- See Po.
- Well done, studentsif you were trying to disappoint me."
An old Red Panda, he is the kung fu teacher and master of Po and the Furious Five, and deuteragonist of the first film. He originally refuses to accept Po as the Dragon Warrior until the young panda proves himself. He is the protege of Master Oogway, and has succeeded him as spiritual leader of the Valley of Peace in the wake of his death.
- Abusive Parents: After what happened to Tai Lung, he became bitter and resentful... leading him to being an emotionally abusive adoptive father to Tigress, who he would often criticize (along with the others), if she didn't meet his incredibly high standards.
- Always Someone Better: A running joke. Po beats his personal nemesis Tai Lung in the first movie. In the second Shifu finally masters inner peace, only for Po to duplicate that feat by the end. In the third Shifu is retiring as the furious five's master in order to learn chi manipulation, only for Po to beat him to it. Po also gains Oogway's spirit staff, which is much cooler than the one Shifu has. Each time Shifu has briefly expressed irritation before just rolling with it, though his annoyance has increased a little with each movie.
- Anti-Hero: At first, given his borderline abusive treatment of Po and frankly assholeish attitude.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: In the Legends of Awesomeness episode "Five Is Enough", Shifu is shown to be this by analyzing not only the opposing team's fighting style and flaws in the contest, but also the villain of the episode's to the point of replicating his signature move.
- Badass Mustache: Of the Fu Manchu variety.
- Badass Teacher: He was the Kung Fu teacher of Tai Lung, the Furious Five, and Po. Needless to say, all of them are amazing kung fu masters.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the second film, he convinces a pessimistic Master Ox and Master Croc to fight against Lord Shen in the climax, though the convincing happens off screen.
- Big Eater: He is seen eating a large amount of dumplings in a few mere seconds during Po's training montage.
- Big Good: After Oogway dies. He even gets a new outfit to show it.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: They're quite bushy and becoming of an elderly kung fu master.
- The Chains of Commanding: He shows signs of this in the Tv series. Most notably in the episode "Little Ling Called Love", where he announces his retirement to be with Mei Ling, his former flame whom he has rekindled with and how he tiredly speaks of the responsibilities that he had on him.
- Character Development: Since he trained Po to be the Dragon Warrior, and the giant panda helped undo his mistakes with Tai Lung, he's been feeling much better in the second film.
- Comedic Sociopath: A teacher chucking his student down a flight of stairs the size of a small mountain wouldn't have much in the way of employment prospects in real life. Justified in that he's a traditional Chinese Wushu Sifu. Historically, in Imperial China, outright abusive treatment of students by people in his position was not only tolerated, but expected.
- Cool Old Guy: When he's not being grumpy, he's a clever sage. After he begins training Po in earnest, he actually starts enjoying himself.
- Costume Evolution: As of the sequel, Shifu now sports a green sash — representing his Character Development into a wise sage like his deceased master.
- Create Your Own Villain: Fully convinced that Tai Lung would become the Dragon Warrior, Shifu set him to train hard, neglecting to teach him humility and the spiritual side of Kung Fu. When Oogway denied Tai Lung the Dragon Scroll, Shifu didn't step in to defend or comfort his adoptive son. Tai Lung had come to feel that he was worthy of Shifu's love only by becoming the Dragon Warrior and took this withdrawal of unconditional support as betrayal, trying to take the Dragon Scroll by force. Upon being beaten by his adoptive son years later, Shifu confesses that he unwittingly turned Tai Lung into a villain due to his prideful love blinding him.
- Critical Hesitation Blunder: Combined with his Glass Cannon attribute, this is why he loses against 2 out of 3 of the movie villains. He can't bring himself to defeat Tai Lung because he loves him, and the shock of seeing Oogway turned into a jade figure distracts him long enough for Kai to get a solid hit in.
- Cynical Mentor: After Tai Lung's turn to evil, and to Po before he proves himself capable of intense physical action.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His father had traveled to other villages to sell fake amulets ever since he was a young boy. One day, his father dropped him off at the Jade Palace, promising to return in five minutes. Shifu waited for him until nightfall, when eventually Master Oogway found him and took him in, making him a student at the Jade Palace. Then, there's his backstory with Tai Lung...
- Dating Catwoman: The show reveals that when he was a young kung fu master, he fell for Mei Ling, a crafty fox thief who uses her kung fu skills for the wrong purpose. Despite being the power couple, the relationship ended when he couldn't deal with her thieving ways and she came to resent that he supposedly placed his honor over her. Despite this, he finds himself immensely attracted to her and she with him, as we see in her debut episode.
- She returns in "Crazy Little Ling Called Love" where both have resolved to quit what tore them apart: She quit being a thief and Shifu retiring as Master of the Jade Palace. Unfortunately, Ling is threatened by Junjie to steal a crown and Shifu must steal it back. The end of the episode has her claim responsability and spare Shifu, but they are still able to have a picnic together in jail.
- Defrosting Ice King: Like Tigress, he mellows out quite a bit in the first film, to the point that he now resembles his deceased master by the sequel and onwards.
- Demoted to Extra: In the sequel he 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.
- Deuteragonist: Shifu is the other character in the first movie to undergo major changes.
- Disney Death: Averted. "I'm not dying, you idiot!"
- Doting Parent: Shifu's raised Tai Lung with a lot of affection, and told him he was destined to be the Dragon Warrior but didn't teach him any humility. Shifu even admits his fatherly pride in Tai Lung's talent blinded him to what his pupil was becoming.
- His doting parenting makes alot more sense when you consider how his own father, Shirong, was (if one chooses to accept the TV show as canon.) For those not in the know, Shirong was a con artist who fled from town to town with Shifu since he was three and left Shifu at the Jade Palace at twelve.
