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    The Rhino Massacre 
  • Ever notice that dozens, if not hundreds, of rhinoceri were probably killed by collapsing the ceiling of the prison? The movie kind of forgets about them, and it is quite horrible to think about the guards that were undoubtedly crushed under tons of rock.
    • Depending on what they may have done to their only prisoner for twenty years, they may have deserved this.
      • Take those off of Tai Lung, he can't do martial arts in leather pants!
      • How is theorizing that the guards may have tortured Tai Lung and thus deserved what happened to them DILPing Tai Lung? It isn't excusing what he did, just explaining why he may have done so beyond just "Rawr kill!"
    • Also, well, did you forget that Tai Lung is the villain? Killing good guys is kinda what they do. Yes, it's bad that the rhinos got killed. It's supposed to be.
      • I'm not arguing that it shouldn't be included. I mean, they are identical Red Shirts and therefore their purpose in life is to establish the villain's villainy. I'm just pointing out that the movie makes no mention of what must logically have been a fantastically gruesome rhino massacre off-screen.
    • This is true, but What Measure Is a Mook? anyway? (I always wanted to invert that trope this way...)
      • More pressing matters I suppose the only one who knew of said massacre flew away in a hurry and seemed more preoccupied with saying the man shaped WMD was on his way.
    • Rhino's Revenge, shows that at least some rhinos survived.

     Tai Lung's condition 
  • Why didn't Tai Lung's muscles atrophy from spending twenty years in the exact same position, unable to exercise them?
    • He is just that awesome.
    • Perhaps he worked out by struggling against his confines?
    • I too wondered about this, but then I came up with an explanation that IMO seems more like Fridge Brilliance: the paralyzing tortoise shell was explicitly stated to draw all of Tai Lung's chi to the pressure points being stimulated. If you assume chi to be one's life force, as it is generally believed to be, then it wouldn't be too difficult to imagine that trapping it in one place would also arrest the body's metabolism. Thus, no atrophying, thus Tai Lung staying in peak physical condition and at the height of his kung fu skills. It might even explain how he actually got stronger, by concentrating his power. (And even suggests he didn't physically age!) This of course doesn't explain other questions which were raised by Tai Lung's imprisonment (how was he able to relieve himself? How did he eat? Why was his fur so clean and soft-looking after twenty years??). But it's otherwise a brilliant stroke, I think.
      • If it does arrest his body's metabolism, that would mean he doesn't eat or excrete. He also wouldn't shed fur, and the thing imprisoning him would keep him from getting any dirt or dust on it, so he should still be pretty clean. Of course, he was still able to move his tail, so his metabolism couldn't have been completely shut down. They might just partially free him to feed him and clean him every month or so.
      • a very good point. This is what happens when you don't follow your own ideas to their logical conclusion. Makes me wonder though what happened the first time Tai Lung ate after he escaped... Squick. One point though: we don't know for sure it's possible to only partially free Tai Lung (though if they just released some of the pins but not all, that would do it), but even if so, I can't really see Vachir and his guards being humane enough to do such a thing. Not only do they come across as nasty abusive pricks who don't give a damn, but after what Tai Lung did, why would anyone (other than Shifu and Oogway) think he deserved any kind of good treatment? If partially freeing him was necessary to feed him, then it makes sense, but I doubt they cleaned him much if at all. (And of course if they freed him to feed him, they must have also had to do so to bring him a bedpan or whatever.) The more I think about this, the more Squick-inducing and Fate Worse than Death-ish it seems. If Tai Lung actually killed lots of people (which Dream Works naturally doesn't tell us), he definitely deserves punishment, humiliating, and terrifying. Not to mention practically guaranteeing his insanity and rage if he ever got out...
      • The answer would be that his chi sustains him, in-universe. Does it make sense from a scientific standpoint? No, but the movie isn't drawing from that. One of the hallmarks of mastery over one's chi in various tales was being able to sustain yourself in basically this way.
      • The Furious Five did mention that the Dragon Warrior could survive by the nourishment of a single drop of dew from a plant and the energy of the cosmos. Maybe Tai Lung could do better?
      • Do they ever explicitly state that he never changes position? Possibly those chains can be cranked to tilt his shoulders back and let them pour soup into his mouth from a safe distance. As for bathroom needs, it would make sense for them to keep him stark naked and hose him off when necessary; he's only got pants on in the prison scenes because they drugged him unconscious (or thought they had) and dressed him so he'd look presentable for that goose messenger's visit.

     Tai Lung's final fate 
  • Seriously. Tai Lung. What happened to him?! Fate Worse than Death? Defeat Means Friendship? Why was the most potentially interesting character done away with in such a random, enigmatic fashion?
    • Sequel Hook
      • If only. From what I've heard, the villain of the next movie will be a dragon named Sinlong (who fights with Dragon Style, of course). So unless Tai Lung works for him (as if) or shows up to help fight him...
      • Nope. The villain is a peacock named Lord Shen, who almost certainly will be wielding a Shouchong / Ishibaya — the titular Kaboom of Doom.
      • The original information given about the sequel was about Sinlong. Obviously, the people at Dream Works changed their minds. It's possible he (or at least a dragon villain) will still show up in the series or other sequels. Anyway, end result is: still not Tai Lung, so there was no Sequel Hook.
      • Update: how many want to bet that Ke-pa from the TV series was a reworking of Sinlong's concept?
    • Because some people think it's inappropriate to show the hero so thoroughly destroy his enemy that all that remains is the exploded remnants of a villain's flesh scattered across the landscape in a children's movie. Go figure.
      • Or perhaps they were just playing the whole thing for laughs. Or the whole point was that Po wasn't the kind of person to do something so destructive it would explode his enemy into fragments of flesh. Take your pick. (Note that Shifu said the worst part about the hold was cleaning up the mess afterwards. But we not only didn't see much of a mess to clean up, it almost looks like the wave of chi actually repairs a lot of the damage to the village. This really doesn't match what Shifu described at all. So...was he lying to scare Po? Did Po use the hold in a way different than how Shifu would have, because he's a nice guy and not a Jerkass Cynical Mentor?)
    • I assumed it to be more of an "instant return to the Universe" thing more than the gory reality of death, and that the gold-colored "dust cloud" that settles over everyone at the end is... well... what remains of Tai Lung's body, which does rather make one think about how they're all going to get that out of their fur.
    • He's dead. I don't understand what all the confusion is about.
      • Is he really? Po really doesn't strike me as the kind of guy to kill a defeated and broken opponent in cold blood like that, especially a sympathetic character like Tai Lung. I understand that part of the difference between Po and Tai Lung is that Po had a real life, he had something to relate to in order to help him understand the message of the scroll, whereas Tai Lung didn't (which just makes him all the more sympathetic, how Tai Lung turned out really was all Shifu's fault), but I was still hoping Tai Lung would come around in some way rather than be killed off. Hm.
      • I was under the impression that when Shi Fu apologized, and Tai Lung acknowledged it but refused nonetheless, that he showed that he was beyond redemption, regardless of whatever initial reasoning he may have for his vendetta.
      • Or maybe he was just too tunnel-visioned and stubborn to admit he was wrong, and still thought that he deserved what was promised to him almost from birth by his equally arrogant father.
      • If he died, it was his own damn fault. The Wuxi Finger Hold is based on the movie's Mind Makes It Real magic system- if Tai Lung believed he would die from it, then he did, and if he had just figured that much out he would have been fine.
      • Tai Lung has already demonstrated a willingness and ability to escape an inescapable prison to take revenge for not having been given the Dragon Scroll. If Po lets him go, or tries to imprison him again, that'll just lead to him being even more angry that a Panda of all things beat him, so you'll just have him coming back again and again to get his revenge, and eventually he's going to get more creative than "run into the valley and beat the crap out of everyone." If Po did kill him, then that's only pragmatic.
      • Perhaps not. Tai Lung wanted the Dragon Scroll because he wanted to be the Dragon Warrior. Except he was totally and utterly beaten by the real Dragon Warrior, who understood the Dragon Scroll because he had internal qualities that Tai Lung did not and could not have. By utterly denying Tai Lung his goal and proving it utterly futile, Po has completely unmotivated him. You could argue that Tai Lung is not honorable or sensible enough to realise he's been beaten, but it's something to think about.
      • The point isn't whether Tai Lung deserved to die (almost certainly), or whether Po would be capable of killing (also almost certainly, martial arts isn't about cuddling after all), it's rather that Po joked around with a smug look on his face while killing Tai Lung. If Tai Lung had left him no other choice, or if Po had seemed sad to have to do it, it would have been one thing. The fact that Po smirked at Tai Lung while Tai Lung begged for his life, and Po's last word to him was "Skidoosh", makes Po look like the monster in that situation. In other words, it's not that he did it, it's how he did it.
      • "martial arts isn't about cuddling after all" how many martial arts DON'T emphasize restraint or showing mercy/compassion/honor to a defeated opponent? I'm fairly certain that's a far easier number to count than the ones that do.
      • I wouldn't say he deserved to die (since we still don't know if he actually killed anyone in the rampage, and there was still the chance he might be able to redeem himself) but otherwise I agree completely.
      • Also Tai Lung didn't actually beg for his life. He just called Po's use of the hold bluff and that Shifu couldn't have taught him that. Po then responds that he learned that on his own and Tai Lung doesn't say another word after that.
    • As mentioned, Tai Lung is indeed the character with the most potential in the whole Kung Fu Panda franchise. There is all the potential in his relationship with Shifu and what would happen to it in the long run. There is the fact that he and Tigress are technically adopted siblings, so that leaves a whole unopened can of interesting interactions there. If he were to pull a Heel–Face Turn, just imagine all the possibilities as he'd fight alongside the good guys against bad guys. Hell, just the thought of Po and Tai Lung going through Defeat Means Friendship and into Odd Friendship combined with Red Oni, Blue Oni would make for great potential both in and out of battle. Indeed, Tai Lung does seem to be the character with the most potential for great stuff in the franchise. A franchise titled "Kung Fu Panda", meaning that no matter what happens, everything will always go back to revolving entirely around the panda. Is it any wonder the Furious Five barely got any development or even screentime in the first movie? And now the second movie just adds a whole slew of new characters to compete for what little screentime they'll have that's not taken up by Po and the villain. Meaning, there is no room for the character with the most potential to have said potential developed, which is a huge shame.
    • There's a fanfic that does have Tai Lung perform a Heel–Face Turn, which is extremely well written. Can't find the link, but it was on
    • The third movie revealed that the Wuxi Finger Hold sends the target to the Spirit Realm.

