Kung Fu Panda 2

  • Review Date: May 26, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Panda hero saves the day in surprisingly deep family film.
  • Review Date: May 26, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Offers positive lessons about friendship and teamwork.

Positive messages

The main message is that family is important, but it's not always defined by blood: The people who love and nurture you are also part of your family. The film also focuses on the need to let go of ancient slights that can only drag you down and instead seek to achieve inner peace.

Positive role models

Po is a great example of someone who must learn to accept -- and resolve -- complicated personal relationships. At first he refuses to acknowledge some hard truths, but eventually he's able to attain inner peace, and the results are powerful.

Violence & scariness

Plenty of hand-to-hand combat. The fight scenes are fast and furious, but hardly anybody seems to get injured. An important theme here is modernization, as the martial arts warriors must face off against an opponent who's armed with gunpowder and cannons. Scenes involving a baby Po being separated from his parent (and the parent's implied death) may upset some kids.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

No product placement within the film, but expect plenty of merchandise tie-ins.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sequel to 2008's hit animated film about an unlikely martial arts hero returns to China, where Po (again voiced by Jack Black) and the rest of his kung fu clan must defeat a new villain who's armed with gunpowder and cannons. The movie's surprisingly poignant, sometimes serious story addresses the conflict between tradition and modernization, as well as Po's discovery of a long-hidden tragedy and his journey to accept an unusual upbringing. Not surprisingly, there's plenty of action -- including explosions, swordfights, and lots of kung fu fisticuffs. Scenes involving parent-child separation could also be upsetting for kids. Unlike the first film, this one is offered in 3-D, which can make some of the sequences feel more intense.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Po (voiced by Jack Black), the out-of-shape panda who was improbably tapped to become the Dragon Warrior in the original Kung Fu Panda, is now a well-trained martial arts hero who must defeat a powerful villain armed with an unstoppable secret weapon. Backed up by the Furious Five and his teacher, Master Shifu, Po realizes that to defeat the evil Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), he must uncover a long-hidden secret about his own childhood and learn to attain inner peace. Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, David Cross, and Dustin Hoffman all reprise their roles as Po's comrades in this worthy sequel.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There are so many ways that KUNG FU PANDA 2 could have gone wrong. It could have traded on the same old jokes. It could have had Po still proving himself. It could have had an identical theme song. But Kung Fu Panda 2 does none of that, and that's why it's one of the best sequels to grace the screen in a while, fully able to stand on its own.

First, there's the timing. The movie doesn't start exactly where the first installment left off but rather with Po and the Furious 5 already a well-trained unit. And then there's the plot. By taking the storyline in a more serious, though still entertaining, direction -- Po yearns to discover and understand where he came from, and the movie makes a strong point that your past need not define you -- it has more heft and heart, a potent and sometimes profound combination. And yet, the film is still whimsical and funny, with thrilling 3-D special effects to boot. (The trees and the landscapes are nearly palpable.) Now this is winning.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about family. What do you think about Po's relationship with his dad? Do you think a blood link is the most important factor in defining family?

  • What does Po learn in this movie? How does that compare to what he learned in the first one?

  • Do you think the film paints an unrealistic picture of ancient traditions? Is it possible to stand in the way of progress?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 26, 2011
DVD release date:December 13, 2011
Cast:Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman, Jack Black, Seth Rogen
Director:Jennifer Yuh
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Sports and martial arts, Misfits and underdogs, Wild animals
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sequences of martial arts action and mild violence

This review of Kung Fu Panda 2 was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written byKazmom2 May 28, 2011
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Adoptive Families - Be aware of the story!

There is a strong adoption story here, and while it is overall a very positive one, some of it is told in a way that will be hard for some kids. Basically Po finds out that he is adopted (his father struggles to even say the word when he tells him) and is having a hard time trying to understand "who he is" and where he came from. At one point he tells another character that he just found out "his dad is not his real dad" and at another time the villain tells Po that his parents deserted him because they didn't love him. Po also has a dream where he sees his Panda parents and they ask what he is doing there, that they have replaced him with a radish that is quite, polite and even does Kung Fu better than he does. Also - part of the story line is that when the villain was younger he did something bad (really bad) and so his parents banished him from the kingdom forever. This is something my 6 year old has struggled with all night since coming home (what do you have to do to get sent away? Do any parents send their kids away?) and my daughter has never had abandonment issues. In the end, Po finds out what happened to his Panda parents and realizes that even though he had a hard start to life it is who he makes himself into that counts. The overall adoption message is very positive but some of the story getting there will be uncomfortable for some kids. Basically my kids liked the movie but the older one was definately affected by the way some of the adoption/abandonment story was told. We have seen several movies with adoption in them and this is the first to affect her in this way. Be prepared to have some serious conversations if you take adopted kids to the movie and I absolutely wouldn't recommend it for kids struggling with adoption or abandonment.
Kid, 12 years old May 20, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

LOVED THE FIRST ONE

Omg i am such a fan of kung fu panda i am definitely gonna see the second.... I can't wait!!!!! po is such a great character and he is an excellent role model for kids old enough to understand the movie. i have absolutely no concerns whatsoever.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old April 22, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Jack is Black with more awesomeness and more Kung fu!!!!!!!!!

Kung fu panda 2 was the best movie of 2011 next to Harry potter and the deathly hollows part 2! I loved this movie, Why isn't this movie for little kids? I took my 6 year old brother to the movie theaters to see this movie and my whole family loved this movie! The main message is that family is important, but it’s not always defined by blood: The people who love and nurture you are also part of your family. The film also focuses on the need to let go of ancient slights that can only drag you down and instead seek to achieve inner peace. Po is a great example of someone who mus...Po is a great example of someone who must learn to accept -- and resolve -- complicated personal relationships. At first he refuses to acknowledge some hard truths, but eventually he's able to attain inner peace, and the results are powerful. I am a huge kung fu panda fan and a jack black fan, It was such an AWESOME movie!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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