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'Kung Fu Panda' back w/ more emotional depth

Po is seen in a scene from the 2011 Paramount Pictures film, 'Kung Fu Panda 2.' (Courtesy Paramount Pictures)

May 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Three years ago, an all-star cast of actors lent their voices to various animated animal characters in "Kung Fu Panda." That film went on to earn more than $630 million worldwide. Now, the panda returns for a sequel.

Jack Black returned to voice the lead character of Po in the new animated comedy "Kung Fu Panda 2."

Po's a little older and a little wiser, but he still has a lot to learn from his kung fu master, voiced by Dustin Hoffman.

"It's basically a father and son relationship or a father and child relationship. Kids don't listen to parents. They don't get it, they don't understand," Hoffman said.

In the first film, Po was searching for his destiny. With that under his belt, the bear who was raised by a goose is looking to soothe his soul by answering another big question - who are my parents?

"I thought it was an interesting way to go, to take it to another level of emotional depth. It could've gone a sillier way, made a sillier, more surface fun movie, but the filmmakers decided to go deeper," Black said.

Hoffman thinks bringing up topics as serious as adoption and blended families is important, even for a young audience.

"I don't think that you can, in today's world, if you have any kind of media in your house, you can't protect your kids anymore. They're going to see it all, just surfing. They're going to see all the displacement, orphans, third world countries, so why not engage them," Hoffman said.

Kung Fu Panda 2 is rated PG.

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