Western Animation / Kung Fu Panda 3

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"Who are you?"

"Before the battle of the fists comes the battle of the mind."
— Shifu

Kung Fu Panda 3 is the 2016 third installment to DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda franchise, and the sequel to Kung Fu Panda 2. It is the first film of the franchise, as well as any DreamWorks movie in general, to be co-produced by Oriental DreamWorks in China.

In the realm of the spirits, Oogway faces an opponent from the past, the evil yak spirit Kai (voiced by J. K. Simmons). Kai has waited five hundred years, gathering enough chi from late kung fu masters in order to defeat Oogway and return to the world of the living, something he succeeds in. Meanwhile, in the Valley Of Peace, Po learns that Shifu is retiring and passing his role as the Furious Five's teacher to him, a position Po struggles to handle. His mind is soon diverted, however, as he is faced with the arrival of his biological father, Li Shan (voiced by Bryan Cranston), who takes him to a hidden panda paradise in the mountains. Things quickly go downhill when Kai arrives and wrecks havoc at the Jade Palace, leaving Tigress the only one to escape and warn Po of the approaching threat. Now, Po must gather his teaching skills in order to train the pandas into capable fighters that will help him defeat Kai, while also learning how to master the power of chi.

The first Chinese trailer can be viewed here. The second trailer here. The official US trailers can be viewed here, here, and here. The Japanese trailer can be viewed here.

Kung Fu Panda 3 Provides Examples Of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Master Porcupine's jombie uses a bow and what looks like his own quills as arrows.
  • Achilles' Heel: Kai can see and otherwise sense through his jade zombie minions...but this backfires during the Final Battle thanks to the various kinds of abuse the pandas give them.
  • Adult Fear: Played straight with Li Shan who is less than thrilled to find that his son's role as the Dragon Warrior means he's fighting enemies on a daily basis. When he learns that an even more threatening foe is approaching, Li decides to lie about knowing how to master chi in order to bring Po with him to the panda village and out of harm's way.
  • Advertised Extra: Mei Mei is a surprisingly minor character given how much attention she got in the promotional material. Note how she's present on the poster above, while Li Shan, undisputably a much more important character, is absent.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Po is victim to this once again, this time due to his biological father. Shifu and the Five's first impression of Li is him repeating "I'm gonna getcha!" in a baby talk voice to Po while everyone else looks on awkwardly.
  • Ancient Evil: Kai, who was sealed away five hundred years ago when Oogway was young. This also means no one has any idea who he is, which is both to his advantage (as no one really has an idea of how to beat him), and anger.
  • Animal Battle Aura: Po gets a golden dragon shaped aura when his allies channel their chi to him.
  • Art Evolution: Because of new animation software, all of the character models were rebuilt for this film. This is perhaps most visible with Po who overall has a slimmer appearance than in the two previous films.
  • Art Shift: Some of the flashback scenes were presented in 2-D animation, while the Training Montage with Po training the panda village in Kung Fu has a more stylised 3-D effect.
  • Badass and Child Duo: Tigress and Lei Lei during the battle against the jombies in the Panda Village. Lei Lei even helps out a little.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Delivered by Po at the Final Battle: "Am I the son of a panda? The son of a goose? A student? A teacher? Turns out... I'm all of them. I am... The Dragon Warrior!"
    • Bonus: "Get it? See the giant dragon??"
    • Tigress gets a brief one herself during Kai's attack on the Jade Palace. Kai mockingly calls her a "little kitten", then proceeds to fight off Shifu, Monkey and Viper. Cue Tigress leaping at Kai and delivering a kick so powerful it emits a wave of chi, causing him to lose his blades and fall to his knees.
    Tigress: How's that for a "little kitten"?!
  • Bag of Spilling: Averted. No, Po didn't just forget a certain uber-powerful kung fu technique.
  • Bait and Switch:
    • Twice with Shifu. First, after Kai speaks to the Jade Palace warriors through his jade zombies and identifies himself, it sounds as if Shifu (unlike everyone else so far) recognizes his name...but then he doesn't either. After that, when researching in the scrolls for information on him, he finds a scroll in a special case which he says holds all the knowledge they seek. Upon removing it, it seems to be blank (and he even exclaims "Again?!") before discovering the story when he unrolls it further.
