Kung Fu Monkey
When a evil monster known as Nian rises in the heart of China, the only hope is a chosen boy named Polaris who must train to fight the incredible beast. As Polaris searches for a teacher capable of helping him win the fight, he stumbles upon a master — Kung-fu Monkey. But it will take everything Polaris has to prove himself and learn his master’s most guarded secrets.
Kung Fu Monkey showcases a martial arts master, a young male student with potential, and enough action to keep the young ones’ eyes glued to the screen. Featured are unforgettable characters such as a rat named Rascal, who is really not like a rat at all, in fact–he’s pretty loyal. Also we have what appears to be two weasels named Long Mouth and Big Eye, who are all set to stop Huffman, also known as Polaris, the new “young blood” martial arts student, from completing his training. Huffman’s master is a chimp named Voyager, and he is a no-nonsense teacher, although he does get a bit tipsy at times from drinking his cup of wine.
Huffman learns pearls of wisdom from Master Voyager and from his own personal failures. One example of a lesson learned is found in his comment that says, “Even a single measure of bitterness can damage a great friendship. To repair it could take a thousand measures of goodwill and effort.” The importance of teamwork and unity is clearly seen when the two weasels set a few buildings in town on fire, and the people (mainly animals) join forces to carry buckets of water to put out the fire. It is nicely obvious that people need to join forces to make good things happen.
There are a lot of slapstick physical moments with Long Mouth slapping around Big Eyes or kicking him. And Master Voyager is not above poking Huffman with a stick once a while to drive home his martial arts teaching and lessons. There is a bit of name calling too such as “moron” and “numb skull.” And Master Voyager enjoys drinking his wine and talking about wine. Yet there are good lessons to be learned in the movie and nothing is graphic. We are pleased to award the movie our Dove seal for All Ages. The animation is nicely done.
The Dove Take
The lessons learned and the loyalty of characters in this fun, animated film outweighs the slapstick slaps and instances of name calling which is mostly said by a bad guy.