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Awesome / Kung Fu Panda

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"I'm NOT a big fat panda, I'm THE big fat panda."

  • "There is no charge for awesomeness. Or attractiveness." Oddly, this could be considered a CMOA about CMOAs...
    Monkey: We should hang out.
    Not-So-Mysterious Panda Warrior: Agreed.
    • Becomes more awesome in hindsight, as the first scene with the Five and Po together in the sequel is indeed, them hanging out and having fun.
  • After a very long lead-in describing and displaying the many precautions, restraints, and defenses erected to keep Tai Lung prisoner (in a facility built entirely for him, no less!) and the captain of the guards Tempting Fate by claiming no one could possibly escape, the snow leopard proceeds to do precisely that... with the aid of a single feather (from a character there to make sure Tai Lung was contained, no less!). Highlights include sweeping said feather into reach with his tail and using it to pick the lock, breaking his manacles free with the aid of the ballista boltsnote  being fired at him, hurtling said bolts back at their source to kill the guards and give him a means to climb the walls (note also that he didn't throw them back, he kicked them back!), hiding on the underside of the wooden elevator to avoid arrows, leaping from one piece of collapsing stonework to another as it's falling into the abyss, and climbing a falling stalactite he'd clung to by his claws alone. Oh, and using the captain's own ammo to blow the doors off. Counts as both a CMOA and a perfect illustration of meeting your destiny on the path taken to avoid it, too.
  • No matter how much of a beating Po recieves in Shifu's quest to make the panda quit, he keeps getting back on his feet and eagerly welcoming the next spar because he really wants to learn and to achieve his dream. It's this indomitable will that earns him some respect from his idols.
    • Of special mention is after Mantis' spar with Po. After Po is inevitably left a heap on the floor, Shifu and the five look quite assured that should have done the job, only for him to gesture for more. All of them have a rather understated look of disbelief.
  • The fight between the Furious Five and Tai Lung on the bridge.
    • Tai Lung hands the Furious Five a solid defeat, despite all five of them being skilled martial artists in their own right and outnumbering him.
    • Tai Lung also gets a moment for when he reaches the bridge. He sees Tigress in a fighting pose, and he casually leans against the ropes and this exchange happens:
    Tai Lung: (smugly) Where's the Dragon Warrior?
    Tigress: How do you know you aren't looking at her?
    Tai Lung: (laughing uproariously) Do you think I'm a fool? I know you're not the Dragon Warrior. None of you are!
    • The Furious Five themselves prove their awesomeness at the rope bridge (even more so when you realize the 5 of them hold their own pretty well against the guy who just beat 200 trained warriors). Especially Tigress.
    • Mantis was pretty awesome, given that he had to hold the bridge up while everybody else was fighting on it. He may have not have played a big part but come on! He's a mantis and he held up a bridge with a monkey, a tiger, a snow leopard, a crane and a snake! How awesome is that?!
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    • Viper pulling the "stop hitting yourself" trick on Tai Lung.
    • Crane, beaten up as he is, flies the other four back to Shifu. All at once. By himself.
    • The Combination Attack. Face it, against anyone else, that would have dropped him instantly.
  • Tai Lung's climactic fight with Master Shifu, complete with flaming fists.
  • Po's fight with Tai Lung is also full of awesome. Nowhere is that more evident than where the panda overcomes his foe not only physically, but philosophically—both of them end up reading the Dragon Scroll, but only Po understood its true wisdom. With that understanding came the knowledge that he never needed any special powers from a "magic artifact"—with the proper training, the very flaws his peers once scoffed at became the special qualities that made him worthy of being called the Dragon Warrior.
  • Master Oogway gets his CMOA in flashback, where he takes down a rampaging Tai Lung with a Bullet Time nerve strike pattern. That turtle was apparently blindingly fast to pull that kind of precision multiple nerve strike with just one hand. Against somebody who moves too fast to be seen himself.
    • Considering his age, it's only natural he gets one more in a flashback; when he first develops this world's entire concept of Kung Fu at the Pool of Sacred Tears. It's the only time you get to see him briefly (and we do mean briefly, it's only for a few short seconds) at his prime.
  • Po's reaction upon learning the significance of the Pool of Sacred Tears. THAT'S the face of an artist seeing the Sistine Chapel in person, or a musician hearing Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 played to its full potential. This is where all doubts about Po becoming a true Kung Fu master is erased. He loves Kung Fu for the sake of it.
  • For Dreamworks animated movies in general; this movie climbs the ladder of awesome when Po says "The warrior said nothing, for his mouth was full." History has shown that this was the film that marked when Dreamworks Animation grew its beard and stopped being a wannabe imitator of Pixar that merely hit it lucky a few times but found its own voice and style that could match and potentially beat its rival.note 
