Based on the autobiography of Ruth Harkness **The Lady and the Panda,** **China the Panda Adventure** details a widower's struggle to find meaning in her husband's death. Played by the always reliable Maria Bello, Ruth Harkness is an attractive adventurer who runs afoul of a game hunter who would like to sell Panda skin rugs. Harkness learns much from the Chinese Culture (pre World War II) and becomes the first person to bring a panda baby to the United States of America.
**China the Panda Adventure** could have been a clunky narrative wrapped around documentary footage of pandas in the wilds of the Asia jungle. Fortunately the World Wildlife Fund, the San Diego Zoo and Trane did not shortchange the narrative elements of **The Lady and the Panda.***
There is much cuteness to the movie and the children reacted sweetly to the appearences of the pandas, **China the Panda Aventure** contains a serious message about extinction. Maria Bello is a great actress because she channels both the agony and ecstacy of her quest.
Maria Bello is so likeable. She is even more likeable when she cradles a panda in this IMAX epic.