- Establishing Character Moment: Shifu's first scene is effortlessly evading the Furious Five's attacks during a training session and then harshly berates all of them with the above quote. Moreso, he berates them for things they're good at: Tigress needs more ferocity, Viper has to show more subtlety, Crane "Height!" and so on.
- Flash Step: He was quick in the first movie. In the sequel, he's able to essentially teleport.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic - in the first film, he is extremely caught up in the mistakes he made in the past and cannot seem to let it go, and also shows some aspects of Choleric by being needlessly strict and harsh towards his students. He does, of course, become more relaxed and open eventually, but is still stern and task-oriented for the most part.
- Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: He wears full kung fu master garb, now with the addition of a green robe.
- Glass Cannon: He is a very fast and powerful fighter, but suffers a lack of reach and stamina against tougher and larger opponents like Tai Lung. First evidenced in his match with Po at the end of his training, when the main advantage Po has on him is that Shifu is comparatively tiny.
- He's the only one to challenge Kai in the third movie, but just one hit severely injuries him.
- Handicapped Badass: He walks with a limp since he was struck in the leg/hip by Tai Lung, but that does nothing to stop him from being a good fighter.
- Heel Realization: When Po goes off on him just after Oogway's death, the look on Shifu's face makes it obvious that this was the first time he had seen Po as an actual person with feelings.
- I Gave My Word: Shifu promises Oogway he will train Po minutes before Oogway unexpectedly passes away.
- I Have No Son!: Towards Tai Lung, briefly. Shortly after he tells him he was always proud of him though, and apologizes for being a poor parent.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Subtly, but he can aim and hurl a chopstick with enough precision to spear a flying dumpling in mid-air.
- Interspecies Romance: He is a red panda and Mei Ling is a fox.
- Jerkass: Until his Character Development in the latter half of the first film, he only shows concern about the kung fu techniques of his pupils and is downright mean to everyone who does not meet his impossibly high standards (while his contempt is completely focused on Po for much of the story, the Furious Five get their share before Po enters the stage). No wonder that both Tai Lung and Tigress have... serious self-esteem issues under their outward demeanor. Special mention goes to his first direct meeting with Po. The creators point out in their commentary that Shifu is actually rather impressed with Po's Encyclopaedic Knowledge, but is too focused on being rid of the panda to realize it.Po: The Wuxi Finger Hold!Shifu: Ohoho, you know this hold?
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In the first movie. He started out as egotistical and hostile, mostly due to his past, but all that changed when he found inner peace.
- Ki Attacks: His skills are rudimentary compared to Oogway's, but he blows open a rock with chi during his fight with Tai Lung and apparently knows the Wuxi Finger Hold.
- Meaningful Name: "Shifu" (師父) means "master". Word of God has said his name was chosen for it translating to "Father Teacher", which Shifu was originally developed to be: Po's adoptive father as well as teacher (which was also the reasoning behind casting him as a red panda), "so the sentiment is still there even though the story point is not".
- Miniature Senior Citizen: Justified, since Red Pandas as a species are small animals.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His face when Po goes off on him about his treatment of him suggests this. Then when he says "I don't know" he realizes he's only made the situation worst.
- My Greatest Failure: How he regards his training of Tai Lung.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
- One could see it as Shifu allowing Tai Lung to be released, since if not for his paranoia, he wouldn't have sent Zeng to double check his holdings and allowed Tai Lung the feather he needed to escape. However, he only did that because Oogway said Tai Lung would escape, therefore it could be considered Oogway's fault. Also counts as Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
- Doubly so for Shifu: If he had taken efforts to ensure Tai Lung was taught humility, Tai Lung wouldn't have gone down the dark path when he was denied the Dragon Scroll by Oogway.
- Nightmare Fuel: Invoked. Obviously, Tai Lung's betrayal gave him immense guilt and pain. But the very worst memory of all...Shifu (right to Po's face): The day you were chosen... was the worst day of my life. By far. Nothing else comes close. Brrrr.
- Not So Above It All: In Legends of Awesomeness, he initially shows disdain for the idea of Kung Fu Fight Clubbingnote , but when he sees it for himself first hand, he has a blast.
Po (referring to using chi): "So you're saying that by learning to teach, I'll be able to do cool stuff like that?"Shifu (referring to all the free time he'll have now that Po is teaching): "No. I'm saying that by you learning to teach, I'll be able to do cool stuff like that."
- In the films, after finding inner peace he starts embracing his silly side more and more, to the point where he fully condones and even shares some of Po's bombastic ideas and Oogway's free living mentality, albeit still doing so in a mature, reserved fashion. By the third movie, he can swap between silly and sagelike with amusing ease.
- Not So Different: In an episode of Legends of Awesomeness titled "My Favorite Yao", he's compared to Po. He's a giant fanboy of this kung fu master named Yao, and has action figures of Yao (in his meditation box) and himself even going as far as to accidentally letting Yao unleashed and going into Sensory Overload! Also heavily implied by the simple choice of his species — a different kind of Kung Fu Panda.note
- Offscreen Teleportation: Courtesy of achieving inner peace: generally used to avoid TheGlomp.
- Old Master: Fills the typical role. Much more apparent by the sequel, where he replaces Oogway as the Valley of Peace's resident wise master, having achieved the inner peace necessary to be this. It wasn't so much unapparent in the first film as averted, as he was too bitter and cold to be a wise mentor, save towards the end.
- Panda-ing to the Audience: A Red Panda variation.
- Parental Abandonment: His con-artist father left him at the Jade Palace when he was a kid.
- Parental Substitute: To Tai Lung and later Tigress.
