07 June 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoon

This morning our Tae Kwondo school sponsored a showing of Dreamworks' latest animated film, Kung Fu Panda.

At 9:00.

I woke up a little after 8, and startled at the late time into full alertness, jumped into the shower. At 8:25 I woke up Frank with, "The movie starts at 9. It's almost 8:30."

That left us with 30 minutes to get the children dressed, fed, in the car, drop Frank off at work downtown (his car's in the shop until Monday), and get to the theater in Savoy.

We made it. The kids ate Lego-shaped toaster waffles in the car. My breakfast consisted of the ultimate breakfast of champions, popcorn and a soda, scarfed down before the film even started.

This early showing was just for members of the TKD school, which was pretty darn cool. Each of the kids got a poster and a temporary tattoo. After the movie, Po the Panda was there to pose for pictures, which my two kinder veered away from (for as much as they love stuffed animals, they are freaked out by giant moving ones).

The film itself was a lot of fun. The reviews, I think, have been unkind and the reviewers are not familiar with old school martial arts films. If you've ever seen an old Jackie Chan (and he has a small part as Master Monkey) or Bruce Lee movie, you'll get a lot of the gist of
Kung Fu Panda, an animated love letter to that genre. The cast is superb (with Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie and a host of other A-listers), the film itself is gorgeous and seems to tip its hat art direction-wise to Genndy Tartakovsky's Samurai Jack series especially in the opening sequence, but not as stylized - you can tell it's a Dreamworks film.

Even though this is a kids' film, adults will be charmed as well. I was.

Not a bad way to spend a dreary, rainy Saturday morning.

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