You know when you find a movie that you know the whole family will love, Dad included? It doesn't happen as often as I wish, but every now and then there is a gem that everyone is happy with. Kung Fu Panda 3 is one of those movies! We were invited to Dreamworks Studio for a preview of the film a few days before the release and we loved it! I can't wait to go back with the rest of the family.
The story follows Po as he meets his long-lost panda father who introduces us (and Po) to a whole village of new fun-loving Panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai comes back to China defeating all of the kung fu masters, it's Po's responsibility to train his new family of Pandas to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas! Like all good movies, it's got a mixture of humor and emotion, but mostly humor oh and super cool graphics and Kung Fu scenes.
Meeting all of the new Panda characters was probably my favorite part, but the villain Kai, was equally cool. Of course, as much as Jack Black's voice brings Po to life, we got an insider look at some of the people that work behind the scenes to put films like this together. Oh and for the little girls, they will be very excited to meet the beautiful, yet tough Mei Mei, voiced by Kate Hudson. (Mei Mei needs her own spinoff, just saying.)
Frank Abney is a graduate of The Art Institute of California- San Francisco and has been working as an animator in the industry for almost 8 years. He has worked on two Academy Award winning films for Best Animated Feature, Disney's "Frozen" and "Big Hero 6," and now proudly has Kung Fu Panda 3 on his list. Frank gave us a quick look at his animation process, which included his sketches and small films that he created of himself acting out Po's movements. He explained that he did this so he could get a better idea of how Po would move throughout the film.
We also got to meet Pablo Valle, a member of Dreamworks Animation for over 15 years. Pablo was born in Mexico, and moved to the US to obtain a MFA from the School of Visual Arts. He has contributed to such fun animated pictures as “Shrek”, “Madagascar,” “How to Train your Dragon” and now, "Kung Fu Panda 3", he shared with us the importance of lighting to animated films. Once he showed us what the film looks like without lighting effects, we were able to really comprehend how much of an affect lighting has on the mood and feel of a film. It was really interesting insight to the film.
If you haven't seen the trailer yet, check it out above and then take the family out to see it! The whole family will LOVE it, mom and dad included.
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