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NEW YEAR'S DAY.

Kung Fu Panda 2 BBC One, 5.05pm What's it about? The martial arts master panda continues to hone his skills. But trouble lies afoot when an evil peacock, banished from China for trying to build a deadly weapon, returns to cause more chaos. Po attempts to defeat him, but flashbacks reveal a connection between his past and the bird.

Any good? Fans of the original Kung Fu Panda will most certainly believe that film cannot be topped - but the second offering definitely gives it a run for its money. There are just enough clever one-liners and risque jokes to keep adults entertained, while the charm of the characters will hold the attentions of the little ones, just as it did in the original.

Anything else? Director Jennifer Yuh commented that the character of Shen proved to be a challenge to animate, so much so that the complexity of it was like that of doing six characters all at once. Voiced by: Jack Black, Gary Oldman, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan.

Gnomeo & Juliet BBC One, 6.45pm What's it about? Gnomeo is a blue gnome, living on one side of the drive with mischievous sidekick Benny (Matt Lucas) and his mute best pal, Shroom. His mother, Lady Blueberry, keeps a close eye on the ceramic bunnies that festoon the lawn. In the garden next door, her rival Lord Redbrick has his own collection and he is determined to protect feisty gnome Juliet by consigning her to the top of a castleshaped garden feature, from where she rebuffs the advances of sweet and unassuming Paris. A chance encounter between Gnomeo and Juliet sows the seeds of true love but her bully boy cousin, Tybalt, would rather mow down a rival gnome than see the two families united in holy matrignomey. Any good? The fact that so many A-listers have signed their names up to it would suggest so. James McAvoy and Emily Blunt are both sweet but the only vocal performance that stands out is Ashley Jensen as an overly dramatic amphibian, looking for someone to share her lily pad. Some gags are recycled from the screenwriters' compost heap ("I'm not illiterate - my parents were married!") but we root for the pint-sized central characters, right up to the madcap, overblown finale.

Anything else? Keep an ear out for plenty of references to William Shakespeare's other works. Voiced by: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Patrick Stewart.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ITV, 8pm What's it about? When we catch up with Harry, Hermione and Ron (who is back in the fold after recovering from his sulk in the previous movie), they are still on the hunt for horcruxes, the objects in which Voldermort has hidden parts of his soul to render him immortal. Unfortunately, the dark lord has worked out what they're up to, and amasses his followers for one final showdown at Hogwarts school.

Any good? If you thought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 could have done with a little more magic and a little less teenage angst, never fear - the brains behind the movie saga were saving up all the action for Part 2. Not only does it feature impressive set pieces galore, it pulls off the even more impressive feat of bringing the boy wizard's tale to a hugely satisfying conclusion. Anything else? Kate Winslet is believed to have been offered the role of Heather Ravenclaw, but her agent turned it down without even asking her. Kelly Macdonald took the part instead.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 21, 2013
Words:593
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