    • At the very beginning, we have Po boasting how "Justice... is about to be served!" followed by him and the Five racing to the Valley below in an extended action sequence, making it seem they're off to fight bad guys. Turns out they were just going to Mr. Ping's to have "justice platters" for breakfast.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Oddly, nearly every panda except Po.
  • Be Yourself: This trope is the reason for the central theme of 3, that being "You don't have to be anyone other than yourself." Po feels like he can't live up to the high bar of teaching that Shifu set, but he later learns in the panda village that he can still be a fine teacher in his own right.
  • Big Entrance: Discussed. Po says that this is a very important thing...and to everyone's surprise, including his own, Shifu agrees, pointing out a proper entrance can get you the advantage before the fight actually starts. He then follows up with the "dramatic exit": getting Po to look behind him so he can slip away. This becomes important in how Po is able to banish Kai back to the Spirit Realm.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Tigress develops this with Lei Lei.
  • Big Sister Worship: Lei Lei is completely smitten with "Stripy Baby" Tigress and is constantly by her side.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Delivered by Po when Shifu tells him that he will be the next teacher of the Furious Five. The rest of the gang doesn't exactly seem all that thrilled either, based on their own reactions.
  • Bowdlerize: Po's "I think I just peed a little" line at seeing the full capability of Master Rhino's armor is changed in the Mandarin dub to "This is too much".
  • Bowel-Breaking Bricks: A goose is so frightened of meeting Kai he lays a bunch of eggs rapidly.
  • The Bus Came Back: Oogway returns in this film after having been completely absent from the second film (considering he had passed on).
  • Call Back:
    • The Wuxi Finger Hold of all things makes a return when Po attempts to use it against Kai.
    • After Po's first failed attempt at training the Five, they all walk/crawl bruised and battered towards him similarly to how he did in the first film after accidentally stepping into the training exercises.
    • When Po sees Shifu and all of the Five except for Tigress have been hypnotized, he says "Oh no, it's true, you guys have all been turned green! Except for you, Mantis. You were already green." followed by Mantis twitching his antennae in annoyance, similar to in the first movie when he says "Whoa, the Furious Five! You're so much bigger than your action figures! Except for you, Mantis. You're about the same." and Mantis twitches his antennae.
    • After Po's failed attempt at teaching the Five, Shifu shows up and after telling Po about chi and how Po needs to be Po he leaves, leaving the lantern he had brought with Po as Oogway did in the first film.
    • At the beginning of the film, Shifu demonstrates the "dramatic exit" to Po by shouting "What's that?" and then quickly leaving while Po looks another way. At the climax battle, Po pulls the same trick to make Kai look away, giving him an opening to jump him.
    • Crane labeling every action starting with "wings of" like he did with his "Wings of Justice" attack from the second film. Mantis also announces his presence with "Fear the Bug!" from the second film as well.
    • From the first film; Shifu gets momentarily distracted by something about his opponent that allows him to be incapacitated by a single blow. Secondly, his face gets smashed into a wok, much like his former student Tai Lung.
    • As the second film, Shifu gripes about Po's speedy learning skill of lifelong techniques, once again muttering about him doing it at such a young age.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Po to Li, after he reveals he lied about knowing how to master chi. Made all the more painful by how quiet, hurt, and bitter it is, rather than furious or browbeating like most examples of the trope.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • Lampshaded by Mantis when he comments on Crane's habit of shouting "Wings of (X)!" Mantis tries "Antenna of Power" later against Kai, except of course nothing happens.
    • Shows up again later with Mantis after he gets grabbed by Lei Lei. It's easy to miss, but he shouts "Antenna of Fear!" as he gets taken away.
    • Mr. Ping and Li get into the act as well. "DOUBLE DAD DEFENSE!"
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Shifu chooses Po to be the next teacher of the Five, something Po isn't all too happy about, and he's relieved to join his father to the panda village to get away from the new responsibilities. When a wounded Tigress arrives at the village and tells Po the others have been defeated by Kai, Po has to serve as a teacher after all, training the other pandas.
