YMMV: Kung Fu Panda 2

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Lord Shen. Is he just a power hungry, cold blooded killer who will do anything to get what he desires? Or a tragic character who truly felt unloved by his parents and is taking out his pain on the rest of the world? Or how about both: A villain who is driven to increasingly wicked acts by his flaws and trauma. Also his death, being either a defiant attempt or being a total Death Seeker. The creator's commentary also heavily implies that he has some sense of morality, continuing his destructive path because he knows he can't just turn around and render all his genocidal actions as "accidents".
    • How about Shen is narcissistic. He's a peacock, which is often used as a way of pointing out narcissistic men. Having a troubled and tragic upbringing can turn into narcissism if not disciplined correctly. Shen also confuses the universe with himself (which narcissists do) and thus cannot separate morality from his own emotions. Things are as he feels. If he feels bad, then he's a victim and what he does is right, even though he destroys so much good in the world.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • What finally stuns Lord Shen at the end is not Po countering cannonfire with kung fu to singlehandedly destroy his fleet, but the fact that Po is neither permanently mired in a Heroic BSOD believing the lie that his parents abandoning him because they hated him, nor charging in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for the extermination of his people.
      • Perhaps it's that Shen is that narcissistic that he thinks it's all about him. He's perhaps deeply insulted that this isn't about revenge, and doubly insulted to insinuate that what he's doing is wrong. Narcissists would not like to be seen as ugly or abhorrent. It's as if to say, "How dare you make me feel guilty," or, "How dare you not see me as the higher goal."
    • When Po discovers what Lord Shen did to his parents, and for that matter species, his response is to...let go of his pain and find inner peace. Shen, who has never got over his own deep-rooted issues, is utterly shocked.
    • Played with when the Soothsayer and Shen first meet Po. They know that Shen attempted genocide against the Pandas, and assume that the reason that the Panda is here is to a) avenge his family/species, and b) destroy Shen once and for all. Both are shocked when they learn that not only had Po never heard of Lord Shen, but had no idea why he should have. The look on Shen's face when Po just brushes him off, totally ignoring the well-prepared speech upon their first meeting, is priceless.
  • Award Snub: Lost to Rango.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Po's nightmare in the boat before the team's arrival in Gongmen. He reunites with his parents, only to find that they've replaced him with a radish which is quieter and better at kung fu than him. Said radish then proceeds to kick his ass. This sounds like a straight up version but it is less BLAM then it appears. Po is wrestling with issues of identity, where he came from, and his origins. The fear that his parents gave him up because they were trying to replace him or that they simply didn't want him is a very real fear of some adopted people, and his mind shows this quite clearly. He wishes to know why his parents gave him up, and why they wouldn't come back for him. The radish, though, was entirely BLAM, but it was a dream. The brain uses dreams to sort out bits and pieces of information that it gathers during waking hours, and since radishes played a large role in his father's tale, it's understandable that it would make it into the dream. Kung Fu is also a massive part of his life, so it would be incorporated in as well...
    • While trying to convince Masters Ox and Croc to escape the prison, Po delivers a Rousing Speech about how they will defeat Shen and destroy his weapon. A random prisoner then enthusiastically agrees, but he's never seen again. Oddly, he was a boar and had a completely unique character model.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Many are expanded or shrunk versions of pieces from the first OS. Though changes sometimes made them even better. "Ancient China / Story Of Shen", "Inner Peace", "My Fists Hunger For Justice", "Save Kung Fu" (epic-er version of the already epic music "Sacred Pool Of Tears"), among many others, come to mind.
    • "Po Finds The Truth"! Everything in that track from 1:00 on is absolutely chilling!
      • The powerful overture starting at 3:55 as Po realizes that Fate balanced the scales after his loss with a life filled with new fathers, friends and soaring achievements he never dreamed he would gain.
      • The part that played during a certain tearjerking moment: Po's mother hiding baby Po in a radish crate and then drawing away the wolves and Shen.
    • If you prefer more action-y music, "Zen Ball Master" and "More Cannons!" are for you.
    • Of a completely different kind, but still awesome, here's "Gongmen Jail" or "Funky Kung Fu Panda"!
    • Also in the "funky" category is "Dumpling Warrior Remix," which plays over the end credits.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Lord Shen. Any surprise?
    • The Wolf Boss as well. A lot of people tend to portray him as a big cuddly puppy dog, forgetting about his prominent role in the panda genocide and likely numerous other atrocities.
  • Even Better Sequel: While the first film was certainly great, the second has often been regarded as equaling or surpassing the original in every regard.
  • Evil Is Cool / Evil Is Sexy: Unsurprisingly, Lord Shen's many fans definitely think so.
  • Foe Yay: Sure, he was talking about his cannons, but there was just something about the way Lord Shen stroked Tigress' face with the tip of his wing, whispering, "Beautiful..." that invoked this in so many creepy droves.
    • Boss Wolf mentioning how "Cuddly" Po is on a few occasions.
    • Oddly enough, there's a Shen/Viper pairing out there. While there's little "proof" in the film, fans have paired them up.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: For all the good reviews and the high Cinemascore audience grade of the film, the film unfairly underperformed at the box office in North America although the domestic gross it earned did more than pay for the production budget. Timing was the issue here as it had the misfortune of being forced to contend with the highly anticipated Hangover 2 which won over the box office; since then, time was much kinder to this film than to Hangover 2 which is now seen as little more than a bad retread. Internationally, however, especially in China; the film became the #1 animated feature film worldwide of 2011.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Lord Shen, as mentioned in Alternative Character Interpretation, could be considered one if you pity him enough for his Freudian Excuse.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Lord Shen.
  • Memetic Mutation / Fan Nickname: "That goddamn peacock..."
    • "Stealth mode..!"
  • Moral Event Horizon: Lord Shen starts the movie far on the other side of this trope. He overheard a prophecy that a panda would be the warrior to stop his plans to conquer China. His solution? Order the genocide of all the pandas. And he was proud of doing it!
  • Narm: Po's "IIII loooove yoooou guyyys" line during the final battle can come off more Tastes Like Diabetes than a Heartwarming Moment. Though it's arguable whether or not this line was meant to be taken seriously in the first place.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The game for the original was well received, but the video game for this was sub-par at best. The PS3 version, however, stands out, resembling a meeting pitch prototype shown to the publisher to continue work, but was released as a finished product instead.
  • They Wasted A Perfectly Good Backstory: The panda genocide could have been used for a Last of His Kind scenario with Po, but the last scene means this is now impossible.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: This film has genocide, mental trauma, and Parental Abandonment as main plot points.
  • The Woobie: Po, dear lord Po. By the end he is an Iron Woobie.