Kung Fu Panda in All Its Big Fat Glory

[tweet_box design=”box_13_at” float=”left” width=”40%” author=”Nick Vespe” pic_url=”http://losangelesentertainmentnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/unnamed-e1456224997630.jpg”]Kung Fu Panda 3 not only has the best computer generated animation TO DATE, but it also has more heart in it than Pixar’s Inside Out.[/tweet_box]

Kung Fu Panda 3 not only has the best computer generated animation TO DATE, but it also has more heart in it than Pixar’s Inside Out.[/tweet_box] I loved Inside Out as much as the next guy; it tugged at my heart strings a great deal, but this movie crushed me. Not to mention you could mute the entire film, and you would still have a great experience. It is just non-stop throwing awesome things at you: comic book style animation, excellent voice performances (Dustin Hoffman is in this guys), a beautiful display of Chinese culture..it keeps delivering on every possible level.

Kung Fu Panda 3 delivers a fresh take on what it’s like having two fathers. And I know you might think I’m pulling at straw here, making characters seem gay when they’re not, but being gay is not even the point. [tweet_dis]The point is a two-dad family is STILL a family![/tweet_dis] This could potentially make children a lot more comfortable with this new 21st Century lifestyle and maybe make some kids feel better about their situation at home. Kung Fu Panda 3 deserves credit for being this beautiful spectacular and complete film, but it also deserves credit for familiarizing children with this concept.

In the Kung Fu Panda franchise, Po a fun-loving Panda, who is also the Kung-Fu ‘Dragon Warrior ‘(Jack Black), was adopted as a baby by a Goose, who runs a noodle store named Mr. Ping (James Hong). In this movie, we meet Po’s birth father (Bryan Cranston). They instantly click, and Po gets to rekindle his relationship with his birth father while learning what it is like to truly be a Panda! What this means now is that Po has two fathers.

Po’s two fathers help Po physically take down the villain. The Fathers collectively use their strengths to help their son get through his traumatic other-worldly experience, (Spoilers, but trust me I haven’t ruined anything) and take care of him when he is hurt. I like to imagine a little boy in the movie theater watching with his two dads grabbing their shirts and saying “Hey look, Po has two daddies just like me!”

Dreamworks Animation Studios has been progressive with their newest properties. In How to Train Your Dragon 2, we are treated with the first confirmed gay character in an animated movie. What strikes me as odd about this certain scenario is the line that ‘confirms’ the character is gay is a throw-away line that actor Craig Ferguson ad-libbed. Also, quite annoyingly, the line is played for laughs. In Kung Fu Panda 3 the filmmakers don’t ever come out and say it the two dads are gay, in fact, they probably aren’t even gay! But that’s, not even the point. The point is a family can mean two dads or two moms! The more this is shown in the mainstream the closer we get to the more progressive world, filled with people who don’t discriminate.  Po regularly calls his two fathers “dads,” It’s small touches like those that do make you smile.

Author: Nick Vespe

Nick Vespe is a current undergraduate student at the University of Southern California studying Narrative Studies in Film, Television, and Novels. In his free time, he creates the comic ‘Monkey Legs’, the acclaimed web-series ‘Dormz’, and is in a hip-hop/comedy group called ‘Vespe Bros.’ Learn more about Nick at his website www.NickVespe.rocks.

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