For those unfamiliar with the series, Po (Jack Black; School of Rock) is a simple, clumsy Panda who works in his father's (James Hong; Mulan) noodle restaurant and dreams of becoming a kung Fu master. When it is discovered he is the Dragon Warrior, he must train with the great warriors to defend his village against a great threat. As a bumbling, uncoordinated, very large being, Po is constantly embarrassing and disappointing his Master, Shifu (Dustin Hoffman; Tootsie) and fellow warriors. They question the validity of his new found status until he proves them, and himself, worthy of the title.
With a fantastic cast and terrific animation, Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2 are fun and enjoyable and an entertaining movie for everyone. Black is great as the loveable, insecure Po and Hoffman and Hong bring a wise sentiment to their characters that helps set the tone of the films. Along with Angelina Jolie (Maleficent) as Tigress, Lucy Lu (Charlie's Angels) as Viper, David Cross (Arrested Development) as Crane and Jackie Chan (Rush Hour) as Monkey, they infuse these cartoon characters with human qualities that make the movie relatable.
The DVD's come with their original extras from the first release, which includes audio commentary and a look at the cast. Kung Fu Panda 1 also has features on Sound Design, Mr. Ping's Noodle House, and a tutorial on how to use chopsticks. Kung Fu Panda 2 includes deleted scenes with a short explanation from Director Jennifer Yu Nelson (Spawn).
Both DVD sets include a second disc with several previously unreleased animated shorts and special features. Secrets of the Scroll, Secrets of the Masters and Secrets of the Furious Five are all animated retrospectives giving the audience some backstory behind the characters and their stories of becoming warriors. They are almost as enjoyable as the original movies and younger audiences are sure to love them. The disc also has a sneak peak of Kung Fu Panda 3, a music video and two mash ups; one of Po's blunders and one of slow-motion sequences from both movies. The latter are merely fluff and aren't nearly as interesting as the other segments of the disc. Sadly, Twentieth Century Fox decided to include the same disc in both DVDs, so you end up with a repeat if you purchase both movies. They would have been better off bundling the movies and the added features disc together as one special edition set, but maybe they plan to save that for when they release Kung Fu Panda 3 on home video.
As a whole, the films are great - family entertainment with loveable characters and some cool "action" sequences. The little ones will want to watch them over and over again, especially if any of them are enrolled in Martial Arts classes like so many young people nowadays.
Kung Fu Panda 1 and Kung Fu Panda 2 Ultimate Edition of Awesomeness are available for purchase from Amazon.com