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DVD Review

DVD cover

Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit


Starring (voice): Jon Heder, Michael Clarke Duncan and Tom Arnold
Distributor: Signature Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: PG
Release Date: 11 August 2014

Fu, a rabbit of low intelligence, spends his time working in a kitchen, until fate takes a hand. Gaining special powers from the dying Kung Fu master, Shifu, he makes a deathbed promise to deliver a mystical tablet to Shifu’s sister, Penny. Hot on his heels is Slash who wants the tablet for himself...

Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit (2011. 1 hr, 25 min, 10 sec) is a Chinese animated film, directed by Lijun Sun. Oddly enough the film did very little business in its country of origin, but did better in the overseas market. One of the reasons for this is that unlike Pixar, which add layers to their films so that they can be enjoyed by both children and adults, Rabbit is aimed squarely at children.

Although denied by the director, the film bears more than a striking resemblance with Kung Fu Panda (2008), so much so that in many aspects it looks like a cheap rip-off. That said, even if many of the concepts are similar, Rabbit has its own story to tell.

Fu is a large overweight rabbit, who is gifted his Kung Fu powers by the dying Shifu. Fu is not the brightest bunny on the block, even to the extent that when he is rescued from a pair of thieves by Penelope, he doesn’t realise that this may be shortened to Penny. She is on the way back to Shifu’s martial arts academy and back into the clutches of Slash.

The film has some issues with both the pacing, which slows down in the middle for no discernable reason, and with the story. I don’t know if it was in the original, rather than the American dub, but Shifu goes from being the master of a martial arts academy, to something much more. Penny is introduced as a princess and when she confronts Slash he declares himself the rightful heir to the kingdom, at which point you're wondering how the academy suddenly became a kingdom, especially as every character still refers to the late Shifu as ‘The Master’ rather than the king or emperor.

The comedy is very much on a low level and relies on the fact that Fu is two chopsticks short of a wok. This allows him to get into all sorts of buffoonery.

The CGI is above the quality usually shown on television, but struggles to compete with the slickness which Hollywood can produce; although the backgrounds are detailed the overall look of the film is a little soft.

The disc provided was a screener, so there is no information on any extras or the ability to listen to the original Mandarin audio track. What you do get is the American dub, which is ok.

It’s not a bad film and ignoring the thematic resemblance to Kung Fu Panda should appeal to children, although adults will struggle to remain with it as the plot is overly simplistic. The film does contain violence and a small amount of name calling, but the violence is only of the slapping and sword fight kind, it is after all a Kung Fu movie.


Charles Packer

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