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Po chop sticks to his winning ways...

Byline: KUNG FU PANDA 3 3D (PG) ..... By David Edwards Film reporter

PORTLY panda Po returns for a lively animated threequel guaranteed to enthral youngsters and just about keep grown-ups entertained.

The humour is awfully simplistic and the story not as involving as the last instalment, but the visuals in DreamWorks' latest are so good you can forgive the weaknesses.

Here's a movie that really should be seen in 3D.

Following on from 2011's sequel, Po (voiced by Jack Black) is struggling in his new position as Dragon Warrior that requires him to teach his friends, The Furious Five, the ways of kung fu.

Meanwhile, life in his Chinese home is facing a terrifying threat from the villainous Kai (a suitably menacing JK Simmons), prompting Po to head to a secret panda village where he must master the art of chi, an energy force needed to triumph in the looming battle.

Away from the good-vs-evil storyline, there's also an engaging subplot involving Po's adoptive father (James Hong) and the appearance of his biological dad (Bryan Cranston).

The film also features the voices of Angelina Jolie as Po's pal Tigress, plus Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Lucy Liu, while Kate Hudson plays the new character Mei Mei, a ribbondancing panda.

Just like the earlier films - which together took a mighty PS915m worldwide - great care has been taken to keep the humour as gentle as possible, with most of it revolving around sight gags, primarily Po falling over.

Meanwhile the themes of believing in yourself, finding your voice and the importance of friendship hardly break new ground.

The thing is, all of the above can be forgiven due to the care and attention that's gone into the animation.

You can see every hair on Po's body quiver as he moves across the screen while a face-off between him, The Furious Five and a battalion of jade soldiers is a wonder to behold.

CAPTION(S):

| Fight in the old panda yet... Po (voiced by Jack Black) is back in martial arts action for Kung Fu Panda 3

| Menacing... Kai (voiced by JK Simmons) terrorises Po's home village

| Family matters... Po with his biological father Li

Angelina Jolie and Lucy Liu provide voices for Tigress and Viper

| New face... Mei Mei (voiced by Kate Hudson) joins the gang

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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 13, 2016
Words:389
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