- Parents as People: Was far too busy training his adopted children in kung fu to actually, you know, parent them. He indulged on with praise with the first and he treated the second a fair bit more coldly and aloofly (likely as an attempt to not repeat with Tai Lung.)
- Perpetual Frowner: At least for the first half of the first movie. Both the Furious Five and Po even straight-out lampshade this when they talk about a time that Shifu "actually used to smile" and when Po is imitating him. However, he starts to get better when Po (unintentionally) starts showing promise of really being the Dragon Warrior.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: He's, what, a tenth Po's size? Smaller? Yet he can fling Po around like it's nothing. This shines in the second movie when the first sign of Shifu's presence in the final battle is no less than a dozen armed wolves being sent flying in the distance.
- Pride: He was blinded by this while training Tai Lung, preventing him from seeing the monster Tai Lung was becoming. Interviews with Dustin Hoffman indicated that Shifu's characterization was meant to suggest that he himself once aspired to become the Dragon Warrior, but when this failed to come to pass, he resolved to be the master who trained the Dragon Warrior instead.
- Sadist Teacher: In the first film, towards Po. His main motive may have been to get RID of Po, but there is a slight chance that he was enjoying it.
- Seldom-Seen Species: He's a Red Panda. Which also makes him a "Kung Fu Panda" as well...
- So Proud of You: Averted. It's implied that he was very proud of Tai Lung but never said so. He seems to have drawn the wrong lesson from this - rather than learning to give praise where it's deserved, he hasn't allowed himself to feel proud of training six more of the greatest kung-fu masters of the day. Even after his Character Development in the first movie, getting sincere praise from Shifu is quite unusual.
- Po: No, Master. I did it. I defeated Tai Lung!Shifu: You did? (ponders this for a moment) Wow.
- Staff of Authority: He inherits Master Oogway's and it becomes his Weapon of Choice.
- Super Senses: While trying to meditate, he complains about the sound of Zeng flying toward him before the audience knows he's arrived (though that may be a gag on his proportionally large ears).
- Took a Level in Cheerfulness: He loses his cynical, bitter streak by the sequel. Although he's still pretty sardonic.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Becomes less cold and bitter in the second movie, taking on a more Oogway-like demeanor.
- Twitchy Eye: Tends to happen when he gets annoyed at Po (which is often).
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: When Shifu at the Pool of Sacred Tears asks Po if he wants to learn kung fu, his response to the panda's impassioned "Yes!" says that he knows Po can be trained after all.
The Furious Five
The most famous and skilled kung fu masters in all of China, students of the Jade Palace and Po's personal idols.
- A Day in the Limelight: While all of the films are primarily focused on Po, Secrets of the Furious Five and Secrets of the Scrolls go into depth with their individual backstories and characterisations. The occasional episode of Legends of Awesomeness is also devoted to one of them.
- Badass Crew: Even more so once Po joins them.
- Big Brother Instinct: After they warm up to Po during the events of the first film, they watch out for him a lot and help him with his troubles, both in and out of combat.
- Character Exaggeration: Their rocky relationship towards Po that was resolved pretty quickly in the film series unfortunately became a borderline Running Gag in the Legends Of Awesomeness TV series, with an enormous amount of episodes revolved around them distrusting Po or giving him the cold shoulder. In fairness some of Po's own Character Exaggeration into an arrogant slacker often plays into this, but in some cases it's just a regular Jerkass Ball.
- Combination Attack: They frequently play off each others' fighting styles to employ these, utilizing each other's core strengths to make a powerful whole. Po stays in the center, allowing the rest to play off his large presence, Tigress deals with the most enemies head-on, Viper uses the confusion of battle to attack from unexpected angles, Crane surveys from above and protects the others from unseen attacks, etc.
- A Dog Named "Dog": They are each named after both their species and the kung fu style they've mastered.
- Everyone Has Standards: Even when they were skeptical and resentful towards Po earlier on, they showed clear concern about the training from Hell he underwent, especially when Shifu forced Po to spar with him. Viper, in particular, seemed less concerned about Po being unworthy of being the Dragon Warrior, and more that Shifu's training would risk getting an inexperienced innocent beaten to death.
- Furry Reminder: All of them sometimes make noises corresponding with their animal, such as Tigress growling/roaring, Monkey screeching or Viper hissing. Parodied with Crane in the sequel when the others accuse him of saying "ca-caw" and he questions when he's "ever made that sound". (He then actually does it for fun at the climax battle.)
- Leitmotif: A fanfare that they share as a group. It is introduced in the first film as a general theme, but which plays prominently during the bridge scene. It then becomes primarily associated with them in the second, playing whenever they do pretty much anything. A particularly noticeable example makes up the middle of "More Cannons," which coincides with them scaling Shen's tower.
- Origins Episode: Secrets of the Furious Five, which goes into their individual backstories. Secrets of the Scroll goes a step further and shows how they met and came together as a team.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Within the group, Monkey and Mantis play the Red due to being more energetic, physically active and hot-blooded than the others, while Crane and Viper play the calmer, more sensible Blue. Tigress alternates between the two, where she shows shades of Red due to her aggressive fighting style, but can also be Blue as a result of her being reserved and stoic.
- She Is the King: The female Viper and Tigress use the title "Master", rather than "Mistress".
- Training from Hell: They've all gone through this, courtesy of Shifu.
- True Companions: Despite their differences, it's clear they treat each other like a family and fight as a solid unit. It takes them a while to warm up to Po, but he eventually gets in on it as well.
- The Worf Effect: The first film builds them up as powerful and badass mainly to show how much more powerful and badass Tai Lung is when he takes them down. They get more of a chance to shine in the sequel.
- See Master Tigress.
