DVD Release Date: December 13, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: May 26, 2011 (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D)
Rating: PG (for sequences of martial arts action and mild violence)
Genre: Family, Animated, Sequel, Comedy
Run Time: 90 min.
Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Voices by: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Gary Oldman, Seth Rogen, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dustin Hoffman, David Cross, Lucy Liu, Dennis Haysbert, Victor Garber

Sticking with the bear necessities, namely the endearing charm of its fearless leader Po (Jack Black, Gulliver’s Travels), a few lessons worth learning, and plenty of madcap action to boot, Kung Fu Panda 2 is the rare sequel that’s as much fun as its predecessor.

Interestingly enough, the storyline has far more texture, too. While it was no small feat when Po basically saved all of China in Kung Fu Panda, Po’s journey is far more complex now. Not only is he putting his previous martial arts training to particularly good use once again, but he’s confronting a major identity crisis.

In what was practically a running joke last time around, Po eventually puts two and two together about his father, who happens to be a goose. As it turns out, Po’s real dad wasn’t a goose at all, which of course isn’t a surprise to anyone in the audience, but is still a bit alarming to Po.

Unlike the rest of his adoptive family, Po’s origins were even more colorful since he was the last survivor of an attack on his natural born family that was instigated by a strutting peacock warlord named Shen (Gary Oldman, Red Riding Hood).

As harmless as Po seems, however, Shen is always mindful of a prophecy that proclaimed his defeat at the hands of a kung fu warrior dressed in black and white. And since kung fu will naturally be his enemy’s weapon of choice, he immediately attempts to render physical combat obsolete by developing a thoroughly modern instrument of war instead.

While that turn of events sounds a little intense for the kiddie set, that story-shaping turn of events is tempered with plenty of lighthearted humor and inherently silly shenanigans as Po and his pals Tigress (Angelina Jolie, The Tourist), Mantis (Seth Rogen, Green Hornet) and Monkey (Jackie Chan, The Karate Kid) travel to confront the peacock king.