Kung Fu Panda 2 is the 2011 Sequel to DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda.Long ago, a peacock named Lord Shen sought to harness the power of fireworks for a more practical use in weaponry, a cannon. His worried parents, the rulers of Gongmen City, consulted a soothsayer, who foretold that Shen would be defeated by "a warrior of black and white". To prevent this, Shen destroyed an entire nearby panda village, and returned home expecting appreciation, but his parents were struck with horror and exiled him. Shen, however, swore revenge and vowed to return to the city to complete his invention and see that the prophecy would not be fulfilled.In the present day, Po, now a highly skilled Dragon Warrior and the sixth member of the Furious Five, is trying to learn "inner peace" from Master Shifu. They're interrupted when a gang of wolves attack a village in search of metal to help in making Lord Shen's cannon, which, if successful, will make kung fu obsolete. Po and the Furious Five set out for Gongmen City to stop his plans. Along the way, Po learns about how he was adopted, and why.The DVD release came with a short titled Secrets of the Masters detailing the backstories of Masters Ox, Croc, and Rhino. A sequel tentatively titled Kung Fu Panda 3is set to be released in late 2015.For character tropes, see the Character Page.
Kung Fu Panda 2 Provides Examples Of:
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Tropes A to C
Acoustic License: An aversion played for laughs. After Lord Shen has shot Po with a cannon, he sails his ships to open sea in order to conquer all of China. Then he sees Po atop a roof far away. Po stands heroically and then starts giving an inspiring speech... except no one can hear him. After a few confused "What?"'s, Shen gives up trying to understand Po and just orders his troops to fire.
Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Two major examples: the nighttime boat scene that shows how close as friends Po and Tigress have become, and Po and the Soothsayer in Po's home village where he remembers his horrific past and comes to terms with it.
Master Thundering Rhino is shown in the website and press release. In the actual movie, he barely gets two minutes of screentimebefore Shen kills him. Masters Storming Ox and Croc have somewhat larger roles, but not by much.
The members of the Furious Five (save Tigress, and perhaps Mantis) still barely get any lines, as in the previous movie.
Alas, Poor Villain: Lord Shen. After a very miserable and empty life, he finally faces the warrior destined to defeat him whose entire species he tried to destroy...and the warrior has found inner peace, and doesn't want revenge. He cannot grasp how that is, how he could be free of all that pain, and tries one last time to kill him... only to accidentally kill himself. But he accepts it gracefully, because death is the only peace he could find.
All There in the Manual: The movie's official website offers far more detailed information about all the new characters, especially Lord Shen. Lord Shen's motivations are much simpler in the movie proper, and his obsession with weapons stems from a standard villainous unquenchable lust for power that forced his parents to exile him for the atrocities he committed. This leaves out the fact that his parents were ashamed of his albinism and poor health, and abandoned him to the care of his soothsayer nanny. The context puts a very different spin on some of the exchanges between Shen and Po: the movie only shows Shen's parents looking understandably horrified at the destruction of the Panda village, and Shen only references being wronged by the exile. You can see traces of this when he wasn't cruel to the soothsayer, who he simply set free before starting his armada.
Analogy Backfire: Played with. When Po claims that "scars heal", Shen attempts to call him on this. Po's response, "Oh yeah… what do scars do? They fade I guess." is, if anything, more accurate to the situation.
Arc Symbol: The red-eye-with-rays symbol for Po, and the Yin-Yang symbol for Shen. Po grows, and the eye symbol stops holding any fear for him. Shen doesn't, and Po eventually takes on the yin-yang symbol as he wipes out Shen's gunships with their own cannonballs.
"Your story may not have such a happy beginning..."
Arrow Catch: Tigress dodges a bunch of arrows and catches the last one an inch from her cheek. Bonus points for the arrows being on fire. More bonus points for the fact that she wasn't even looking at it and didn't seem all that concerned by it, as she does it completely offhandedly.
Both of Shen's parents are referenced as peacocks. Peacocks are called peacocks because they are male. A female peafowl would be a peahen. (Unless...) Then again, people tend to to refer to peafowl in general as peacocks, regardless if male or female.
Art Shift: The movie is primarily filmed in CG, but the opening prologue was shot in a style resembling metal shadow puppets, and Po's dreams and memories are animated traditionally (though the memories become 3D CGI once Po fully recalls them)
Ascended Fanboy: Even though Po is now The Dragon Warrior, he still treasures his Furious Five action figures, and still gushes like a kid about everything related to kung fu, even while being captured.
Po: No way! Eight-point acupressure cuffs? Just like the ones that held Tai Lung! The more you move, the tighter they get... YAAH! (gets yanked to the ground) These are the best cuffs!
Ash Face: Happens to Mantis when he tests a small amount of gunpowder.
Monkey:(after dropping a dozen barrels of lit explosives) Here's your New Year's gift! Mantis: Hope you like it, 'cuz you can't return it! Tigress:(hears Po scream and sees him fighting Shen inside) Po!? What's he doing here? Monkey: Return it! Return it! (starts snuffing out the burning barrels)
Awful Truth: Subverted in that Po is determined to find out what happened to his biological parents, and only Big Bad Lord Shen knows (besides the Soothsayer). As such, Po screws up a chance for the Five to destroy the cannon foundry to face the peacock, only to have him claim his parents abandoned him because they didn't love him. Of course, that's a blatant lie.
