Fridge: Kung Fu Panda 2
- The final time Po sees his mother putting him in the basket, it's CG instead of hand drawn like all the other times we've see it, then it hit me. In both films, the traditionally animated bits were all dreams/fantasy pieces, while the rest of the film, the real story, is CG. The reason why the final time we see this bit in CG is when Po realizes it's not a dream, it's a flashback.
- This troper was initially confused by the fact that the prophecy depicted a yin-yang symbol for the "warrior of black and white." Why not outright depict a panda? Why the yin-yang symbol? And then I realized something. Po and Shen are opposites in nearly every way, from fighting style to personality to noble status. Add Po's constant depiction in darker, naturally lit watery environments in contrast to Shen almost always being lit from below by firelight to the mix.
- Both Shen and Oogway have had a zooming shot from their eye using a yin-yang symbol, and they are both inventors of powerful weapons. Oogway invented kung-fu while Shen invented the cannon, both utterly destructive if in the wrong hands.
- Branching off of that, both were said/used to be able to defeat the other.
- The symbolism change from the first movie to the second: The first movie utilized a lot of "Dragon" imagery, which commonly symbolizes the raw power and passions of a person. This can be seen with Po, his geeking out during his training, and his raw talent being able to lead him to victory against the experienced Tai Lung. The movie, too, deals with pain and pride, which are very raw and strong emotions. The second movie, meanwhile, deals with Yin-Yang, which symbolizes true and absolute peace with oneself and their lives. It also clashes with the Dragon imagery of the last movie in Shifu, who was previously tumultuous, emotional, but still powerful, mastering his emotions and attaining the same level of power and mastery as his more peaceful, mellow mentor(Oogway). This clash can also be seen with Po, the "Dragon" Warrior, having harnessed much of his raw talent and emotions by this point to become a formidable and skilled martial artist, on par with Tigress and Shifu despite being relatively inexperienced in comparison. However, in the moments where his peace and focus are disrupted, Po loses his ability to fight thanks to the tumult within his mind blocking his concentration. Furthermore, there's the cannons used by Shen, forged in the shape of a dragon, firing cannonballs that have dragons engraved upon their surface, and are, metaphorically, fueled by Shen's rage, ambition, and pride. He is ultimately defeated by Po attaining complete mastery of his emotions, seen in how he forms the Yin-Yang symbol while preparing to hurl the last cannonball right into Shen's ship. In this, the dragon who attained mastery of his emotions(Po) defeated the dragon who allowed his emotions to control him and drive him(Shen).
- Furthermore, it stresses the contrast between Yin and Yang, with Po learning inner peace in water and darkness while Shen is constantly surrounded by fire and is bright white. In the end, Po ends up staring at Shen under the glow of the rising Sun while Shen is damp because his ship blew up, possibly symbolising inner peace (by elemental harmony) and devastation (by being overwhelmed by an opposing element).
- The Soothsayer's prophecy states that Shen will be defeated by a "warrior of black-and-white". It takes some thinking to realise that the "warrior of black and white" in the prophecy is Shen himself. His primary colours are also black and white. Note that the cannons and the gunpowder are black. There is a brief, stylized shot showing Shen with half his face black paralleling the ying-yang symbol, and it is the smoke figure of Shen that transforms into the yin-yang symbol when the Soothsayer tries to predict his fate. And in the final confrontation, some of Shen's white feathers are covered in black soot. Over the course of the movie, including the backstory, Shen loses his parents, his right to the throne of Gongmen city (and eventually destroys even its symbol, the throne itself, upon returning), his old home, his surrogate mother, and his oldest and only remaining friend, all through his own actions. Even the destruction of his remaining forces in the finale comes from deflected cannon shots he ordered to fire. Finally, in the last battle against Po, he directly contributed to the wreck of his cannon falling on him by accidentally cutting the ropes during the fight. Indeed, it can be argued that Shen defeated and destroyed himself quite thoroughly, and maybe he even realizes the irony, when he calmly allows the cannon to crush him.
