Kung fu Panda 3 (2016)

The first feeling while you are watching the film and the last thought as it completes, is how rich it is. Abundant in animation, characterisation, message and values, it is engaging at every level.

Directors Nelson and Carloni bring an appropriate part 3 to the audience, tying in pandas to the story and explaining why Po was chosen to be dragon warrior. We see some leaps for the characters, but as always there is a short yet mystical explanation for it. They managed to create a state of wonderment and awe throughout which in itself is worthy of applause.

The all star cast who lend their voices to these lovable characters do a flawless job, with lots more who join the Panda party.

In a world where we should strive to be original individuals, this film sends a simple yet deep message home.

3.5/5

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Zootopia (2016)

‘Try Everything’ is still playing in my head while I write this. Even if you take away that much from the film, it’s worth it. The evolution of animation is evident in the minute detailing and multitude of colours which have been wonderfully crafted in this film.

Anthropomorphic animals give us an insight into highly relevant messages which are metaphorical with sound impact. New recruit rabbit Judy Hopps needs the help of a shifty fox Nick Wilde to solve a case. Enter politics, gender bias, glass ceiling, size, race, diet prejudice and voila! You have the modern messy world!

A host of talented voices (including Shakira) entertain us while we enjoy the vivid landscapes that exist in Zootopia, a kind of ‘utopia for mammals’. While their main concern is that predators don’t turn savage, we humans share the same problem.

Drawing parallels with the current state of society, this layered film delivers multiple messages and a heart warming friendship.

3.5/5

Whiplash (2014)

Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, this musical drama is pitch perfect in capturing the struggles faced by musicians and the search of a genius by their mentors.

J.K. Simmons appears to be a monster in the guise of a teacher, a conductor who doesn’t miss the heart beat of a beat. Miles Teller, a 27 year old in real life plays a 19 year old aspirational drummer and when their paths cross it is an explosion of emotions and music.

For lovers of jazz and those who have a keen sense of hearing, this film is a delight to the ears. Intense with a completely unexpected climax, it will leave you in awe and perhaps awaken a dormant desire to pursue a hidden or potential talent.

This is one film where you have to skip the popcorn.

3.5/5