Badass Crew: With Po as the new addition to the team, the Furious Five are, if possible, even more badass than in the first film with all the crazy combo moves they show off in this film.
Badass in Distress: The Furious Five near the end of the movie. While Po is presumed dead, they all end up as Shen's prisoners.
Bag of Spilling: Averted. Po still has the kung-fu abilities he learned in the previous movie and is able to fight alongside the Furious Five.
Bait and Switch: When Shen sees his father's throne again after years of exile, he reminisces about how his father let him play beside it and how he'd be told that one day the throne would be his. Cue the throne being thrown out of the window and replaced by Shen's cannon.
Bait-and-Switch Comment: After finding baby Po abandoned in a (now empty) box of radishes, Mr Ping makes a monumental decision...to make his soup without radishes. And raise Po as his son.
Battle Discretion Shot: Po and the Five, hidden in a huge dragon costume, pull several wolf Mooks inside and rough them up before kicking them out the back, turning a string of rapid beatdowns into Toilet Humor.
BFG: Lord Shen's big freakin' cannons. Which shoot exploding cannonballs.
Baby!Po, which Mr. Ping points out repeatedly as he fed the cub multiple times in a single day. Then there was the time he ate all the bamboo furniture...
Subverted by Present!Po. Every time Po's father offers him a hearty meal, he refuses, and is generally shown to be much less of a glutton than in the first movie. Po eats when he's upset. As the Dragon Warrior, he's happier than he's ever been.
Big "NO!": By Tigress before Po is hit by Shen's cannon-fire.
Blade on a Stick: When not using cannons or flurries of throwing knives, Lord Shen fights using a cross-breed between a Flamberge and a Naginata.
Blatant Lies: Shen's claim to Po that he was abandoned because his parents didn't love him. Presumably because, perceiving his own parents as having hated him, it's the most painful thing he can imagine to inflict on an enemy.
Blind Musician: The rabbit who keeps playing music during the fight scene in the Musician's Village seems to be blind, since he's wearing dark glasses and doesn't react to any of the violence happening around him. Which may be a Shout-Out to the wuxia film Hero, which has a similar scene where two martial artists square off with a blind musician providing accompaniment.
Blue and Orange Morality: Mantis' mother ate his dad's head before he was born, but he sees nothing strange in this since this is normal for his species. He even imagined himself dying like this.
Mantis: I thought I'd meet a nice girl, settle down, and then she'd eat my head.
Bond Villain Stupidity: When the Furious Five and Po are all Shen's prisoner, he has them brought before him so he can gloat and then kill them dramatically with his giant canon, instead of just having them efficiently killed, which gives them a chance to escape. Later, when everyone thinks Po is dead and he has the Five captive again, he keeps them alive to witness his triumph, which gives Po time to recover and come to their rescue.
Break Them by Talking: When Po confronts Shen in the foundry, the peacock manages to gain the upper hand by claiming that Po's parents didn't love him and abandoned him.
Brick Joke: When entering the prison, Monkey promises to warn the Furious Five with a "Caw-CAW!" to which it is pointed out how much it sounds like Crane, who protests by saying he never says that. At the finale of the film, Crane uses his "Wings of Justice! Caw-CAW!"
A kid playing with a Po figurine in the opening scenes says "Enough talk. Let's fight!", which is Po's first line in his fantasy of the first film.
There's also several in the opening fight in with the wolves. Many shots and elements of the whole scene match up with the 2D opening dream sequence of the first movie, including Po's "Feet of Fury" technique.
The Soothsayer uses acupuncture needles to cure Po and mess with his facial expressions in the same way Mantis (unintentionally) does in the first film. It's the only way she can get him to take his medicine.
Shen tried to change his fate by destroying the pandas, which only sealed it. It reminds one of Oogway's words in the first movie: "One often meets his destiny on the path he takes to avoid it."
Also Mantis being as big as his action figure, which becomes a Chekhov's Gun.
Oogway's wooden staff, broken by Tai Lung in the first film, has now been repaired and is used by Master Shifu in this film. The archway above Mr. Ping's noodle shop has been similarly repaired.
The shop itself had been renamed "Dragon Warrior Noodle's and Tofu", referencing not just Po's success, but Mr. Ping's dream of making tofu.
Po slugs Monkey, then apologizes, when the latter unexpectedly appears inside the dragon costume. In the first movie Monkey automatically slugged Po then apologized after Master Shifu freed him from the nerve-strike paralysis.
Calling Your Attacks: Po does this several times, as well as some of the Furious Five like Crane. "Wings of Justice!" and "Feet of Fury!" come to mind. Though quite a few times it's relaying instructions to the rest of the Furious Five for a double team attack with him (such as a "Double Death Strike" with Tigress), so it's justified.
The Cameo: Tai Lung, the villain of the first film, appears for a split-second during the flashback of Po's life up to the events of this film.
Cardboard Prison: Po and the Five have no problem busting into the jail where Masters Storming Ox and Croc are being kept. In fact, they actually have more trouble convincing Ox and Croc to escape.
Catch and Return: Shifu practices catching rain drops and placing them on blades of grass without breaking them. Po uses this to defeat Lord Shen's cannon ships, by redirecting their cannon fire back to the source.
Cats Are Mean: Gone now for Tigress, who has become Po's best friend of the Five. Although the one scene where she's ordering Po to stay in the dungeon was pretty scary (even more so that Viper told Po to "stay down" after he was knocked around for a bit), she wasn't doing it to be mean; she clearly stated at the end that she was fearing for his safety.