  • Came Back Strong: Kai is much stronger than he was when Oogway banished him to the spirit world in ancient times, due to how much chi he's stolen. And because he's no longer alive, the Wuxi Finger Hold doesn't work on him.
  • The Cameo: Master Croc returns as one of the masters investigating the jombies and is turned into one shortly afterward. Lord Shen is seen in the flashback from the second film that is reused during Li Shan's mourning of Po's mother. Tai Lung also makes an appearance as an amulet on Kai's waist, next to Mantis, though it's so brief it counts for a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: When Po joins Shifu and the Five's fight against the "jade zombies", he's not so much concerned with how effectively the latter are fighting as he is excited to find that they're more kung fu masters he idolizes. He even insists that Feng, (the palace artist from the holiday special), paints a portrait of him with one of them, while they're fighting.
    Po: I'm being choked by Master Porcupine. This is so cool! (Grabs action figure) Oh! Oh! Look, it's you!
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Po reveals to Tigress that he plans on using the Wuxi Finger Hold against Kai.
  • Clucking Funny: One of the new Kung Fu masters introduced is Master Chicken.
  • Combined Energy Attack: Po's friends and family send him their chi, giving him a Golden Super Mode and the power to destroy Kai once and for all.
  • Comically Missing the Point: This exchange:
    Elderly panda: (To Po) Oh, he's so handsome, just like his father!
    Mr. Ping: Thank you!
    • And later, this:
    Po: I'm gonna stay, and fight that monster.
    Mr. Ping: Po, he may be a monster, but he's still your father.
    Po: Not him! Kai!
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Po's room is filled with references to the previous films, including the old dummy from the training hall, the Furious Five action figures, the drawings of Tigress and the Five from Po's old room, and a painting of Master Thundering Rhino and the Tower of Sacred Flame, among others.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Po has added even more action figures to his collection, including ones of Tai Lung, Master Croc, and the Wolf Boss. Because of course he would.
    • Po shows his father the Hall of Heroes, which includes the Urn of Whispering Warriors he broke in the first film having been repaired.
    Po: Someone broke that...once.
    Li: Who?
    Po: Some idiot...
    • And then it gets broken again when Li, having been discovered by Shifu and the Five, tosses away one of the weapons.
    • The flashback of Po's mother and Po as a baby is shown again, this time in 3D. Lord Shen's feathers briefly flash in the background.
    • There is a brief flashback to the moment Oogway first chose Po as the Dragon Warrior, as Oogway reveals to Po that he chose him in part because he was a panda, and believed that he would be able to channel his C'hi.
    • Several elements from The Art of KFP make it into this one, such as: the abandoned junk in the desert (in the book it was the location of a Wretched Hive, in the movie it's where Crane and Mantis track Kai); Po's outfit in the Spirit World, which matches the Dragon Warrior costume from the storyboarded dream sequence from the first movie; the statues of the great kung fu masters around the stairs to the Jade Palace, which were originally intended to be a Vault of Heroes under the steps where Po was to have his final battle with Tai Lung; Tigress's new outfit, which is essentially the one from the book re-colored to gold; and even a number of shots of the panda village or the landscape during the journey there.
    • Master Porcupine is a character that was originally going to be in the first Kung Fu Panda film, as a doctor using his own quills for acupuncture needles. He appears in this film as one of Kai's jade zombies, using his quills as arrows.
    • Po accidentally dumps Sichuan peppercorns in his bathwater instead of soap and comments "My tenders!" while quickly adding cold water. Later he also suffers another Groin Attack while training an elderly panda.
    • The bridge that Li and Po cross on the way to the panda village appear to be the same bridge where the Five fought Tai Lung in the first film.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • This movie retcons the events of the episode Enter The Dragon from Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness where Po already mastered chi to fight the episode's main antagonist, while he doesn't know what chi is in this movie. Additionally, the episode states that the universe granted Oogway the ability to master his chi, while this movie states he learned it from the pandas, and the series is supposed to be set before the events of this movie. However, this would support many fans' belief that the TV series are non-canon to the films.
