22. KUNG FU PANDA 2
Director: Jennifer Yuh
Stars: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman, Michelle Yeoh, Jackie Chan, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross
Release Date: May 26
Why we’re excited: Kung Fu Panda, released in 2008, was the coolest kind of kid’s movie, one that allows us to laugh along with rugrats while acknowledging something a bit more grown-up. In the case of Jack Black’s best movie since lord-knows-when, that connection came through its clever salutes to old-school martial arts flicks—you know, the ones RZA used to sample the hell out of back in Wu-Tang’s heyday.
This summer’s sequel manages to up the nostalgic ante with the casting of Jean-Claude Van Damme as the voice of a crocodile master; sure, Kung Fu Panda 2 won’t kick as much ass as Bloodsport, but we’re just happy to see the “Muscles from Brussels” get some action movie work once again, even if it’s for the kiddies.
As for the rest of the cast, all of the key voices have returned, including Angelina Jolie as the sultry tiger and Seth Rogen as the wisecracking mantis. Sequels to children’s movies tend to succeed both creatively and monetarily (think both Toy Story follow-ups), so Kung Fu Panda 2 is pretty much guaranteed to please.