Po's wooden action figures of the Furious Five, particularly Mantis's. This goes all the way back to the first movie, where Po comments that Mantis is about the same size as his action figure. In this movie, he swaps Mantis for his figure while they're all being locked in chains so he can help save them later.
One that goes back to the first movie - Po's recurring use of a wok as a hat, leading to the Disc of Destruction scene.
Chekhov's Skill: Master Shifu's water-catching technique in the beginning of the movie; during the climax, Po uses it to catch cannonballs.
Clip Show: This is used brilliantly to show Po's Progression from a gibbering fanboy from the last movie to the kung-fu master he is now. The clip show lasts just under 10 seconds, with a very dramatic musical score to it, and total silence from the clips themselves. It also symbolizes how he has come to terms with his tragic childhood and found inner peace, along with it ending with a shot of his father, whom he truly realizes is, after all, as real of a father as anyone could have.
As in the first film, gold is used to symbolize heroism, while red is used to symbolize power and/or violence (a rather ironic twist, as red is associated with love and positive emotions in China while gold is traditionally more associated with power). This is especially apparent in Po's last confrontation with Shen, with Po standing in golden sunlight and Shen standing in the red glow of a cannon. A golden aura can also be seen around Po's mother when she makes her Heroic Sacrifice for him.
Here's an example towards the end that might've gone by too fast for a few people: The cannonballs that Shen fires are red. The cannonballs that Po catches turn gold.
Fire Is Red: As a consequence of this color motif, most fires on the film glow with an unusual crimson tone.
Combat Pragmatist: In a world where strength is determined by kung fu prowess, Shen has no problem with using cannons and hidden weapons.
Combination Attack: While Po is not a slouch in the kung-fu asskicking department in this movie, all his best moves are performed in tandem with the rest of the Furious Five. Most of them are some variety of tossing him in the right direction and watching the fireworks.
Conceive and Kill: Master Mantis says he never had Daddy issues because his mother bit his father's head. He also claims to be looking forward to the day he has a similar demise.
When Po and his friends are manacled by Shen's minions, the panda mentions that similar devices were used to imprison Tai Lung.
A subtle one: Oogway, in the first movie, notes how Po eats when he's sad. Here we found out that he was hidden in a crate of radishes as a cub, right before his mother was supposedly killed. By the time the crate got to Mr. Ping, Po had eaten the entire contents of the crate. Which also explains why Po is slightly thinner and less hungry than before. Ping even worries that he's lost weight.
"Wow! The Furious Five! You're much bigger than my action figures! Except you, Mantis... you're about the same size."
Master Flying Rhino is mentioned, for donating his armor to the Jade Palace in the first movie, and as the father of Thundering Rhino here.
Oogway once said "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the Present." That's the theme of this movie. Po let go of his parents' and species' massacre when the Soothsayer told him that fate balanced the scales and eventually gave him a happy life with Mr. Ping, who cares for him and loves him as if he was his own blood himself, and his friends, who helped him achieved his most cherished dreams, especially Shifu who has all but become a second father and Tigress who may be falling in love with him. What happened in the past is history and he might not know what will happen in the future, but his life in the Valley of Peace is a literal Present.
Cool Chair: Subverted when Lord Chen is admiring the throne, saying how his father promised it would one day be his. Gilligan Cut to his gorillas chucking the throne out the window and plonking Chen's cannon in its place.
Cooldown Hug: Tigress gives one to Po so that he won't go against Shen again, much to the shock of the rest of the Five.
Crucified Hero Shot: When Tigress (along with the rest of the Furious Five) is chained to a mast.
Tropes D to H
Darker and Edgier: Although there are still plenty of laughs and sweet moments, this film is much more violent, mostly thanks to Lord Shen and his use of cannons to get rid of every problem he has, and deals with difficult situations such as adoption. In addition, most of the movie is literally darker — it takes place in locations with dramatic or no light.
Dark Is Not Evil: Thematically wise, to symbolize Yin. Po finds inner peace in a dark, watery environment.
Deadly Dodging: Done by Po as he's dodging and returning cannonballs at the end of the movie.
Death by Looking Up: Lord Shen is killed when his own cannon falls on top of him, having enough time to look up and see it. Justified, however, in that by that point, he'd accepted his fate since he makes no attempt to get out of the way, merely closes his eyes and allows it to fall on him.
Demoted to Extra: Master Shifu gets a couple of brief scenes at the start, then sends Po on his way while he remains in the Valley of Peace until the very end when he does the Big Damn Heroes bit. Justified in that his character arc was mostly done with by the end of the first movie and someone had to watch the Jade Palace. Thankfully averted with the Furious Five, who appear much more this time around, and all of them actively help Po out this time around throughout the film.
Development Gag: There was originally going to be a Master Boar on the Kung Fu Council, but he was ultimately scrapped. His character model appears as a prisoner in Gongmen Jail who cheers after Po's Rousing Speech.
The Dragon: The Wolf Boss. He's not particularly intimidating or powerful, but both fights with him are relatively long fights, especially the second, and in both occasions, Po doesn't beat him once, and in both examples Po takes the last blow as The Wolf Boss leaves triumphant and victorious. When he has an Even Evil Has Standards and a Heel-Face Turn when he refuses to fire a cannon on his own men fighting the Five, Shen graphically kills him to fire it himself.
Dragons Up the Yin Yang: In the first film, the dragon was a more prevalent image; here, the Yin Yang is a much more prominent symbol.
