Actor Jack Black, director Jennifer Yuh visit Seoul to promote ‘Kung Fu Panda 3′

January 21, 2016
Jack Black playfully feeds a fan, while Jennifer Yuh, left, the Korea-born director of the "Kung Fu Panda 3," laughs. (Newsis)

Jack Black playfully feeds a fan, while Jennifer Yuh, left, the Korea-born director of the “Kung Fu Panda 3,” laughs. (Newsis)

By Yun Suh-young

SEOUL — Jennifer Yuh, the Korea-born director of the “Kung Fu Panda 3,” when asked how she felt to be in Seoul, said it feels like home.

“It feels like coming home. It’s hard to explain. Things like the air feel better,” she said during a press conference in Yeouido, Thursday.

Actor Jack Black and director Jennifer Yuh visited Seoul to promote the film which will be released on Jan. 28.

Yuh, who made her directorial debut with “Kung Fu Panda 2″ (2011), has returned after five years with her second film, the third installment in the Kung Fu Panda franchise.

“Being surrounded by people who look like me is wonderful and shopping is a lot easier. Every time, I realize how amazing this place is. Everyone is so friendly, and this time it’s great to share it with Jack.”

“Kung Fu Panda 3″ is a martial arts comic animation film, co-produced by DreamWorks Animation and Oriental DreamWorks, a Shanghai-based studio.

This is the first time a Hollywood animation film has been co-produced with a Chinese firm.

In the third series, Po finds his biological father and visits a secret sanctuary of pandas where he meets a group of clumsy, fun-loving pandas whom he trains as Kung Fu Pandas to fight against Kai, an evil spirit that begins terrorizing China and stealing powers from kung fu masters.

The third installment is much about finding Po’s identity and discovering what it means to be a panda.

“Finding who I am is a complex matter. The film is about self discovery,” said Black who made a comical meditating gesture.

“I think that Po’s originality is that he’s an action hero but he’s not the typical stereotypical action hero. Most action heroes are macho ― they don’t have much feelings and are tough and strong and never cry. But Po is sensitive and sweet, and I think that’s a great thing for kids to see because you can be a hero and vulnerable.”

H eadded, “What’s more scary for Po than the egotistical villain is becoming a teacher, just like all kids are scared when they have to leave home and get a job.”

Yuh said it was easy to work with Black because they knew the characters well.

“We both know the characters so well that we know what the characters will do in any situation,” she said.

“Jack is a collaborator. He can come up with great ideas with what Po can do. Po is Jack in the scene. Jack understands how to spontaneously experiment with Po’s performance.”

Black also said working on the film didn’t “feel like work.”

“It was a joy to go to work every day. Jen is an amazing director and a great artist. Work didn’t feel like work,” he said.

When asked what her next film would be, Yuh said, she’d “love to try something action-packed.”

“I love action and Korean cinema has a lot of action films going on. I’d love to try something like that.”

Yuh is the first woman to direct a Hollywood animated feature film solo. With “Kung Fu Panda 2″ she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

“Kung Fu Panda 3″ features the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Kate Hudson and the voices of Angelina Jolie’s and Jack Black’s children.

Actor Jack Black poses like Po, the main character in the Kung Fu Panda movie franchise, during a press conference held in Yeouido, Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap)

Actor Jack Black poses like Po, the main character in the Kung Fu Panda movie franchise, during a press conference held in Yeouido, Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap)

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