- "For once, I'm not the 800 pound gorilla in the room."
Jackie Chan (Films)
James Sie (TV Series)
Jaycee Chan (Young)
The prankster of the Furious Five. He's very approachable, fairly street smart, and has a good sense of humor.
- Banana Peel: In his younger days, he liked leaving these on the ground for people to slip on. He even tried using them against Oogway, but it didn't work.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Monkey may be a fun-loving jokester, but he is just as capable a fighter as any of his comrades, so don't mess with him.
- Big Brother Instinct: Inverted, but he's dedicated in trying to help and protect his older brother, Wukong, a notorious trickster who became a thief. It's mainly because it was his mother's final wish to do so.
- Confusion Fu: His specialty.
- Cymbal-Banging Monkey: Parodied briefly in the first battle of the second film, in which he uses a pair of cymbals to bash a wolf bandit's head.
- Defeat by Modesty: Again in his younger days. He could (literally) beat the pants off of anyone... except for Oogway, who didn't wear pants.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Oogway, after defeating the trickster Monkey in the past, convinces him to use his skills for good.
- Delinquent: Before Oogway convinced him to change his ways.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Well, the creators sure thought so.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Whe he and his older brother Wukong were both troublemakers as children, Monkey reformed and became a respected protector of the Valley. Wukong meanwhile would become a notorious "King of Thieves". Monkey tries to protect and watch out for his older brother out of a sense of obligation toward their deceased mother.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine - outgoing, cheerful and has the best sense of humor out of his peers.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Usually doesn't wear a shirt.
- Handy Feet: He's a monkey. Comes with the territory.
- The Lancer: Often comes across as the second-in-command to Tigress while being her opposite in several ways.
- Levitating Lotus Position: Monkey likes to meditate in this stance, using his tail to keep him off of the ground.
- Monkey King Lite: Well, he is a trickster monkey who reformed his ways upon being shown compassion by a sage acting as a sort of father figure. Heck, he even tends to use a staff whenever weapons are involved. However, he lacks the name, instead going to his older brother Wukong (who just grew to be more notorious and a thief to boot, becoing a Shadow Archetype).
- Prehensile Tail: Being a monkey, he naturally has one of these.
- The Quiet One: In the first film, he has the fewest lines of any of the five. This slowly becomes averted in the second and third films.
- Seldom-Seen Species: A Gee's golden langur is only found in India and Bhutan and rarely seen in animation. It is also endangered.
- Simple Staff: He sometimes fights with a bō, making him the only member of the Furious Five to fight with a weapon.
- Sweet Tooth: Strongly hinted at. He hides a cookie stash from everyone, even before Po joined.
- The Trickster: He originally played pranks on people because of an embarrassing event that happened to him when he was a child, making him a laughing stock. While Oogway helped him become more compassionate, he still remained this at heart, just more on the side of good. Also, the "Owl Be Back" episode of the TV series: "Can I borrow that fake doodie?"
- "You can chain my body, but you will never chain my warrior spirit!"
David Cross (Films)
Amir Talai (TV Series)
The most patient of the Furious Five, he acts as the group's moderator and tries to avoid conflict when necessary.
- Cultured Badass: A master martial artist and writer of calligraphy.
- Deadpan Snarker: "So that was Stealth Mode, huh?"
- Family-Unfriendly Violence: The creators decided to not incorporate Crane's beak into his fighting style in order to avoid this trope.
- Feather Fingers: Averted. He's the only bird character in the cast who uses his talons instead of his wings as hands. The one exception is in Secrets of the Furious Five, in which he uses his wings to hold several different things.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic - sensible and pragmatic, but also snarky and occasionally killjoyish.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Rarely seen with a shirt. The giant bird wings probably make it hard for him to put one on.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: He used to be the janitor at a kung fu academy, where he wanted to be one of the students. Mei Ling was the only one who believed in him.
- Jaw Drop: Twice in the sequel, when Tigress first gives a Cooldown Hug to Po and again when Po hugs Tigress near the end.
- Mad Libs Catchphrase: "Wings of X". Lampshaded in the third movie, when Mantis says he doesn't need to attach "Wings of" to whatever it is he's doing, to which Crane responds...Crane: Wings of Disagreement.
- Momma's Boy: As revealed in Legends Of Awesomeness, he is scared of his mother finding out he is a martial artist, out of fear he may give her a heart attack. However, he becomes when some bad guys try to hurt his mother...
- Nice Guy: Not the nicest member of the Five (that would be Viper), but still generally friendly and polite. He didn't approve of Po at first, but he certainly still respected him.
- Nice Hat: Almost always seen wearing a Chinese rice hat, even during battle.
- Noodle Incident: In the episode "Owl Be Back" of Legends of Awesomeness, it's revealed he has a story involving a rickshaw driver, a teapot and hot peppers. Apparently, both Po and Shifu hate the story and show disdain when mentioning it (with Po even yelling at Crane for it.)
- The Smart Guy: He definitely seems to have the most common sense and supports the idea of following orders if they're logical. He also has a nerdy interest in Chinese Calligraphy.
- Super Strength: Not to the extent Tigress and Mantis have it, but he does regularly carry the heavier members of his team with no visible effort. He starts breathing hard when he has to carry four of them at once, though.
- Team Mom: Word of God describes him as being a "mother hen" to the other members of the Furious Five.
Crane: Hold on, buddy! I'm coming!
- It's hinted at in the first film. It takes a Mama Bear to simultaneously carry all four of his paralyzed teammates away from a losing battle, even though they are heavier than him even without being deadweights, just to ensure all of their safety.
- Also in the second movie when Po is pulled out of the water after Shen's boat explodes, Crane joins in the group hug the Five give him while shouting "Don't EVER do that again, please??!" a voice that shows he was seriously worried.