     Tai Lung's rampage 
  • So Let Me Get This Straight.... Oogway refuses Tai Lung the Dragon Scroll. Tai Lung is angry, so he turns around, leaves the temple, climbs down all those stairs, "lays waste to the village", climbs all the way back up aforementioned stairs, back into the temple, tries to take the scroll by force, and is stopped by Oogway. Is it just me, or does the trip down to destroy the village seem like a colossal waste of time? If he was going to take it by force anyway, why not do it right off the bat? It's not like beating the crap out of helpless pigs and geese was going to change Oogway's mind. Would've saved everyone the time and other resources it took to keep him in his own prison, at the very least. I get that the rampage bit was put in to make Tai Lung less sympathetic, but in the story's context it's still weird.
    • I get the impression he went down to the village to sulk, and after a day or two decided that his masters had totally betrayed him. He then went on a rampage around the village (to make himself feel better) before climbing up to the temple to take the Dragon Scroll by force.
    • One angle on the "rampage" is this: Perhaps Tai Lung went and caused trouble in the village to pull guards/warriors away from the Jade Palace. Once enough guards/warriors were gone, he planned to sneak into the Palace and just steal the scroll. Unfortunately, Oogway and Shifu knew their former pupil too well....
    • I actually addressed this in a Fan Fic I'm writing. The short explanation is that, based on the fact it was daylight in the flashback when Tai Lung was denied the scroll, and it was night when he burst in to steal it, I concluded the intervening time was indeed spent sulking down in the village. But I also included a direct impetus to the rampage by saying one of the villagers was mocking and cruel to him for being turned down (I based this on how they treated Po after the scroll was blank and he seemed helpless to stop Tai Lung), and for thinking he could change his station in life as an orphan. (Knowing who your family and ancestors are, staying true to them, and remaining in your place in life were all very important in ancient China, and to some extent still are.) So...Tai Lung didn't just immediately explode in rage, something set him off. There may not be any direct proof of this, but it isn't contradicted either, and it makes sense I think.
    • Maybe Tai Lung went down and trashed the village because he was so angry, he had to hit somebody, and if he did so at the temple, he knew he'd wind up fighting Shifu as well as Oogway. At the time, Tai's feelings about his foster father might've still been too conflicted to do that.
      • I don't think he immediately went down to the village and started his city-wide reign of terror. Like others said, he went around for a few days, sulking and allowing that anger and sense of betrayal to fester and boil inside him until it finally exploded out of him in a violent fury and attempt to take the Dragon Scroll by force. I believe part of the reason for Shifu's guilt is if he'd just found Tai Lung and had a long talk with him and just told him he was proud of him either way, then it all could have been avoided. But he didn't for whatever reason he had, and left Tai Lung alone to sulk, thus resulting in Tai Lung's reign of terror/attack on the Palace. It's also why Shifu's guilt transformed him into such a Jerkass.
    • The reason the rampage in the village doesn't seem to fit or make sense for someone whose goal was just to claim the scroll is because it was added in later—it was never supposed to be there to begin with. In the DVD commentary, the directors admitted that people were feeling so sympathetic for Tai Lung they had forgotten he was the villain, so they inserted the rampage to remind people how and why he was bad. The mistake they made is that because of this insertion not being part of the original script, the event itself no longer makes sense in-universe, requiring us to figure out why he would go on a rampage, then come back up to get the scroll.
      • But without the rampage evacuating the valley and saying that Tai Lung will kill Shifu if he faces him don't really make sense.
      • That may be true, but it's still what the director's commentary said, and that trumps anything else. Maybe when they added the rampage in, they also added the part about evacuating the Valley? As for Shifu's life being in danger, Tai Lung attacked Shifu when he came for the scroll, and that part was in the script before the rampage was added, so Shifu would still have reason to fear for his life even if there had been no rampage.
      • There's also the part where, without the implied mass-murder of the lay-waste-to-the-valley scene, building an entire prison for a single prisoner, that keeps him completely immobilized so that the prison guards can bully and humiliate him whenever they want, is beyond overkill for what amounts to a single charge of attempted petty larceny.

     No helping Tai Lung? 
  • And another thing... Tai Lung did his Face–Heel Turn after Oogway said he wasn't worthy of the Dragon scroll because there was "darkness" inside of him. Even assuming that he was telling the truth, why didn't anyone bother to rehabilitate Tai Lung? Sure, it makes Tai Lung a more unsympathetic villain, but there's the Unfortunate Implications that redemption isn't an option at all.
    • Shifu did try to redeem him, right at the end where he tells him how proud he always was. And for about a half second, it looks like Tai Lung is going to stop his rampage and repent. But he refuses. As for before that, well, he went right from "I'm not getting the Scroll?" to "RAWR KILL EVERYONE IN THE VALLEY AND TAKE IT ANYWAY!" in, what, less than a day? You think they were going to risk waking him up to talk to him and giving him the opportunity to do it again?
      • Of course we don't know for sure that Tai Lung's view of Shifu might not have changed once he found out the scroll wasn't what he thought it was. Realizing you almost killed your own father for a blank scroll you couldn't understand and were never meant to have would have to be a sobering experience for anyone, unless they were simply insane. Which while Tai Lung certainly seemed deranged at various times does not really hold water for every scene he's in. (The bridge fight comes to mind.)
      • Shifu did try to redeem him by apologizing and saying he was proud, but let's not forget that that apology and statement of being proud came a full 20 years later, all of which Tai Lung spent locked up in a jail under some sort of contraption that held him in an always kneeling position, as though bowing to the jailer who openly mocked him. Even after Tai Lung returns to the Valley, he doesn't go on a second rampage, he goes directly to the Palace, where he greets Shifu not violently, but telling him he's come home and calling him "Master", to which Shifu responds by telling Tai Lung that that's not his home anymore, nor is he his master anymore. It's only after Shifu challenges him that Tai Lung attacks (making that two times he doesn't throw the first punch in a battle), and he finally apologizes to Tai Lung and tells him he was always proud only after Tai Lung's beaten him (which also sounds a little too awfully convenient that all the nice words come only after Tai Lung bests Shifu in battle). Personally, at that point, the apology and statement of being proud just seemed way beyond "too little too late" territory.
      • With the history they have, just walking up with a casual "I'm home" comes off as more than a little crazy/sociopathic to me. I don't blame Shifu for not smile and welcoming him with open arms (especially given what he did to the Furious Five).
      • True, but since according to the director's commentary Tai Lung actually believed that if he got the scroll he could figure out its power, become a hero, and prove Oogway wrong, he may have decided that being calm and unthreatening, simply stating he was home, would help convince Shifu his rage and madness were a thing of the past and he should be given a chance to prove the scroll was his. From Shifu's POV it's highly suspicious, but from Tai Lung's he was being as friendly and peaceful as he could under the circumstances.
    • Besides, there's the whole "trashed a village full of innocent people". Hitting one person who might've mocked him in anger? Sure. But to go nuts like that implies he wasn't entirely right in the head.
      • We don't know there was only one who mocked him. But yeah I agree, something must not have been right in Tai Lung's head. Whether that was caused by Shifu's parenting and training, or something else, who knows, but it is something of a plot hole. You can always say he just had a chemical imbalance in the brain like crazy people often do, but that seems a little bit too realistic...and depressing.
      • 'Might've' is the operative word. We only know what we were given. And the movie never says anyone mocks him. It says that there's a darkness in him, and when he was denied something he felt entitled to, he went on a rampage in the nearby village. Sounds to me like a good example of why Oogway was right and why he shouldn't have been the Dragon Warrior.
      • Considering Oogway never even explained what this darkness was or where it came from, this whole line of thought is a bit questionable. Yes, Oogway was right Tai Lung should not be the Dragon Warrior, but we still don't know why he had this darkness or what it was, let alone whether anything could have been done to change it or prevent it, particularly by Shifu as he was raising him.
      • This. Also the reason I at least think people may have mocked him is because a) the villagers mocked Po when the Dragon Scroll was blank and it seemed he was not the Dragon Warrior, or at least was useless in saving them from Tai Lung and b) the point made below that going down to the village and rampaging really makes no sense and, from Shifu and Oogway's POV was uncharacteristic of Tai Lung (or else they would have made more of an effort to explain why he wasn't given the scroll or that he was still worthy of love and pride without it). I.e., something must have set him off, and being mocked for not getting the scroll seems like the most viable option. Or perhaps not even mockery, someone may simply have brought up the fact he was turned down and this aggravated his already simmering resentment.
    • Ah, yes. But no matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
      • Which, while sweet, does bring this right back to the original point. Suggesting Oogway never tried to redeem Tai Lung because 'a leopard can't change his spots' is unfair, nonsensical (because for all the criminals out there who never change, there are plenty who do truly rehabilitate themselves), and most importantly, out-of-character for Oogway.
      • In Monkey's part of the Secrets of the Furious Five extra, Oogway helps him overcome his Jerkass habits (albeit, they were less severe than Tai Lung's turned out to be) so it seems odd that he would never try to help Tai Lung. More likely, I think, Oogway was trying to help Tai Lung. He may have figured that the only way for Tai Lung to ascend to the next level on the road to inner peace was to find out that his destiny was not something which Shifu could give him, but rather, something which he needed to forge for himself. Maybe he just underestimated the 'darkness' he saw in him. Everyone screws up from time to time, after all.
    • First look who's talking about "darkness" in Tai Lung. Ah yes, Master Tigress. Such a reliable, not-overflowing-with-envy-at-all witness she is. Second, giving Tai Lung the scroll at that point almost certainly would have resulted in an even worse freakout (even if the Dragon Scroll indeed was a power-granting McGuffin). Tai Lung's whole motivation is seeking self-validation through external means. Outside of his kung-fu techniques, his victories and his training to be the Dragon Warrior he has no life, no goals and no sense of self-worth (just watch what he says upon seeing his own reflection on the Dragon Scroll). He had no chance of understanding the scroll's wisdom or accepting it into his heart, if explained. His reaction would have been a feeling of immense betrayal, quite probably still leading to a rampage. Now let's assume that the Dragon Scroll indeed is an artifact of ultimate power and Tai Lung is allowed to obtain it. Still a soul-crushing (if less immediately) outcome for him, because from that point his life is essentially over - the sole ambition in his life is, well, already achieved, and he cannot even enjoy fighting for the sake of fighting, because he's too powerful to have any rivals. So, however you look at, Oogway, being a great judge of character, did the best he could in the circumstances by refusing Tai Lung the scroll. This at least could have caused Tai Lung to ask himself what exactly he lacks, leading him to reevaluating his life. Unfortunately for everyone, when Tai Lung felt what was his entire life crumbling around him, his ego and sense of entitlement, born out of belief that a person's worth is measured by his/her kung fu skills kicked in, and Shifu wasn't there to support him, and the rest is history. If Oogway is really guilty of anything, it is giving Shifu a free rein in training pupils when Shifu obviously wasn't qualified.
      • A good point. Watch the scene again, both Shifu and Oogway are caught flat-footed when Tai Lung declares that he will take "what is his" and leaps to get it. Only Oogway's reactions (mighty fast for a tortoise) prevented Tai Lung from getting it in the first place.
      • Good points all, especially that we only have Tigress's word on what Oogway said and why he rejected Tai Lung; considering the things she and Tai Lung have in common, she'd have a pretty good motive for trying to make him look far worse than herself, possessed of an intrinsic 'evil' she didn't have. Still, even though you are quite right that there were two chances in three things with Tai Lung and the scroll would turn out badly, I still think Oogway should have tried harder to prevent his prophecy from coming to pass—particularly if as you say Shifu had proven himself unqualified. Unless of course Oogway couldn't bring himself to think too badly of his own student, or he had too much faith that Tai Lung's ability to be introspective and re-examine himself would be stronger than his ego, pride, and temper... It's also pretty clear, of course, that Tai Lung's belief that his worth would be measured by his kung fu skills and that he needed external things to prove his own value are things he received from Shifu's parenting and training. Nice job breaking it, panda.
      • Tigress being an Unreliable Narrator? By logic, that would mean that the whole rampage thing was just something she made up. This would explain why the rampage seem off but even Tigress wouldn't lie about something like that especially since the movie without the rampage would make his prison conditions and the rhino's treatment of him less "him getting what he deserves" and more "him being abused more than he deserves".
      • If you look at the flashback, Oogway isn't shown saying a word. He just shakes his head and turns away.
    • Late to chime in, but I think it's important to identify the "darkness" that held Tai Lung back. Pride. The original sin, but often seen as a positive trait as well. Trying to explain to an arrogant person with so much success that it's that very thing holding them back, they'd never understand it. Word of God even says that Tai Lung's ego and need to prove himself are the only things keeping him from performing a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Because there was no time to do so. Once Tai Lung went on his rampage and tried to take the scroll by force, crippling Shifu in the process, he wasn't going anywhere but prison. Once in prison his rehabilitation would have been using that time to self-reflect and learn from his mistakes, not trying to break out and go after the scroll again. Had Tai Lung not gone on his rampage then it's a safe bet Oogway would have guided him and Shifu on the path to self validation and inner peace, but once he was in prison he had to focus on his students that were at hand. Once Tai Lung breaks out he's given multiple chances to back down and actually learn his lesson, he responds to each one with more violence.