Shen is expecting a powerful warrior to arrive in the top floor of his room, since he hears loud noises, when it is revealed one of the gorillas is carrying an exhausted Po who admits to throwing up at one point due to climbing so many stairs.
Po has a Not Quite Dead moment on the Conveyor Belt-O-Doom... and then, while screaming his Pre Ass Kicking One Liner, begins riding a giant cogwheel, however he mistimes it and as he reaches the top a full five seconds later, admits he probably should have waited a few moments for that to have been cooler.
The I Can't Hear You moment on the roof during Po's Big Damn Heroes speech, which Shen cannot hear a single word of since Po is over half a block away and on top of a building. It's pushed even further as he throws his hat attempting to save the Furious Five, except his hat is made of straw and flies less than a few feet before being affected by the physics of paper and wind. This one is so bad, even Po tries to cover his face out of embarrassment.
Early-Bird Cameo: Master Ox, Croc, the wolf bandits, and even Shen's symbol were in Po's opening dream in the first film.
Empathic Environment: The color red accompanies Shen's presence very often. Sometimes justified, due to all the forge fires and torches; but sometimes the sky itself turns blood-red, even if it wasn't minutes ago, like when Shen marches in to challenge the Kung Fu Council. It only lightens up towards the end of the film once Shen is effectively losing.
Empathy Doll Shot: The little panda plushie that Po finds in the remains of the Panda Village. At the end of the movie, the plushie is seen in a crate of vegetables that Po is carrying into the restaurant.
End of an Age: Averted in that it seems like it is the end of kung fu as a relevant skill in battle with the advent of the cannon, but Po proves that wrong when he develops a kung fu Catch and Return technique that can stop cannoneers in their tracks. The portrayal of the cannon in the movie reflects actual history as it was primarily a symbolic weapon (at least at first). The fall of Constantinople in 1453 was declared the end of an era, but since the cannons were slow and difficult to aim as mentioned in Awesome, but Impractical, they weren't used that often.
Even Evil Has Standards: The Wolf Boss, Lord Shen's second in command, has no problem with theft or genocide, but firing on his own men? That's where he draws the line. He gets killed for it. Justified in that wolves are pack animals and he is pack alpha. Additionally, the wolves are his men, but he has no requirement to care about the world around him.
Evil Albino: Lord Shen. Remember, in Chinese culture, white is the color of death.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Shen is willing to kill or hurt anyone who gets in his way, even if it's his own men. He also continuously ignores any advice that the path he's taking will only lead to his eventual defeat by Po. In fact, Po listened to the same advice Shen rejected and attained inner peace, which is what Shen lacked, despite that Shen murdered his parents and wiped out his people.
Evil Plan: Shen's goal is to take over China and destroy Kung Fu while he's at it.
Evil Tower of Ominousness: Shen's ancestral home and base of operations for the first part of the movie until he destroys it trying to kill Po and the Five, who are all trapped inside.
Family-Unfriendly Death: The film is significantly darker than the first was. At first, the deaths are off-screen, but still pretty gruesome, like getting blown to bits by a giant cannon, and being ripped apart by wolves. However, the one that really takes the cake is the Wolf Boss. Shen throws a knife in his stomach. On screen. Given that up to that point all deaths happened off camera and the generally cartoonish and larger than life violence, it was very shocking to see such a graphic, cold blooded killing. Immediately after being hit by the knife, however, the Wolf Boss exits the movie, so a corpse is never seen, but heavily implied. Then of course, there's the genocide of the pandas which, while relatively low-key, is still freaking genocide. The death of Po's mother stands out, as we last see her leaving baby Po in a radish basket, running off-screen with the wolves chasing her, and then nothing but Po's crying as the scene fades away.
Fastball Special: Tigress performs this twice with Po in a move he calls "Double Death Strike". The second time, Mantis performs this with Tigress so that she can get up enough momentum to pull the same trick with Po in a broken rickshaw. The force is so strong it leaves a trail of flames in the road.
A Father to His Men: The Wolf Boss counts when he stands up to Shen for ordering to fire on his own men.
Flash Step: Shifu is shown doing this several times, once even to avoid a hug from Po.
Foregone Conclusion: The movie opens with a narration telling us that Shen "will be defeated by a warrior of black and white".
Foreshadowing: The first film has hints of several things in this film:
Crane's Wings of Justice move was used early on in the first film.
Also, somewhere in the middle of the first film, Master Shifu is chanting about Inner Peace.
Po's dream about fighting alongside mighty warriors actually occurs in the end of the film.
Even Shen's symbol and the wolves that appeared previously in Po's dream appeared in the film. Po's memories may have been repressed but even little things like that still affected him.
In the second film itself, a quiet moment between Po and Tigress has her noting that hard style kungfu isn't really his thing (being fat and fluffy). At the climax, Po doesn't block the cannon shots but dodges and redirects them Tai Chi-like (i.e. soft style)
Genocide Backfire: Sort of. Lord Shen heard a prophecy that a black and white warrior would defeat him, so he destroyed the village of pandas close to his city. He later finds out that there was a survivor; Po. And a hidden village of pandas, including Po's biological father. Unlike most examples of this trope, this wasn't what directly caused the confrontation between Po and Shen, and traumatic memories of his early childhood actually weaken Po, instead of motivating him. Still, Po would never have been in a position to become the Dragon Warrior and defeat Shen if Shen hadn't destroyed his village.
