Jack Black’s Wildest Film Is Killing It On Streaming

Jack Black is a mutli-generational talent, as the man is a superb actor and musician. Though he has played many iconic roles, his most wild film is currently dominating the streaming charts.

By Matthew Creith | Published

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Actor Jack Black is one of the only comedians working today that can safely say he is a multi-generational talent in the entertainment business. Along with partner Kyle Gass, Black is one-half of the singer-songwriter duo that makes up Tenacious D, a recipient of numerous awards, including the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. But Black is most likely best known for his performances onscreen, particularly in films where he continues to collaborate with longtime friend Richard Linklater. He has delighted audiences for more than two decades in comedic film performances like High FidelityShallow HalSchool of RockThe HolidayTropic Thunder, and the Jumanji franchise. Black frequently collaborates with Dwayne Johnson and Tim Robbins and has worked with talented directors like Peter Jackson. Now, one of Jack Black’s wildest movies is creating quite the stir on streaming platforms in the United States.

According to FlixPatrolKung Fu Panda has reached epic new heights as it entered the Top 10 most streamed movies on HBO Max within the past week. The animated feature film that stars Jack Black joins other well-known titles in HBO Max’s Top 10, including Dodgeball: A True Underdog StoryBelfastMy Big Fat Greek Wedding, and Pulp Fiction. The original 2008 film has spawned several sequels and three television series through DreamWorks Animation, of which Jack Black has lent his voice to many of the incarnations of his now famous character, Po Ping. There has even been a holiday special, Kung Fu Panda Holiday, that aired on NBC in 2010 that saw many of the film’s cast reprise their roles, which brought NBC close to 6 million viewers at the time.

When it was released in theaters in the summer of 2008, Kung Fu Panda became an instant classic and a successful venture for actor Jack Black. Featuring an all-star cast of actors that seemed overqualified for their roles at the time, the movie boasts a wide range of performers via voice-over, including two-time Academy Award-winner Dustin Hoffman, international sensation Angelina Jolie, television’s Ian McShane, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, martial arts expert Jackie Chan, David Cross, and the late Michael Clarke Duncan. Duncan passed away in 2012 and could not reprise his role as Commander Vachir in any of the film’s related sequels. Kung Fu Panda went on to gross over $630 million at the box office against a budget of $130 million.

Kung Fu Panda was a hit with critics and audiences alike when it starred Jack Black as Po, a clumsy yet determined panda and kung fu enthusiast who lives in Ancient China. Po is accidentally named to be the Dragon Warrior, a term relating to a mythical hero who wields incredible strength and power. He is tasked with protecting his home, The Valley of Peace, and must defend himself and his environment from evil forces who arrive to test his power. Rotten Tomatoes lists the film as Certified Fresh with a Tomatometer ranking of 87% based on 190 critic reviews, as well as an 83% Audience Score based on over 250,000 ratings from fans to the site. Similarly, Metacritic currently ranks Kung Fu Panda with a rating of 74 based on 36 critic reviews and a User Score of 8.3 based on 621 ratings from audiences. All in all, this typically denotes generally favorable reviews from critics and universal acclaim from viewers.

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The critical acclaim for Kung Fu Panda and Jack Black’s performance as Po was met with praise during the awards season in 2008, as DreamWorks attempted to promote its fantastic cast and original score. The movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature but lost to Pixar’s favorite WALL-EKung Fu Panda became the biggest opening for a non-sequel film in DreamWorks’ history, and it was the highest-grossing animated feature in 2008. World-renowned composer Hans Zimmer lent his skills as a musician to score the movie alongside John Powell, a collaboration that would also continue in Kung Fu Panda 2. Zimmer then went on to score Kung Fu Panda 3 himself. A new sequel film, Kung Fu Panda 4, is currently in the works, with Jack Black returning as the voice of Po and a tentative release date of March 2024.