Kung Fu Panda 4

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Kung Fu Panda 4 was just released in theaters on March 8, 2024. While it may not be as acclaimed as recent successes such as Oppenheimer or Barbie, it certainly has a passionate fanbase as the series continues to grow.

Jack Black on the Kung Fu Panda 4 red carpet. Source: People

Jack Black is famous for his acting in movies such as Schoolhouse Rock, Nacho Libre, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. However, he has also done voice acting for the three previous Kung Fu Panda movies as well as Shark Tales, and more recently, The Super Mario Bros. Movie. In the Kung Fu Panda movies, Black voices the main character Po, a kung fu fighting panda bear. In the first movie, Po dreams of becoming a Kung Fu master, but is helplessly clumsy. Then, the villainous snow leopard Tai Lung, voiced by Ian McShane, threatens Po’s homeland, and he is chosen by an ancient prophecy to save his community and defeat Tai Lung. Po defeats the snow leopard and becomes the Dragon Master. The first movie was released in 2008, and was a huge success, grossing $631.7 million. Since then, three more movies have been released following Po and his adventures: Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), Kung Fu Panda 3 (2011), and Kung Fu Panda 4 (2024).

Two Kilbourne students, Jan Perez and Max Gertsmann, have already seen the new Kung Fu Panda movie in theaters. Both have seen all of the Kung Fu Panda franchise, and agree that the first movie was the best. “My favorite was the first one because it was new and fun when it came out,” Gertsmann says. Perez adds on, “It was obvious that Jack Black had humorous freedom in the jokes, along with the plot setting up the rest of the story in a way that showed us the power that was waiting within the dragon warrior.” However, their opinions differed when it came to their least favorite. Gertsmann said his least favorite was Kung Fu Panda 2 because “the villain wasn’t super thought out.” Perez believed that Kung Fu Panda 3 was the worst because “the idea was cool but [he] found it to be boring.”

The three other Kung Fu Panda movies. Source: Reddit

In regards to the new movie, both Gertsmann and Perez had low expectations. “Before I saw the movie, I thought it would be boring and a cash in on the nostalgia while not actually caring about the movie,” Perez says. Gertsmann adds on, “I thought they would have run out of a good plot, especially since this is the fourth movie.” After seeing the movie, both boys were considerably impressed with the outcome. “It was much better than I thought it would be,” Perez says. “The dragon warrior (Po) used the power of friendship to save China, and make new friends including some enemies while teaching the values that any individual can do good. Overall, 8/10.”

Kung Fu Panda 4 movie poster. Source: IMDb
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Casey Ollom, Writer
Hi! I'm Casey Ollom, a sophomore here at Kilbourne, and this is my first year writing for the Ravine. Outside of school, I love to dance (ballet, tap, and jazz), read, watch NCIS, and play with my cats. I am also a part of the book club, and Interact. Enjoy our stories!

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