When Po asked Mr. Ping on where he came from, Mr. Ping said this:
Mr.Ping: Well, son. Baby geese come from little eggs. Now don't ask me where the egg comes from!
Shen's talk about old and new has shades of Mao Zedong's own beliefs, and was especially prominent during the Cultural Revolution. Yet, it appears to have been unnoticed by the Chinese censors.
A very subtle example occurs when Mantis laments the fact that he's not going to die by having his head torn off, like his mom did to his dad. Since female mantises usually eat their mates after mating, Mantis is complaining that he's going to die a virgin.
The Glomp: Po tries to Bear Hug Master Shifu, only to find he's Flash Stepped away. Then Po's dad tries to glomp him, but Po's a bit too big and Mr. Ping just bounces off.
Grievous Harm with a Body: Part of Po and the Five's battling the wolf Mooks in the dragon costume involves hurling the last few victims (out the back end) into oncoming Mooks.
Growling Gut: "My fist hungers for justice. *growl* That was my... fist."
Shen: Not that. How did you find peace? I took away your parents. Everything! I I— I scarred you for life!
Po: See that's the thing, Shen. Scars heal.
Shen: No, they don't. Wounds heal.
Happily Adopted: Po and his father both admit that Po is adopted at the beginning. Po is okay with this by the end of the film.
Hard Work Hardly Works / Instant Expert: Played With. Po's kung fu has improved a lot since the last movie, but he's still somewhat clumsy and has a lot to learn. He was able to master Inner Peace and the redirection move rather quickly, though. Lampshaded by Shifu. Noting how Po was able to achieve inner peace at a young age, as opposed to him who had to wait a lot longer.
Heroes Fight Barehanded: Po and the Furious Five are all unarmed kung fu fighters (though Monkey sometimes use a staff), while the Big Bad Lord Shen carries around a flame-like partisan and tons of daggers, and all his henchmen are heavily armed.
Heroic BSOD: A certain symbol used by Lord Shen and his forces causes Po's most traumatic subconscious memories to suddenly flare up in his mind and overwhelm him. It's even worse when he sees all the eye spots on Shen's tail feathers, since they match the symbol almost exactly.
Heroic Sacrifice: Pulled by both of Po's parents during the panda massacre. His father stayed behind to hold off the wolves while his mother hid him in a radish basket and lured them away. The ending reveals that his father actually survived.
He's Back: Po, when he comes back to fight Lord Shen and save the Furious Five, after he discovered his background.
Hoist by His Own Petard/Self-Disposing Villain: Lord Shen enables the destruction of his fleet by insisting that the cannons continue firing on Po, even though Po's deflecting and returning the cannon balls. And then Lord Shen is crushed by his own wrecked cannon because he tried killing Po and ended up cutting the ropes holding it up.
Tigress: What's your plan? Po: Step 1, free the Five. Viper: What's Step 2? Po: To be honest, I didn't think I'd get this far.
Internal Reveal: Thanks to the opening sequence, the audience knows from the beginning what happened to Po's family, but Po himself doesn't find out until just before the climax.
I Surrender, Suckers: Po tries this to get into Shen's palace and destroy the weapon. Ultimately works; unfortunately, Shen had more than one cannon.
Jaw Drop: Twice by Crane, when Tigress first gives a Cooldown Hug to Po and when Po hugs Tigress near the end.
Killed Off for Real: Master Thundering Rhino dies early in the film, while Lord Shen and Shen's right hand man, the Wolf Boss, are likely dead. Po's mother is hinted at having been killed as well, but it's not entirely confirmed.
Knife Nut: Shen. Even though he's got cannons as his main thing, his fallback weapons are loads and loads of sharp, pointy objects.
Last of His Kind: Subverted. Both Shen and Po think that there are no more surviving giant pandas. However, the Sequel Hook at the end of the movie shows a whole panda village, including Po's biological father.
Last-Second Chance: Rejected once again. Po tries sharing the secret to inner peace with Lord Shen, but even if Shen understands it, he attacks Po anyway. Although by that point Shen almost certainly wanted to die (you can see Shen accepting his fate as the giant cannon falls on him soon after), choosing self-destruction instead of redemption still counts.
Po: Tell those musicians to start playing some action music, cuz it is on!
Light Is Not Good: Shen, both in regards to Chinese and Western iconography, being white and red (the latter being the color of love in Chinese culture) as he is, besides being a peacock (which is basically the animal that most resembles the Chinese phoenix) and given what the possible readings of his name mean (神, "divinity", and 焴, "flame"). Although him being white feathered goes to Obviously Evil territory if you consider that white is the color of death in most Asian cultures.
The Load: Po is a literal example. He is a capable kung fu master and can direct the members of the Furious Five in battle fairly well. However his mobility is so poor that he is often literally thrown and carried around by his much quicker comrades.
Made of Iron: Subverted and played straight. Subverted in Master Rhino's death. Played straight in that everyone else also got hit with a cannon. Also played literally with Tigress, as due to her punching ironwood trees near the Jade Palace for 20 years has allowed her to take Po's hardest punch and not feel a thing, even hurting Po himself in the process.
Meaningful Echo: When Po finds the truth, the Soothsayer repeats a line said by Mister Ping in the beginning of the film. "Your story may not have such a happy beginning..."
Meteor Move: Performed by Po on the Wolf Boss at the end of the Rickshaw Chase.
