The roly-poly, accident-prone, utterly lovable saviour of the free (ish) world is back - and he’s got family. Po (Jack Black), the unlikely Dragon Warrior, learns he’s not the only panda in the world when he’s reunited with his biological father Li (Bryan Cranston). He leaves his home village and the Furious Five - Tigress, Viper, Mantis, Crane and Monkey, plus Master Chifu - to find himself, a secret village containing a whole gang of super kawaii pandas he never knew existed, and some new skills.
Po’s journey of self-discovery is less than smooth, though; Kai, a villain from the spirit world who wants to steal the chi of the world’s greatest warriors to become the mightest ever, is on his way. It also doesn’t help that, despite his promise to the contrary, Li seems unwilling to help Po learn the skills he needs.
But pretty soon, most of the Furious Five are out of commission, Kai is just down the road, yet Po, who according to is a prophecy is meant to be the one to save the world, is spending his days resting in hammocks, eating even more dumplings than usual, and learning that essential panda art, rolling down hills.
It’s very rare that we recommend you opt for the 3D version of a movie; but this may be the exception to the rule: watch Kung Fu Panda 3 in 3D. DreamWorks’ animated animal version of Ancient China is stunningly rendered in glorious colours and textures, which are even more gorgeous through those annoying glasses.
The third, and supposedly final, instalment of Kung Fu Panda is fast, often hilarious, full of in-jokes that are funny even if you don’t know they’re in-jokes, and incredibly sweet without ever being sickly. It contains heart-warming messages about what “family” means, and why “being the best ‘you’ you can be” is something we should all strive for.