Friends were giving me a hard time lately about being a killjoy when it comes to my kids. I have two rough and tumble boys, but just because they are male doesn’t mean I subscribe to the ridiculously patronizing saying “boys will be boys.”
What does that even mean? What kind of boys are we talking about? When people say that, I think they mean “brutes will be brutes.” I want my boys to be peace loving young men who solve problems with words. I want them to tell their friends that they love them. Not hit them with sticks.
So it might come as a surprise that I would take my kids to go see a screening of Kung Fu Panda 2. A few years ago after we saw the first movie my younger son acted out all the kung fu moves on his older brother.
They had been seeing the signs for Kung Fu Panda 2 all over town and were dying to see it. We were invited to a screening at DreamWorks with a tour of the studio to follow. We could not pass that up.
Okay, there is a lot of fighting and also shooting of things in this movie, but at its core, it’s a sweet movie. And I love the animation especially the hand drawn sequences that explain Po’s back story. Po is now the infamous Dragon Warrior fighting villains with the Furious Five, his hard-to-win-over companions from the first movie. When Po must fight a band of wolves he starts to have flashbacks that make him wonder where he really came from. There are a few funny and touching scenes where Po, a Panda, starts to realize he was adopted by his goose father.
Kung Fu Panda 2 is definitely darker than its predecessor, but the animation is beautifully done. It might be too scary for younger kids especially the scenes where the Po loses his birth parents and the fight scene at the end.
But the movie as a whole is fun for kids and their parents. It’s funny and the action packed. My boys loved it.
I keep trying to get my boys to resolve their conflicts with words and in the end that’s what Po tries to do. It doesn’t work and he has to fight it out, but at least there is an attempt at conflict resolution. If boys will be boys, this might be a good movie for them.