    • In the 2015 prequel short Secrets of the Scroll, Po's figures of the Furios Five ends up being accidentally given away to a rabbit child, yet Po still has them in this film. Either Po leaving the figures with the child took place after this film, or he made new ones.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: While they're not stupid, more just very chill and relaxed, the pandas are able to fend off most of Kai's jade army after Po's training.
  • Cue Card Pause: When Shifu reads the scroll mentioning Kai, it mentions that he was once Oogway's brother...in arms.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: This is pretty much what Po delivers on Kai after channeling a dragon Battle Aura in the spirit realm.
  • Dance Party Ending: Or a kung fu party ending.
  • Deader Than Dead: During the final battle within the spirit realm, Po unleashes all of his chi into Kai per his boast about taking it, and while he revels at first, he discovers that it's too much for him to handle, and it disintegrates him. Given he was already a spirit...
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Li at one points tells Po how much he loved his mother, and how she was everything: "Smart. Beautiful. Tremendous appetite..."
  • Death Is Cheap: Apparently, passing away in the films' universe, at least if you're a kung fu master, means you go on 'living' in the spirit realm. And it's not impossible to return (though you might have to work for it a few centuries).
  • Delayed Reaction: When Shifu says he's passing on his teaching duties to Po, the Five are stunned shocked. As for Po,he just casually nods... Then he processes the info, and it leads to the Big "WHAT?!" moment above.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Kai is very put-out that no one remembers him or his exploits... so when Po does, he's actually extremely excited and pleased. To the point he almost considers sparing him.
  • Dynamic Entry: Get a lot in this movie.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Shifu and the Five are completely distracted from the fact that Po and Li wrecked the interior of the Jade Palace by playing inside it due to their excitement for Po finally meeting his biological father. No one mentions the issue ever again. That Kai showed up shortly afterward and eventually destroys the palace may have something to do with it.
    • While angry with him, next time time Po speaks with Li, he's come to forgive him for lying about learning how to use chi. At the end of the film, he accepts his biological father in his life.
  • Elephant in the Room: Po meets another Giant Panda for the first time since he was a cub, an older panda named Li Shan explaining that he's looking for his son. Po is shocked to hear this and replies that he lost his father. An awkward silence passes as the two pandas then wish each other good luck and walk off. Everyone watching can't believe either of them and facepalms. The realization then hits each other just before they completely walk away.
  • Evil Overlooker: Used with Kai in the Chinese poster for the film, as seen above.
  • Face Palm: A mass one by Ping's customers when Po and Li ignore The Not Secret of being son and father.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Kai brought Oogway to the Pandas to heal him, which they did out of kindness. Kai promptly turned on them the moment that he realized the power he could get from stealing their chi.
  • Foreshadowing: Oogway tells Kai, when he reveals how much chi he has absorbed, that "the more you take, the less you have." This obliquely alludes to what happens when he is fed Po's chi and it is too much for him to handle, because he can't control that much power. As well as the fact Po wins by having chi given to him rather than taking it.
  • Free-Range Children: The panda children are often seen doing whatever they please with little adult supervision.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Mr. Ping lands one on Jombie-Shifu.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • Po has a humorous line alluding to the diet of real life Giant Pandas. When he's trying to tell the other pandas his battle strategy by using food, he's shocked to find the younger pandas eating both the dumplings and the noodles he tried to use. When one of them eats the bamboo stick he was holding, he chuckles and says "Okay, I saw that coming."
    • Parodied with this exchange:
    Li: I guess it'd be cruel to make [Mr. Ping] fly all the way back.
    Po: You can fly?!
    Mr. Ping: I'm a bird, Po.
  • Gasp: A mass one by Ping's customers at seeing Po and Li Shan together.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In one trailer, Po shows off "backwards Kung Fu", then ends it with "a respectful backwards bow" - in other words, mooning the viewer.
    • And this:
    Bao: What's that?
    Mr. Ping: My hat.
    Bao: What's that?
    Mr. Ping: My beak.
    Bao: What's that?
    Mr. Ping: My wing.
    Bao: What's that?
  • Going to Give It More Energy: After giving Kai a Curb-Stomp Battle, Po sends a wave of his chi into him. Kai's excitement at the amount of power turns to panic when he realizes it's too much for him to handle.
