Fridge / Kung Fu Panda

Please add anything related to Kung Fu Panda 2 on its own page.

Fridge Brilliance:

  • When Po offers Tai Lung the Dragon Scroll, he looks at his own reflection and exclaims, "There's nothing!" However, Po beams, "No, it's just you" when he sees his own reflection.
    • Moreso, when Tai Lung said "There's nothing!" he seemed to be referring to himself. A lifetime of training, 20 years in prison, and nearly murdering his father to become the Dragon Warrior, and he can't because of his pride. If he can't be the Dragon Warrior, then he sees himself as nothing.
  • Oogway refused Tai Lung because he saw "darkness in his soul". What he saw was that Tai Lung would go berserk if he actually saw the Dragon Scroll was blank.
  • While probably not intentional, Lord Shen's color motif marks well his status as a villain in an East Asian setting, as well as firmly a Light Is Not Good character. White is the color of death, which fits closely with his health issues, while red is associated with both blood (obviously), but also with the Vermillion Bird, who associated with fire and positive emotions (all he wants is the attention he never got from his neglectful family, hence love).
    • On that note, perhaps Tai Lung could be associated with the White Tiger, which is associated with autumn and metal. Tai Lung certainly has some personality traits associated with metal; he's ridiculously strong in both offense and defense, his major concern is perfecting his craftsmanship of Kung Fu by learning all of it, and his mindset is rigid and inflexible, to the point that he's not truly able to understand the Dragon Scroll. Tai Lung's return is viewed as "steadily impending doom/death," like autumn is sometimes seen (when not admiring the pretty colors). And, of course, his physical appearance somewhat matches the White Tiger. Hopefully this is a deliberate pattern on the part of the writers which will be continued in future movies...because that would be cool.
  • The main plot of the first film may be that Po is an Ascended Fanboy who is The Chosen One, but the film is really more about Shifu than Po. The first film dealt with him inheriting the role of master after Oogway's death, and thus he is to train the Dragon Warrior, whom he is refusing to BELIEVE is the Dragon Warrior. He had to learn to accept Po for who he is in order to properly train him, and in the process, Po trained him to be a better person and to find his inner peace. Thus, in the sequel, Shifu became a secondary, if not minor character, because it wasn't about him. It was about Po discovering himself.
    • Speaking of Character Development, from KFP 1-3 Po's growth can be seen as this: - KFP: Po - Dragon Warrior (Novice) - KP 2: Dragon Warrior (expert) - Dragon Master - KP 3: Dragon Master - Grand Dragon Chi Master Po, if you know what I mean.
  • If Shifu can be considered the main protagonist of the first film, then Shen can be considered his foil. Both tried to avert a prophesied disaster, but in doing so inadvertently caused said disaster to happen. Both also had an elder who watched over them during their development. However, where Shifu tried to keep Oogway from leaving and later held onto Oogway's teachings regardless of the circumstances (he obviously had no idea how to turn Po into the Dragon Warrior, even till the end), Shen sent away the Soothsayer and decided his own choices were better than hers. Bonus points since both elders could see the future, but only the pupil that listened was able to attain happiness.
  • The Holiday Special works on several wonderful levels - for one, it is the Chinese mid-winter solstice festival (unmistakably, but without ramming it down our throats); and secondly, Po gives an answer to the assembled Masters at the Jade Palace for his need to leave to get back to his Dad's noodle shop that, in Chinese culture, would excuse just about anything- "I need to go home, so I can be a good son." They all turn up at the noodle shop later, thinking that he's clearly made the right decision.
  • That Shifu's father was a con-artist highlights how Shifu taught Tigress to control her strength by playing dominos with her. Of course, they were blank wooden dominoes which are both easy to carry and remake in the case of accidental smashing, but it isn't exactly a stretch for con artists to fix gambling games.
  • Some have criticized the fight between Po and Tai Lung for how the latter was defeated by the former in spite of Po having just finished training. The answer is in the Wikipedia page about the Leopard Kung Fu: Tai Lung's style relies on speed, counterattacks (it has no blocks, as it prefers striking for defense), debilitating blows and outsmarting the opponent... And as it happens, Po is the worst possible opponent for Tai Lung: as pointed above, Po is capable of using Tai Lung's strength and speed against him, recoiling back from most if not all attacks and hitting Tai Lung hard; the recoiling counterattack is something that should be dodged or deviated, and Tai Lung's style has none of that; being massive, Po is extremely hard to take down with a debilitating strike (as best shown when Tai Lung used his nerve strike and Po was just tickled), and that's made worse by him knowing how to use that bulk in defense; finally, as a nearly obsessive kung fu fan, Po already knows where Tai Lung's strengths lie, while Tai Lung has no idea of what Po can do, so outsmarting him is difficult at best. And all of this is made worse by the fact Tai Lung was focused on the Dragon Scroll while Po was focused on taking down Tai Lung, and Po knew this: most of the fight is Tai Lung trying to get the Scroll while Po (whose first action was to dangle it before Tai Lung's nose) lands hit after hit in the most debilitating spots (even while they were rolling down from the stairs: during that fall, Po threw Tai Lung's head on the steps eight times before sitting on his head). By the time Tai Lung decides to focus on Po to have free access to the Scroll, he has endured over two minutes of one of the most savage beatings in the history of kung fu movies, and has barely enough times to show he could have won rather easily before his strength deserts him and Po (who is still mostly fresh) starts fighting him straight... And still concentrating on Tai Lung's head (by this time he probably has a concussion).