    Why can't Po cook and fight? 
  • Why couldn't Po be both a kung-fu master and a noodle cook? He's established to be a very good cook by the Furious Five, but the movie kept downplaying his cooking as something not worth aspiring to. The movie could've ended with Po embracing both of his skills (perhaps right after "You wanna get something to eat?"), and it would have also given the movie an opportunity to play an extra aesop about harmony and balance. They even tossed in the taijitu...
    • Possibly because the Five seem to spend all their time training. Doesn't leave much time for working in a noodle restaurant. Though I could see them, with Po's influence, lightening up a little bit, which you can already see with Shifu. Heck, he probably becomes the Palace's cook.
    • He does at the end. During the credit, you can see Po running his father's restaurant.
    • What makes you think Po wants to be a noodle cook? He didn't look too happy anytime that was referenced as his destiny. Sure, he makes a good soup and he likes cooking with his dad, and for his friends, but that doesn't mean he wants to make a career out of it. It's pretty clear right from the start that he's completely focused on kung-fu and was only making soup because of his dad.

    The purpose of the Dragon Warrior 
  • Waaiiitttt...the purpose of the dragon warrior is to defeat Tai Lung, but he wanted to be the dragon warrior, so, huh? I think I missed something.
    • The purpose of the Dragon Warrior is to bring peace to the valley. If Tai Lung is around, that disrupts the peace.

     The Dragon Scroll 

    Crane's carrying ability 
  • Can someone explain how a crane carrying a tiger, monkey, viper, and a mantis was somehow able to beat a snow leopard across a valley?
    • Same way a mantis can hold up a bridge holding a tiger, monkey, viper, and snow leopard singlehandedly. It seems Kung Fu gives you Charles Atlas Superpowers in the setting. Also, Tai Lung would've wanted them to get back faster, so he might've slowed down a bit.
    • Tai Lung purposely sent them as a warning to the Dragon Warrior, remember? It would be bad form to show up before the warning that you were coming reached the village.
    • Also, Crane could go as the crow flies (i.e. straight over the ravines and mountains) while Tai Lung had to take the scenic route.
      • Scenic indeed... he's been in prison for a long time. He was probably appreciating seeing some scenery, eating some food, and possibly having some pleasurable company on his way back. He's obviously not obsessed to the point of blotting everything else out, or he wouldn't have bothered to exchange witty banter with the Five, he'd have just kicked their asses and charged onward.
    • Take it as Canon or not, but the game based on the movie has a level that actually shows what took him so long. He apparently went to a training ground to knock the rust off.

    Po constantly underrated 
  • Why do people constantly underestimate Po due to his looks? He's a fucking bear!
    • Because he's fat and out of shape, and pandas don't have the same reputation as other bears do, and for that matter are NOT bears. Pandas are more closely related to raccoons.
    • Wrong pandas. Panda bears are bears but not really pandas as they can hardly digest bamboo. You're thinking of red pandas, what Shifu is.
    • Giant Pandas are bears. Red Pandas are raccoons.
      • You still don't mess with Pandas, though. Wild ones are well known to bite through leopard's necks in protection of their young, and there's also accounting of those maulings by the people at zoos who tried to hug one...
      • And have you seen one sneeze?
      • They're not raccoons, they're just related to them, about as closely related as we are to gibbons.

    So easy to discriminate against Po? 
  • Grasshopper/cricket? Okay. A snake? Okay. A Red Panda? Teacher and the master of the kung fu school. A really old turtle? Grand-master of the said school. A freaking huge panda? Nuh-huh! Not fit to study here from the first sight!
    • It was more than just his appearance. Much of the animosity towards Po included his fanboyish tendencies, near inability to take his training seriously (or focus on it), but also that he dropped in on the ceremony by happenstance. The title of Dragon Warrior was long shrouded in mystery, and naturally Shifu and his pupils assumed that their diligence and hard work meant one of the Furious Five would be granted the title. But then along comes this noodle-vendor on a ball of fire(works) landing right in front of Oogway's pointer. Tigress in particular felt like something had been stolen from her; she'd worked hard on her fighting style over the years, and when it seems she's in the running for such an honor, Po unintentionally up and takes it (which is probably why she's about the last one of the group to truly accept Po for who he is).
      • Could've sworn Mantis was a praying mantis, not a grasshopper or a cricket.

    Animal ethnicity 
  • The characters all seem to be animals native to China (or East Asia in general), or livestock commonly found there. So why is there a gorilla in Secrets of the Furious Five? Gorillas are from Africa! If it has to be a great ape, why not an orangutan? They don't live in China either, but are at least Asian animals. What do you say? Not imposing enough to serve as the template for a mean badass warrior character? Well, grown up male orangutans certainly are! (And they make excellent librarians, but that's beside the point...) Or was the character I am talking about originally supposed to be a Gigantopithecus (a gigantic ape living in prehistoric China), but the authors feared that too few people would know what that is?
    • That's not a gorilla, gorillas don't have tails.
    • I am not talking about Monkey, one of the members of the kung fu team called the "Furious Five". I am talking about a character (explicitly referred to as a gorilla) in the (partly) 2D animated short film called Secrets of the Furious Five, where Po narrates the origin stories of the Furious Five. The gorilla is the villain in the segment about Viper's origin. As far as I can recall, he didn't have a visible tail.
      • Well, if Po's narrating, maybe he just got his facts wrong?
    • Well, it can be said that there's the possibility that people from other countries travel to China, that could explain a gorilla being there.
      • What about the rhinos who guard the prison? Are they common in mountainous China?
      • They're found in the foothills of the Himalayas in eastern India and Nepal, both of which have rhino sanctuaries not too far from their borders with China. It's not a stretch to imagine that their habitat could have extended into ancient southern China, pre-endangered status.
      • There are also gorillas in the sequel, serving as Shen's soldiers. I either think they are actually Gigantopithecus (referred to as gorillas because Viewers Are Morons), or they have traveled from Africa to China (sort of like a Scary Black Man serving in the Chinese army).

