A family fun DVD for the fans of "KUNG FU PANDA" comes "SECRETS OF THE FURIOUS FIVE", a DVD that features a new animated short film and various special features that will teach your children to draw a major character from the film, teach you how to do the Panda dance and feature games, learning various Kung Fu moves and more!
For the 24-minute animated short, Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) has "Kung Fu Panda" hero Po (Jack Black) train a group of youngsters about Kung Fu. A lot of the kids just are antsy and want to fight immediately and some who lack confidence. Of course, teaching these youngsters is not going to be easy but Po's up to the task.
What better way to train the children but by Po telling the children the history of each of the Furious Five and how at the beginning, they had their issues before becoming the heroes that they are now.
Mantis's storyline is how he was always thinking ahead and thus, he wasn't focusing on what he was being told and this got him into a few troubles but how he managed to overcome his personal obstacle.
Viper's storyline is about how she was born without any fangs or venom and her father felt bad because he would have to continue to protect the family and for Viper, she can excel in her dancing. But one day, an enemy has found a way to prevent from Viper's father from using his fangs and thus leaving Viper to defend her father using her techniques.
Tigress's storyline was about a tiger who lived in an orphanage, many parents didn't want to adopt her because she was too strong and had a temper. But how Shifu used patience and trained Tigress to become a warrior.
Monkey's storyline is how he was hurt in the past and thus started out hurting others with his mischief. Given a second chance, Monkey eventually started helping people and becoming a hero.
Crane's storyline focuses how he was a janitor and never taken seriously to undergo Kung Fu training but eventually had the confidence to show that he can be a great Kung Fu fighter.
Overall, the animated film was a fun and the short story manages to keep the fun and enjoyability from the film intact. Despite the DVD running time being at 24 minutes long, the numerous special features add to the running time considerably.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"SECRETS OF THE FURIOUS FIVE" is featured in Widescreen 1:78:1 for the animated feature. With some parts being CG animated, the main storyline of Po talking about each of the furious five are featured in animated format with a painting visual style. The colors are quite vibrant and colorful.
As for audio, audio is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Surround. Most of the audio is primarily dialogue and music which comes clearly through your front channel speakers.
Although the main feature on the DVD is 24-minutes long, there are a good number of features that are quite lengthy. Included are:
* Learn to Draw - This featurette features how the storyboard artists and artists teaching the viewer how to draw Po and each member of the Furious Five via sketching the characters one-by-one. For example, with Po, the artist would start off with two circles and explain by detail of drawing the rest of the body and features. Each segment varies in time but most are around 6 minutes long. Very informative.
* Dumpling Shuffle - This game is your typical shuffle game with three cups and one item is inside one of those cups. Using your remote to choose which cup has the item.
* Pandamonium Activity Kit - This segment requires a DVD drive on your PC as you can install demos for the "Kung Fu Panda" and "Madagascar 2' video games.
* Learn the Panda Dance - A short segment for your children to get into the groove and learn the Panda dance.
* Do You Kung Fu? - A short segment on various Kung Fu movements and showcasing children quickly demonstrating various Kung Fu moves.
* Inside the Chinese Zodiac - Not sure what animal you were born under in the Chinese Zodiac, select this featurette to learn about your animal, what kind of people to hang out with and not hang out with and more.
* Animals of Kung Fu Panda - A featurette that showcases the animals of Kung Fu Panda and it's significance in Kung Fu about how certain moves were developed by watching how these insects and animals would defend and fight and humans adapting the moves to Kung Fu.
* What Fighting Style Are You? - For those not familiar with Kung Fu, this featurette shows the various Kung Fu moves courtesy of children who have practiced Kung Fu and showcasing the Panda, Snake, Tiger, Monkey, Mantis and Crane Kung Fu movements.
For parents with children, especially those who loved "KUNG FU PANDA", "SECRETS OF THE FURIOUS FIVE" is a fun, family DVD that features the animated story but also plenty of special features. It was great to see the various Kung Fu styles and also to see how various characters were drawn and it was great the artist is drawing in real time and explaining the sketches while drawing.
Again, although listed at 24 minutes (for the animated story), the numerous special features are around 3-6 minutes each, so children will definitely be kept busy trying to learn to draw, learning to dance or even playing the video games included on the DVD.
Overall, "SECRETS OF THE FURIOUS FIVE" is enjoyable, fun and definitely packed with a good amount of special features for the whole family to enjoy. For it's low price point, it's a DVD worth checking out!