- Crane tries to get Mantis not to follow the other masters that joined them to track Kai into the boat, but as soon as Mantis was in trouble, he didn't hesitate to jump in.
- Weak, but Skilled: Given his scrawny frame, no one thought he was cut out for kung fu and he got a job as a janitor. However, he developed the speed and reflexes he needed while working to become a skilled warrior; all he needed was confidence.
- Wind from Beneath My Wings: A couple of times in the sequel. "Wings of Justice! Caw-CAW!" Also counts as a Chekhov's Gun. He did it once for the demonstration in the first movie, but never really got to use it after that until the sequel.
- Workplace-Acquired Abilities: How'd he become so skilled? He single-handedly (wingedly?) took care of the cleaning of the number one kung-fu school he worked in!
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Probably not intentional (the setting is China and Yamato Nadeshiko is a Japanese ideal), but strangely enough Crane actually features the key personality traits: Helpfulness, caring, obedience of authority, humility, soft-spoken politeness, grace, while still knowing how to be badass. Being the Team Mom only contributes to this. Though Crane was about as irritated at Po for one-upping him as everyone else, only Viper shows it less than he does. This exchange shows the closest he gets to losing his temper:Po: Thanks.
Crane: Don't mention it.
Po: No really, I appreci—
- "Fear the bug!"
Seth Rogen (Films)
Max Koch (TV Series)
The smallest of the Furious Five, but still just as strong as any other kung fu master. He is also a skilled acupuncturist.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In the Legends Of Awesomeness episode "Huge".
- Berserk Button: Being called "cute" or "little" as brought up in 2.
- The Big Guy: The most aggressive of the Five, which is ironic considering Mantis' tiny size. He's even capable of holding and manipulating the rope bridge during their battle with Tai Lung.
- Brutal Honesty: He often comes across as this in Legends of Awesomeness to Po. In "Secret Admirer", when Po tells Mantis about a love letter he forged to get Monkey to think that Ming had a crush on him, Mantis urges Po to immediately tell the truth to Monkey. In "Kung Shoes", when Po buys dangerous magical shoes, when Mantis deduces that Po got the shoes from the sinister bazaar, he warns Po that Shifu has to know about them, and he secretly informs Shifu and the rest of the Five while allowing Po to go through with the charade of self-deception.
- Deadpan Snarker: More snarky than deadpan, but still qualifies.
- Disappeared Dad: "I don't have any problems with my dad. Probably cuz Mom ate his head before I was born..."
- Fatal Flaw: Secrets of the Furious Five shows that Mantis' greatest weakness in the past was impatience. He was so fast, the rest of the world seemed to move in slow motion. He was so gung ho to fight a group of bandits, he left without listening to the villager's warning of the bandits' traps.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric - quick to anger, boisterous, violent and shockingly strong for his size.
- Fragile Speedster: He was known to be very fast, but his fragility came from his impatience.
- He-Man Woman Hater:
- Somewhat logically. All There in the Manual. The sequel seems to suggest he's actually looking forward to the day he can settle down with a female mantis and eventually get his head bitten off. Then again it may have been Gallows Humor, since he and the Five were captured by Shen and they all thought China was done for.
- One of KFP2's deleted scenes included a scene where he goes up to a bar to try to find Master Ox and Master Croc... but he utterly freaks out when he finds out that it's a female mantis who's the bartender. Doing everything in his power not to attract her attention, he quickly flees.
- Strangely averted in an episode of Legends Of Awesomeness, where he tried to woo a female mantis, and fights against another mantis for her hand. Thankfully, it didn't work out.
- Hot-Blooded: Doesn't like to hang around on the sidelines ESPECIALLY when his allies are fighting, but his concern to go to their aid screws both him and Crane in the third film, when he jumps into a fight despite Crane's hesitation and Master Shifu's instructions not to engage the enemy - had he not done so, the rest of the Furious Five and Master Shifu may have been able to get away from the Valley of Peace in time instead of getting captured.
- Leeroy Jenkins: In the past, when he'd rush into battle without paying heed to any precautions.
- It's not all in the past, either. In the third film, he ignores Shifu's direct orders to avoid confrontation with Kai at any cost in an attempt to save several masters, despite Crane's vigorous protests. This only gets him and Crane alike drained of their chi, resulting in Kai gaining two extra servants for his assault on the Jade Palace, for which the defenders were not prepared because there was no one to warn them of it anymore.
- The Medic: This is where the acupuncture comes in.
- Metronomic Man Mashing: A signature technique - a natural consequence of miniscule size and a style that emphasizes leverage. He thrashes (pre-training) Po against the ground like he's trying to knock the dust out in the first movie; is extremely rough with Shen's wolf-mooks in the second movie; and his jombie uses Monkey as a blunt instrument in the third movie.
- The Napoleon: Not to the point of it being a Berserk Button, but he does get a bit irked whenever his size is mentioned. It's also said in the artbook that Mantis does all of his lofty kung fu feats (i.e. breaking buildings instead of bricks) in compensation for his size. He also beats the crap out of a couple of bad guys when they indirectly call him cute in the sequel.
- Legends of Awesomeness have him really deal with this to where he risks taking a gong tau (Chinese black magic) potion to make himself bigger.
- Not So Different: Due to how both he and Po have unusual sizes for kung fu warriors due to their species (Mantis being small, Po being chubby), Mantis lampshades that he doesn't really have the right to judge the panda based on that. It's also one of the main reasons why Mantis is among the first to respect Po.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Strong enough to hold a broken rope bridge with Tai Lung and three of his team mates on it, though he was clearly straining at that point.
