Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that martial arts-style combat is common in this series based on the popular Kung Fu Panda movies, but the show's 30-minute format keeps the combat scenes brief. Villains come and go, and none cast notably dark shadows on the comedy, again thanks to the abbreviated running time. Because the stories change in each episode, there are different themes to be found from show to show, but each one touches on some positive quality like loyalty, honesty, and determination. Kids who've seen the movies will want to tune in to see what the atypical Dragon Warrior and his friends are up to, and they'll find more of the sight gags and Po-style humor they've come to love from this underdog hero. If your kids are new to the characters, though, you should know that their faces grace an extensive line of kid-targeted merchandise like clothing, toys, games, and books.
What's the story?
KUNG FU PANDA: LEGENDS OF AWESOMENESS follows the continuing adventures of Dragon Warrior Po (voiced by Mick Wingert) and the Furious Five as they join forces to ensure continued tranquility in the Valley of Peace. Under the vigilant eye of their wise and patient master, Shifu (Fred Tatasciore), Po and his peers -- Tigress (Kari Wahlgren), Monkey (James Sie), Mantis (Max Koch), Crane (Amir Talai), and Viper (Lucy Liu) -- hone their skills to make sure they're ready for a rotating cast of villains who want to upstage the heroes.
Is it any good?
The much-loved warrior panda reprises his untraditional ways that simultaneously get under his cohorts' skin and somehow wind up saving the day time and time again. Po's uniqueness is what separates him from his peers and what raises this otherwise mediocre series to another level. He's a true underdog, and his nonconformist style serves a greater purpose than just comedy; it actually reminds viewers that it's OK to be different and that sometimes heroes come in the most unexpected packages.
Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness actually benefits from its 30-minute timeframe, since there's little time to make villains too scary and only minimal hand-to-hand combat. The brisk pace keeps the ball -- and the gags -- rolling, lightening the mood and downplaying the danger. The result is a kid-friendly show that packs some hearty messages about individuality, working as a team, and seeing past preconceptions.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about heroes. Is Po an admirable hero? Do his frequent mistakes make him less of one? How do he and his fellow masters complement one another's strengths? In what ways do people's differences strengthen teams?
Kids: What challenge do the characters have to overcome? How do they go about it? Would you do the same? Why or why not? What lessons do they learn from their experiences?
Have you seen the Kung Fu Panda movies? If so, did they inspire you to watch this show? Are you more likely to buy something with Po's face on it after seeing this show? What other movies would you like to see made into TV shows?