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Secrets of the Furious Five - animated DVD / family DVD review
SECRETS OF THE FURIOUS FIVE Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Will Shadley, Eamon Pirruccello, Grace Rolek, Max Koch
Director: Raman Hui Studio: Dreamworks Animated
DVD release: 24 March 2009 Feature runtime: 24 minutes
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (English - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Subtitles (English, French, Spanish), Po's Power Play (Learn to Draw, Dumpling Shuffle, Pandamonium Activity Kit), Land of the Panda (Learn the Panda Dance, Do You Kung Fu?, Inside the Chinese Zodiac, Animals of Kung Fu Panda, What Fighting Style Are You?)

Secrets of the Furious Five is not a bad little featurette. Our favorite Kung Fu Panda, Po, is prepared by master Shifu to face the most daunting challenge of his Kung Fu career to date: teaching a yard full of little bunnies the foundations of Kung Fu.

He uses the origins of the Furious Five (with whom all of the little bunnies are enthralled) to teach lessons of patience, compassion, courage, confidence, and discipline.

The short film is framed by CGI animated shots of Po, Shifu, and the Bunnies, but when the focus shifts to the origins of The Five, it switches to 2-D animation similar to the title sequence of the Kung Fu Panda film. The result is quite pleasing, underlining the fact that traditional animation will not go away in favor of CGI work. Both have a place at the table of animation, and either can hold its own or augment the other.

Secrets of the Furious Five is a good stand-alone product. The feature was originally part of a two-pack that included Kung Fu Panda when it first came out on DVD. If you bought the single-disc KFP, this will allow you to get some extras that came with the 2-disc. If you have the Blu-ray, you're doubling up a bit as the extras on Secrets are included on Blu.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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