Kung Fu Panda

  • Directors: Mark Osborne, John Stevenson
  • Producers: Melissa Cobb
  • Writers: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
  • Genres: Animation, Action, Comedy, Family
  • Actors: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, Randall Duk Kim, David Cross

In an alternate China (populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals), the Valley of Peace is protected by the Furious Five – Tigress, Monkey, Mantis, Viper, and Crane – a quintet of warriors trained in kung fu by the tortoise Master Oogway and his protégé, the red panda Master Shifu. One day, Master Oogway has a premonition that Shifu’s former pupil and foster-son, the snow leopard Tai Lung, who was imprisoned after turning to evil, will escape from his high-security prison and attack the Valley. Oogway instructs Shifu and the others to hold a tournament in order to choose the legendary Dragon Warrior, worthy to receive the power of the Dragon Scroll, which is said to give nigh-supreme power to whomever reads it.

Po, a young giant panda and kung fu fanatic who works in his duck father’s noodle restaurant, is anxious to see the tournament, but is instead forced to take a noodle cart up the hill to the Jade Palace. When he arrives, the gates are closed and the tournament has already started. Desperate to see the tournament, Po tries several ways to get inside. In a final attempt, Po straps himself to a set of fireworks, by which he propels himself into the middle of the arena just as Oogway is about to point out the new Dragon Warrior, so that Oogway indicates Po as such. Unwilling to believe that a clumsy, fat panda can become the Dragon Warrior, Shifu attempts to berate and humiliate Po into quitting, subjecting him to a grueling series of matches with the Five, all of whom despise Po as an upstart, a failure, and a nobody. Po is dejected after his first day of training, but when he is given advice by Master Oogway, he refuses to give up. Soon, he endears himself to most of the Five (sans Tigress) with his impressive tenacity, culinary skill, and good humor, though he is still unable to grasp the basics of kung fu.

The Furious Five return with the village to find Po, dazed but victorious. Deeply impressed, Tigress leads the Furious Five in their acceptance of Po as a kung fu master. Po returns to Shifu and finds that he is barely conscious, but alive, and finally at peace now that Tai Lung has been defeated and peace restored. In a post-credits sequence, Po and Shifu are seen eating dumplings under Oogway’s favorite peach tree, where a peach seed Shifu planted earlier has begun to sprout into a seedling.

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