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Ultra HD : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $29.95 Last Price: $ Buy now! 3rd Party 17.61 In Stock
Release Date: May 28th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 2024

Kung Fu Panda 4 - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

4K UHD Review By: Bryan Kluger
Kung Fu Panda
dazzles in its third sequel with new characters and vicious enemies as Po transforms into more of a spiritual teacher than a warrior where he trains a young apprentice. This element keeps the franchise alive and well, feeling original, with wonderful scenic animation and fun action beats. The 4K picture with Dolby Vision is amazing and the Dolby Atmos track is demo-worthy. The extras are a ton of fun to watch as well. Highly Recommended! 
 

 

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p HEVC/H.265 / Dolby Vision HDR / HDR10
Length:
94
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.39:1
Audio Formats:
English (Dolby Atmos for Feature, Dolby Digital 2.0 for Bonus Content, Dolby Digital 5.1 for Bonus Content), French Canadian (Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 for Feature), French European (Dolby Digital 5.1 for Bonus Content), and Latin American Spanish (Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 for Feature, Dolby Digital 5.1 for Bonus Content)
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Release Date:
May 28th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Has it really been 16 years since Kung Fu Panda debuted on the big screen? With three sequels and a myriad of short films and direct-to-video productions, the hungry panda has secured more than $2.3 billion at the box office thus far. Its current outing with Kung Fu Panda 4 is already in the top 3 biggest-grossing movies of 2024, and for good reason. The voice talent fully commits to the zany characters and their struggles while the narrative adds some twists and turns that the franchise hasn't seen before, keeping its story fresh and original with Jack Black's unique brand of comedy. With this fourth installment though, new characters are introduced and a brand new villain is out to destroy everything Po has worked so hard for that makes for a fantastic match-up that keeps this franchise stunning.

When sequels are made over the course of a couple of decades, it's usually good to have the returning characters transform into something new or have a different outlook on life. Some of the great movie franchises have explored this plot device including, Rocky and Creed, and even The Karate Kid and Cobra Kai where the protagonists and antagonists of the films get older and become educators of sorts who help out the younger versions of themselves. This comes to light in Kung Fu Panda 4 as Po (Jack Black) has been the Dragon Warrior over the Valley of Peace for a while now. He isn't getting any younger either, which is why his fathers encourage him to find a successor so that he may become the next spiritual leader instead of the warrior. He crosses paths with a fox named Zhen (Awkwafina) who is caught stealing in the village which leads Po to sentence her to jail.

Soon after, Po learns that his previous nemesis Tai Lung is somehow back in reality and wreaking havoc which Po learns is a new villain called The Chameleon (Viola Davis) who can shapeshift into anyone. Her motive is to steal all of the soulful martial arts skills from dead Kung-Fu masters to take over the world. Po and his new partner Zhen are the only two who might be able to stop this new evil threat that has the new director adding some twists and turns to its story.

Director Mike Mitchell is a brilliant choice to helm this fourth film, bringing in his comedic takes on the action from his previous films such as Deuce Bigalow, Sky High, Trolls, and The Lego Movie Part 2. His involvement brought in a much-needed change that had the wackiness of Jack Black's Po balance his silliness with emitting wisdom as an older Panda to a new hyper-active character. Those tender moments when Po is teaching Zhen are exquisite and always meet a certain emotional tone for people of all ages. But Black doesn't allow the seriousness of his transformational character to get in the way of his over-the-top silliness either, there's plenty of that on this adventure too.

The action is pitch-perfect, however, the real selling point in Kung Fu Panda 4 is the addition of Viola Davis as The Chameleon. She is ruthless and has a few secrets that will no doubt surprise the characters and the audience alike. Even when she shapeshifts into an elephant to make sure her henchmen abide by her is terrifying. The Chameleon's addition allows for a new formidable foe to take on the Panda and his new apprentice where everything is at stake.

For those looking for the Furious Seven, they are all left on the back burner so that the new characters have room to breathe. The previous friends of Po show up in small bits but never outstay their welcome which is a smart move that lets this narrative change into something original. Kung Fu Panda 4 allows itself to start fresh and keep things energetic with new characters while keeping the same style of comedy that will no doubt usher in a fifth movie soon.