- Playing Possum: To escape a bandit trap in Secrets of the Furious Five, Mantis played dead for several days straight until the bandits finally opened the cage to check on him.
- Pressure Point: He specializes in utilizing this, combining it with his impressive speed, jumping and mantis claws to really know how to mess with foes.
- Slaying Mantis
- Super Strength: He is one of the physically strongest members of the Five despite also being the tiniest!
- "I don't need to bite to fight!"
One of the sweeter members of the Furious Five. She makes up for her lack of venom with her elegant dexterity and precision.
- Action Girl: Not quite to the extent of Tigress, but she's still one of the Five.
- Apologetic Attacker: After her first, um, "spar" with Po.
- Badass Boast: When facing down an armored gorilla who defeated her father.Viper: I don't have to bite to fight!
- Beware the Nice Ones: As sweet and nurturing as Viper is, it's still not a good idea to piss her off. She has a number of moments in Legends of Awesomeness where she loses her temper with Po over making rude or insensitive remarks, and let's not forget that moment in the first film when she calls out Mantis for making fun of Po's bouncing (see O.O.C. Is Serious Business below).
- Chekhov's Skill: Her story in Secrets of the Furious Five centers around turning her ribbon dancing into a fighting style.
- The Chick: Viper's the most compassionate of the Five, and mostly concerned with the emotions of her team.
- Daddy's Girl: Secrets of the Furious Five shows that she cared deeply about her father and was eager to please him.
- Dance Battler: She sometimes uses a dance ribbon in battle. In Secrets of the Furious Five she was also noted as the best ribbon dancer in her village.Viper: (to the gorilla bandit she'd just tied up with her dance ribbon) My deceptive dancing defies your poison proof armor!
- Flower in Her Hair: Well, head, but the two lotus flowers are pretty. She's also had them since she was a baby.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic - coolheaded, docile, kind, sympathetic and ultimately the least aggressive member of the Five.
- Handicapped Badass: She was born without fangs, and while she is shown with fangs as an adult they're much smaller than those of the other members of her species. Not that she needs them.
- Improvised Lockpick: In the second film, when Po and the Five are brought before Shen's cannon, she uses the end of her tail to unlock Tigress's cuffs. It works, and everyone is able to free each other before storming the tower.
- Lady of War: She's even voiced by the current trope poster woman!
- Little Miss Badass: As a little girl, she took out an armored gorilla with her Waif-Fu in her first fight.
- Nice Girl: She's a sweet, warmhearted and considerate young female, and out of all of the Five, she's the nicest to Po from the beginning, even before she really accepts him.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Other people getting hurt is not funny.Viper (watching Po fall down a thousand feet of stairs): He's not gonna quit, is he?Mantis: He's not gonna quit bouncing, I can tell ya that! (Starts laughing at his own joke)(Viper produces a hiss and a Death Glare, causing him to shut up)
- Parents in Distress: In Secrets of the Furious Five, when she challenged the gorilla bandit attacking her father.Viper: No one beats up my daddy!
- Pet the Dog: In Panda 3, after Po's disastrous first day of teaching, Viper makes a point of complimenting him anyway, even though she has to roll a whole spiked training pylon that she has become irretrievably wrapped around to get close enough to do it. In the same movie, when Shifu gives his very thorough list of the people who shared news of how bad Po's first day went, Viper isn't on it.
- Retcon: She has fangs in the films, yet the short Secrets of the Masters establishes her to have been born without them, much to her parents' shock. Presumably she simply grew them later.
- Ship Tease: A light amount during the end credits of the first movie, where she kisses a training dummy made to look like Po. She does this to an unconscious Tigress too in Secrets of the Scroll, making her either just overly affectionate or Bi the Way.
- Static Character: She's easily the least developed of the main cast, rarely appearing on her own and having the fewest interactions with Po.
- Stop Hitting Yourself: A preferred move of her is to coil around her opponent's arm and neck and make them hit themselves. She uses it against the gorilla bandit, and then against Tai Lung.
- Swallowed Whole: What do you expect? She's a snake.
- Team Mom: Like Crane, she shows many traits that are characteristic of a protective mother. Along with the other things mentioned above, she is usually also the one who diffuses conflicts between her comrades, such as in the second film, where she begs Po and Tigress not to fight.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Tigress's Tomboy.
- Waif-Fu: Regularly takes down opponents way bigger then her, including the aforementioned gorilla.
Viper, slightly distraught: I'm sorry, brother - I thought you said you were ready!
- Her establishing moment, in a kung fu sense, is a two-second sparring match with Po during his initial training. No arms, no legs, and the guy opposite her outweighs her by an easy two hundred pounds. Three strokes later:
Crumpled Heap of Po: That was awesome!!
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: She was very loved by her father, a kung fu master who relied on his venomous fangs, but he feared that she wouldn't be able to carry out his legacy because she was born without fangs. She eventually proved herself to him when she used her ribbon dancing skills to beat up a bandit who shattered her father's fangs with armor.
- "We're dead. So very, very dead."
Dan Folger (Films)
Mick Wingert (TV Series)
Shifu's timid messenger goose. Bears witness to Tai Lung's escape when he attempts to warn the patrols to step up their security.
- Acrophobic Bird: Averted. He's the only goose in the cast who's ever been shown flying so far.
- Bearer of Bad News: And Vachir is not happy about it. Shifu on the other hand is simply stunned.Shifu: Thank goodness, Zeng. I could use some good news.