- This troper was slightly bothered that Po managed to find Inner Peace so young and so fast, whereas Shifu had to go through many years to achieve it. Then I realized it makes perfect sense: Shifu was only confronted with the source of his inner turmoil at an old age, when he finally had to own up to the mistakes he committed with Tai Lung, and accept some of it was his fault and some of it wasn't. Po found inner peace earlier because he had to face his inner turmoil earlier, dealing with his lost family. It is all a matter of facing your issues.
- Shen telling Po his parents abandoned him and never loved him may have been partly Shen projecting his own issues regarding his parents.
- As mentioned in the Immovable Object entry on the main page, the cannon killed Master Rhino but spared Po. One specializes in a defense technique that requires him to stand his ground (taking on the full force of the blast), while the other has a style (and was learning a new technique) that works on redirecting any force applied against him.
- Po's way of defense has been used since the first movie. Look his fight with Tai Lung: many of Tai Lung's attacks ended up hurting him precisely because Po would roll with them and redirect their force in such a way to sock the poor leopard, including the very first and the one right before the Wuxi Finger Hold.
- Watching the movie, I noticed that Po seemed to be a little less... able to take hits. A few times it makes sense (punches to the face, and such) but a few times it didn't (am I supposed to believe that the Wolf Boss hits as hard as Tai Lung when he gut-punches Po and winds him?). But then I remembered an earlier scene, where Po's dad notes that he's 'lost some weight'. It's a throwaway line, but when you think about it, reducing his kevlard really would make Po more susceptible to damage from direct hits.
- Ping's also clearly worried about it, showing how well he knows his son and his fighting style. No wonder he's so concerned about their quest...
- Tigress understands Po's identity crisis more than she lets on. In Secrets of the Furious Five, it was revealed that as a cub she lived in an orphanage until she was adopted by Shifu. There is currently no information about the status of her real parents, so it's quite possible that she knows little to nothing about them and went through an identity crisis similar to Po's at some point in her life. However, Po doesn't seem to realize any of this in Kung Fu Panda 2, even though he was the teller of Tigress' story in Secrets of the Furious Five. Either he assumed Tigress was too "hardcore" to let something like not knowing who she really was or where she came from bother her, or he was too caught up in his own crisis at the time to consider the possibility that even the "hardcore" might have feelings, too. It's not until she gives him the Cooldown Hug that this realization seems to dawn on him.
- Tigress in the sequel is shown to be very adept at exploiting her opponent's movements, redirecting them to begin a throw and other "soft" moves that weren't part of her fighting style before. It is not very probable that she polished these because he anticipated the need to fight Po, particularly without harming him (too much). But it is entirely understandable that she wanted to expand her arsenal, after a direct application of her strength proved to be not enough to beat Tai Lung.
- "I eat when I'm upset." becomes Fridge Tear Jerker when you really give it some thought. If Po's extremely fat, and he eats when he's upset..
- Dips into Fridge Horror when you realize Po was found eating a whole crate of radishes when he was a child, right after the slaughter of the pandas and seeing his mother lure away the attackers. Small wonder how he associated eating with despair.
- The movie and the background material seem to give accounts of Shen's parents that don't add up. The movie presents them as loving parents who ultimately died of grief at having been forced to outlaw their son for committing genocide (banishment for such a crime seems like mercy truthfully) while the background material classifies them as being ashamed of their sickly albino son. But look at how Shen took his banishment, he saw it as a sign his parents hated him in spite of the fact he'd just committed one of the most horrible acts one could possibly commit. The one person who knew his parents when they gave him to her to raise was the Soothsayer, who outright tells Shen his parents did love him. On top of this, the Soothsayer is shown to be skilled in medicine when she heals Po after he's shot with Shen's cannon. Who's to say Shen wasn't given to the Soothsayer to be cared for because he was sickly and it's merely his own thinking that makes him believe they were ashamed of him? If he could blame them for banishing him for genocide, it's perfectly in character for him.
