If you were the chosen one to fulfill an ancient prophecy, stopping an oncoming threat heading towards everyone you know, what would you do ? If your dream is to become a kung fu master, you’d probably do as Po did, a lazy, fat panda bear with big dreams.
Kung Fu Panda is the animated story of the biggest fan of Kung Fu who, somehow by mistake, ends up turning his biggest dream into reality. Even if the movie is an animation, I assure you you’ll be stuck to the screen the whole time.
Let’s see what happens: we are in the Valley of Peace. Po the Panda (voice: Jack Black), an obese panda bear who, despite the fact that he is the clumsiest when it comes to martial arts, dreams of becoming a great kung fu warrior someday. He is the biggest fan of The Furious Five: Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Crane (David Cross), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Monkey (Jackye Chan) and Viper (Lucy Liu) and their master, Shifu (voice by Dustin Hoffman). He hopes someday to at least see them for real. Unfortunately his “father”, Mr. Ping (James Hong), owner of a famous noodle shop, doesn’t exactly make things easier for him. His father’s dream is to help Panda fulfill his destiny and take over the restaurant just as he took it over from his father who took it over from his father who won it from a friend in a game of Mahjong. That leaves Po no time to follow his own dreams.
One day, the old tortoise Oogway (voice by Randall Duk Kim) has a vision that Shifu’s old student, Tai Lung (Ian McShane), the evil snow leopard, will escape from prison and come back for revenge as he was denied the Dragon Scroll, the scroll that holds the secret to “limitless power“. Not knowing who the Dragon Warrior is (the one who will defeat Tai Lung), Shifu holds a tournament for his five students so that Oogway will identify him or her. It is said that the Dragon Warior will receive the misterious scroll and thus, will fulfill the prophecy. In the end, to everyone’s surprise, Oogway chooses Po the Panda to be the Dragon Warior, as he “flew” into the arena by mistake!
The adventure starts now. Po is very much excited to train side by site with his idols but at the same time, everyone else ridicules him as they don’t think a “big, fat panda” can fulfil the prophecy. Po has absolutely no kung fu skills. However, after a talk with Oogway, right before the tortoise’s ascension, Shifu finds out that Po can be very well trained if motivated by food. This is how the panda ends up receiving the Dragon Scroll.
Meanwhile, Tai Lung, the evil snow leopard, escapes from prison just like the old toiroise predicted. The Furious Five try to stop him on their own but are unsuccesfull. It should be up to Po the panda now but as it turns out, the scroll reveiled nothing. All Panda saw was a blank surface, nothing was written. They all become very scared as they thought Oogway was wrong when choosing the Dragon Warrior so they evacuate the Valley of Peace as fast as they can.
While they were all running in dispair leaving everything behind, Po finds his father who tries to console him. Mr. Ping decides to tell his son his secret ingredient for his famous “secret ingredient soup”. Turns out his goose father helped Panda more than he thought. Po now has the strenght and courage to go back to the Jade Palace and… you’ll see what happens.
This movie is among my favorite ones. Even if apparently it’s for kids, the animation is in fact the story of how you can make your dreams come true if you really put your heart and mind into it. It’s a good motivational stoy and also, 90 minutes of pure laughter.