Mickey Mousing: The first fight with the wolf pack certainly has a lot of action in sync to the music. Justified as the wolves are stealing musical instruments, and they keep getting struck during the fight, so naturally they sound in time with the action, as the action is happening to them. One musician also keeps playing while the battle goes on around him.
Misplaced Wildlife: Shen's gorillas, which are native to Africa. Possibly Fridge Brilliance since Shen had recently returned from exile. ( There is precedent of Gorillas appearing in China in the Kung Fu Panda universe: in "Secrets of the Furious Five," the enemy that Viper defeats is a massive, armor-wearing gorilla.)
Missing Mom: Well, at least we know what happened now. Sort of.
In some of the TV Spots, there's a scene where Po is 'holding his breath in anticipation', then Tigress tells him finally to breathe. Never happens in the movie.
Another trailer moment that doesn't happen in the movie is Shifu telling Po he's received a message. Po thinks it came from the universe, then Shifu says it came from a messenger.
A third has Po claiming he knows he's not the last panda. Never comes up in the film, but might have been intended as an easter egg to tease Kung Fu Panda 3, which is confirmed to be in development, with a projected 2016 release date.
Mood Whiplash: At times it's hilarious. At times it's action packed and rousing. At times it's even dark as hell and emotionally powerful. Of course, that's what makes it so good.
Mook Chivalry: Averted. Wolves are pack animals. They always fight as a unit. Also the instances we see multiple shots fired at Po, he simply dodges most of them before catching one and throwing it back.
Master Shifu collapses after sensing Po being shot by Lord Shen's cannon.
At the end of the film, Po's biological father senses that he is alive and well.
Tropes N to R
Near Villain Victory: Lord Shen leaves the harbor of Gongmen City to conquer China with his armada armed with cannons. Everyone else has been defeated while Po is about to be shot; his only hope is a technique he has yet to master.
Played straight in one case. He tells Po that he 'took away' his parents. Justified in that Po's father at least isn't dead. Even if Shen doesn't know this, he's also flabbergasted that Po doesn't want revenge for the loss of his parents' affection, which Shen himself was embittered by, even though his own folks weren't murdered.
Never Trust a Trailer: Much like with its predecessor, the trailers mostly showed the comedic aspects of the film. Perhaps it was Dreamworks's way of not giving away any of the surprises.
A TV Spot has Po declare "I'm not the last panda!" while showing the panda village seen at the end of the movie, making it look like this will be a big part of the plot. It...wasn't. Po didn't say that and while the village appeared, it was just a teaser at the very end of the movie.
Similar to the above TV Spot, the DVD Release Trailer basically tells you something completely different from what ACTUALLY happens in the movie. Someone must be playing a joke on the marketing department or editor.
Nice Hat: Though not fancy or complicated in any way. Po's line preceding his gain of the hat should qualify. Also, it does look pretty cool up on that roof.
Po: I am Po. And I'm gonna need a hat.
It doubles as a Continuity Nod as well, since Po wore a similar hat in his kung fu dream from the first movie.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Had Po listened to Tigress and remained in the prison, the Five's idea of blowing Shen up alongside with his foundry would have worked without a hitch.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Lord Shen attempting genocide on the pandas not only enabled Po to complete the prophecy, but also ended up providing the village with a way to stop Tai Lung in the original film.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Averted, thankfully. It's a good thing that Tigress is VERY disciplined, and compassionate. This is another reason why that "fight" was not in the first movie.
No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Averted. We don't see any prototypes for Shen's firework cannon, but there are a lot of backups. Played with as well, as the heroes thought there was only one cannon in existence and formed much of their plans on stopping Shen. Double on Po, who thought the tiny figurine was the actual weapon. Shen then subverted both that the cannon in the room (while formidable as it can hit anything in the city) was just a diversion to protect his foundry and he was halfway done arming a whole armada of ships with them.
Oblivious Adoption: Confronted and answered. The ironic part is that Po already knew but his dad thought he didn't.
Off Hand Back Hand: Po does this to the last wolf guard protecting Master Ox and Master Croc. It was the only move he did the entire fight and even Tigress complimented him on it.
Offscreen Teleportation: In an early scene in the movie, Shifu steps out from behind Po when in the previous shot he had been standing in front of Po. Po had been watching Shifu the whole time, and he is visibly freaked out.
Oh, Crap: When Po and the Five destroy Shen's cannon in the palace, only to find that the peacock has a whole arsenal of copies and they are about to fire a whole salvo at them. Mantis helpfully restores the comedic mood.
Mantis: [upbeat] Oh no, he's got way more.
Older Than They Look: Shen spent thirty years in exile, so he (and the Wolf Boss) must be around fifty, with Po being close to or slightly over thirty.
Once More with Clarity: During Po's convalescence under the Soothsayer's care, he properly recalls what happened to put him in the turnip cart.
Only Six Faces: This movie adds goats and sheep to the mix of rabbits, pigs, and geese to the cast of civilians from the first movie.
Orphan's Ordeal: When Po finally remembers that he lost his parents in a genocide where he was seemingly the sole survivor, it hits him like an emotional sledgehammer.
Po's biological dad, as it's shown that he directly confronted the wolves that were massacring his village. Maybe Po's badassery is In the Blood...
Shifu as well. His first instinct when Po gets shot is to travel to Gongmen City at breakneck speed in order to pull a Big Damn Heroes and kick the collective asses of those responsible. Granted that he's only the victim's father figure, but it's still badass.
