“Kung Fu Panda” kee-yahed its way into theaters June 6th. Sound supervisors Ethan Van Der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
achieved the very definition of “Kung Fu” (achievement through great effort) in their sound editorial. Both from “Transformers” fame, “Panda” marks seasoned sound designer Aadahl’s first “supervising sound editor” credit for a feature film. Mixing took place at Fox with Dreamworks animation mainstays, Andy Nelson and Anna Behlmer. The team will continue collaborating with director Edward Zwick on this December’s World War II drama, “Defiance”. Original dialog recording for “Panda” was divvied up amongst Carlos Sotolongo, Michael Miller, and Roy Latham, all old masters of animation sound recording . Adding to his summer of team-ups (see “TDK”) composer Hans Zimmer divided scoring duties in “Panda” with John Powell, who teamed up eight years earlier on one of Dreamworks’ first CG animated films, “The Road to El Dorado”.
Albeit a slight bias toward the leaning tower of Pixar, I am always game for a great animated film regardless of the brand. “Kung Fu Panda” was just that – a well crafted story supported by some well crafted sounds. While Ethan Van Der Ryn, Erik Aadahl, and co. attack another Dreamworks animated film next year with “Monsters vs. Aliens”, I’d like to thank them for taking some time out to talk about their work on this one.