- Shen (besides raging at his parents for decrying his weaponization of fireworks in general) probably thinks that exterminating his enemies is his right as a Lord. The idea that lives of some peasants can be seen as valuable compared to his ambition might just never have occurred to him.
- After doing some research, I am really starting to think Po and Tigress will get together because of a famous concept in Chinese philosophy: Yin and yang. Just in case you're not completely familiar with it, it essentially describes how two opposites need each other to create balance and harmony. Yin is feminine, dark, passive, quiet, introverted, and associated with night. Yang is masculine, light, active, loud, outgoing, and associated with the day. But what REALLY caught my eye were the animals that symbolize yin and yang. The TIGER represents YIN. The DRAGON represents YANG. Obviously, of course, this brings to mind Tigress and Po - the Dragon Warrior. Dating back to the first movie, we've seen a lot of scenes focusing on Tigress at night - when she tells Po "you don't belong here", the scene explaining Shifu and Tai Lung's history, Tigress and the four others running off to fight Tai Lung. In the second movie, there was the scene of Po and Tigress on the boat, the escape from the collapsing palace, the hug in the prison, and when the Five are being carried by boat to their "execution" after Po is believed to be dead. Whether you've seen the second movie or not, I'm sure you'd at least agree that a lot of Po-centric scenes occur in the first movie, and there are several of them in the second as well. Although, going back to the comment about Tigress hugging Po at night, it's worth noting that he hugs her during the day. Night and Day… Tiger and Dragon… Yin and Yang. ;) Even in the Chinese Zodiac, there is a Year of the Tiger and a Year of the Dragon. When describing the personalities, of the zodiac, this was what I found. I highlighted stuff particularly worth noting. Female Tiger: She has got an allure to cut your breath, she is captivating, funny and sexy. She is also filled with an unsociable independence and the relationships based on possessiveness make her escape for sure. The Tigress makes men camp in front of her door so much her charm is powerful but only one of the most patient men can hope to capture. (I thought of the scene where Po watched Tigress shatter the tiles in midair in KFP, and then grabbed "The Love Chunk") XD Male Dragon: What motivates the life of a Dragon is difficulty, he needs to prove to himself that he is capable to surpass himself and that his destiny is not like those of the ordinary mortals. In love like in business he wants to dominate, he will never accept the supremacy of a woman for anything else than the education of his children. If you know how to preserve his interest alive, he will cover you with diamonds. KFP - "Yeah, I stayed. I stayed because [...] it could never hurt more than everyday of my life just being me. I stayed because I thought if anyone can change me, can make me not me, it was you!" (Po, to Shifu) Not everything about the Dragon really describes Po, but not everything about the Tiger describes Tigress, either. Whether or not they put a lot of research into it, Dreamworks did seem to have some knowledge of yin and yang, so they included the concepts in both movies. In the first movie, I remember it appears when Shifu describes how Oogway founded kung fu using "harmony and focus". In the second film, it shows up during a musical montage showing the journey of Po and the Five traveling to Gongmen City as Lord Shen prepares his weaponry. Po even appears in the "yang", the light part; Lord Shen appears in the "yin", the dark part. in this case, representing the balance of good and evil. ... To conclude, I would just like to add that in terms of astrology, I'm a Virgo - and therefore I tend to analyze, sometimes excessively. So this might be looking at it TOO much. But I like Po x Tigress, and I certainly hope they hook up in the next movie or two.
- There's also the scene when they're fighting in the prison- there's a shot from above when she tosses Po, and the floor's designed like a Yin-Yang symbol- and they're both standing where the dot's should be. Well... Po's flat on the ground, but the point's still there...
- The premise of Kung Fu Panda 2 seems to be symbolic- when the Europeans came to China and saw China's fireworks, they used the gunpowder and technology to invent weapons out of them. Lord Shen is a WHITE peacock, an anomaly, who immediately starts weaponizing fireworks. Or am I just over-analyzing this?
