I like animated movies and consider them on par with live-action films because even if the characters are fake, when they're well made, they can evoke emotions that are as strong as those that real actors can elicit.
Kung Fu Panda is one such example. I was literally blown away by this movie. It's funny, interesting, well written, incredibly elaborate, and perfectly executed.
I was literally laughing out loud more than once. The facial expressions of all the characters are incredibly well rendered. So well, in fact, that they look almost "human."
The whole production is top notch, of the highest grade, the kind we've become accustomed to after the visual razzle-dazzle that Pixar unleashed in theaters with 1995's Toys Story and each subsequent release.
DreamWorks, the studio behind Kung Fu Panda, already amazed us with Shrek, but they pulled off all the stops this time around.
Kung Fu Panda will probably go home empty handed after tonight's Oscar ceremony, where it is nominated for a Best Animated Feature award that will likely (and deservedly) go to Pixar's groundbreaking Wall-E, but it would most definitely deserve it any other year. It is actually so good, that I almost feel bad it will lose, but in spite of its greatness, it doesn't inspire the timeless feelings that a work of art like Wall-E does.
And yet, I have to say, I consider Kung Fu Panda as one of the funniest movies I've ever seen, and one of the best animated ones as well. Don't miss it, no matter your age.
Disclaimer:I graded Wall-E 8.5 last year, but this year I dropped the half grade. If I were grading Wall-E now, it would get a 9 as well.