- Butt-Monkey: All through the film, Zeng is, in order of misfortune, pressured by Master Shifu into going to a terrifying prison to check on one of the most dangerous enemies of the Valley of Peace, mistreated and berated by Vachir, who clearly enjoys seeing him squirm; watches as several guards are (presumably) killed and comes face to face with the scary snow leopard himself and barely spared. To add salt to the wound, he's the one who has to return with the bad news. Although, he got off lightly on that last one, since he could have been easily killed as well.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After bringing Shifu the news of Tai Lung's escape, he completely disappears from the rest of the movie, save for a picture in the end credits. Not that he was important for anything else. Downplayed because he has made appearances elsewhere in the series: A voiced appearance in the Holiday special, assisting Po in picking the chef and talking about the forbidden hand wave, and several times in Legends of Awesomeness. He is completely absent from the second film, however.
- Cowardly Lion: The first to hide from dangerous villains.
- Disaster Dominoes: It all started with one little feather...
- Foreshadowing: When he takes off from the Jade Palace to deliver the message to Chorh-Gom, several feathers are seen falling off of him.
- Shoot the Messenger: Played with. Vachir doesn't kill him for bringing Shifu's message that states his restraints and guards may not be adequate (he's technically a good guy, and Zeng did warn him he was "just the messenger" and it was Shifu questioning his authority, not him), but he does everything else he can get away with—a Neck Lift, Minion Maracas, threats, sadistically enjoying Zeng's fear when he forces him to view Tai Lung and the safeguards holding him, and refusing to let him leave during the prison break (thus putting his life in danger) because he didn't want anyone to know of his failure to hold Tai Lung.
- Shrinking Violet: He is quite edgy all through his visit to Chorh-Gom Prison, not helped by Commander Vachir's taunting. He probably had the right attitude, after all.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Though the blame can be spread to others, namely Oogway for his vision, Shifu for sending him and Vachir for knocking the feather loose it was still his feather that caused the problem.
For Tai Lung, see here.
- "You are too concerned with what was and what will be. There's a saying: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present."
Randall Duk Kim (most of the franchise)
Piotr Michael (Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny)
An ancient tortoise from the Galapagos Islands and creator of kung fu. He is Shifu's mentor, and was the one who chose Po to become the Dragon Warrior. He has ascended to the heavens, leaving Shifu in his place as leader of the Jade Palace.
- Anti-Hero: As revealed in the third film, he wasn't always the paragon of virtue and tranquility that he grew up to be.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: After he leaves Shifu in his place as the leader of Jade Palace. This however, does not stop him helping Po in the third film.
- Big Good: As the Grand Master of the Jade Palace, he is the wisest and most benevolent of the heroes. He is succeeded by Shifu.
- Bookends: Pandas saving his life and teaching him the ways of chi are what inspired him to create Kung Fu and become the paragon of virtue and tranquility he is known as, and it is choosing a young Panda (Po) as the Dragon Warrior that was a signal for the end of his time in the mortal realm.
- The Bus Came Back: Death itself doesn't stop Oogway from making a return in the third film.
- Cassandra Truth: Everyone refused to believe that his selection of Po as the Dragon Warrior was anything but an accident. Not even Po himself believed that he was right guy for the job.
- The Chooser of The One: The one who selects Po as the Dragon Warrior.
- Cool Old Guy: Contrasting Shifu's strict disciplinarianism, he's got his share of eccentricities; for instance, upon discovering Po gorging himself on the peaches from the Sacred Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom, Oogway discerns immediately that he eats when he's upset, asks him why he's upset, listens patiently to his woes, and then gives him some parting words of advice (plus one peach on the house). Then there was this:Shifu: Master, I have... ah... it's terrible news...Oogway: Ah Shifu, there is just news. There is no "good" or "bad".Shifu: Master, your vision! Your vision was right! Tai Lung has escaped from prison! He's on his way!Oogway: That IS bad news...
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's a bit eccentric, but he is regarded as being one of the wisest and most powerful (if not the most powerful) characters in the series.
- The only lesson he taught directly to Po was about not letting the past or the future affect your present. As it turns out, this was the lesson Po needed to learn in the sequel while still having meaning in the present situation. Old Master indeed.
- Curbstomp Battle: He delivers a single, swift beatdown on a rogue Tai Lung in a flashback... and he was already past his prime by then.
- Deus Exit Machina: He Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence right after the news of Tai Lung's escape arrived, making sure that he can't repeat the Curb-Stomp Battle again. It is Likely intentional, given his Old Master and Trickster Mentor credentials.
- Disappears into Light: A variation with peach blossoms petals.
- This is shown to be a function of doing the wuxi finger hold on yourself in the third movie, a feat Po replicates.
- Disney Death: Has one in the Secrets of the Masters short. Of course, since we've already seen his actual death, this wasn't fooling anyone.
- Expy: He's a green, somewhat eccentric, but wise Old Master of an Ancient Tradition. He is also surprisingly agile for his age, but despite this, he uses a walking cane, and his body disappears when he "ascends". That sounds very much like Yoda.
- Hands-Off Parenting: In the cartoon, it is implied that he adopted Shifu after his father abandoned him. While he is definitely a step up from Shirong, his philosophy of letting fate take over and passively saying confusing mystical phrases is possibly the reason Shifu made so many fatal mistakes. He saw problems and allowed them to continue. While this is fine for a Kung Fu teacher, it isn't a good parenting method. Shifu always listened to him, even if it took a while, so if he had stepped in when Shifu started to fail as a parent, Tigress and Tai Lung would have had better childhoods.
- HeelFace Turn: The third film reveals that before he became the paragon of tranquility and wisdom he was a powerful and feared warlord alongside his brother-in-arms Kai. However, after being injured in an ambush and healed by a group of pandas, who went on to teach him how to manipulate his ki, he began changing his ways. This eventually lead to him choosing to fight Kai to protect the pandas, from whom Kai wanted to steal ki to make himself more powerful.
