One of the few comedians working today who can confidently claim to be a multi-generational performer in the entertainment industry is actor Jack Black. Tenacious D is a singer-songwriter duo made up of Black and Kyle Gass. Tenacious D has won multiple honours, including the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. However, Black is perhaps most recognised for his on-screen performances, notably in the movies he continues to make with his lifelong buddy Richard Linklater. For more than 20 years, he has thrilled audiences with hilarious performances in movies including High Fidelity, Shallow Hal, School of Rock, The Holiday, Tropic Thunder, and the Jumanji series. In addition to working with brilliant filmmakers like Peter Jackson, Black regularly works with actors like Dwayne Johnson and Tim Robbins. One of Jack Black’s strangest films is now making a big splash on American streaming services.
As of this past week, Kung Fu Panda was among the Top 10 movies on HBO Max in terms of streaming. The animated movie starring Jack Black joins other well-known movies including Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Belfast, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and Pulp Fiction in HBO Max’s Top 10. Through DreamWorks Animation, the original 2008 movie has inspired a number of sequels and three television shows, several of which include Jack Black as the voice of his now-famous character Po Ping. Even a holiday special called Kung Fu Panda Holiday, which aired on NBC in 2010 and had several of the cast members reprising their roles, attracted over 6 million people at the time.
Kung Fu Panda, which hit cinemas in the summer of 2008, quickly established itself as a classic and was a commercial triumph for actor Jack Black. The film offers a broad spectrum of performers through voice-over, including two-time Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman, global superstar Angelina Jolie, television actor Ian McShane, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, martial arts specialist Jackie Chan, David Cross, and the late Michael Clarke Duncan. Duncan died in 2012, therefore he was unable to play Commander Vachir in any of the movie’s associated sequels. In contrast to its $130 million budget, Kung Fu Panda went on to earn almost $630 million at the box office.
Jack Black played Po, a bumbling but determined panda and kung fu fan who lives in ancient China, in the critically acclaimed film Kung Fu Panda. Po is unintentionally given the title of Dragon Warrior, which refers to a legendary figure with superhuman strength and power. He is entrusted with defending his home, The Valley of Peace, against evil entities who show up to test his might, and he must defend both himself and his surroundings. The movie is listed as Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a Tomatometer rating of 87% based on 190 critic reviews and an Audience Score of 83% based on more than 250,000 user ratings. Similar to this, Metacritic has given Kung Fu Panda a User Score of 8.3 based on 621 public ratings and a grade of 74 based on 36 critic reviews. This often indicates widespread adulation from spectators and mostly positive reviews from reviewers.