Sheer entertainment, energetic action sequences, training montages, an awesome villain, great voice acting, cool storyline, fun new ideas, creativity and lavish animation is what makes Kung Fu Panda 2 a very good successor to the also great Kung Fu Panda. I’ve rarely seen a trilogy that manages to dole out its character arc in such consistent and satisfying manner. The first film established Po’s rise to greatness, the second revealed his backstory, and this one ties the two together. I wish the same could be said for the overall plot of each film. As seems to be a tendency with trilogies the third film ignores the main plot of the second film and tries to tie everything in to the issues established in the first one. This has the effect of making the plot of the second film a complete tangent and giving the viewer a bit of whiplash as they try to remember where the first film left off. In this case that means the return of the dragon warrior prophecy, Master Oogway, and a kung fu threat to all China. None of this is bad exactly, but it does make the film reliant on people having seen the first one. Since the films’ plots don’t build off each other the way the character development does each film falls into a fairly predictable sequence of events where a tyrant reappears after years away and Po has to go confront him. The tyrant this time is a bull called Kai. The film doesn’t do much with him. He’s voiced by the excellent J.K. Simmons, who does the best he can with what he’s been given, but apart from an amusing resentment that nobody remembers him he doesn’t have much personality.