- You are, if only because Chinese tried to weaponize gunpowder immediately after inventing it, their inventions just were inferior to true cannons.
- You are way overanalyzing things. The Chinese did not make cannons in the European style. They did make rockets for warfare, though. As for Shen, his color is rather appropriate. White is considered to be the color of death in China, if I'm remembering correctly. Shen wants to rule China if not the entire world. He has a surprisingly large body count by the end of the film, even personally killing his second in command onscreen. I believe his color, the color of death, is quite appropriate.
- Ping's secret ingredient becomes something of this with his statement in the second film. "I took you inside, fed you, gave you a bath, and fed you again...and again, and tried to put some pants on you. And then I made a decision that would change my life forever. To make my soup without radishes, and to raise you as my own son. Xiao Po, my little panda." Since baby Po had eaten all the radishes, there was nothing left except Po. And nothing/love/devotion to one's true self is what makes the soup - and the Dragon Warrior - so special.
- It seems only appropriate that the radish crate Po was in ended up at the house of a noodle-maker. Had any other family in the village decided to take him in, Po would have eaten them out of house and home. But Mr. Ping's house/shop is a restaurant and has extra food supplies that are more than enough to feed a hungry baby panda.
- This is a bit of a Visual Pun: Everyone comments on Po's soft build, which has remained intact despite heavy training. Shifu also comments on how easy it was for Po to find inner peace. In Shaolin martial arts, "hard" kung fu means developing strength and rapid strikes in order to actively neutralize threats as well as discipline the mind, which is Tigress' forte. "Soft" styles such as taichichuan are based on smooth movements, and redirecting attacks rather than blocking them or returning. Though practitioners can be quite fast and strong, it doesn't require as much active energy and they are characterized by waiting for opponents to move first. Po excelled in soft style even in the first movie, mostly redirecting Tai Lung's attacks. Because of this, he failed the first time he tried to attain inner peace in the sequel because he was still using hard-style—punching the ship-mast and sparring with Tigress, which went against his nature. Once he used the style best suited to him, of course it was easier for him to attain inner peace.
- Much like the previous film, it is Po's softness and ability to redirect attacks that allowed him to win. Master Thundering Rhino's signature attack was his Horn Defense; it's implied that when Shen shot the cannon at him, he stood his ground and tried to absorb the blow. The large crater it left in the tower's courtyard shows the result of that. Po, on the other hand, used the water-drop technique not to stop or even slow down the cannon ball, but to redirect its force at something else.
- The villains of both movies, Tai Lung and Shen, both have white as a dominating color in their coats, where Po is a pretty even mix of black and white. Most likely, this is because they are supposed to represent the aggressive and overbearing nature of Yang; Po, as the balance between Yin and Yang, represents the transition between their lives and the cold, dark Yin-based embrace of Death.
- At the Tower of the Sacred Flame, Po shows a mastery of the Batman Gambit, not only does he use his geeking out to hide himself replacing Mantis with his action figure, but Po got one Shen's gorilla mooks to carry him up the stairs. Why? Because just as Po said, stairs were still his greatest enemy and he would probably be very winded if not downright unconscious if he did it himself and would need to be in his best condition to fight Shen when it came to it.
- Po is the Dragon Warrior, and his character evolution parallels the actual Southern Dragon Kung Fu. Just as in the Dragon style, he starts with hard kung fu and then switches to soft. And then there is the style motto:
"Control yourself, let others do what they will.
This does not mean you are weak.
Control your heart, obey the principles of life.
This does not mean others are stronger."
- Seems awfully convenient that Shen had an armada of cannons aimed at his own tower and had them fire on Po and the Five when they made him flee, doesn't it? But, remember when Shen took the city, he had all the old banners torn down and chucked his family throne out the window, and is ready to move out and go on the warpath within a day's time. All things considered, he probably had those cannons set up because he was planning to have the tower destroyed anyway.