The Wolf Boss, possibly a literal example since he was a wolf who refused to fire on his wolf underlings despite Shen's orders. The wolf might even be A Father to His Men in a literal sense too, given that leaders of wolf packs tend to be the daddy to the lot of them.
Paper-Thin Disguise: For a brief moment, Po disguise himself as a woman, using a kite as a wig. Irony to the trope's name, the kite is made out of paper!
Mantis, once again, such as when he throws Tigress to give her an extra boost. This movie goes out of its way to establish that Mantis is the strongest of the cast, regularly doing feats of strength that would be impressive at full size. Truth in Television, as insects really do have the most impressive liftable-weight-to-body-mass ratio.
And Shifu, who is even tougher since he gained 'Inner Peace' in the previous film.
Power Copying: Po learns the moves necessary to do the Catch and Return technique to manipulate rainwater after watching his master do it once, and then circumstances teaches him how to achieve the inner peace necessary to execute the technique. At this point Shifu is a tad jealous since the aged Kung Fu master only recently mastered that himself. Taking into account the first movie (where he figured out the Wuxi finger hold all on his own), and several incidents the interquel TV show Kung Fu Panda Legends Of Awesomeness, this seems to be one of Po's consistent abilities.
Punch Clock Villain: It's lightly implied that the wolves are only still working for Shen out of fear for that he'll kill them if they don't. Considering that he offs the Wolf Boss just for not wanting to murder his own men, they're probably right.
Reality Ensues: Two examples, back to back, both played for laughs. Po shouts a challenge at Shen, but can't actually shout that far. He then attempts to throw a straw hat to break a bunch of chains and free the Five, but then discovers that a straw hat is basically weightless, and just sort of flutters to the ground.
Self Fulfilling Prophecy: The Soothsayer said in the intro that a warrior of black and white will defeat Shen. Because of his actions, Shen ended up fulfilling the destiny. If he hadn't attempted genocide, Po never would've ended up where he could learn Kung Fu and come back to defeat him in the first place. Alternately, it's outright said in the prophecy that if he doesn't change his ways, this is what will happen.
While the first movie centered on a small mountain valley, and the villain had mostly personal motivation and acted alone, the sequel involves a big city and a villain who wants to Take Over the World and has an army of wolves, gunpowder cannons, and a freakin' river fleet at his disposal.
A subtle one: where the first film had twoArt Shifts, the sequel has three: cel animation, CGI animation, and shadow puppetry.
Sequel Hook: When Po makes it clear that he has accepted Mr. Ping as his father as well as being the last Giant Panda, we see that Po's biological father is alive in a far away hidden village of Giant Pandas and senses that his son is alive as well.
The final river fleet showdown is possibly inspired by Red Cliff, where clever strategy triumphs over a bulky fleet of clumsy yet heavily armed ships.
One part of the scene with Po redirecting fire from all cannons at once is a visual shout-out to a scene in Shaolin Soccer, with the entire Team Evil lined up and kicking the same ball at the Shaolin goalie over and over.
The blind rabbit musician who continues to play through the initial battle with wolves is most likely a reference to the battle in the rain from Hero, which was accompanied by a blind musician.
Another one to the same movie is when Tigress intercepts the incoming fiery arrows to protect the others. In Hero though, they were not fiery.
The scene where Po is riding the rickshaw to catch a wolf (also in a rickshaw) and ends up going up and falling off some scaffolding of a building is reminiscent of the chariot racing scene in The Prince of Egypt, another Dreamworks film. They even used some of the same camera angles!
Also, other than the obvious factor of Moses in the Bullrushes, Po's mother sending Po away is very reminiscent of the scene in Prince of Egypt when Jochebed sends Moses away in the basket, right down to when they kiss their children on the forehead.
Pretty minor, but Po getting discovered as a baby in the radish crate is pretty close to how baby Alex was first found after being sent adrift at sea.
The musical score takes some cues from How to Train Your Dragon at the end, as the camera sweeps from the Valley of Peace to the last panda village. John Powell, the co-composer of this movie, also scored Dragon.
In addition to the architecture, the movie opens with a brief history of Shen's childhood, which is presented as a stylized shadow puppet play. The musician troupe that Po and company try to save from bandits carried large prayer bells.
Tigress talking about punching ironwood trees to deaden her hands is a direct reference to the same type of conditioning done by Muay Thai fighters on their hands and legs. Also used by Karate practitioners with Kyu Kushin Karate being the most famous example. Thirdly, Chinese Martial Artists.
Sinister Silhouettes: Lord Shen's armada is first shown as the silhouettes of their dragon-shaped cannon sliding across the screen of a shadow puppet play before the audience turn to the window to stare in horror. Played for Laughs earlier in the film when Shen is startled by the huge shadow of the Dragon Warrior coming up the stair accompanied by savage grunts, only to see one of his gorillas carrying an exhausted Po.
Squee: Po's thrilled to be in the same pressure-point shackles as Tai Lung. Also when meeting Masters Croc and Ox.
Po: Master Ox? Master (spots Master Croc) [Gasp] The ferocious Master Croc! And Master... Storming Ox! I can't believe we're rescuing actual legends of Kung Fu!
Stupid Sexy Flanders: A borderline case. The Wolf Boss is a bit hung up on how soft and cuddly Po is.
Suicide by Cop: Subverted toward the end. Lord Shen assumes Po wants this when he stands up in front of Shen's cannons, essentially a firing squad taken Up to Eleven. Po is only finding a firm place to stand so that he can deflect the cannonballs, but he might have anticipated that Shen would come to this conclusion. If he can't pull this off, he really is dead. ...Dark.
