KUNG FU PANDA 3 In theaters January 29, 2016
By Mary Lansing
I don't know about you, but I LOVE any opportunity to see a great family fun film, and when they have sequels? I am first in line. So, when I headed out to see a sneak peek of 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks' newest animated movie, Kung Fu Panda 3, on the DreamWorks lot, let’s just say I was like a kid in the candy store.
Kung Fu Panda 3 Press Day
Having never been on the DreamWorks campus in Burbank, I didn't know what to expect but they're not kidding when they call it their 'campus'; it definitely has that chill, college vibe as you stroll by DreamWorks employees working on the next great film or sipping on their coffee at Starbucks.
As far as Kung Fu Panda 3 goes, let me just say, the half hour preview I was treated to see was nothing short of adorable, and while some films get a bit tiresome by a 3rd installment, Kung Fu Panda 3 is such a great addition to the series.
With all our favorite characters and voices back, we at last meet Po's biological father, who takes him on father/son journey to a secret land that, alas, has all his panda relatives. Happiest reunion ever, right? Not exactly. Po has not exactly been raised around his own kind, and ends up feeling like a bit of an outcast and must go on a path of self discovery and get back to the roots he didn't even know he had.
We're soon introduced to one of the cutest, zany new characters in Kung Fu Panda: Mei Mei, voiced by Kate Hudson. Mei Mei is a VERY eager panda who knows what she wants and is not afraid to get it. Including Po, who is clueless to the fact that when Mei Mei and he were children, they were set up in arranged marriage! While its love at first sight for Mei Mei, it is not exactly for Po. New Dad, new wife? Get Po some comfort food, stat!
Following my preview, I was thrilled to have the chance to interview Mei Mei herself, Kate Hudson, who gave a lot of insight into her new animated venture; "Anybody who’s an actor or performer, you know, that’s what we love. We love doing all of it, whatever it means," she explained as she sipped her Starbucks, "You’re definitely pushing more. You don’t have to worry about how far you take something. Sometimes you take it further for the voice-over stuff. And then, you get to play with things, which is really fun."
As far as having 2 little boys (Ryder, age 11 and Bingham, age 4), how was it having Mom work on every kid's favorite action film?! Apparently, Ryder is all about Jack Black (Po) and wasn't too interested when his Mom told him she was doing a Kung Fu Panda press day since, alas, Black would not be there.
With such a fantastic cast (Along with Hudson and Black, there's also Angelina Jolie, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman and the list goes on) and a poignant story about finding yourself, all while offering the heartfelt humor we've come to expect from Kung Fu Panda, part 3 promises to be a great movie everyone can enjoy this new year!
About the movie
In 2016, one of the most successful animated franchises in the world returns with its biggest comedy adventure yet, KUNG FU PANDA 3. When Po's long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible -- learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!
Watch the trailer