I didnt' like.
Except Tigeress. I'm not sure why the audience is supposed to be on her side but not the leopard's; I saw pretty much no difference between the two of them. She just threw a smaller tantrum when she didn't get picked to be Dragon Warrior. But both of them had that "it was supposed to be me" attitude and I don't believe for a second that she ever stopped believing it. Add that onto the fact that I never like self proclaimed leaders (I've always despised Leonardo and the Red Ranger, too) and you've got a character that I'm guaranteed to hate.
Other than her, though, the movie was great. I absolutely loved Po's dad, a manic, optimistic goose. He's one of those characters who you just want to hug all the time.
The most brilliant thing, though, is this movie understands the superhuman abilities a person can achieve when they need cookies. The needs of the sweet tooth outweigh the needs of the full. Or something.
You know how when Julie And Julia came out everyone talked about how it was food porn and the whole movie makes you really hungry? And then there's only a lot of food near the beginning and the whole movie mostly makes you want to smack Julie Powell for being a self centered twat? ... Wait, what was my point?
Oh yeah, food porn! Kung Fu Panda is food porn. By the end of this movie I was craving noodles and miso soup and dumplings and almond cookies like nobody's business. In fact, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
Why does food in cartoons always look so delicious?
End of line.