  • Golden Super Mode: When Po's fathers, Tigress, and the rest of the Panda village transfer their chi to Po, he gains a new outfit with a lot of gold and golden Animal Battle Aura in the shape of a Chinese dragon. He also becomes strong enough to overwhelm and defeat Kai.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Po destroys Kai's soul, but given the sheer evil he's committed and that he's already come back once, it was both no less than what Kai deserved and probably the only way to stop him for good.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: No, no, no, not the jade creatures. Upon learning Po has mastered his chi, Shifu lets out an annoyed "Of course you did...", before humbling himself to ask Po if he can teach him.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Also counts as a Continuity Nod to KFP2. Once again, Po masters a skill by the end of the film that he was told about by Shifu at the beginning. Shifu's exasperation is evident when Po tells him he got his new staff from Master Oogway after defeating Kai in the Spirit Realm. He does soften however when Po promises to teach him.
  • Has Two Daddies: Despite some initial antagonism on Mr. Ping's side as he is afraid of losing Po, he and Li end up bonding as they seek to help Po. They end up fighting against a Jombie-fied version of Shifu together.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Po performs the Wuxi Finger Hold on himself while holding onto Kai to send them both to the Spirit Realm. Po later tells Oogway that he had no idea that he'd be able to return.
  • Hidden Elf Village: A Hidden Panda Village.
  • Hong Kong Dub: Averted. Because this particular movie is being co-made by Oriental DreamWorks in China, the animators are making two different versions; one where the characters move their mouths after the original English dub, and another where they move their mouths after the Chinese dub. This is the first time something like this has ever been done with an animated feature!
  • Hope Spot: Po's plan to defeat Kai goes off without a hitch...but it turns out the Wuxi Finger Hold doesn't work on Kai because he's a spirit.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Done briefly by Monkey when he tries to wake a jombified Mantis, though it's really Played for Laughs.
    Monkey: Mantis, it is me! Your BESTIE!!! (Jombie!Mantis proceeds to beat him up.)
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Gets Played for Laughs at the beginning of the movie.
    Po (To Shifu): Me, Teach? I mean, why not Tigress? She's always telling everyone what to do!
    Tigress: (Deadpan and not amused) Be quiet, Po.
  • Informed Attribute: When Li says it wouldn't seem right to force Ping to fly back to the Valley of Peace, Po is shocked that he's able to fly. Ping's response?
    Ping: I'm a bird, Po.
  • Insistent Terminology: Po has to remind Mr. Ping they're not "dolls", they're action figures.
  • Ki Manipulation: Or rather, chi, using the Chinese pronunciation. The next lesson Shifu tasks Po to learn, and it serves a big role in the film.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: When Lei Lei asks Po if she can keep the Tigress figure, Po starts saying "Nooo..." until he sees that she's about to cry and finishes with "...problem! Yeah, of course, that's why I brought her... take good care of her..?"
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The entire premise spoils the Sequel Hook at the end of the second film.
  • Liar Revealed: Turns out that Li doesn't know how to master chi; he only told Po he did and that he had to come to the Panda Village to learn it because he didn't want to lose his son again and was afraid (rightfully so) that Kai would kill him. Unsurprisingly this leads to a Third-Act Misunderstanding for a bit, until Ping reaches out to Li and, united in their love for Po and desire to protect him, they go to him and offer themselves, and the whole village, to train to be the army Po needs.
  • Lighter and Softer: Downplayed, while it still has dark moments such as the talk about Po's deceased mom and how dangerous Kai is. The jokes are more abundant compared to the Darker and Edgier second film.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Inverted, as Po's biological father is revealed to share a lot of his traits, such as being unable to climb a tall flight of stairs without nearly passing out and being comically oblivious, as neither he nor Po suspect they're related to each other at first despite all the evidence pointing to it. Li also appears to share Po's adoration for various kung fu relics, and the two enjoy playing with them like little kids.
  • Lost Superweapon: Of a sort. The pandas used to be the only ones with the knowledge to fully master chi or use it for healing, but over the centuries it's become an ancient legend they don't know how to call upon any more, so that it ends up being something they all have to (re)learn, not just Po.
