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On Pandas And Potters

Okay. I am super excited! But why?

  • This is the first time I am writing a movie review (well, sort of!).
  • I just watched a movie I have been waiting to watch for so long, I even forgot how long!
  • I just had an overdose of Pandas – not one, but many.
  • I realised, once again, how and why I will never forget the potter universe – no matter what I am currently watching / reading. Nor will I ever stop seeing potter references everywhere.

kfp1

Always having been a fan of the Kung Fu Panda franchise, I was naturally excited about watching the much awaited third full length film in the Panda series. Watching Po and his friends again, and being transported to the Jade Palace brought me as much excitement as it would for a ten year old kid. I was busy following the release news of the movie and got excited about the trailers. In short, I behaved like a fan girl. It is difficult for any fan girl to give an objective dissection of their fandom related stuff, but the reviewer blood in me still found out what I would normally have missed.

The movie’s story in short – Po meets his long lost father and he realises that there are more of them, contradicting his previous assumption that he was the only panda left. Meanwhile, Dragon Valley is threatened yet again by an evil villain. While Po juggles between finding his real identity, his long lost family, finding out the power that is needed to defeat the villain who seems indefatigable, and managing to find his roots in order to become a dragon master and harness the power of Chi, we are treated to brilliantly animated sceneries, colourful villages, villagers, funny dialogues and of course, more pandas!

kfp2

But all through the movie, in the most important moments of the movie, I was left frowning as I found more and more references to the eternally perpetual fandom. Yes. The Harry Potter franchise had influenced this movie to an extent where real Potterheads (oh, that is the ‘official’ term for anyone who is always mad about JKR’s life changing series and still refuses to accept defeat that it is over and who is still madly waiting for the upcoming movie about some fantastic beasts… the list goes on. In short, it refers to the fandom that would watch a movie about the walls in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry being repainted) could find out certain disarming similarities.

The movie on the whole was great, no doubt. But starting from ‘a secret weapon’ to the ultimate ‘meeting the master climax scene’, and oh, an important character coming back from the dead, having ‘chosen’ life instead of death (pssst… the famous King’s Cross Scene, anyone?) one cannot help drawing parallels between this movie and the other series. Some powerful dialogues littered all through the movie seem rewritten versions of what we had already heard. I tried to convince myself that I was the only one noticing these abstract references until a friend (who watched it with me) texted me ‘I feel like I have watched an abridged version of HP in some places. Am I the only one?’

For a girl who watched all other Jack Black movies after falling in love with Po’s voice – yes, I did not know Jack Black before this – this movie was a real treat. References apart, the overall theme is goodness presiding over evil. No series can really be copies of the other, especially such a popular one with its own steady fan base. But as someone who noticed the similarities, I have been affected by a ‘Can’t unsee’ phenomenon. I never can, and never intend to forget the famous turning points in the HP series and as I morosely concluded, it has become a very huge part of me that I really do see the references everywhere.

Overall, the third movie of the KFP series brought back memories both related and unrelated to the series. And Po and his friends took me on a joy ride as I watched Po win over yet another foe with as much élan and finesse that a Panda could muster. While Potter made yet another unannounced visit into my brain, I am opening the last and final instalment of the HP series, trying to leave behind memories of the Furious Five and the secret panda village. As if I need more excuses to go back to my motherland fandom. *snorts* *giggles*.

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