    • Nowhere was that obvious than when the directors proposed the rope bridge fight scene and the animators told them that they didn't know how to do that. A lesser studio could have simply given up or ask "What would Pixar do?," but instead it was a moment of inspiration for the directors who essentially responded with "Great! That means it has never been done before!" That is the attitude a studio needs to challenge Pixar with its own voice.
    • Honestly, the fact that DreamWorks took such a bizarre concept (a panda that knows kung-fu) and made it work is indeed awesome.
  • In a non-action way, Shifu retrieving the Dragon Scroll, using peach blossom petals. There's a serenity in it that never fails to impress.
  • Awesome Music: Perhaps one of the most cunning scores of Hans Zimmer. There's "Hero", "Sacred Pool Of Tears", "Panda Po", " Oogway Ascends", "The Bridge", "Tai Lung Escapes"... One can almost say that the entire score is awesome.
    • Special recognition must go to Tai Lung's Theme (or more accurately the theme for Shifu and Tai Lung). First heard played by Shifu on his flute, it gets continual and awesome renderings throughout "Tai Lung Escapes" and "Shifu vs. Tai Lung", and has a presence in a variety of modes in the final confrontation. Even so, it's highly underused, and deserves a suite of its own.
  • Shifu's epiphany on how to train Po - he's been lost in despair since Oogway died (well, ascended, but that's not really how he's looking at it right now). Then, all of a sudden, he sees Po, this completely useless slob and idiot who he's supposed to train and who has failed every test, saving only his refusal to give up, and who has revealed that he hates himself and he hoped that Shifu could turn him into someone he could actually stand being. And what does he see? Po, using kung fu moves... to score some snacks. Then, he pauses, and faux casually tells Po about Monkey keeping his almond cookies on the top shelf. Cue Po ending up twelve feet off the ground, in a perfect split, while eating cookies. As he stares in wonder, you can just see the light and hope come back as he realises just how he has to train Po.
    • The training itself is impressive, with Shifu tweaking every bit of kung fu training to incorporate food as a motivator. And it works.
      • The 'dumpling scene': Shifu has completed Po's training, and chooses to test his student's true skill. By stealing his lunch.
        Shifu: You are free to eat. (steals the food from Po's chopsticks: eats it) You are free to eat.
        Po: Am I?!
        Shifu: Are you?!
      • At the end of the "dumpling scene," Po gives the dumpling back to Shifu. It's Mundane Made Awesome.
        Po: I'm not hungry.
  • In "Secrets of the Furious Five", Viper's rise to Handicapped Badass. Born without fangs, she learned ribbon-dancing to make her father, master of the poison-fang technique, smile but was too scared to actually perform in public. Later, at a festival, an evil gorilla whose armor rendered her father's fangs useless and broken is crowing about how there's no one to beat him when Viper shows up and tells him "No one beats up my daddy!" The gorilla mocks her and Viper utterly cleans his clock. "My deceptive dancing defies your poison-proof armor!" indeed!
    • This bit in particular just shows what a budding badass Viper is:
    Gorilla: A little snake with pretty ribbons? (laughs) Are you going to dance for me?
    Viper: If it'll make you happy... let's dance!
  • A moment for Mr. Ping. The Dragon Scroll was a secret for a thousand years, developed by the greatest Kung Fu Practitioner who ever lived. Mr. Ping, a greedy noodle merchant, inadvertently discovered the secret on his own, with no Kung Fu training, no master, without once stepping inside a dojo. Not bad, Mr. Ping. Not bad.
  • After she's shown to having eavesdropped on Po and Shifu's conversation from a roof, Tigress takes a moment before suddenly leaping off the roof, backwards, falling through the night towards the Valley of Peace below, completely calm, then adjusting herself to land perfectly safe on some roofs. The soundtrack of silent drums accompanying the jump also deserved a mention.
    "This is what you trained me for."
  • A minor moment with the dinner scene (with the Shifu imitation). You can watch it six times, each time focusing on a character, and you'll be able to map out their distinct reactions. Animation has gone a long way from having a lot of shots of only one character moving and everyone else being a static background.
  • Another meta example needs to be given to the female designs, particularly Tigress'. Take a look at other works with anthropomorphic animals (or even works with other types of non-human characters), it's very typical to give females curves, breasts and even hair while the males themselves look more like a regular animal, falling into the growing critique that females apparently have to be "sexy" even when they're animals, or that they need to have blatant females attributes to be considered female at all. While there's not much female attributes you could give a snake but eyelashes and flowers (unless you're gonna cross some really weird territory), it would have been very easy to have given Tigress, say, curves and a chest, but they didn't. She is a tiger and a warrior, and that's what her body is designed as, no female attributes present or necessary. And still no one would doubt that she is beautiful.note 

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