'Kung Fu Panda 3' Reveals An Ancient Chinese Secret Within A Great Animated Movie

Kung Fu Panda 3 is finally here. Kung Fu Panda 3 rounds out the series and outshines Kung Fu Panda 2, while almost equaling the original in greatness. If you haven't seen the film yet and you want to go in fresh, turn back now. If you don't mind a few revelations so you can better follow along, then please keep reading.

Kung Fu Panda 3 comes out five years after Kung Fu Panda 2, but it turns out it was worth the wait. The previous film was less enticiting due to numerous flashback scenes which seemed excessive and misplaced. And they were basically acting as a setup for the current film.

The first thing great here are the amazing visuals. The film starts out beautiful and stays that way throughout. A great backdrop to the awesome story of the panda Po's homecoming and journey to self-realization. The events pick up and answer that extreme anxiety-provoking event that built up throughout Kung Fu Panda 2, along with its surprise ending. That movie ends with a land of pandas in beautiful green fields, along with a large panda that reminds you of Po. Kung Fu Panda 3 follows that event, along with a new event set into motion through an encounter involving Master Oogway in an eternal realm. The return of Oogway, one of the most interesting characters in animated film, is why this film works.

Po also happens to have a love interest. And believe me, she's special. As Cinema Blend reports, the part was originally going to be played by heavyweight Australian actress Rebel Wilson, but she's been busy with other things since her Pitch Perfect 2 success. She had been replaced by Almost Famous star Kate Hudson just five months before the movie's opening. Breaking Bad lead man Bryan Cranston plays Po's father, while Whiplash star J.K. Simmons gets to be the bad guy.

With Oogway returning, along with Po's real father, Po finally proves why he is the Dragon Warrior, tying together the entire series and bringing closure to the events in the first two movies. DreamWorks could go for Kung Fu Panda 4, but spinoffs might be a wiser way to cement Po's legacy. Tigress could make an excellent solo movie. Angelina Jolie as Tigress is a definite standout here, as she always is. An origin story which focuses on Oogway's training of Master Shifu could also be great.

And now that we've seen them here, movies about Master Chicken and Master Bear could be cool. Or even a movie focusing on the legendary Master Flying Rhino. There have already been shorter spinoffs included on DVD and Blu-ray extras or TV specials, but never feature films.

Kung Fu Panda 3 focuses on the power of that ancient Chinese concept of qi. In many senses, the movie deals with traditional Chinese cultural and philosophical concepts in ways that children in America, or any other country, can understand. And that is the genius of it all.

DreamWorks is really betting on Kung Fu Panda 3. Its other movies have been flopping right and left. DreamWorks even brought on Alessandro Carloni as co-director, giving the movie two directors, just to make sure this movie can save the studio. In an even bigger move, as Forbes reports, the studio put together a version of the film specifically for China, complete with well-known Chinese actors doing the voices, in order to bring more chances of a successful run there.

Kung Fu Panda 3 will likely do well. All the likable things about the original are in place, along with more lovable pandas and a wise spiritual master. And taking the fight into the supernatural realm and its awesome visuals really make Kung Fu Panda 3 soar.

[Image via DreamWorksTV]