Posted on

Kung Fu Panda (2008)


The story is set in the Valley of Peace, a fictional land in ancient China inhabited by anthropomorphic animals. Po (Jack Black), a clumsy panda, is a kung fu fanatic who idolizes the Furious Five—Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Crane (David Cross)—a quintet of kung fu masters trained by the red panda named Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) to protect the valley. Because he works in his goose[5] father Mr. Ping’s (James Hong) noodle restaurant, Po is unable to achieve his dream of becoming a kung fu master himself.

One day, Shifu’s mentor, the old tortoise Oogway (Randall Duk Kim), has a vision that Shifu’s former student and adoptive son, the evil snow leopard Tai Lung, will escape from prison and return to the Valley of Peace to take revenge for being denied the Dragon Scroll, which is said to hold the secret to limitless power. Shifu holds a kung fu tournament for the Furious Five so that Oogway may identify the legendary Dragon Warrior, the one kung fu master worthy of receiving the Dragon Scroll and capable of defeating Tai Lung. Forced to take a cumbersome noodle cart to the tournament, Po arrives after the doors to the arena close and is unable to enter. Desperate to see the Dragon Warrior be chosen, Po straps himself to a set of fireworks and rockets into the sky. Po crashes into the middle of the arena at the moment when Oogway is to point out the Dragon Warrior. To the surprise of everyone present, Oogway chooses Po.

Unwilling to believe that a “big, fat panda” could be the Dragon Warrior, Shifu tries to dispatch Po by berating and ridiculing him into quitting his training with the Furious Five, who similarly despise and mock Po for his lack of skill in kung fu. However, after receiving helpful advice from Oogway, Po endures his grueling training and slowly begins to endear himself to the Five with his tenacity, culinary skill, and good humor. Meanwhile, Tai Lung (Ian McShane) escapes from prison as foreseen by Oogway, ironically picking his locks with a feather of a goose messenger named Zeng (Dan Fogler) Shifu had sent to prevent Tai Lung’s impending escape. Shifu learns of Tai Lung’s escape and informs Oogway, who extracts a promise from Shifu to train Po and then ascends. Still unable to grasp the basics of kung fu and confessing a crippling self-loathing, Po despairs that he has no chance of defeating Tai Lung. Shifu, however, discovers that Po is capable of impressive physical feats when motivated by food. Using food as positive reinforcement, Shifu successfully trains Po to incorporate these feats into a makeshift yet effective kung fu style.

At the same time, the Furious Five set out to stop Tai Lung themselves, only to be overwhelmed and defeated by Tai Lung’s nerve strikes. Shifu decides that Po is ready to receive the Dragon Scroll, but the scroll reveals nothing but a blank, reflective surface. In despair, Shifu orders Po and the Five to evacuate the valley while he delays Tai Lung as long as possible in a fight to the death. The dejected Po finds his father who, in an attempt to console him, reveals that the long-withheld secret ingredient to his famous “secret ingredient soup” is nothing, explaining that things become special if people believe them to be. Realizing that this concept is the entire point of the Dragon Scroll, Po returns to confront Tai Lung, who has reached the palace and almost killed Shifu. Po proves to be a formidable challenge for Tai Lung as he tries to protect the Dragon Scroll. Though the Dragon Scroll eventually falls into Tai Lung’s grasp, he is unable to understand or accept its symbolic meaning, and Po ultimately defeats him using the secret Wuxi Finger Hold. Po is praised by the Valley of Peace and earns the respect of the Furious Five, who fully acknowledge him as a true kung fu master. Shifu, exhausted but alive after his fight with Tai Lung, is finally at peace with himself, now that peace has returned to the valley.


Official Sites:

DreamWorks [United States] | Paramount [France] |





Release Date:

13 June 2008 (Indonesia)

Also Known As:

Kung Fu Panda: The IMAX Experience

Box Office


$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$60,239,130 (USA) (8 June 2008) (4114 Screens)


$631,744,560 (Worldwide)

Company Credits

Production Co:

DreamWorks Animation, Pacific Data Images (PDI)

Technical Specs


90 min

Sound Mix:

Sonics-DDP (IMAX version) | SDDS  | Dolby Digital  | DTS

Did You Know?

The individual fighting styles of the Furious Five members (Crane, Mantis, Tiger, Monkey and Viper) are actual martial art styles modeled after the particular animals.

The Kung-Fu/Wuxia convention where attacks on the correct nerve/Chi points can cause paralysis and other effects is adopted although it is not explained in the film, and the jade figurine topped sticks on the shell worn on the imprisoned Tai Lung are positioned at the traditional Chi energy points of the body. The sticks are intended to keep the villain from accessing the power from those points, which is why he was first concerned about removing them before attempting to break his chains.