- In the final fight scene, you might wonder how the cannon was held up by ropes attached to the ship's deck - the ropes actually held up the pieces of debris supporting the cannon's base. When they broke, the wood shifted enough for it to overbalance and fall.
- What happened to Crane's broken wing? One scene he's forced to run, the next scene he's flying fine, and the next scene, well,
Wings of Justice!!!
- When did anyone say it was broken? He probably just strained or sprained it. Plus, we have no idea how long Po was out. Those two facts put together leads me to believe that Crane injured his wing in some way, and it healed off screen before the big confrontation.
- Crane's left wing was indeed injured while Shen was firing cannon balls at the tower. Crane even says it himself, and it looks pretty messed up, but I don't think it was broken.
- Most likely, kung fu masters can heal faster than ordinary beings, by directing their chi (also explains why medicine in KFP verse seemingly mostly boils down to acupuncture, i.e., chi manipulation). Once Crane had time to catch his breath, he was able to recover. Plus, Mantis is an acupuncturist, he may have had a hand — er — pincer in the deal.
- This troper read an article about the Ninja. The article (probably not very accurate, but possible) claimed ninja were taught as children how to dislocate/relocate their bones to escape ropes. I know this is out there, but, considering many of Ninjutsu's techniques and strategies came from China, it is quite possible the Furious Five were taught this, meaning Crane probably relocated his wing into the socket. Or, a more realistic option, one of the Five popped his wing back into place, similar to Mr. Miyagi helping Daniel in the first Karate Kid movie.
- Ninjas are NOT Chinese. Ninjas are Japanese. As is Karate, while we're on the subject. And besides that, most ninjas were female, and trained from birth. Crane is neither of those things.
- It's a wing. It's mostly feathers. If some of them (particularly the ones he uses as Feather Fingers) were dislodged, he'd only be impaired until he could straighten them out again, perhaps reinforcing any broken shafts with splinters of bamboo.
- When did the Wolf Boss get out of Shen's Palace? Last time we saw him, he was hit by a flying piece of furniture, and not thirty seconds later, Shen escapes and orders the tower destroyed. Did he really climb down all those stairs in such a short amount of time?
- It's a LOT easier to go down stairs than it is to climb them. He also likely fled just after Po and the others got free and attacked. And wolves are fast creatures.
- At the beginning of the film, Shen is entirely convinced that he's wiped out the panda species, which seems a bit odd considering we only saw him destroy one village. Surely they didn't all live there, right? But then you realize that yes, we only saw him kill those pandas, but there could have easily been others, given that he had a good thirty years of exile to work with. Overlaps with Fridge Brilliance.
- Assuming that the films are mostly following actual Chinese history, it's a Foregone Conclusion that the cannon will eventually be a part of the Imperial Army's arsenal. Meaning that Shen was ultimately successful in getting China to fear and respect his new weapon.
- Yet Po invented a martial arts countermeasure to it that he can teach others to emulate. No competent general would neglect having whole units of such grenadiers as part of his army with cannons.
- Yes, but said martial arts countermeasure is implied to only be possible by attaining inner peace, which itself is implied to be extremely difficult for most people. So even if Po did teach others the technique, it's unlikely that more then a handful would be able to actually pull it off.
- Something I've noticed after Po took some hits that knocked the wind out of him. Earlier Mr. Ping had commented that Po had lost weight and Po is somewhat thinner than what he was in the first. But it was his large frame and blubber that prevented Tai Lung's nerve strike attacks from affecting him in the climax of the first movie. If someone else learns the Nerve Attack and uses it on him, Po will be affected by it this time around.
- Only if the remaining fat isn't still enough.
- On the other hand, the Soothsayer was able to perform acupuncture on him when Mantis couldn't in the first film, showing that his resistance towards nerve attacks might have lessened. Or perhaps the Soothsayer is simply better than Mantis.
- Well, she didn't accidentally stop his heart. So yeah, she's probably better at her art.