  • Match Cut: A brief one after Kai turns Crane into a jade amulet; the image of the former's face transgresses into the clouds and mountains of the next shot.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Oogway in this film is revealed to be have been over 500 years old. While tortoises in real life do live to an impressive age, they usually don't pass 200 years. It's not made clear if Oogway's longevity is a case of Artistic License – Biology or if it's actually a perk of being a spiritual master. Or if it's both.
  • Meaningful Name: Kai's name, as a warlord is entire appropriate given that it means Victory.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Po and the Five go racing down from the Jade Palace in an epic, extended action sequence at the start of the movie...only to be going to Ping's for lunch. Lampshaded by Mantis when they go back to the palace: "Do we have to strike a pose every time we land?"
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Played for Laughs during Po's first attempt at training the Five. He tries his best to call out various battle techniques for them to perform to which they all obey, even as they figure they're about to get hurt doing so.
  • Near Villain Victory: Kai gets this twice. First is when he reveals to Po that the Wuxi Finger Hold doesn't work on him, followed by him overpowering Po and leaving him unable to defend the pandas, his fathers and Tigress. After Po has managed to drag them both to the spirit realm anyhow (through the technique of Taking You with Me), Kai proceeds to turn Po into a jombie, something he nearly succeeds with as well until Po's friends and family learns how to use chi to save him.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: One of the US trailers had Tigress telling Po that he needs to teach the pandas to fight. In the film, she's actually asking Po if he's learned to master chi, and the subject of training the pandas doesn't come up until Li Shan suggests it. The same trailer also had Tigress state that Kai attacked the Valley of Peace and that it's "all gone". In the film, he's only shown attacking the Jade Palace; it's unknown if he did any damage to the Valley below.
  • No Sell: The Wuxi Finger Hold doesn't work on Kai because it only works on mortals. Po finds a way to make it work on him indirectly.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Tigress racing all the way to the panda village while injured.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Oogway's scroll describing Kai is much more serious and straightforward than his normal laid back way of doing things, even outright saying if Kai ever came back, only a master of Chi was capable of stopping him. Not only does this show how dangerous he is, it shows that Oogway was likely torn up seeing his old friend turn into a selfish psychopathic monster.
  • Oh Crap!:
    • Crane has a rather priceless expression upon meeting Kai.
    • The Wuxi Fingerhold only works on mortals.
    • Kai has one when he realizes he can't control the chi Po just flooded him with, resulting in him being obliterated.
  • Open the Iris: Po when witnessing the full capability of Flying Rhino's battle armor.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Kai has the ability to drain the chi of kung fu masters and summon jade statues of them to do his bidding, including masters who've been dead for more than a century. Tigress even refers to the creatures as "jade zombies", which Po and Monkey then nickname "jombies".
  • Out of Focus: Since the plot places more emphasis on Li Shan and the panda villagers, the Furious Five become less prominent here than they were in the two previous films, particularly because Kai turns all of them except Tigress into his puppets for most of the movie.
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: Taken Up to Eleven with the secret panda village, including such resident pandas as Li Shan, Mei Mei, Dim & Sum, Grandma Panda, panda cubs Bao and Lei Lei et al.
  • Passing the Torch:
    • Shifu tells Po that he wants him to be the next teacher of the Furious Five.
    • Oogway passes his staff to Po, appointing him the new Leader of all of Kung Fu.
  • Planning with Props: Po learns this doesn't work when a) your audience includes baby pandas and b) your props are edible.
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • Oogway is revealed to be over 500, and with Po being appointed his successor, he will probably have a similarly long life.
    • Po may in fact be immortal, now that he has effectively slain himself and come back from the Spirit world in a manner similar to what Kai did, though Po was able to return due to not being sealed away.
  • Recycled Trailer Music: The first trailer uses the Madagascar theme.
  • Retcon:
    • At the end of Kung Fu Panda 2, we see Po's kind in their hidden village portrayed as rice growers. This film completely cuts all that out and portrays it as a village with no noticeable agricultural source. Of course, there is a chance that the rice field still exists somewhere close to the village and we just don't see it in this film.
    • Li Shan's portrayal at the end of the second film also suggested he was some form of spiritual leader - in this film, he turns out to be just a regular guy with no training of any kind.
