The Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special isn’t anything profound or breaks new ground in terms of animation or anything, but with a short running time and a good message, this can be watched by the entire family. The Blu-ray offers up more than satisfactory audio/video transfers, though the features have much to be desired.
Genre(s): Animation, Family, Comedy
DreamWorks Animation | NR – 25 min. – $19.98 | November 6, 2012
Directed by: Tim Johnson
Writer(s): Jonathan Groff & Jon Pollack (written by)
Voice Cast: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Jack McBrayer, Jackie Chan
Features: Featurettes, Interactive Games, DVD Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 16.1 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 3.75/5
Plot Outline: Master Shifu (DUSTIN HOFFMAN) calls on Po (JACK BLACK) to host the year’s biggest event: The Winter Feast, which is a special time of the year when the Kung Fu Masters celebrate family, tradition and the awesomeness of Kung Fu. Po and the Furious Five (ANGELINA JOLIE, LUCY LIU, DAVID CROSS, JACKIE CHAN and SETH ROGEN) must team up to throw the best celebration the Valley of Peace has ever seen. Meanwhile, Po’s father, Mr. Ping (JAMES HONG), has been looking forward spending the time with his son, however. Can Po pull off the perfect party, impress his heroes, and discover the true meaning of the Winter Feist?
Quick Hit Review: As with the other DreamWorks Animated shorts, the Kung Fu Panda Holiday special originally aired on television, this one back in 2010 and was paired with an encore showing of Merry Madagascar (available on Blu-ray in the DreamWorks Holiday Classics release).
The special, like the rest, is simple and has a wholesome message meant for kids and certain adults. While this one hardly breaks new ground in animation, it does match the style of the feature films. And with regards to the story, its fun to watch for the entire family plus clocking in at mere 25-minutes it’s a breeze to get through.
I also appreciate the fact that the entire voice cast returned including Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman and Seth Green amongst others. It’s an easy paycheck for sure but it’s nice to hear them rather than recasting with sound-alike’s.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.0/5
Learn to Draw: Wo Hop (5:42; HD) is an exercise where the head of story teaches you how to draw the rabbit character.
Kung Fu Panda Holiday Shuffle are two interactive games where you try to find the object behind, in the one game, a lantern. It’s really not that hard…
Mr. Ping’s Noodle House (4:40; HD) has Alton Brown, host of “Iron Chef America”, takes us to Mr. Chow’s restaurant (well, he narrates) as a master chef makes noodles.
How to Use Chopsticks (2:54; HD) is another lesson, this time using chopsticks.
World of DreamWorks Animation
DVD Copy – Standard definition copy of the movie.
Previews – Rise of the Guardians, Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted, Madly Madagascar
VIDEO – 4.75/5
Kung Fu Panda Holiday gets a 1080p high-definition and like most animated titles, benefits greatly thanks to bright colors and clean lines. Outside of a couple minor instances, there wasn’t much banding so it’s a nearly flawless transfer.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
Interestingly while a good number of Blu-rays only get 5.1 channels, this release receives a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track. Although it might be overkill considering the source, it’s obviously still a great lossless track with clear dialogue, a crisp score and the action elements are nicely dispersed throughout each channel.
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, the Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special isn’t anything profound or breaks new ground in terms of animation or anything, but with a short running time and a good message, this can be watched by the entire family. The Blu-ray offers up more than satisfactory audio/video transfers, though the features have much to be desired.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.