Kung Fu Panda 2 (PG)

Voices of: Jack Black, Gary Oldman, Seth Rogen, Angelina Jolie
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The Independent Culture

A second time out for the tubby high-kicking panda was always on the cards once DreamWorks hit the jackpot with the original animation.

Jack Black again does voice duty as Po, the less-than-agile panda who somehow became Dragon Warrior at the end of the first movie – also less than smart given that he's just twigged a crucial detail of his heredity. His dad, Mr Ping the goose, is not actually his dad. Po's inquiry into his past is combined with an urgent mission: an evil peacock tyrant (Gary Oldman) plans to subjugate all of China with his great new gimmick, gunpowder. How can Po and his crew of kung-fu fighters – Tigress, Monkey, Viper, Mantis and Crane – defend themselves and the nation against cannon fire? Strong points are the voicework (particularly Oldman's petulant peacock), some daft stunts (the kung-fu five disguised as a Chinese dragon) and the scenic backdrop, projected in the inevitable 3D. But it drops points for a narrative that overstretches by at least 20 minutes. Kids will love it, though, and parents won't be savagely bored.