Taking the Bullet: In the climax of the film, Tigress pushes Po out of the way of a cannonball and takes the hit herself. She survives, but is too weak to stop Po from taking on the rest of Shen's fleet by himself.
Toilet Humour: While Po and the Five are wearing the dragon costume disguise, it appears to 'eat' a wolf (Po pulling the wolf inside through the dragon's mouth), digest him (the Furious Five beating him up), then excrete the remains (tossing him out the back), much to the disgust of a watching child.
Took a Level in Badass: Although Po still cannot hold his own in a fight with Tigress (admittedly, very few warriors can), and his fighting style is somewhat clumsy, he kicks much more evildoer butt than in the original movie.
Trailers Always Spoil: More like T.V. spots always spoil, but one commercial showed Po's father and the secret panda village at the end of the film.
Tranquil Fury: Lord Shen during the final battle at the end of his Villainous Breakdown. It makes the fight much more even and if he hadn't ended up crushed by his own cannon, he might have won.
Travel Montage: Po and the Five travelling across China from the Valley of Peace to Gongmen City.
Trojan Horse: Po and the Furious Five use a Dragon costume to sneak around Gongmen City. Also Shen's "gift" for Master Rhino and co.
True Companions: Since the last movie, Po and the Furious Five have become much closer, with Tigress becoming his best friend out of the bunch. Though in the TV series, he seems to be more chummy with Monkey.
Twist Ending: Po's biological father lives in a distant panda village, and suddenly realizes Po is also alive.
Unexplained Recovery: Crane's injured wing is inexplicably healed and fully functional in the final battle.
Unsettling Gender-Reveal: The Soothsayer to Po, who claims he was "misled" by the Soothsayer's beard. Though with those horns, who can blame him?
Villainous Breakdown: Po appearing as Shen is about to sail to triumph seems to result in the peacock finally losing it; while he remains sane, he kicks the Attack! Attack! Attack! strategy he'd employed with his cannons up to 11, even willing to fire on his own fleet to clear out all obstacles and casually knifing The Dragon when he refuses. This results in Shen refusing to cease using his cannons even when Po has perfected the catch and return technique, resulting in an epic Oh, Crap when Po's final returned shot makes a yin-yang symbol before striking his flagship. When Po confronts him on his ship after crippling it, he finds Shen completely stunned by both the fact everything he created has been destroyed and the fact that Po managed to overcome his traumatic past and find inner peace. When Po explains it to him, he snaps and tries to kill Po. Unlike Tai Lung, however, Shen doesn't lose his head, managing Tranquil Fury despite his breakdown, resulting in a much more even fight. This is most likely due to the Soothsayer's prediction starting to come to pass, and by this point Shen is getting desperate to change it. His Mind Screw didn't work and force is his only option. You can pretty much sense it in Shen's voice when he asks how Po overcame his trauma. Even if it's calm, his ambition has been left in ruins and he's got nothing to lose, leading to the final assault and ultimately death at his own hands.
Was It Really Worth It?: The Soothsayer asks Shen if everything he's done so far, and everything he's planning to do, will be worth it in the end after he destroys his ancestral home in a failed attempt to kill the Five. Shen's response implies he's not certain if it will be or not.
Like in the first movie, this trope is invoked during the final battle. Shen professed his hatred of kung fu and desire to eradicate it more than once, but in the end, when told by Po that he should do what he really desires to do with his life, instead of being controlled by his past, Shen chooses to have one last kung fu battle with Po, and actually manages to fight Po on even terms, proving that he wasn't just attacking in a blind rage (look how well that ended for the far more powerful Tai Lung). Then the wreck of his cannon interrupts the fight and crushes him, in the far less subtle application of the same trope.
The floor of Gongmen Jail has a curved line running through its circular center. When Tigress confronts Po there, she is standing at one point and repeatedly tossing him to another, causing them to form a yin-yang symbol when viewed from above.
What the Hell, Hero?: Not only does Po keep freezing up during crucial moments whenever he sees Lord Shen's symbol, but he refuses to explain why. This doesn't rub well with the other Five (Tigress especially) when this problem makes him miss the perfect opportunity to catch Shen. It passes when they find out why he was distracted, though.
You Can't Thwart Stage One: Po and the Furious Five were unable to destroy the cannons at the foundry or stop Lord Shen from bringing the cannon ships out of Gongmen City. Still, they succeed in thwarting Lord Shen's plans and defeat him.
Secrets of the Masters Provides Examples Of:
Art Shift: Like in Secrets of the Furious Five, the present-day sequences are 3D, while Po's story is in 2D.
Cats Are Mean: The Wu Sisters are a trio of cats who play this trope very straight. As in, "Live in a volcano fortress, openly proclaim their evilness, and try to take over all of China's crime gangs."
Disney Death: Oogway suffers one. Not that it fooled anyone but the characters, since we saw his actual death in the first film.
Doomed By Cannon: Master Thundering Rhino. If you didn't feel bad for him already...
Metaphorically True: Oogway is able to get the Masters to cooperate only after telling them that they will receive "a wealth of riches" for completing the mission. He's talking about emotional riches and the Masters are not happy when they find this out.
Retcon: Does this to the backstories of Masters Ox, Croc, and Thundering Rhino. Justified in that their original backstories only existed online so many people probably didn't know about them.