5. Kung Fu Panda
Disney/Pixar are the undisputed titans of modern animation. They have a stranglehold on the box office and a far better reputation than all of their contemporaries. Yet, despite being seen as a less capable knock-off studio, Dreamworks have delivered a number of beloved properties that often go without the respect they deserve.
One such franchise is the Kung Fu Panda series. Taking their inspiration from martial arts movies and Chinese culture, Kung Fu Panda uses anthropomorphic animals to bring its unique world to life. With a voice cast consisting of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, Dustin Hoffman, and more, Kung Fu Panda ticks practically every box.
It’s not just on paper that the franchise works, though. There’s genuine humor in the Kung Fu Panda films, as well as deeper themes that work on the same level as anything Disney have offered. The franchise’s animation is also as slick and aesthetically pleasing as it comes, particularly as Kung Fu Panda offers so much action.
Kung Fu Panda is animation for those who aren’t keen on Disney’s more musical offerings, opting instead to incorporate action and martial arts into enjoyable family films. The Kung Fu Panda franchise is all too often overlooked, but it’s actually one of the most underrated family franchises out there.