Kung Fu Panda 3 - the third chapter in the 'legend' of Kung Fu master Po the Panda (voiced by Jack Black) - has gone through a handful of release date changes, but the film now appears to be locked down for arrival near the beginning of 2016. Po's new adventure was co-directed by Kung Fu Panda 2 helmsman Jennifer Yuh and Kung Fu Panda 1 & 2 story artist Alessandro Carloni, based on a screenplay by the DreamWorks Animation franchise's trusted scribes, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger.
Kung Fu Panda 2 (released back in 2011) concluded with the revelation that Po's biological father, Li - voiced by Heisenberg himself, Bryan Cranston, in Kung Fu Panda 3 - is alive and residing in a village of Pandas who had managed to survive Shen's (Gary Oldman) attempt to wipe out their kind, as detailed in the sequel. Kung Fu Panda 3 sees Li and Po reunite at last after so many years; the happy reunion is short-lived, though, as soon Po and his fellow martial arts masters learn of a new threat to China, this time in the form of a mysterious (and, apparently, supernatural) enemy.
The previously-released Kung Fu Panda 3 Chinese theatrical teaser offers a glimpse at said unknown foe, though exactly who they are (and where their powers come from) remains under lock and key for the time being. Whereas the Chinese promo focused on building intrigue around the movie's villain, the newly-unveiled U.S. promo for Kung Fu Panda 3 is far more humor-oriented - highlighting what is sure to be one of multiple kung fu action sequences in the animated film (one that culminates with a verbal punchline, of course), followed by a look at the comical first encounter between Po and his father (who prove to be equally slow at putting two and two together).
You can check out that U.S. trailer for Kung Fu Panda 3, above.
DreamWorks did a major overhaul of its upcoming animated feature film release slate at the beginning of 2015, after having lost a fair amount of money on its non-franchise animated movies in recent years (Rise of the Guardians and Mr. Peabody and Sherman fell well short of recouping their expenditures). The Kung Fu Panda property, like How To Train Your Dragon, is a prized brand for DreamWorks, which is why the company isn't taking any chances with Po's next adventure - having moved the film away from such heavyweight competition as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in the past, rather than risk losing a fight with either of them.
Quality-wise, with so many of the same people who worked on previous Kung Fu Panda movies having also been involved with developing the third chapter, one imagines Kung Fu Panda 3 should prove to be a satisfactory (if not, per se, all that inventive) third installment. After all, the second movie was well-received (thought the original film is still generally considered superior), and with the same main voice cast back too - including, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, and Seth Rogen - plus some noteworthy new additions (Pitch Perfect 1 & 2 star Rebel Wilson among them), the future looks fairly bright for this one too.
Kung Fu Panda 3 opens in U.S. theaters on January 29th, 2016.
Source: DreamWorks Animation