 

Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Kung-Fu Panda 4 eats its way to 4K + Blu-ray+ Digital Code via Dreamworks. The two discs are housed inside a hard black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. This is a Collector's Edition, however, there's nothing really collector about it. There is an insert for a digital code. The artwork features the cast in a fighting stance.

Video Review

Ranking:

Kung Fu Panda 4 has a fantastic 2160p UHD 4K transfer with Dolby Vision that might be the best-looking image out of the franchise. Colors are sensational with bold, rich colors of the vast landscapes in Juniper City. The gorgeous views that Po witnesses are life-life and come packed with nuanced colors from reds, greens, browns, blues, purples, and yellows. His black and white fur is perfectly balanced while his red cape pops with dazzling delight. The green walking stick also looks impressive and it contrasts nicely with the scenic views on his and Zhen's adventure. Black levels are inky in darker locations.

The detail is very sharp and vivid in this picturesque animated sequel. The animal fur displays individual hairs that blow in the wind along with scaly skin textures on non-mammals. The wooden and stone structures all showcase their unique textures as well in both closeups and wider shots. The animation is fluid and smooth without any pixelation, even when smoke or fog appears. For those looking for a demo-worthy animated film, Kung-Fu Panda 4 is the choice to make visually.

Audio Review

Ranking:

This release comes with a rumbling Dolby Atmos track that should satisfy everyone. This fully immersive mix allows the viewer to be in the center of every fight or conversation. Sound effects are robust and boisterous on all levels. Every martial arts move and takedown packs a punch with ferocity. Footsteps on the different types of ground whether it be sand, stone, or grass all sound pitch-perfect. The low end of the bass kicks in quite often with amazing rumbles that never cross into rocky territory. The directionality of the Atmos setup allows for flying objects and voices to be projected from various speakers in a well-balanced way.

The ambient noises of people talking in the city or the natural reverb and echo inside larger spaces always sound wonderful and realistic. The score always adds to the zany antics and suspense of the movie, while rock n' roll classics such as Crazy Train provide a ton of excellent instrumental notes and voices that bring the speaker system to full sail. The height speakers give way to falling debris, voices, and other ambient nature noises from above. The dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow with English, French, and Spanish subtitles.

Special Features

Ranking:

There are 65 minutes of bonus features included here that are a ton of fun to watch. Additionally, a fun and energetic commentary track with the filmmakers is worth listening to.

  • Audio Commentary - The Director Mike Mitchell, production designers, story leads, and animators all come aboard this packed commentary track for a super-fun and interesting dialogue on the making of this fourth installment. They all discuss the cast of voices, storyboarding of the movie, pop-culture references made in the movie, and other tones and themes throughout. This is not a dry track whatsoever and is very engaging.
  • Dueling Dumplings (HD, 3 Mins.) - A funny short film where Po and Zhen go toe-to-toe over dumplings.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 2 Mins.) - Two storyboarded scenes with voice talent are shown.
  • Kung-Fu Talking (HD, 3 Mins.) - A montage of the voice casting reading their lines for the film.
  • Meet The Cast (HD, 14 Mins.) - The cast and crew talk about coming back for a 4th movie and how they've grown with their characters.
  • Kung-Fu Panda 4 All (HD, 8 Mins.) - More of the cast and crew highlighting the new story and characters can be found here.
  • Mastering the Dumpling (HD, 7 Mins.) - Jack Black learns how to make real dumplings.
  • How To Draw (HD, 25 Mins.) - This fun featurette showcases those who are interested in how to draw the main characters in the film.
  • Shadow Puppet Theater (HD, 8 Mins.) - Another how-to segment that reveals how to make shadow puppets with objects from the house.

Final Thoughts

Kung Fu Panda 4 tests the franchise in a new and exciting direction with new characters and the beloved Po taking on a new role. The voice cast is excellent and the visuals are breathtaking. The 4K image with Dolby Vision looks demo-worthy and the Dolby Atmos track sounds excellent. The bonus features are wonderful and lively and as always, Jack Black brings the comedy and energy. Highly Recommended! 

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