It's always nice to see a sequel that matches up to the first film. Kung Fu Panda 2
is one of those sequels. It does all those things that good sequels do: it expands on the story. The main characters go on new adventures, face new and different adversaries, and they themselves continue to grow as characters.
In this movie, Po and the Furious Five must stop the psychotic Lord Shen from taking over China with his new weapon that not even kung fu can stop: a cannon. All the while, Po must face his past and learn what REALLY happened to his people. (er, pandas) Tigress gets some more lines and character development in this film, though I regret that I can't say that for the other characters. That's the only real problem I have with the movie, though. I also want to compliment the fight scene choreography. The martial artist characters are animals, and the animators take advantage of this, leading to some very creative and fun to watch fight scenes.
What I really love about this movie is that both of it's storylines (the martial arts stuff and the "find my past" stuff) are cliche, but the movie KNOWS this and has fun with these cliches. It's always been painfully obvious that Po was adopted (what with his father being a goose and all) but it's funny that they don't address it until now. All in all, Kung Fu Panda 2
is a rare movie sequel that not only matches the first movie in quality, but may even be a little better. I'm really hoping future films in the franchise continue this trend.