Kung Fu Panda 1 & 2 Ultimate Editions of Awesomeness

GameStop, Inc.

In the original Kung Fu Panda, released in 2008, Po (Jack Black)  is the adopted son of Mr. Ping (James Hong) a goose and restaurateur who dreams of being out of the kitchen and training Kung Fu in the jade palace with Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman).

Much to the dismay of Shifu and his other students, master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) who sees in Po what no one else, including the star pupil Kung Fu Panda 1 & 2 DVDTigress (Angelina Jole) refuses to see in him and that is the potential to be the greatest kung fu master of all, the Dragon Warrior.

Through his bumbling and clumsiness Po would seem more suited for drunken style, but that wouldn’t really fly in a kids cartoon. It’s only when Tai Lung (Ian McShane) threatens the village that Po goes from kung fu fanboy to fighter saving everyone and earning the respect of his fellow heroes.

In the sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2, released in 2011, Po, Tigress, Shifu, Oogway, Crane (David Cross), Viper (Lucy Liu), Monkey (Jackie Chan) and Mantis (Seth Rogen) with the help of Master Ox (Dennis Haysbert) and Master Croc (Jean Claude Van Damme) return to stop a village of peacocks  from taking over China, lead by Shen (Gary Oldman). This is Po’s greatest challenge yet, as he is still a bumbling fool and yet to earn the full respect of being considered the true dragon warrior.

Unfortunately in this four disc set, the notion of it being the “Ultimate Edition of Awesomeness” is quite boastful for what you get in the standard DVD collections. The “Awesome” Bonus Disc is EXACTLY the same for both movies. Not to take away from how great the three animated short features are, but you want something different for each movie instead of having duplicate cartoons on what the can easily be a throw-away disc…or if you’re looking on the brightside of life, a backup disc in one gets damaged.

The Secrets of the Scroll animated featurette stars the original cast and follows the ideologies of Bruce Lee in taking what is useful, discarding what isn’t and adding what is unique to yourself. Master Shifu seeks four warriors to help save the jade palace from Boar (Jayden Lund), who has defeated the surrounding masters. Tigress is sent to find the four warriors mentioned in the scroll but ends up with with a rag-tag bunch that become the Furious Five (Grandmaster Flash not included) that as a team, defeat Boar and become disciples of Master Shifu, who is awoken to the notion that each fighter is unique and cannot be made into copies of the previous instructor.

In the second featurette, Secrets of the Masters, the heroes learn from Master Oogway about Masters Thundering Rhino (Paul Sheer), Storming Ox and Croc (Tony Leondis) and their adventures in discovering true riches, which are often mistaken for monetary gains as they must face escaped cons the Wu sisters (all three voiced by Sumalee Montano), discovering who they truly are and the power that lies within their own souls.

The final featurette, Secrets of the Furious Five, Po is assigned the most difficult of tasks, especially for a klutz; he must teach the children and in order for them to fall in line, relays stories of the other members of the jade palace allowing the kittens to learn lessons from the adventures of their heroes.

Kung Fu Panda 1 was fun, while Kung Fu Panda 2 was a let down (click here to see what I said about Kung Fu Panda 3), sadly, just like this DVD set. Maybe the blu-rays had different material on the “Awesome Bonus Disc” but in the DVD version you really haven’t missed out…except maybe learning how to use chop sticks on the main movie disc itself.

Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2 are out now on Blu-Ray and DVD.

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