    Names of the Masters 
  • What's with the names? Tigress, Mantis, Viper... Oogway, Tai Lung, Po? Shouldn't they be Turtle, Leopard, Panda?
    • My guess is that the Furious Five had their names changed for some reason. They're the only ones that don't have their own names.
    • I always figured Tigress, Mantis, Viper, etc. were their titles, rather than their names.
    • This troper counts Fridge Brilliance here. All of the Furious Five are the representative animals of five infamous styles of Chinese martial arts, and pretty well follow the basics of those styles (Tigress focuses on footwork, Monkey integrates acrobatic maneuvers into his kung fu, Mantis has the focus on aggressiveness of Northern Praying Mantis, Viper strikes from unpredictable angles in Snake-style kung fu, and Crane has a combination of more graceful, targeted attacks). In this list, Tai Lung is actually a weird aversion of the naming trend, since he fights like he's using leopard kung fu.
      • The reason Tai Lung breaks the tradition is to give him a Meaningful Name, courtesy of his father Shifu: Tai Lung means "great/ultimate dragon", so he is named for what it was believed he would be (the Dragon Warrior) rather than his kung fu style. It is also implied in Tai Lung's write-up in Art of Kung Fu Panda that being imprisoned in Chorh-Gom caused his kung fu to become "tainted", his moves becoming more brutal and less formal, like Ultimate Fighting Championship. Any appearance of Leopard Style moves should be considered only in the light of his brutality (one of the style's philosophies is "Why block when you can hit?"), with his coolness and his species thrown in. It could also be that unlike the Five, Tai Lung actually invented his style, which is why he isn't named for it the way the Five are.
    • If you recall Po's initial gushing over them, they are a kind of superhero team. Their names are superhero code names.
    • In Art of Kung Fu Panda the makers say they tried to experiment with using personalized character names but in the end kept returning to the 'simplicity' of the generic name. Whether this is an example of viewing the Five as archetypes who embody their kung fu styles, a cop-out motivated by being unable to come up with fitting given names, an attempt to avoid them all having a Meaningful Name in Mandarin (like being named for their styles is any less meaningful?), or because they believed the audience wouldn't remember Chinese names is up for debate. For what it's worth, most fanfic writers seem to assume the names we are given are titles and the characters actually have undisclosed given names. Which is realistic, as many kung fu masters do/did take a special title upon achieving mastery, albeit one a little more creative than merely the animal of their signature style.
    • In The Secrets of the Furious Five, which is set in the characters' past, we learn that Viper, Crane, Tigress, and Monkey were called Viper, Crane, Tigress, and Monkey even before they started practicing martial arts, so it seems these really are their names and not just kung fu titles. (Mantis' chapter in The Secrets starts when he was already a kung fu fighter, but there's nothing to suggest he had any other name either before this.)
    • Minor point: Oogway is a phonetic transliteration of the Mandarin word for "turtle", so his name actually is just the name of his species.
    • Could overlap into Fridge Brilliance for Shifu's character and how he views his students. Remember, Tai Lung was Shifu's first student, and was always called by his name (rather then "Leopard"), while with the Five, they were known simply by their titles. He even called Po, "Panda", rather than his name. It's possible that with Tai Lung's betrayal, Shifu decided to refer to his students as anything other than their names as a way of distancing himself from them.

     Po's resistance to damage 
  • Someone who can survive a makeshift rocket slamming them into the pavement? Seems like a viable candidate for the Dragon Warrior (or whatever) to me. Anywho, Po's superhuman resistance to damage bothered me on several levels. It takes away some of the suspense of battling the Big Bad when plowing into a wall at fifty mph doesn't do much to you.
    • The second time I watched it, I figured that Po's incredible flabbiness absorbed all the impacts he ever faced and allowed him to keep going. Just like at the end.
    • I always figured that the point of the aforementioned 'fight with the Big Bad' wasn't about fighting him, it was more about making sure he doesn't read the Scroll, because... well, I dunno. Maybe he wants to buy as much time as possible for the villagers to escape, doesn't matter, because it wasn't a battle of strength and combat, but more a battle of creativity and speed, something Tai Lung had over Po 90% of the time. When it finally turns into a straight-up fight, we already know it's over, but it's only for about a minute.
    • This troper always wondered why the writers missed ones of Po's obvious natural attributes. The film only barely acknowledges his ability to soak up damage and NONE of the characters point it out. You would think Oogway would mention "He can't fight worth a crap, but you can hit this guy with a train and he just keeps going."
      • Well, first off their society doesn't look advanced enough to have trains yet. Second, the Furious Five wouldn't be impressed by this. They already know more than enough durable masters like Thundering Rhino and even Tai Lung, and these can fight too. Why would they want a damage soaker who looks like he couldn't run 10 meters and would lose a thumb wrestling match with a kindergartner? Besides, how are they going to prove it? For all their hatred of Po they aren't going to murder him, they were likely holding back the entire time they were sparring. They would admit that Po is above average in durability but that doesn't mean squat if he can't fight back. If I fight a paralyzed elephant it can tank 200 times the damage I can, but if it can't do any damage I still win.

     Tigress and Tai Lung 
  • Tigress strikes me as just a female version of Tai Lung, spending the whole movie throwing a tantrum because she wasn't picked to be Dragon Warrior. But she wasn't given a somewhat sympathetic backstory so obviously she's a good guy and Tai Lung, about whom we're given information and actually feel something for, is a villain. What?
    • Tigress was, in a lot of ways, meant as his Distaff Counterpart. What backstory we do see of her is a direct parallel to what we see of Tai Lung (Shifu correcting her stance harshly instead of how he patted Tai Lung on the head, for example). They're opposite sides of the same coin, with Tai Lung having been spoiled, and her having been denied any of the affection that Shifu had shown Tai Lung.

      And "villain" or "good guy" isn't decided solely by backstory, you know. I imagine Tai Lung going berserk on being passed over for the Dragon Scroll and slaughtering the village has something to do with it, for instance.
    • Point. But it does seem rather backwards that the story writers gave us so little on Tigress and so much on Tai Lung in comparison, just because he was the Big Bad. Whether Tigress's backstory was sympathetic enough—I did feel sorry for her during that flashback, and even more so during her vignette from Secrets of the Furious Five—but the point is that because she was a good guy we didn't need to feel sorry for her. Our sympathy for her was practically pre-programmed by her being a hero. It's the contrast between this and the amount of care, detail, and sympathy in Tai Lung's backstory that creates the dissonance. Yes, the writers clearly did care about Tai Lung and wanted to make him complex and sympathetic (they do say a movie is only as good as its villain), and yes when people liked him too much they clearly backpedaled. But even taking this into account, it seems a bit twisted to make us sympathize with someone, then pull the rug out from under us by revealing they did something horrible which they can't be forgiven for and never showing the possibility of redemption, while meanwhile giving a similar sympathetic backstory to Tigress but keeping her a hero. Not So Different and Foil are all well and good, as is complexity to character, but it gets to a point where it's like "I go to the movies for escapism, not to have my heart trodden on by being made to care about someone who I shouldn't, and who's going to get punished for it".
      • There's a big difference between Tigress and Tai Lung. Tai Lung was angry because he wasn't the Dragon Warrior. Tigress was angry because Po was, and she didn't think he was capable of living up to it. I got the feeling that if one of the rest of the Furious Five had been chosen, she would have been disappointed, but she would have accepted it. Tai Lung just wanted the power of being the Dragon Warrior, Tigress was concerned about the responsibilities that came along with it. Plus, there's the previously mentioned fact that Tai Lung murdering a village; Tigress being hostile to Po is hardly comparable to that. It's about the reason they were upset, and how they handled their feelings. Tigress didn't need the back story to be sympathetic, because her grievances and actions were perfectly understandable without it.
      • True, but the fact Tigress was so willing to heap contempt on Po just because he seemed to be pathetic, worthless, and disrespectful of kung fu doesn't say much good about her. Yes, she makes it clear later that she is concerned about the Dragon Warrior being a proper and skilled fighter so as to stop Tai Lung and protect the Valley, but it's also quite clear she was rejecting Po because she thought he was making a mockery of kung fu, because he'd been chosen and not her (who would, in her opinion, be able to stop Tai Lung), because she didn't think a big fat panda could be the Dragon Warrior or had any right to learn kung fu...just like Tai Lung. Let's not also forget that Tigress went off to fight Tai Lung, against her master's express permission, and nearly got herself and the rest of the Five killed because she was so determined to prove she could do it ("this is what you trained me for") even though she wasn't the Dragon Warrior. That kind of disobedience, even if it was ostensibly done in the name of protecting the Valley, is uncomfortably similar to Tai Lung thinking he can do whatever he wants, claim the scroll, because Shifu and Oogway had to be wrong. And of course we still don't even know why Tai Lung attacked the village or thought doing so would help him get the scroll, or whether he actually killed anybody.
      • Tigress wasn't right in her treatment of Po, but it was understandable. She is not like Tai Lung. Considering Tai Lung's reaction to not getting the scroll was mass murder, it can probably be assumed that, had he been in Tigress' place, Po would have face a bit more than bad treatment. And while Tigress has her flaws, she did actually have a point in thinking Po had no right to be the Dragon Warrior, even if it wasn't fair to treat him as she did. And, while I can see this is up for debate, I do believe her motives in going to fight Tai Lung were true; she wanted to protect the valley, and she didn't think Po could do it (with justification). Yes, she disobeyed, but she wasn't just throwing a tantrum, and I don't think she was after glory. To put it one way; Tai Lung just wanted the glory and power that came from being the Dragon Warrior, Tigress actually wanted to do what the Dragon Warrior was supposed to do, and protect people. To her mind, that was what she was doing, basically the exact opposite of what Tai Lung did.
      • I never said it wasn't understandable, of course it was. Just pointing out that the traits in her personality which caused her to act that way are ones she has in common with Tai Lung—jealousy, a certain arrogance, a touchy temper, contempt for anyone who seemed to be unworthy of kung fu. She had a good reason for going off to fight Tai Lung and save the Valley, but being disobedient because she believed she was the one meant to do this, and not considering what would happen if she failed, are still similar to Tai Lung's inflated beliefs in his own awesomeness and being above the rules. Not identical, just similar. She clearly felt she had to do something to stop Tai Lung and save everyone...but what she should have done was obey her master and father (filial piety again) and trust that he and Oogway knew what they were doing, would train Po so that he could do what needed to be done. Her heart was in the right place and indeed she did not throw a tantrum or make the mistake of otherwise raging or attacking Po or Shifu, but she still has flaws and personality traits which are similar to Tai Lung's. The whole point of the Not So Different trope is not that two characters are identical, but that they have enough similarities that one can look at the other and see how they could have been had they made different choices. Tigress has better control of herself, more nobleness and selflessness, and more humility (not complete humility, just more of it) than Tai Lung, and that is why she did not turn out like him, not because she's nothing like him. She is Tai Lung if he'd been raised right, or at least better than he was, which is why, as you say, she did what she did for the opposite reasons as him even if some of her underlying feelings and traits were similar. Also, again we still don't know Tai Lung actually created mass murder...and if he had been the one at the palace instead of Tigress, he wouldn't be the person he was—since to be there he'd have to a) have accepted the loss of the Dragon Scroll or b) be raised among other students and friends, having others to care about and defend, which by necessity would mean he'd have been raised differently, been more humble and protective, and thus more like Tigress. So the point is moot.
    • The difference between them, once again, is that they have different motivations and different ways of coping with their flaws. Tigress was upset with and hostile toward one person who was inept at kung fu, and still fought to keep the valley safe. Tai Lung would've been unhappy with anyone who was chosen to be the Dragon Warrior, no matter their skill, because they weren't him. Once Po had proven himself worthy of his title, Tigress seemed perfectly willing to accept him as he was. You're only focusing on how they are alike - that being, they both hold being the Dragon Warrior to a high standard and are hostile when someone else is chosen for the role. So what? The difference is that Tigress didn't hurt people and gradually grew to accept Po.
    • Another key point of distinction between the two is how they handled the rejection. Tai Lung gave in to his pride and desire for validation, and lashed out at the world. Tigress, while deeply envious and resentful, restrained her darkness, and accepted her destined place (a very central tenet of Asiatic philosophy)

     Mantis as a sexist 
  • Why is it that Mantis is refered to as a He-Man Woman Hater when he seems to work perfectly fine and respect both Viper and Tigress?