  • The Reveal:
    • The Wuxi Finger Hold was left as a mystery in the first film, with not much more details than it results in No Body Left Behind and gives off a lot of energy and fog. In this film, it shows that by touching the finger to someone, they are forced to go to the Spirit World. Of course, it is also shown to only work on Mortals, not spirits.
    • While in the spirit realm, Oogway reveals to Po that he was the one telling Li Shan that Po was alive.
  • Reverse Arm-Fold: Po strikes this pose while overseeing the pandas' training; fitting for a martial artist / drill sergeant phase.
    Po: (evil grin) They are ready.
    Tigress: (incredulously) ...What?
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Lei Lei and the other toddler pandas.
  • Rule of Cool: Don't ask how Po is able to leap hundreds of feet into the sky or practically fly down to the Valley of the Peace from the Jade Palace above (and back again), just enjoy how awesome it is.
  • Rule of Drama: Despite the badass combatant Tigress is, she does nothing to help Po when witnessing him being defeated by Kai, but holds onto Lei Lei and gives him a heartbroken look instead. It likely served to show how hopeless even she considered the situation to be, along with emphasizing her Big Sister Instinct with Lei Lei.
  • Rule of Funny:
    • Pandas have barely visible 'private parts', yet Po still feels the need to cover himself when getting out of his bath (even as he's also covered in bubbles.)
    • The opening sequence with Po and the Five shows Po apparently having no issue travelling up and down the steps to the Jade Palace anymore (see Rule of Cool above), yet when he climbs the steps with Li Shan a while later, he's as exhausted as ever (though he notably does recover faster than before).
  • Running Gag:
    • Grandma Panda getting hit on the head repeatedly with flying objects.
    • Kai frustrated that no one remembers him, or knows who the heck he was.
  • Scenery Porn: From what can be seen of early footage of the hidden panda village, it is sure to be filled with this. The Chinese trailer also shows a clip of Po reuniting with Oogway in the spirit realm in what can only be described as an absolutely gorgeous piece of Chinese inspired dream-like setting. The final movie more than lives up to these trailers, as well as adding in the gorgeous landscape during the journey to the village and any time spiritual fighting occurs, most notably Oogway versus Kai at the start of the movie, and Po versus Kai after he used the Wuxi Finger Hold.
  • Ship Tease: Not to the same extent as the previous film, but Po and Tigress still have some subtle moments here and there.
    • Consider the following: The prevailing ship is Po and Tigress, Tigress is played by Angelina Jolie, and some of the panda kids were played by her children. You can see where this is going.
    • Mei Mei (who has at this point been hitting on Po in every scene she is in) asks "Who is she?" in an almost condescending tone when she first sees Tigress, which is a very stereotypical way to address a woman you see as a rival Love Interest.
    • When Po is playing with his action figures in the bath tub, he imagines Tigress swooning over how handsome he is. Also, when he leaves for the Panda village, the only action figure he brings with him is the one of Tigress.
    • Po and Tigress at one point begin to spar while discussing how to deal with Kai. The ensuing spat that follows has them sounding Like an Old Married Couple.
    • When Po realizes he can't defeat Kai, he turns to look at Tigress with a horrified expression, implying she's his primary concern. Tigress hugs Lei Lei and gives the same look of despair in return.
    • While it doesn't develop into anything, Po still has a hilarious reaction upon meeting Mei Mei, clearly being self-conscious about meeting a female panda his age.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One British commercial parodied the famous 'Sneezing panda' clip with Li Shan being surprised at a toddler panda sneezing.
    • The 'A Father Rises' clip is a direct Shout Out to Star Wars.
    • Tigress, Mr. Ping, and the Panda Village's gift of ch'i to Po when he is about to become one of Kai's "jombies" is reminiscent of a Spirit Bomb.
    • The final battle of "villages doing what they do best" is one to ˇThree Amigos!.
    • While in the spirit realm, Oogway gives Po his staff and tells him that he has "a bigger one". This is reminiscent of the ending to the first Madagascar film, where King Julien gives Alex his crown and says "It's okay, I've got a bigger one!"
