Most action movies are mindless ‘splodey and fisticuff-y entertainment that happens to use martial arts. Martial arts movies, on the other hand, focus on the themes and philosophies of martial arts with action as a happy coincidence. For instance, many martial arts (and sports flicks) promote the values and benefits of self-confidence, training, and perseverance. But Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda took these themes to such a whole other level that few others I’ve seen match.
What makes a movie about a bumbling, fat panda so different? Well, for one thing, it’s not just about Po (the titular panda).