     Why didn't Oogway just explain the Scroll? 
  • Why didn't Oogway just give Tai Lung the scroll and explain the lesson of self-worth? It was, apparently, the only thing he was missing from his training; if Oogway knew that Tai Lung and Shifu had been working towards making him into the Dragon Warrior but missed something crucial (like humility and self-esteem?), shouldn't it have been his responsibility as Shifu's master to say "Hey, you're missing the point of excellence of self"? Philosophy and fate and the illusion of control aside, his actions seem fairly arbitrary. Oogway saw a darkness in his heart, but never felt particularly inclined to identify or address it? He just said 'no scroll for you, fuck off'? He couldn't at least have said, "You're awesome at Kung-Fu, but the Dragon Warrior is meant to save the Valley from some horrible threat and there just isn't one right now"? There's a lot about Oogway's actions in the backstory that come off as very questionable, even if the tellers of the tale can't be counted on to explain everything in accurate detail.
    • I assumed that he couldn't explain the lesson of the scroll. In order to work, it has to be something you figure out for yourself.
    • Because Tai Lung was a sociopath. Look at how he reacted to being denied the scroll in the first place, he went on a rampage so horrific it got him imprisoned for decades. He probably wouldn't have listened if Oogway tried to explain it, he would've gone berserk anyway. Oogway seems to be a great judge of character overall, it'd probably be clear to him that Tai Lung wouldn't listen even if he told him. Yes, it was largely Shifu's fault that Tai Lung ended up how he ended up, but if Oogway didn't see Tai Lung's evil before he was denied the scroll, after Tai Lung goes on a horrible rampage, it's obvious he's not going to listen to reason at all. The simple fact was Tai Lung was clearly mentally unstable and violent. At best, being told the Dragon Scroll wasn't what he thought would mentally crush him, at worst, it'd send him on a psychotic rampage even worse than the one he went on before. On top of it, Shifu wasn't just Tai Lung's master, he was his father, Oogway could advise Shifu, but he was in no position to force Shifu to do anything when it came to Tai Lung because it'd be overstepping Shifu's right to raise his child. On top of that, we can't be sure that Oogway saw how Tai Lung was being raised, so he might have been in no position to do anything abut it for a number of reasons.
      • Tai Lung was not a sociopath. A sociopath would have tried to manipulate his way into getting the scroll after being denied it despite mastering all the kung fu there is. He might be crazy, but he put his entire life into Kung Fu and seeking validation through its mastery, because Shifu taught him that was what was important: you are the Dragon Warrior, and so you are a worthwhile person. And then Oogway just denies him the scroll, but doesn't explain himself, so what does a guy with literally zero self-worth outside of martial arts do when the wisest creature in his world says "No, you suck", and his own father doesn't protest and therefore endorses that assessment? Oogway should have known that denying Tai Lung the scroll would go poorly, and we already know that Oogway IS in a position to influence Shifu's students: he does it with Po. He's Shifu's master and the ruler of the Jade Palace and the founder of kung fu. Even if he knew that Tai Lung wouldn't take the news well, he could have done better than just turning his back on him, instead of actually explaining anything about his decision. How hard would it have been, to just tell him, "Your training is incomplete, and you aren't ready for the scroll?", or even, "The Dragon Scroll isn't a prize; it's a relic of prophecy and it isn't meant for you". Oogway didn't just deny him a scroll, he completely denounced a young man's entire life with no explanation; Shifu says that obeying his master was the right thing to do, but Oogway wasn't Tai Lung's master, and Shifu clearly didn't understand either, he just put his head down and didn't have anything to tell him. Oogway just walks off and doesn't do anything to help the situation until his own life is threatened.
    • Thing is, we don't really know how things leading to Tai Lung's rampage unfolded. Tai Lung's flashback cannot be truly relied upon for obvious reasons, and Master Tigress is not even a witness of the events. That Tai Lung started wrecking shit in the Valley of Peace, instead of going right after the scroll very strongly suggests that he flew off the handle suddenly (fics that insert some last-straw provocation there might have a point) and unexpectedly - even for himself. The rampage was pointless in terms of seizing the Dragon Scroll, on the contrary, it actively reduced Tai Lung's chances. Note, he completely ignored the village upon his return, going straight for the temple. Tai Lung normally - when not in sight of the Dragon Scroll - is pretty smart and composed. I think, Oogway predicted that Tai Lung will react badly, and quite possibly try to take the scroll by force, but failed to predict the extent of his outburst, because such rage was uncharacteristic for Tai Lung. Oogway most likely expected that if explanations won't work (and again, we don't know, how Oogway presented his refusal), Tai Lung will just challenge him to a duel, which he will win, and after which Tai Lung can be goaded towards a less self-destructive path using the old "you lost because you lack this quality, now go to obtain it" bait. In addition, it seems Tai Lung just wasn't close or emotionally attached to Oogway (he didn't care when he saw Oogway's staff in the Hall of Heroes and realized that the turtle is dead), and therefore wasn't inclined to accept unpleasant truths from him.
      • Agree 100%. One bit of food for thought: the reason the rampage in the village doesn't seem to fit or make sense for someone whose goal was just to claim the scroll may be a result of Tai Lung being found too sympathetic by audiences. In the DVD commentary, the directors admitted that people were feeling so sympathetic for Tai Lung they had forgotten he was the villain, so they inserted the rampage to remind people how and why he was bad. The mistake they made is that because of this insertion not being part of the original script, the event itself no longer makes sense in-universe, requiring us to figure out why he would go on a rampage, then come back up to get the scroll. There are really only two explanations: he really was that enraged and maddened as to go on a slaughter before gaining the thing he craved (undermined by him being cool, calm, and smart for most of the movie, and him ignoring the village when he comes for the scroll at the end); or something set him off...which just gives people more reason to sympathize. Either way, Dream Works shot themselves in the foot.
      • Sorry, I'm confused...How does something setting Tai Lung off make him more sympathetic? I always imagined it has some of the villagers recognising him and calling him out on his failure to earn the scroll, and he got angry enough to wipe them out and just kept getting worse. It's not exactly as Tigress described it, true, but it still indicates that he has severe anger issues that need to be kept in check. And saying "He's sympathetic because the rampage wasn't in the original script" is like saying any villain should be sympathetic just because they were written into a villainous role. Within the story, Tai Lung's actions are entirely his fault - you can't justify them just by tearing down the fourth wall.
    • It boils down to the fact that telling him the lesson or not telling him the lesson doesn't help him actually understand the point of the lesson. Given that Oogway spends the vast majority of his time trying to teach Shifu (and by proxy, Tai Lung and Tigress) the same lesson in various ways, he may very well have been trying to impress the idea that Tai Lung didn't need the Scroll to be the Dragon Warrior. Would telling Tai Lung that he's not ready yet - or in Tai Lung's eyes, that he wasn't good enough/he was flawed/etc etc - really have taught him the lesson any better? Would Tai Lung really have taken those sorts of statements any better? Would Shifu have understood either at that point? That's what Oogway was looking for and what motivated him to eventually move on; in order for Oogway to find his successor before he passed, he had to pass in order for Shifu (his successor) to understand that Shifu was indeed his successor... he just needed to realize that that sort of wisdom and insight was already there.
    • The real question is why Oogway thought "believe in yourself" was an idea he needed to hide away in the first place. Everyone, including him, acts like the Dragon Scroll is some kind of magic talisman that can make people better at Kung Fu but it really isn't. In fact, Oogway treating it like a mystical force instead of a life lesson actually made people less likely to believe they can make themselves great when there's a scroll that can do that for them not far away. Tai Lung's whole rampage is the result of him trying to seize power, not a philosophical idea.
      • Ah, but is it really that Oogway acts like it's a magic talisman, or is it just that everyone else assumes that and he doesn't bother to dissuade them? Remember, he's the only one that knows what's in it. He never says that the scroll is a secret that enables amazing Kung Fu... just that it's to be read by the Dragon Warrior. The scroll is given to the Dragon Warrior because the Dragon Warrior is the one who will understand its message... having the scroll doesn't make you the Dragon Warrior. They made this point rather elegantly by the fact that when Po sees it, he gets the message immediately, unlike Tai Lung who's just absolutely confused.
      • Nnnno, Oogway acts like it's a magic talisman as well, otherwise he wouldn't have had an entire ceiling-mounted art installation to house it. Shifu even asks him who could be worthy of its secret, and he says he doesn't know. He clearly acknowledges the power and value of the scroll and what's in it and has clearly encouraged the hype, because the hype is the point: it is special because it is believed to be special, but as the originator of the secret, he is the one who started it, the same way that Po's dad started selling "secret ingredient soup" to make people pay more for the regular stuff.
      • He doesn't get it immediately. He even says to to Tai Lung. His father inadvertently explains the message in the "secret ingredient" reveal.
      • Which is the point. Oogway may have felt that trying to explain the lesson undermines it, and he may be right that people wouldn't believe or value the answer if they don't discover it on their own, but if not bothering to dissuade people from thinking the scroll was a magic talisman that makes one the Dragon Warrior is why first Shifu, then Tai Lung, and even Tigress and the rest of the Five to some extent kept trying to learn and do everything they could to claim it, wouldn't preventing this misunderstanding and the likely tragic consequences of it override teaching a philosophical lesson? Po got it when he was told it, in a different form, by Ping (and not immediately, he initially thought it was blank and worthless too and that Oogway was crazy); Shifu may not have understood it at the time but he seems to get it after Po demonstrates his understanding; and while Tai Lung obviously doesn't get it now, if Oogway had stepped in and explained the lesson when he was a cub, before Shifu and his flawed understanding got a chance to corrupt Tai Lung's thinking, all this could have been avoided.
      • Tai Lung was not entitled to the scroll, and we are given no indication that Oogway ever directly or indirectly promised he would have it. I find it highly doubtful that a future rage-crazed murderer could grow up right under Oogway's nose and Oogway would never have noticed.
      • No, he wasn't entitled to it, but if you assert that only the Dragon Warrior is worthy of the scroll and only Oogway decides who the Dragon Warrior is, then you're also asserting that only the Dragon Warrior is worthy of self-worth. Tai Lung may not have been entitled to the scroll itself, but it was never a secret that it was his dream and his ambition to one day earn it, and that's a serious fault on the part of his teachers. You can't dangle something in front of someone, present it as a reward for hard work, and then simply deny it to them once they've already put the effort in. From the very beginning of his training, becoming the Dragon Warrior was the end goal, and no one told him it was straight-up unattainable because he wasn't the Chosen One; denying the scroll to Tai Lung at the last minute is like having someone work an 80-hour week and then not paying them because the payroll budget was tapped out before they were even hired.
      • Again, no-one promised Tai Lung would get the scroll. Even Shifu only told him he was destined for greatness, which could mean anything. Also I'm pretty sure that certain person from the example would not respond by trashing an innocent village (or city). He is a sympathetic villain to be sure, but a villain nonetheless and if the test audience didn't DILP Tai Lung as much as they did, the rampage scene would never have been needed.
      • Also, it's not saying that ONLY the Dragon Warrior is worthy of self-worth. It's that to truly become the Dragon Warrior, one must REALIZE their worth. To understand that true strength comes from within, from being true to their own self. Tai Lung wasn't worthy because he saw strength as a prize, something to be won by crushing one's opponents. Thr Five weren't worthy because they sw strength as the absence of weakness. Po proved himself worthy by accepting both his strengths AND embracing his shortcomings

