Like a Big Panda Bear Hug: Kung Fu Panda 4

By: Russ Matthews

The longevity of this series relies heavily on the charisma of its lead character and the voice behind his furry exterior.

Despite being a familiar story and a predictable outcome, fans of Kung Fu Panda will get precisely what they have come to expect over the years. This fourth instalment benefits from the chilling villainy of Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis. Despite being the smallest adversary in the franchise, her bone-chilling delivery provides the tone needed to make for a terrifying supervillain. The action sequences are fun, but familiar, and the laughs pack no real surprising punches. There is an intriguing ‘father hook’ that taps into the skills of James Hong and Bryan Cranston, but doesn’t introduce anything new to the franchise. Still, there are enough laughs and fight scenes to satisfy the faithful while winning over any new fans to the martial arts storyline.

Kung Fu Panda 4 travels out of the Valley of Peace and ventures into the big city of Juniper City. The journey feels like a well-travelled road to an inevitable conclusion. One that will keep the faithful followers wanting more and provide parents with a safe option for families to enjoy a day at the cinema.

What should parents know about Kung Fu Panda 4? Parents should consider two things before going to see the Dragon Warrior’s latest adventure. The first would be that the effectiveness of Viola Davis as a villain and the scarier aspects of her character may make this less than ideal for children under the age of five. She eventually embodies all of the worst aspects of Po’s foes, which can make for alarming scenes that might cause some bad dreams for the little ones. Yet, the spiritual elements are the most important thing for parents to know. This series is a deep-dive into Eastern Mysticism and serves to indoctrinate a generation on these practices. Parents shouldn’t dismiss this as innocent fun, but instead take time to understand what these religious principles teach their children.

It is worth knowing that inner peace is not found by sitting under a cherry blossom tree or in the lotus position. Instead, true peace can only be found in the person of Jesus.

​​Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all. – 2 Thessalonians 3:16

If you would like to discuss how to find true peace, reach out to us at Third Space. We would love to chat with you about this and more.


Article supplied with thanks to City Bible Forum.

All images: Movie stills

About the author: Russ Matthews is a film critic at City Bible Forum and Reel Dialogue. He has a passion for film and sparking spiritual conversations.