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Pandas (2018)

April. 06,2018
| Documentary
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In the mountains of Sichuan, China, a researcher forms a bond with Qian Qian, a panda who is about to experience nature for the first time.


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Fresh and Exciting

Portia Hilton

Blistering performances.

Mathilde the Guild

Although I seem to have had higher expectations than I thought, the movie is super entertaining.


Exactly the movie you think it is, but not the movie you want it to be.


Masterful. I entered the theatre expecting your run-of-the-mill cutsie science documentary, but instead I was delighted to find that, alongside a first-rate plot and some amazing visuals, "Pandas," features one of the greatest performances of the last decade. Kristen Bell's turn as Qian Qian the Panda demonstrates an actress honing her art, and transforming into a master of her craft. The nuances of Bell's performance amount to a fixating and often breath-taking theatregoing experience. The role poses challenges. But any challenge posed, Kristen overcomes. Whether she has to eat pounds of bamboo, or get stuck in a tree after an injury to her paws, the grip never slips. Her panda-esque charms delight the audience without fail. This is a performance that I believe no other actress could convincely deliver, (no, not even Meryl Streep.) I hope to see Kristen win an Oscar this year, and deserve recognition from an industry that is only now discovering her true potential. See "Pandas," and brace for the greatest Panda-based performance of all time.


The fun family IMAX film, Pandas is wonderfully entertaining and educational. It is a documentary about the journey following one particular panda living in captivity, to its release into the wild. The movie begins when Chen Chen is just a pup, living with other baby pandas in captivity. Based on the black bear research of Ben Kilham, this lucky panda is released and followed in the wild. The American researcher, Jacob Owens and the Chinese researcher, Bi Wen Li work together to help bring Chen Chen into her natural environment. Along the journey, she has some awkward moments and challenging times. I won't tell you what they are because it would give away a big part of the movie.My favorite scene is the beginning when we see Chen Chen and the other pandas playing together. In many ways, they seem just like little kids happily playing. My other favorite scene is when Ben Kilham is playing a peek-a-boo game with a black bear behind a tree (say that 10 times fast). The music, by Mark Mothersbaugh, is really child-like, which adds to the fun playfulness that we see with the pandas. The narration by Kristen Bell is spot on with her happy tone and soothing voice throughout the film. The sweetness in her voice adds to the enjoyment of the movie. My favorite character has to be the adorable Chen Chen and also the researchers. Chen Chen is always entertaining because she is so cute, loving, has a great personality and is very curious. I especially love the part when the researchers say they will always be there for her whether it is in ten or 20 years. The message of this film is that, through research, working with others and a lot of patience, pandas and other endangered animals raised in captivity can be successfully released into the wild. The message also is that it is important to save species from extinction because "once they're gone, they're gone"I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. For more reviews by youth, visit kidsfirst dot org.

Lee Eisenberg

The IMAX documentary "Pandas" is made for children. Half of it is pandas frolicking, the other half is zoologists from the US and China talking about how they're trying to stop the pandas from going extinct and have been introducing captivity-raised pandas into the wild.Nothing special, but it does give one an idea of how the only surviving members of the genus Ailuropoda live.


In this documentary, pandas are supporting actors to the idea "of course, Americans once again save the world and made a difference." This film over emphasized and exaggerated the American experts' role in the actual project. This documentary is more like a mini drama. If you like pandas, check out iPanda Channel on YouTube, which is more realistic and less politically biased with lot fun.