Various Artists

Kung Fu Panda [Music from the Motion Picture]

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    5
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Composers Hans Zimmer and John Powell infuse the score for Dreamworks' 2008 animated comedy-adventure Kung Fu Panda with plenty of semi-traditional Asian motifs and instrumentation, resulting in an enjoyable -- if entirely predictable -- soundtrack that deals out clich├ęs like candy on Halloween. The opening track introduces the "Hero" theme, a wistful flute-led melody that sounds nearly identical to Howard Shore's "Hobbit" theme from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. What follows is largely orchestral, with bursts of tribal percussion and the occasional dance number. The soundtrack closes with star Jack Black and Cee-Lo Green performing "Kung Fu Fighting," a song whose inclusion is apparently mandatory for every film, commercial, or skit ever made involving Asian culture.

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