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“Kung Fu Panda 2” offers eye candy, wisdom for kids

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***1/2 more panda-monium

“Kung Fu Panda 2” makes one thing clear from the get-go: Lord Shen, he’s one angry bird.

Gary Oldman voices the peacock whose pride may goeth, but not before he causes a storm of destruction in the lovely sequel to the 2008 surprise that introduced us to Po.

Jack Black returns as the voice of the pudgy panda who dreamed of becoming a martial-arts hero. Angelina Jolie returns as Tigress. Dustin Hoffman reprises Master Shifu, Po’s wise, wry teacher.

Along with the Furious Five, Shifu keeps the peace in the optimistically named Valley of Peace. And his father Mr. Ping’s noodle restaurant has the memorabilia to prove it.

Directed with verve and nerve by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, “Kung Fu Panda 2” offers plenty of lessons about misreading destiny as the right to rule unfettered, about parental love and disappointment, about parental love and compassion. If you are looking for age-old parables recast against a vividly rendered world, this kid’s flick bests “Thor.”

Without ever becoming too film-cultish, the original paid

Read more: By Lisa Kennedy

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  • comment avatar Mary-Frances May 29, 2011

    We saw it last night and it was AWESOME – will have a review up today on

  • comment avatar Roxanne May 29, 2011

    My daughter and I loved it! Well worth going to see!

  • comment avatar Beth R May 29, 2011

    It was fantastic!

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