Shifu’s Chinese name, as shown in the end credits, means “Teacher-Master” (“Shi-fu” in Pinyin transliteration). Shifu is a red panda, but with a lot more white fur than red.

Tai Lung’s Chinese name, as shown in the end credits, means “Big/Great Dragon” (“Da-long” in Pinyin transliteration). Tai Lung is a snow leopard, which is why he is white, with a long bushy tail, and has rosette markings.

Oogway’s Chinese name, as shown in the end credits, means “Tortoise” (“Wu-gui” in Pinyin transliteration). Oogway is a tortoise, and often wears a cassock with the markings of a stylized tai-ji/ tai-chi fish diagram on his back.

WILHELM SCREAM: When Tai Lung is escaping prison and is hitting the Rhino guards with a mace. He flings a guard into the air and when he kicks the guard through the door, just before he lands, you hear it.

The characters of KG Shaw and JR Shaw are a reference to The Shaw Brothers Creative Group, who created many 1970’s kung fu movies. Tai Lung is named after Shaw star Lung Ti.

The circular marking on Mantis’ back contains the stylized rendering of a Chinese art character for “longevity” (“Shou” in Pinyin transliteration) which is commonly used in paper cuttings, wooden panels, silk prints, etc.

According to his online diary, Jackie Chan recorded his voice-overs during a single 5 hour recording session in LA on October 15, 2007. He also recorded his lines for the Mandarin and Cantonese versions.

Code title used during production: “Daydreamer”.

One character that needed revisions was Tai Lung, who continually seemed too sympathetic as the villain of the story. As a result, the producers included the sequence that illustrates the story Tigress told about Tai Lung’s betrayal of his father’s principles and his rampage after being refused the Dragon Scroll to make him sufficiently despicable to the audience. By contrast, Po was refined by Jack Black and the writers from an unpleasant obsessed fan who unsettled his heroes to an affable martial arts lore devotee painfully self-aware of his inadequacies.

According to an interview with James Hong, his father owned a noodle shop. Once the producers found out about this, they incorporated it into his character, Mr. Ping.

Dustin Hoffman’s contract includes a stipulation in which allows him to do additional voice recording sessions without hindrance should he be unsatisfied with his performance. Beyond the contract, Hoffman also tutored Jack Black on his performance in the nighttime stairway argument scene.

The scene where Po enters the Jade palace, where he is amazed by all the relics, is based on the director’s first experience entering the Skywalker Ranch of George Lucas, where all the props from the Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope movies can be found.

The opening scene is an homage to Japanese anime, as both directors are big fan of the genre. They wanted to distinguish the opening dream sequence, so they faked 3D into 2D.

Jackie Chan’s signature jump kick and yell (as The Monkey) is similar to the animated intro for USA Network’s “Kung-Fu Theater”, from the 1980s.

The first DreamWorks Animation film to release in IMAX.

In the movie, the name of the prison is “Chor Ghom Prison”. “Chor Ghom” is Cantonese for “go to prison”, or to literally “sit in prison.”

When Po’s Father gives him noodle soup for the tables, he says they go to 4 different numbers: 2, 5, 7, and 12. There is a pattern to these numbers, the number added to the previous number equals the next number. For instance: 2+5=7, 5+7=12

Baseball player Pablo Sandoval earned the nickname of “Kung Fu Panda” after leaping around a tag at home plate against the Dodgers on September 19, 2008. Teammate Barry Zito commented that he thought that Sandoval looked like the Kung Fu Panda in avoiding the tag.

The film took four years to make.

The film was originally going to be a spoof of the kung-fu genre, but John Stevenson wanted to have a blend of comedy and action to make the film more epic: “I wasn’t interested in making fun of martial arts movies, because I really think they can be great films, they can be as good as any genre movie when they’re done properly.”

To get the ambiance of the film, production designer Raymond Zibach and art director Heng Tang spent years researching Chinese art and kung fu movies. This effort, combined with the rest of the crew’s extensive research and knowledge of Chinese culture, so impressed the Chinese that there were meetings by official government cultural bodies to discuss why their own country has not produced animated films of such quality themselves.

According to VFX supervisor Markus Manninen, the computer animation used throughout the film was more complex than anything DreamWorks had done before.

The animators took a six-hour kung fu class to get an idea of the film’s action.

The filmmakers cite the martial arts films Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, House of Flying Daggers and most of all the action comedy Kung Fu Hustle as an influence on the film.

Po employs the bear-style of kung fu in his final fight with Tai Lung.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s