     Tai Lung's defeat 
  • Don't get me wrong, I love the movie, and the fights were great; but I always found the villain's defeat kinda lame... I mean, what's up with the Badass Decay of Tai Lung in the last fight? In all his previous scenes he totally outclassed everyone (all the rhino guards, the Furious Five, his master), yet he has no chance against a fat panda with little to no training (at least compared to his level of training)? The first part is fine, since Tai Lung was obsessed with the scroll, but when he focused on killing Po and saw that his Pressure Point technique didn't work, shouldn't he be able to finish his opponent in a bazillion other methods?
    • Consider what kind of effort the two of them had put in prior to their fights: Po had to climb a flight of stairs. Tai Lung had to cross however much distance, after fighting off the Furious Five, climb those same stairs, fight Shifu, and chase Po all over town while getting sat on intermittently by a very fat panda. Tai Lung was coming at it from something of a long exertion disadvantage, even if he was better able to handle it than Po would have been. Also, at least two of the direct hits he takes? Are his own. Possibly as a set up to the second movie, Po naturally reflects some of Tai Lung's strikes, and chances are, Tai Lung is the only person who can really hurt Tai Lung with a direct strike. By the time the end of that fight rolled around, he'd taken a lot of his own punishment.
    • Because Kung Fu Panda subscribes to the old martial arts trope of enlightenment and inner strength being more important than physical strength. Note, that generally it just means that Right Makes Might, giving a good guy a timely power-up (see Kung Fu Hustle for a deliberately blatant and over-the-top example). But Kung Fu Panda actually uses this trope in a more thoughtful fashion (I would have said deconstructs it, had Deconstruction not actually meant "Grimderp" nowadays) - good guys can end up on the receiving end of it. For the most glaring example, see how far Po's skills degrade in the sequel, when he allows his old trauma to dominate him - Tigress, who lost to Tai Lung, both when it was one-on-one and five-on-one, wipes the floor with him without even trying. The Five and Shifu got beaten by Tai Lung for similar reasons. Anyway, before the final battle Tai Lung is utterly mentally crushed by the revelation of the Dragon Scroll. I actually believe, that he got the meaning, at least after Po, explained it to him. Tai Lung is not exactly dense. And this meant that Tai Lung slammed headfirst in the facts that his decades in jail were for nothing; his betrayal of Shifu AND rejection of Shifu's attempt to make amends just minutes ago were for nothing; he's not ever going to set things right and become the hero the way he wanted to by proving that he can master the secret of the Dragon Scroll and Oogway was mistaken (DVD commentary notes that Tai Lung secretly hoped so); his entire goal in life was wrong; and, to add insult to injury, some friggin fat panda from nowhere has better understanding of kung fu mysteries than him! Tai Lung cannot contest this truth, but he also cannot bear it. His attack is a furious denial expressed with kung fu. Of course he gets owned. Had he been able to keep enough cool to do more than blindly rush at Po, he wouldn't attack in the first place.
      • In short, he lacks the self-control - the discipline - necessary to be a true master and lacks the confidence at that point. He's trying to win, to prove that he's right. Po already believes he can/will win and is simply trying to fight.

     Inconsistent battle stats 
  • Okay, in part one Tai Lung curb-stomps the furious five all at once. Then Po curb-stomps Tai Lung in single combat. In part two when Po fights Tigress (meaning the legitimate fight in the prison, not the sparring they did on the boat), Tigress curb-stomps Po... Umm... What?
    • Po didn't beat Tai Lung because he was simply stronger, but because Tai Lung's main technique didn't work on him. Which was the whole point of the film.
    • See second answer to the headscratcher directly above.
    • It wasn't an actual fight or anything, but Tigress didn't seem to want to hurt him and vice versa. She was just trying to protect him. Major Ship Tease moment here, if you read between the lines.
    • Po, Tai Lung and Tigress are actually perfect counters to each other, like rock, paper scissors. TL outclasses Tigress in every aspect of Kung Fu, but is so offensively minded that Po can easily defeat him by turning moves against him. But Po is still fairly unskilled, so the more balanced and restrained Tigress can overpower him (also, Po likely holds back a lot more than Tigress does when they spar).
      • Truth in Television-just because Person A beats Person B, and Person B beats Person C, does not mean that Person A will beat Person C. There's more to any fight than just skill-there's strength, speed, how seriously both are taking it, how well they know each other's fighting styles, and motivation.

     Tai Lung's fighting 
  • Anybody else noticed how Tai Lung never actually throws the first punch? Maybe it's just me, but in every fight starting from his escape, he doesn't seem to throw the first punch, unless he has a good reason anyway. When he breaks free in the prison, they start shooting huge arrows at him, then hundreds of normal arrows at once, and then all rhinos start coming at him in order to take him down, and he fights back (granted, they were doing their jobs, but still). When he rushes across the bridge, it's cut down, Tigress kicks him in the chin, and then she attacks him after he taunts them. When he arrives at the Valley, he leaves everybody alone, going straight to the palace instead of going on a rampage again. At the palace, he actually just talks to Shifu instead of attacking, and the fight doesn't start until Shifu makes it plain and clear that if Tai Lung wants the scroll, they have to fight. Finally, Po arrives and challenges Tai Lung, taunting him by showing him the scroll, which makes Tai Lung go for it. Honestly, the one time Tai Lung attacks without any provocation is when he sees the blank scroll, which is also when his dreams are shattered and his whole world crumbles around him, and one could still argue that the fight was not actually over.
    • Considering he obviously intended to hurt people anyway, I think it was justified.
      • Obviously? Hardly. He wouldn't have attacked the Five if they hadn't been in his way, he only went for Po when he saw he had the scroll, and when he came to the palace to face Shifu he completely ignored the town and the evacuating villagers (who as we saw later were not even completely out of the Valley when the fight ended). Even Shifu, despite the bad blood between them, was treated courteously if coolly until he denied Tai Lung again (as his son as well as of the scroll); the only ones he "obviously" meant to hurt were the rhino guards, and it would have been pretty hard to escape without hurting at least some of them.
      • The above is 100% correct. The only times he fights anyone, it's because they're between him and the scroll. The movie wants us to think he's just a violent maniac, but he isn't, that's why the "laid waste to the valley" part had to be added and why it's so glaringly out of character. Tai Lung wants only one thing, and although he's pretty disrespectful when he actually makes it to the Jade Palace, he doesn't harm anyone until they make a point of getting in his way... and they only get in his way just to be in his way, the scrolls has nothing in it that needs protecting from him and they know it. They don't want to stop Tai Lung because Tai Lung needs to be stopped, they stop Tai Lung because they want to stop him.
    • He's a dangerous criminal who broke out of prison. The rhinos were the prison guards, and Shifu/the Furious Five are like law enforcement, in a sense.
    • Is this supposed to say that Tai Lung is a good guy? Just because he didn't directly attack first, that makes everything else he did okay?
    • No. Not at all. They were just explaining the reasons why he doesn't throw the first punch. They weren't trying to DILP him.

     Why don't you just shoot him? 
  • Why not just kill Tai Lung? Seriously, why bother keeping him locked up, far, far away, in a specially built prison that was carved out of a mountain, manned by a thousand strong army of Rhino guards, and kept trapped in an elaborate turtle themed box, possibly with special magic/chi suppression built in, shacked with enough metal to chains to have served as a anchors for a small fleet, and on top of that, traps, SIEGE weapon stations, and a self destruct system that looks like its supposed to cave the entire complex in and bring the mountain crashing down.
    • Something as simple as a humble noodle vendor slitting Tai Lung's throat while Tai Lung was paralyzed would have solved many problems.
    • Oogway might've been a pacifist. Or, most likely, it could've been Shifu's doing. After all, Shifu saw Tai Lung as a son, and he felt responsible for the way Tai Lung ended up. (you know, getting his hopes up and all)
    • Taking the theory a few headscratchers above that says that the rampage was added in after people found Tai Lung too sympathetic and they didn't shift the rest of the story to compensate offers another explanation. In the original, i.e. before the rampage was added, Tai Lung's crime would have been trying to take the scroll by force and striking his master/father. A bad crime, enough to warrant a lengthy prison sentence, but not bad enough to get Tai Lung executed. Well, obviously, they couldn't kill somebody who didn't deserve it, but Tai Lung would break out of any normal prison easily. Thus, Chor Gom was built to house him. Once the rampage was added in, Tai Lung's crimes become bad enough to warrant execution, but like the attempted theft of the dragon scroll, they didn't adjust the rest of the story to account for the rampage, leading to the headscratcher.
    • Or, y'know, it's just a common trope of Chinese martial arts films, which Kung Fu Panda is done in the spirit of. Having a martial arts master who went bad and committed a bunch of crimes chained up in prison instead of just getting executed is a pretty standard plot point. Heck, the major deviation is that Po didn't visit him in prison and learn some of his techniques before Tai Lung's eventual escape and their final confrontation.