  • Shown Their Work: The village pandas' behaviour is influenced by a trip the creators took to a panda reserve, where they observed how said animals are big eaters, heavy sleepers and, yes, fond of rolling around.
  • Skewed Priorities: When Tigress appears in the Panda Village to tell Po that Kai has destroyed the Valley of Peace, Ping asks "Is my restaurant okay?" and all the pandas give him a look.
  • So Last Season: Subverted. While the Wuxi Finger Hold can't affect Kai directly, Po finds out a way to hit him with it indirectly.
  • So Proud of You: The look and bow Shifu offers Po at the end when witnessing how successful a kung fu teacher he's become all but shouts this.
  • Standard Snippet: When Li reveals just why the master was called Flying Rhino through a hidden capability of his armor, a stunned and fanboying Po can only stare at him in awe...while a snatch of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" plays.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: Po is taken to his father's new home after Shen's massacre of their previous home — a secret panda paradise — and has a hard time fitting in.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: While the franchise is no stranger to this trope, particularly in Legends of Awesomeness, it's especially prominent here, where the Big Bad steals the chi of martial arts masters, including the Furious Five, resulting in them being turned into his evil minions. Not to mention the various incredible chi effects both in the Spirit World and the mortal world.
  • Squee!: We know Po always squees at basically everything Kung Fu, but when his dad put on Master Flying Rhino's armor and then pulled a string (upon which the armor sprouted additional spikes, great metal wings like a hussar and a little flag on top), Po squee'd so hard he wheezed, and as he hastily admits afterwards:
    Po: I think I just peed a little.
  • Taking You with Me: Po uses the Wuxi Finger Hold on himself while holding onto Kai to send them both to the Spirit Realm, after finding out it won't work on Kai directly (as Kai is already a spirit).
  • Toilet Humor: When Po witnesses how Flying Rhino's full battle armor works, he reacts in complete awe and comments that he "just peed a little."
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The various trailers spoiled quite a lot such as Kai destroying the Jade Palace, Tigress travelling to the panda village, Po reuniting with Oogway, and the final battle taking place in the spirit realm.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Po is forced to train the pandas in kung fu after Kai attacks the Valley of Peace.
  • Tranquil Fury: Po's reaction upon gaining his new powers in the Spirit Realm.
  • The Unreveal: We never do find out how Li and the other pandas survived Lord Shen's attack.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Preparing for his final battle with Kai, Po reasons that he needs to get close enough to Kai to employ the Wuxi Finger Hold. We then see a Training Montage where Po drills the other pandas not in kung fu but in skills they already possess (hugging, hacky-sack, ribbon dancing), then moving on to weaponizing those skills (hugging logs so hard they splinter, using fireworks instead of hacky-sacks and nunchucks instead of ribbons). Even amid the training, Po's plan is still not revealed; when he announces, "They are ready," Tigress is scratching her head. Finally, when Kai arrives with the jade-zombie army of martial arts masters, Po springs his plan and the other pandas succeed in holding their own against the jombies and distracting Kai enough for Po to get close enough for the Wuxi. Which does not work on Kai because he is no longer mortal. The parts of Po's plan that we don't fully know about in advance work flawlessly. The part he discusses in the beginning (the Wuxi Finger Hold) doesn't.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Po gets one after he and Li had too much fun spinning around on some shields in the Jade Palace. It happens again at the panda village.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Kai loses it when Po manages to drag them back to the spirit world. Not only is he clearly furious, nearly all the comedy in his character vanishes. Made all the more unsettling by the contrast with the humorous one he faked only a few minutes before when the Wuxi Finger Hold didn't work on him.
  • Wham Line:
    • "I'm Li Shan. I'm looking for my son." Then it gets played with as everyone present but Po and Li realizes what that implies.
    • Kai revealing he's immune to the Wuxi Finger Hold.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's implied Kai has been creating dozens of Jombies offscreen, but we only ever see a select few. When the Jombies are all restored, the only ones to be actually seen are the ones we met when they were still alive.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Po is furious at Li for lying to him about knowing how to master chi. However, they reconcile later on when Li wants to make things up to Po and offers himself and the rest of the village to be his army.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: Po gives one when his friends give him their chi, realizing who he truly is.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda3