The script [from a screen story by John Wilcox and Steven Alldredge] is a mix of the trite and the true. Ryan (Ryan Slater) is off on spring break to see his dad (Stephen Lang), an American working on a preserve in China to rescue the panda population. To save the preserve, its staffers must come up with a panda cub to show that they’re accomplishing something, but the only known cub has been captured by poachers. Through various plots twists, Ryan, a young Chinese girl (Yi Ding) who works at the preserve and the cub are separated from the adults and pursued by the poachers. Pic, which was shot in Sichuan province, follows their adventures until the inevitable reunion and happy ending.
Lang earns his pay as the father, but the bulk of the film is carried by Slater (brother of Christian) and Ding. It is enough to say they are upstaged both by the locations and by the pandas, a mix of real animals and the special effects work of Rick Baker and his crew.