Monday, June 13, 2011

Michelle Yeoh with a beard? Sure, why not?

Kung Fu Panda II rocks.

I was thoroughly impressed with the art (don't miss the closing credits
,) the humor, the kung fu moves (the peacock has some of the coolest ones; wish I had fan-like tail feathers,) the characters, the way 3D is used, the orchestration of the film score (yes, noble french horn sections and exciting timpani parts!) the theme, the excellence, the heart.

[Warning: minor s
poiler alert]

I enjoyed all of these so much that it was very easy to overlook the flaws. For example, Po's kung fu prowess seems inconsistent. He vacillates between the overweight panda who doesn't even have the stamina to climb stairs and the mighty Dragon Warrior impervious to any kung fu or weapons. I had to rely primarily on musical cues to know when Po would win and when he would bumble. It would have been better if his degree of mastery is more integral to the story. If I am to believe he can single-handedly, even within the context of a suspended belief system, rescue his heavily bound and guarded fellow warriors, I don[t think I can accept he is so easily defeated by Tigress.

But even typing
this makes me feel petty. The movie is so well-made, so entertaining (I laughed out loud several times and found myself grinning often,) and the experience so wholly engaging that these things really didn't matter.

So how can I make my stories so engaging my readers will overlook the flaws? Of course it doesn't mean that I am not going to do everything I can to make sure there are no avoidable flaws. But when is a reader so bought into the story that s/he is willing to follow?

What's your take? Well-developed characters? Technical excellence? Memorable setting?

[In case you're w
ondering about the title of this post: Michelle Yeoh voices the character of the soothsayer, who is a female ram. With a beard. Yeah.]


MG Higgins said...

I loved the first Kung Fu Panda movie, and am really looking forward to this one. It's amazing to me that "cartoons" are some of the best films being made. I think with animated characters we don't judge them the same as we do live actors; in other words we accept them almost immediately--they're more archetypal. I'm not sure how all of this relates to my writing; I'll have to give it more thought.

Domey Malasarn said...

Like MG Higgins, I really liked the first one but haven't seen the second one yet. I actually went to try and see it yesterday and the only seats left were up front, so I passed. I'm glad you liked it. It makes me more excited. I went and saw Super 8 instead. That was also a good movie. I didn't love it, but it was very good.

Karen Lange said...

Funny how our writing skills come into play when watching a movie. I find myself dissecting them all the time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

Happy weekend,

Mandy said...

Yes! Kung Fu Panda II really rocks! In my opinion, it's even better than Kung Fu Panda I!
Po rocks! :)