     Who built the prison 
  • Who pays for things like far away, tricked out mountain prisons and its upkeep along with the salary of a thousand guards?
    • Tai Lung's personal prison looks like very expensive real estate so SOMEONE has got to be paying for it. No one in the Kung Fu Panda world so far looks like they have pockets deep enough, or interests common enough, to toss the kind of money away.
    • The people who usually pay for that sort of thing: the government. Sure, the prison must be extremely expensive for just one prisoner, but that prisoner IS Tai Lung.
    • Oogway is a thousand years old, the inventor of kung fu, and highly respected, and therefore likely can call upon favors from the Emperor. Add to this Tai Lung's rampage and how skilled he was, thus requiring such expensive facilities to hold and punish him, and it becomes clear—not only would the Emperor want to help out Oogway, paying for Tai Lung's imprisonment would protect the people of the Valley and the empire, too.
    • Possibly the prison isn't just a prison, but a border fortification that was already garrisoned by a thousand well-armed rhino soldiers. When it became necessary to confine Tai Lung, the deepest of its maximum-security strongrooms were converted into customized prison facilities.

     Crane's disappointment 
  • So why at the start of the film do any of the Furious Five who aren't Tigress really think there is any chance they will become the Dragon Warrior?? When Po is in Crane's room at the end of that day, Crane says he's had a long and "disappointing day", the only disappointment that it can refer to is the disappointment of not being named Dragon Warrior. Yet it is quite clear from the start that Tigress is head and shoulders above the other members, a fact reinforced repeatedly throughout each movie and the TV series (I'd say culminating in the second film when she confronts Po about not getting Shen and the other members of the five watch impotently but that's by the by). No one seems to suggest that Viper, Monkey, Crane or Mantis would be suitable for being Dragon Warrior, in fact the opinions expressed are that if Po hadn't arrived, Tigress have become Dragon Warrior, yet I go back to Crane's disappointment. What was going on??
    • The only disappointment isn't that he wasn't the Dragon Warrior. Maybe he was disappointed that Tigress didn't get it, or that Po did. Imagine one of your friends, one of your dearest, closest friends, has worked her whole life for something, you expect her to get it, and just when she's about to, some jackass who obviously doesn't deserve the honor steals it out from under her. Wouldn't you be disappointed? Or if, say, a Michael Bay movie gets Best Picture at the Oscars instead of something by Scorsese or Spielberg?
      • Well I think the point I was trying to make has been slightly missed there. I'm not trying to discuss the facets of Crane's disappointment in itself. But first, I can understand the notion of being disappointed a team mate doesn't get something, but, for Crane to be disappointed for Tigress would, in my opinion, require a level of friendship we simply didn't see between them. In fact the only memorable interaction between Crane and Tigress at all that I can remember is from the second film, where after she hugged Po and told him she couldn't watch her friend die, Crane asks if she couldn't bear to watch him die, she doesn't break stride as she walks past and in her normal coldish/stand offish tone (i.e. not a warm, friendly joke) said "stop being a wimp". However, what brings me more to my original point is if Crane is indeed disappointed that one of the others doesn't get the Dragon Warrior, then why is he so? Because like I say, the notion that any of the Five except for Tigress becoming the Dragon Warrior is clearly a fancy thought, nothing more. So I'm asking, did Crane, or any of the other members (apart from Tigress), think they or one of their teammates could actually become the DW? Did Mantis think Viper stood a chance for example? etc. and if they did, why??
      • While Tigress was clearly the front runner, the fact that nobody had been chosen yet could easily be taken to mean they were all candidates who could have gotten it. And as was said, it doesn't have to be personal disappointment that Crane didn't get it—it can just be disappointment that Po did get it.
      • Listening to the commentary on the film, Tigress was actually about to be named Dragon Warrior before Po arrived.
      • And that's irrelevant. The Furious Five clearly did not know that, or else there would have been no point to all the fuss about Master Oogway finally picking someone.
      • It's not irrelevant, it informs the general discussion as it is a piece of information which confirms who would have become Dragon Warrior if Po hadn't have shown up. By confirming it as Tigress, it also backs up the original point that Tigress was head and shoulders above the other members of the Five (she was, and would have become it in the normal course of events). Which leads back to the original question, did any of the other four members of the Five genuinely think they stood a chance of becoming the Dragon Warrior and if so, why? This is a genuine question, did Monkey, Mantis, Viper, Crane think they possessed something which stood them in good standing to become the Dragon warrior?
      • Yes, they did. Tigress might have been the front runner but, once again, the rest of the Five did not know she would get it. They can't read Master Oogway's mind, and Master Oogway is all mysterious and aloof, doing seemingly odd things for reasons of his own. Just because Tigress was the strongest of the warriors doesn't mean that Oogway was going to pick her. And, in the end, he didn't.
      • You know who else thought skill in kung fu was all that mattered in choosing the Dragon Warrior? Tai Lung. And we all know how that went.
      • As an aside, if a Michael Bay film won best picture over something by Spielberg or Scorsese, I'd probably throw a party and not stop laughing for days. And maybe actually start watching the Oscars again.
    • Tigress is the best of the Five in terms of sheer fighting ability, but it doesn't follow that the others didn't have a chance. Obviously, demonstrated fighting ability wasn't the only consideration, though they probably expected it to be a consideration. They all put their hats in the ring for a reason, and while Crane may not have expected to get it, he probably hoped.

     Panda's rareness 
  • Okay, since the sequel establishes that Lord Shen killed most of the Giant Pandas and the rest are living in hiding, wouldn't that mean that seeing a Panda out and about would be a big deal? Yet the citizens of the Valley of Peace don't even give Po a second glance. Granted, Po is in his twenties/thirties when the films begin, but still.
    • The Valley is some way away from Gongmen city. Maybe by the time the news had arrived people were already like, hey there's Ping's son Po and didn't put two and two together...or something...Anyway, even if he were to find out about Po, I doubt Shen would ever have tried anything with Oogway around. He didn't attack Thundering Rhino until he had the cannon(s) ready to go and Oogway was a master among masters.
    • Maybe the Pandas never really had all that great of numbers to begin with. Maybe they didn't leave their villages all that often. Maybe Panda trade routes never really intersected with the Valley of Peace. All these reasons could explain how people of the village could simply write him off as an anomaly, and not equate him as the last survivor of his race. For all we know, the Valley of Peace's first experience with pandas could be through Po.
    • There are so many different species of Talking Animal in these films that it's probably not unusual to have token members of a foreign species living in any given city. The Valley of Peace might have one panda cooking dumplings at the noodle shop, one wolf stoking the furnace at the blacksmith's, one peacock performing with a dance troupe, etc.
    • It's also worth noting that, even if they were aware of Po's status as the last of his race, it wouldn't do them any good to constantly lampshade it
    • Simple. He's been living in the Valley of Peace for nearly his entire life. It's made clear that the restaurant has been in the family for some generations. The people there, by the time the movie starts, are just used to him being there, regardless of how rare his race are.

     The Furious Five sneaking out 
  • Alright, in the first morning that Po was staying at the Jade Palace, it's established that each morning Shifu gives a roll call to the Furious Five. So how is it that the morning after they sneak out to kill Tai Lung, that Shifu doesn't notice that they're gone?
    • You must pay attention to the prevailing scenario before you examine that scene - China's greatest criminal has escaped from prison and Shifu, and the Furious Five, to a lesser extent, are presumably among his first targets, the one tortoise who managed to stop him before has passed on, and he's left in his place a self-depreciating panda with no combat experience who even a great kung-fu master like Shifu admits he doesn't know how he's going to train. It makes sense that they wouldn't have as much emphasis on traditional routines, given the situation - for all Shifu knows, there's no point to do any more training at all.
    • Also, it seems implied that the first thing Shifu did that morning, after meditating by the peach tree, was go to the kitchen where he discovered Po. Inspired by the panda's amazing feats while stealing the cookies, he immediately took him to Wu Dan—i.e., he was in such a hurry to capitalize on his insight that he left with Po without bothering to check on the Five, which was why he didn't know they had left. Admittedly that does seem a bit out of character for him, but since it's critical Po learn kung fu if he is to stop Tai Lung, he may have decided taking him off for training overrode everything else.

     Po and his dad 
  • Pardon me if I missed something, but why doesn't Po come clean about his kung fu dream to his father in the opening? For that matter, how does his dad not know about his love of kung fu, considering how long he has raised Po, or how Po's room is full of kung fu figurines, etc.?
    • His father may know that Po likes kung fu, but it doesn't mean he wants it getting in the way of his dreams as a noodle...person. Po doesn't want to hurt his feelings.

     Belief in yourself 
  • I don't understand the moral of the first film...The Dragon Scroll is revealed to be nothing but a reflective surface, symbolizing the fact that there is no special thing that makes someone the Dragon Warrior, but rather, a belief in themselves and their own abilities. But...Tai Lung believed in himself, too, didn't he? It'd be difficult to say that he didn't, so how does this reasoning make any sense?
    • I'd argue the moral is closer to "there is no secret ingredient" than "believe in yourself." Sure, that's what Po had to learn, but Tai Lung would've had to learn that he doesn't need external praise, to be at peace with being himself first, and not to get his identity from whether he's the Dragon Warrior or not. Or, to put it another way, the scroll is meant to be the secret to being the Dragon Warrior. The secret that makes the Dragon Warrior so special is... you. There are a couple different ways someone could take this, depending on who they are. If they're Po, and believe they aren't special because everyone else is awesome, the scroll says "You're special." If they're Tai Lung, and believe something else can make them happy or special, the scroll says "It's in you."
    • Tai Lung is justifiably confident in his ability, but if you watch carefully, there are hints that he doesn't quite feel good enough. Like, he needed the scroll to validate himself, which is the opposite of the lesson the scroll teaches.
    • But didn't Po feel that, too? All throughout the movie, he says things like "Of course, I'm not the Dragon Warrior" and "If they can't...They're five masters. I'm just one me"...Or perhaps, is it the idea that Po eventually learns the meaning of the scroll and accepts it, whereas Tai Lung refuses to when he gets a chance to "read" it himself later on.
      • At first, yeah, Po is really self-deprecating, but then he understands that there is no secret ingredient-he can be the Dragon Warrior because he believes in himself. Tai Lung, as noted above, feels like he needs the Dragon Scroll to prove himself worthy.
    • The message of the Scroll isn't "believe in yourself"; the message of the Scroll is that the Dragon Warrior has all of the power he needs within himself. The reason that Tai Lung and all of the others were denied the Scroll was less that they were "not worthy" of being the Dragon Warrior, but rather that they literally were not the Dragon Warrior; Po was the Dragon Warrior all along. Oogway himself had no idea who the Dragon Warrior would be until he laid eyes on Po; he may have somehow known that the Dragon Warrior would be a student of Shifu, so he was willing to at least consider Tai Lung and the Five as potentials, but he was only going to accept Tigress reluctantly because he had waited so long, was evidently nearing the end of his life, and was ready to concede that maybe she was and the "psychic tingle" he was waiting for to confirm it was never going to come...until it did when Po was nearby. Po was destined to be the one who looked at the Dragon Warrior scroll and anyone else who did would not be the Dragon Warrior.
    • Confidence and Pride are different degrees of belief in oneself. The former has room to allow fallibility (realization of one's errors) and flexibility (never be unwilling to try something new), things Tai Lung refused to accept.
    • Also, the tenet of the Scroll is more one of self-actualization. It's not about being the best, it's about being the best YOU. Tai Lung was always obsessed by being the greatest, by being better than everyone. Tigress and Shifu have similar mindsets, though to lesser extents. However, Po sees himself, knows who he is and, more importantly, is NOT, and strives to be the best Po Ping he can. He doesn't want to beat the Five, or be better at Kung Fu than Tai Lung. He wants to improve himself, to perfect who HE is. He sees his faults and limitations, but wants to improve them. Tigress and Shifu, and ESPECIALLY Tai Lung don't accept their flaws.