- Hermit Guru: Downplayed. Although he lives at the Jade Palace, he seems to be isolated from day-to-day concerns, contrasted to Shifu, who runs the place. Oogway instead focuses on meditation.
- Ki Attack: He can use it offensively and defensively against opponents.
- I Let You Win: Kai defeating him in the third film is either this or The Worf Effect. It is difficult to say which trope this is. One one hand, it serves to establish how dangerous Kai is as a villain. On the other, Oogway does little to fight back and states it is not his destiny to defeat Kai.
- Levitating Lotus Position: He has an interesting version of advanced meditation: he uses the crook at the top of his walking stick as a place to rest his head, while he balances the rest of his body on top of it.
- Logo Joke: He replaces the fishing boy in the Dreamworks Animation logo for Kung Fu Panda 2.
- Martial Pacifist: Known for his peaceful and pacifistic nature. He developed kung fu primarily as a method of self-defense.
- Meaningful Name: His name is a phonetic spelling of the Chinese word for "turtle" (烏龜, wūguī).
- Morality Pet: Used to be Kai's. Unfortunately, Kai doesn't have that level of respect for him anymore.
- Not So Above It All: Oogway isn't above joking or teasing, even when teaching a lesson; see Cool Old Guy.
- Old Master: In this case, he's the Old Master of another Old Master. He is literally over a thousand years old, and all that experience means he can curb-stomp people like Tai Lung.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The placid lake of serenity that makes up Oogway's countenance is disturbed by concern only twice; first upon learning that Tai Lung has indeed escaped as he predicted, and then begging Shifu to believe in Po as the Dragon Warrior. These happen in rapid succession shortly before he declares that his time has come.
- Parental Substitute: Implied in "Father Crime" that he was a second father to Shifu.
- Pressure Point: A master of this, using it to defeat Tai Lung in a matter of moments with five strikes.
- Posthumous Character: In Legends of Awesomeness. Which wouldn't be so bad if most of his enemies hadn't outlived him.
- Precursor Hero: To Po, having been the Valley of Peace's guardian before him and the one who defeated Scorpion and Ke-pa among others.
- Really 700 Years Old: He defeated Kai 500 years before the events of the third movie.
- Retired Badass: He is perfectly content with staying in the Spirit Realm. He may or may not be able to come back to life like Po does because he never felt like trying.
- Reformed Criminal: It is implied in the third film that he and Kai were brothers-in-arms. Given Kai's plethora of intimidating titles, it does not sound like he was a particularly nice guy even back then. Even if Oogway was the nicer one of the two, he was still friends with a bad guy.
- Seer: This is confirmed in the third film. Oogway can at times see the future or sense the flow of the universe. By taking a small, seemingly random action he can set in course events that bring about a desired outcome. He does this in nearly all of his appearances.
- Simple Staff: He's impressive with his bare claws, but Oogway's staff is his favored tool. As with many classic uses of the trope, the staff reflects authority, insight and defense.
- Small Role, Big Impact: For all the influence Oogway exerts on the series as a whole, he doesn't actually do much onscreen; his direct interaction with the plot on the first movie consists of inadvertently putting Tai Lung's escape in motion, choosing Po to be the Dragon Warrior, and dying, thus requiring Po to defeat Tai Lung by necessity of there being no other who can. Much of what makes the old shellback so impressive took place earlier in his life, both offscreen and before the events of the story as outlined elsewhere on this page, and exploring various facets of Oogway's storied history in the sequels reveals just how big a player Oogway actually was.
- There Are No Coincidences: He firmly believes in fate, and instructs Shifu to train Po over Shifu's objections. Turns out he was right. He even tells Shifu that "there are no accidents." Thrice.
- It's implied Shifu can get tired of Oogway's mysticisms such as in Secrets of the Scroll when Tigress is sent off to recruit students and returns with the not-yet-Furious Five, who Shifu wasn't expecting. The mix-up is labelled an accident and just when Oogway is about to chime in about there being no accidents, Shifu cuts him off with a gesture of his staff. Oogway shuts up anyway, most likely to humor him.
- Trickster Mentor:
- To Shifu himself in Secrets of the Scroll. The short ends with him casually healing Shifu's food poisoning in a matter of seconds, implying that he could have done this the whole time, but chose not to so that Shifu would learn his lesson. It's also more than implied Oogway knew Shifu would end up sick.
- In the same special Tigress too got some of his patented teaching, as he saw she was stifling herself to emulate Shifu, so he took steps that would allow Tigress not only to become her own master but to gain companionship.
- He also prefers giving those he teaches not straightforward lessons, but riddles that contain the answers he feels you should learn so you can discover the answer for yourself (see the Dragon Scroll from KFP 1, and his cryptic message to Kai about the nature of taking the ki of others by force).
- Turtle Power: More like "Tortoise Power" but whatever, he is still the mightiest martial artist in the setting.
- Wise Old Turtle: He's incredibly wise and old, and the mentor to Po's own mentor. He's also one the inventor of Kung Fu and one of its greatest masters in history, and still badass enough to drop the nigh-unstoppable Tai Lung with a lightning-fast nerve strike pattern.
- World's Strongest Man:
- Most of the villains that Po struggles to defeat in the show were at some point in the past curbstomped by Master Oogway. The only enemy that's ever actually been shown to match him or come close to defeating him is the Demon King Ke-pa (who almost did it at Oogway's prime too), someone who killed Po for a short time.
- While Kai beat Oogway in the present quite easily, it should be noted that Kai had already stolen the chi of every other kung fu master in the spirit world. In fact, Po only got the upper hand against Kai with the combined Chi of every panda in the village along with Tigress and Mr. Ping to even the odds.