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Kung Fu Panda (Blu-ray Review)

28 Dec, 2008 By: John Gaudiosi

Kung Fu Panda

Box Office $215.4 million
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG’ for sequences of martial arts action.
Voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Jackie Chan, Ian McShane, David Cross.

DreamWorks’ latest comedy for all ages, Kung Fu Panda, really packs a punch in HD. This version’s 1080p AVC-encoded transfer is a huge upgrade over the standard DVD. It’s definitely one of the top five CGI Blu-rays on the market.

Kung Fu Panda also sounds great — and that’s not just because of the excellent voice cast. Everybody’s kung fu fighting in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound on this BD. Also, all the bonus content from the DVD has been upgraded to HD.

"The Animator’s Corner" is a worthwhile picture-in-picture video commentary that blends the directors’ commentary (available separately as audio only) with behind-the-scenes footage and other video. A trivia track offers HD video tidbits about the making of the film. Kung Fu Panda also supports BD Live with featurettes and upcoming BD trailers.

Featurettes include “Inside Kung Fu Panda,” a collection of cast interviews, a look at the character design process and a PSA on saving pandas.

Kids will get some cultural flavor from a collection of featurettes such as “How to Use Chopsticks,” “Inside the Chinese Zodiac” and a real-life look at “Animals of Kung Fu Panda.”

There are plenty of interactive activities as well, such as three games, and an instructional look at how the animators created the film’s characters.

The only thing missing from the BD is the 24-minute short film Secrets of the Furious Five, which is a shame because it’s very entertaining. Thankfully, that’s always something that can be added via BD Live.

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