     Po stinks 
  • "When you focus on kung fu, when you stink." How does Shifu know this, though? He never tried actually training Po before this point; all he did was beat him up, and have his students beat him up, as a way of trying to convince him to leave.
    • Because he knows that Po was trying during those parts, and could see that he stunk.

     How did Mr Ping sneak in 
  • When Oogway is announcing Po as the arrival of the new Dragon Warrior, we can see Mr. Ping sneaking a peek from the opened temple entrance...but how did he get in? The front door was locked.
    • There was probably an easy way to open the doors and get inside that, in his excitement, Po managed to overlook. He's been established as the kind of guy who gets so hyperactive that he overlooks obvious solutions quite often.
    • Even if he didn't open the door, he could have just flown over it. He's a bird, after all. This is even pointed out in the third movie.

     Just give it to him, it's blank 
  • So, here's what I don't get: why not give Tai Lung the stupid scroll? Allegedly the scroll contains the secret to limitless power, but it's essentially a hoax. The scroll has nothing written on it, no secret techniques, no magic spells, there was nothing in it that Tai Lung could abuse or get a power trip from. The whole movie, everyone, even Oogway, sees it as something that only the the Chosen One is allowed to have because only the Chosen One is worthy of the power in the scroll, but there's nothing in the scroll except...a puzzle about believing in yourself? Why does only the Chosen One get to have self-esteem? The way the story plays out, unreliable narrators aside, the only reason the scroll even exists is so that Oogway can deny it to Tai Lung. We're meant to dislike Tai Lung because he's disobedient, arrogant and greedy, but the whole point of his wanting the scroll was because he wanted validation and believed that earning the Dragon Scroll would give it to him... and he was right: the secret in the scroll is literally validation. If the "darkness" in Tai Lung's heart is the anger and resentment that comes from deeply-masked insecurity and desire for his father-figure to be proud of him, wouldn't the scroll be exactly what he needed? Or is it just a callback to the Feather, that we meet our fate on the path we take to avoid it, even if you're Oogway trying to save the scroll for someone who needs it?
    • To Tai Lung, the scroll wasn't just validation. He clearly wanted the power that came with it. And we saw what happened when he did get his hands on the scroll and found out it was nothing — he lashed out. He's already extremely powerful without the scroll, and the darkness Oogway saw was, essentially, "when this guy finds out the scroll says nothing, he's going to lash out at everyone in a rage."
      • But that isn't true, we see him get the scroll and he's completely confused and heartbroken to find out that, in his words, the scroll is nothing. He goes back to fighting Po because that's really all he can do, and even then, he just resorts to the nerve attack to paralyze Po and end the fight, it just doesn't work. There's no reason to protect a scroll with nothing written on it (to the point of evacuating an entire city and unleashing the Chosen One to play keep-away with it), he doesn't even have any reason to believe it's actually the real scroll, let alone Po's cryptic interpretation. And either way, Tai Lung still ended up lashing out regardless, so there really was no reason to deny him the scroll either way. If anything, it would have meant that "the return of Tai Lung" would have been circumvented because there wouldn't be anything there that he wanted in the first place.
      • On top of that, the only reason Tai Lung wanted it was because it was the end-goal of his ambition to become the Dragon Warrior, but the scroll is meaningless in that context. We're supposed to view him as a villain because he wants something valuable for the wrong reasons, but everyone else thought the same thing he did. Even Shifu gave Po the scroll because he thought it would give him the power to defeat Tai Lung and didn't understand the riddle, but for some reason, it's evil when Tai Lung does it?
      • Because everyone else didn't react to not getting it by Laying Waste to the Valley.
      • The Dragon Warrior is also a position of some note and power — Po, for instance, appears to effectively lead the Furious Five. Tai Lung gets the Dragon Scroll, the title of Dragon Warrior, and... then what? Someone with that much ambition, do you think they'll just stop? Or would they take their now-official power and do more with it, like decide, "I'm the Legendary Dragon Warrior, why don't I just rule China?"
      • The Dragon Warrior doesn't rule China and isn't the de-facto leader of the Five, which didn't exist when Tai Lung was young. This is exactly the problem with denying it to him: it is an entirely arbitrary title with no meaning beyond the hype of being itself. Po has no formal authority and Tai Lung never expresses a desire to do anything other than just be the Dragon Warrior. He even has the same parallel to Po's foreshadowing dream in the beginning (Our battle will be legendary!) because they have the same basic goal, the difference is that Po is humble and Tai Lung isn't, something that Shifu directly claims responsibility for (because he spends the entire first half trying to humiliate Po into leaving the palace and spent Tai Lung's entire childhood building him up). Tai Lung never expresses any form of desire for anything beyond living up to the future that he dedicated his entire life to earning, and when he has the option to claim authority by might, he deliberately cedes it to Shifu by giving him Oogway's staff. He doesn't want anything but the title he was told he would earn if he worked hard enough.
    • I know he doesn't rule China, and I'm not saying Tai Lung wanted to specifically command the Five — I'm saying that the Dragon Warrior is, as a position, treated with respect and deference, and gave as an example of that how Po is basically the Five's leader by virtue of being the Dragon Warrior, even though all the others have skill and seniority on him. What it boils down to is this: People who are ambitious, especially those in fiction who are noted to have "darkness in his heart," get bored once they get what they want. I'm positing that Tai Lung won't just stop and go, "Okay, I'm the Dragon Warrior. Yay for me, time to just sit around, train forever and not do anything with this power, I suppose." Especially if the position doesn't come with any actual, physical power, which is clearly what he's after.
      • But Tai Lung isn't ambitious, any more than someone who has put together 999 pieces of a 1000-piece puzzle is ambitious when they're excited to put the last one down. He has one very specific goal that he has put his entire life into achieving, he doesn't have a lust for power in general. And we know that the Dragon Warrior has a responsibility to protect the valley, something that the Five and Po are called upon to do all the freaking time. He isn't after physical power for its own sake, he's after physical power because he thinks it's the key to getting what he wants and making himself a worthwhile person, and the valley has an endless supply of enemeies that Tai Lung, as someone exactly as obsessed with kung fu as Po, cannot possibly get bored with fighting. I'm not saying that he should have been given the title, obviously there's an entire destiny involved and the third movie makes it clear that Oogway's decision was not a random non-accident because he knew the significance of Po being a panda, I'm saying that the secret of self-respect should not have been a secret in the first place, and the only reason it is a secret, is to arbitrarily keep it out of Tai Lung's hands. There is no reason to put up a gate between a heavily-pressured young adult and a Magic Feather.
    • To be fair, learning to respect yourself as you are isn't a secret - it's something anyone is able to learn, if they were able to reflect on it enough. It might've just been your word choice, but you make it sound like self-respect is this top-secret thing that only the Dragon Scroll can teach you.
      • Well, in the movie, it actually is a secret. The only person who can actually understand the concept without it being a complete personal revelation is Po's father, who's been using it as a marketing scam. Living up to an impossible ideal is the driving motivation of almost every major character in the movie because they all want to be the Dragon Warrior, which has "self-respect" as its very secret qualifier. You're right, self-respect shouldn't be something you can only learn from the Dragon Scroll, but that's exactly the problem: if it's not a secret, why doesn't anyone teach it?
      • Because it's not something that needs to be taught - it's only "secret" in that it's the "secret" to understanding the Dragon Scroll. That doesn't mean that no one can ever respect themselves unless they're taught how to by the Dragon Scroll, rather that you need to understand how to respect yourself in order to understand anything about the Dragon Scroll. It's like having the Dragon Scroll be written out backwards and upside-down, so that whoever understands it will have a grip on foregoing the norm and understanding different perspectives, and then criticizing the scroll by saying that someone couldn't possibly already do that on their own. It isn't meant to teach anything, just to confirm what you already know.

     Why didn't Po just give Tai Lung the scroll? 
  • Building on the above question, why didn't Po just give Tai Lung the scroll? When Tai Lung finally got it, Po tried to convince him of its meaning; in that case, why did he go through the effort of trying to fight him to keep it away from him? What was there to gain?
    • Getting him away from Shifu, for a start. Also, we all saw what did happen when Tai Lung got it — he tried to lash out at Po again. So giving it to him when he's fit and ready to fight would have, if anything, made things worse.

     Oogway’s questionable teaching methods 
  • I get the film’s pointing out the importance of flexibility and openness, as well as the faith to go through with such themes. But as a teacher Oogway is responsible for guiding people, especially young people, to a better way of life/deeds, and that has to be done directly (not always, but generally). Why didn’t he step in during Tai Lung’s training to explain to Sifu that he was making a mistake?
    • Besides that, why didn’t he try to demystify the scroll when people were glorifying it, which wasn’t what he intended? What’s the use in indirect teaching if people miss the point?

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