Kung Fu Panda 3

January is a typical notorious month for movies. It’s usually a dumping ground for studios to put out some of their worst movies, perhaps as a write-off. If you want an example look no further than Disney’s “The Finest Hours” which is opening this weekend, terrible movie. When it was announced that “Kung Fu Panda 3” would be opening on January 29, some red flags went up. Would this beloved franchise be going out on a very sour note? Thankfully, the answer is “no.”

Po, the Dragon Warrior (Jack Black) is entering a new stage of his life that he is not quite ready to handle yet. As teased from the last movie, his long lost father, Li (Bryan Cranston) comes to his village as well does his biggest foe yet, Kai (J.K. Simmons).

DreamWorks has struggled of late with their animated films. They haven’t produced any memorable original material in years. However, they’re still doing well with their sequels and while it appears that “Kung Fu Panda 3” will be the final installment, at least it will be going out on a high note the entire family can enjoy.

“Kung Fu Panda 3” has some extra depth to the story. Besides of having to deal with the danger Kai represents, this movie is also the story of two fathers. Mr. Ping, the duck who raised Po and is considered Po’s father is not too happy to see Li step into the picture. Not because he doesn’t want to see Po happy, who he has always loved as if he was his own blood, but he now fears he will lose Po. Li, at the same time, wants to reconnect with the son he lost. It leads to some of the more sentimental parts of the movie, but they help to add layers to the plot. That’s something that is sometimes missing from animated pictures.

One solid staple that has run through most of DreamWorks animated projects is their excellent use of 3D and “Kung Fu Panda 3” is no exception to that. It is certainly worth paying the extra money to see it in that format. You’ll appreciate that right from the battle that opens the movie until the very end. The studio has always recognized that 3D is a tool that can be used to enhance the audience’s experience watching their movies and it is something that does not go unnoticed.

The advanced screening for “Kung Fu panda 3” took lace on January 16 at the AMC Theater in the Aventura Mall. It took place on the same day as the Hollywood premiere at the Chinese Theater. Kids were able to meet and take there pictures with Po outside the theater, there was a balloon animal maker there and scenes from the red carpet were broadcast on the movie screen. Then everyone was treated to the movie which got an overwhelming positive response. It may still be January, but this is one movie worth going to see. It is rated PG for martial arts action and some mild rude humor.