    • On top of this, think back to Tai Lung's Training Montage: his master for his entire life was Shifu, and by the time he was an adult, he was massive. Throughout the film, Tai Lung is constantly battling smaller opponents, with only the rhinos coming close to his size. Then he meets Po. This may very well be the first time Tai Lung has ever encountered someone who's actually big enough to take his hits straight on and return fire.
  • If you take a look at each of the Masters, each one actually has a personality/way of talking/banter style based on their type of Kung Fu. Tai Lung hits you with hard verbal strikes at your weakpoints, Tigress hits you with aggressive and harsh verbal blows, Viper is very gentle with her speaking and tries to not to hurt anyone's feelings, but can make a quick strike if you tick her off, and Po takes any verbal abuse and redirects it back at the opponent.
    • This is best exemplified at the beginning of fight between Po and Tai Lung. Tai Lung tries to hit Po where it hurts by making fun of his fat, but Po uses it to make a small Badass Boast.
  • Noodles were really in his blood - when Po emerges from the smoke as the Dragon Warrior - he's wearing a wok on his head. Who said both destinies were mutually exclusive?
  • Po is not the Dragon Warrior for no reason. A virtue often associated to the Dragon animal form in Chinese martial arts is solidity, which is something Po thrives on.
  • Everyone claims that Oogway made a mistake in deeming Po The Dragon Warrior but he only smiles and claims there is no such thing as accidents. Seeing how he is a Tortoise and is perhaps the most powerful martial artist to ever live, he knows that appearances don't count and that even someone such as an overweight Panda can become a Master Warrior just like he did.
  • Po's insistence on staying no matter how much Shifu and the Five are beating him up. At first you think it simply has to do with him being The Determinator, but after you've watched his fight with Tai Lung another reason comes to mind; no matter how many times Shifu and the Five kept flooring him all day, he likely didn't feel much pain from it.
  • Po showing some great kung-fu moves when he doesn't think about it makes perfect sense when you think who Po is: a huge kung-fu geek with self-esteem issues. He most likely went through the moves time and time again during his whole life but never believed to be actually capable of doing them. All he needed to do was perfecting them and a little confidence boost. That's also the reason he only needed to train with Shifu for a little while, he already did, without realizing it, plenty of training by himself.
    • If you watch Po throughout the films and specials, whenever he's cooking, he displays a very casual degree of grace and poise that speaks of long hours of learning how to work in the kitchens. In the first film, he's able to hold a stack of bowl in his hand and flick his wrist to line all of them up on his arm simultaneously. This is especially apparent in the holiday special, where Po and Ping put on a tandem cooking show for the holiday. That sort of thing is as difficult if not moreso than a martial arts kata. It's more than Po being a fan of kung fu; it's the weight of working all his life. Yeah, maybe he doesn't have the cardio of a fighter, but he still has years of learning delicate, deliberate, precision actions and movements to fall back on.
  • Oogway suggests to Shifu that maybe a peach might be able to stop Tai Lung. A continuation of the subtle 'Po = Peach' metaphor that Oogway and Shifu had been dancing around in the conversation prior? Or a hint to Shifu about using food to incentivise Po?
  • A subtle bit of foreshadowing: in a world full of funny animal people (and kung-fu masters who practice the style associated with what animal they are), no dragons exist. The secret of the dragon warrior is likewise essentially non-existent.
  • One of the first things Oogway says in the movie is warning Shifu that one often meets his destiny on the path he takes to avoid it, and he'd know that better than anyone: he's the one who wrote the Dragon Scroll, to be given to the one who would bring Peace to the Valley (and Shifu himself), but that exact scroll is the reason Tai Lung became a threat to the Valley and a source of strife for Shifu. His effort to avert all that pain actually brought it on.

Fridge Horror:

  • In the flashback in the first movie, when we see Shifu trying to fight Tai Lung, there's a scene where Tai Lung attacks Shifu's legs with a backhand, and a crack sound can heard. When we flash forward to him training Tigress, he's holding that reed/bamboo stick/whatever it is that he uses as a cane sometimes. Then you realise what that crack was: Shifu's legs breaking. A side strike to the legs like what Tai Lung used is fairly damaging if done right. Couple in their relative sizes, and you realise Tai Lung crippled his old master with a single strike.
    • Dear God.
    • This troper just went back to watch that, and noticed also that after Oogway takes Tai Lung down, Shifu crawls toward him, and in the following training scene with Tigress, he has a very slight limp.
    • Watch Shifu throughout the film and you'll notice he always has that limp.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fridge/KungFuPanda