In Kung Fu Panda 2's final moments, we were given our first look at Po's (Jack Black) father, now played by Bryan Cranston, who gave us the line "my son is alive," setting up the third film we finally received five years later. Kung Fu Panda 3's plot continues from this ending, beginning with Li, Poe's father, discovering his son after receiving a "message from the universe," something Po's adopted father, Mr. Ping (James Hong), isn't at all pleased with. Soon, however, a new threat arrises, and this threat is an old accomplice of their former master, Kai (J.K. Simmons), who's using supernatural powers to take over China. It's up to Po and his newly-found panda family to stop him.
It's a bright and colourful film that's very simple in plot, and that's perfect for this franchise. The Kung Fu Panda movies don't have to have an overcomplicated plot with twists and turns left, right and centre. It's smooth sailing, and while minor aspects are fairly predictable, the overall story arc is a lot of fun to watch unfold, and it really helps when the camera work and colour palette is off the chains. This is a shockingly beautiful movie, especially the scenes in which the two directors blend together multiple animation styles, most notably in a training montage about two thirds of the way through. The animation is stunning to behold.
I am unsure as to whether or not a fourth Kung Fu Panda movie is going to happen, but if it does, you can guarantee you'll be seeing me in line opening day. If we were to get more and more of Po's adventures over the next few years, I wouldn't complain. That being said, if this were to be the wrap up to the Kung Fu Panda trilogy, it's a beyond admirable way to go. Not only is it the best film of the trilogy, but the film's ending is rather sweet, and serves as great closure to a great trilogy. Will it be the end? I hope not. And if it is? I'd be happy with what we got over the last eight years.