Kung Fu Panda 2
Po (Jack Black, center) and The Furious Five: from left, Crane (David Cross), Tigress (Angelina Jolie) Mantis (Seth Rogen), Monkey (Jackie Chan), and Viper (Lucy Liu), are back in DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2 to be released by Paramount on May 26. courtesy of Dreamworks Animation

Jack Black thinks “Kung Fu Panda 2” is better than its predecessor. 

“It’s more exciting, funnier, and more emotionally resonate then all the other movies this summer. Kids are going to love it because the kung fu is better than the first one, and I think you grow to love Po more this time around because he is a little more vulnerable,”  Black told The Explorer in an interview on April 4.

In “Kung Fu Panda 2,” Black’s lovable, animated character Po teams up with a new group of kung-fu masters to take down an old enemy with a deadly weapon. 

“The mindset going into the sequel was just, we’ve already set up all the characters so we don’t have to spend a bunch of time, you know, setting up who they are,” said Black. “You can get right to the action, so that’s the advantage to doing a sequel. You can cut to the chase, and I think that’s what’s going to make this a better movie than the first one.  You get right to the fun stuff as opposed to spending a lot of time with the setup.”   

The film has large shoes to fill. 

The original “Kung Fu Panda” grossed more than $200 million at the box office and has since inspired a short film, a television special and several video games. It even has helped name a baby

panda bear. 

In February, the Atlanta Zoo in Georgia welcomed a newborn panda. Black was asked to name it, which he happily named Po after his character. 

While the message of the first film was that you can do anything you want to do despite the kind of package you come in, the sequel’s message is different.

“It’s a lot about living in the moment,” said Black. “It’s got a lot of emotional resonance with a journey to self-discovery.”

The film is set for release on this Thursday and stars Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, David Cross, and Dustin Hoffman, all of whom reprise their roles from the first film.

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