Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny is an animated television series based on the Kung Fu Panda franchise, and the second one after Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. The description is as follows:
"Set after the events of Kung Fu Panda 3, the series follows Po on a fresh adventure featuring four panda kids who happen upon a mystical cave beneath the Panda Village. The panda kids accidentally absorb the chi of ancient and powerful Kung Fu warriors known as the Four Constellations: White Tiger, Blue Dragon, Red Phoenix, and Black Tortoise. They realize they are now destined to save the world from an evil force, landing Po with his biggest challenge yet teaching this ragtag band of kids how to wield their newfound Kung Fu powers."
Mick Wingert reprises his role as Po from Legends of Awesomeness, alongside franchise regular James Hong as Mister Ping. The rest of the cast includes Haley Tju as Nu Hai, Laya DeLeon Hayes as Jing, Gunnar Sizemore as Bao, Makana Say as Fan Tong, and Chrissy Metz as Mei Mei.
The show is developed by King Julien crew member Elliot Owen.
Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny provides examples of:
- Art Evolution: The first TV show was obviously made on a TV show budget, while the animation here is almost on par with the movies, likely because it's an Amazon show.
- Art Shift: While most character models are much the same as previous works in the franchise, the model for rabbits has gone from a flat face and round cheeks (similar to Bugs Bunny) to a long wedge-shaped face with bulging eyes.
- Badass Decay: In-universe example. Sun Wukong himself justifies his poor performance against The White Bone Demon, a foe he was once capable of vanquishing, by saying that he hasn't been to a gym in over five hundred years and that he's not as spry as he used to be.
- Big Bad: The main antagonist of the first season is Jindiao the first Dragon Master. The second season's main villain in Shi Long's mysterious benefactor, The White Bone Demon.
- Continuity Nod: Bunnidharma mentions that he hasn't seen Oogway since he banished the demon Ke-Pa. This is a reference to the Legends of Awesomeness episode "Enter the Dragon".
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to Legends of Awesomeness, Paws of Destiny has much higher stakes involved, especially with longer and more serialized story arcs, multiple villains that Would Hurt a Child, and the two main Big Bads, Jindiao and The White Bone Demon, are basically demons.
- The Four Gods: As described in the summary they're adapted as four legendary kung fu masters.
- Gender-Equal Ensemble: The main kids consist of two girls (Nu Hai and Jing) and two boys (Bao and Fan Tong).
- Handshake Substitute: Po frequently shares fist-bumps with his students.
- Hero's Evil Predecessor: The Big Bad is the first Dragon Master.
- Loose Canon: Shares this distinction with Legends of Awesomeness. On one hand, Lu Kang, the water buffalo who became Emperor in LoA is seemingly retconned away, with a lynx now being established as China's Emperor for the longest time. On the other hand, Ke-Pa, a LoA exclusive villain is mentioned in passing. All in all, it's quite unclear how much continuity Paws of Destiny truly shares with Legends of Awesomeness.
- Magi Babble: Due to the series' emphasis on chi techniques, some of the exposition can feel like this.
- According to Po, there's hero chi, which can be earned by way of masters doing a tremendous feat; in his case, he earned his by way of dying in the Spirit Realm and coming back to life, Oogway's through the Sacred Peach Tree, and the kids obtained the Hero Chi of the Four Constellations within the cave under the village. This is entirely separate from good and evil chi.
- The Notable Numeral: The Four Constellations.
- Old Hero, New Pals: So far, Po, Bao, Li, Mr. Ping, Grandma and Oogway are the only characters from the original trilogy who appear in the series, and now Po goes on his adventures with his students and other new characters.
- Power Stereotype Flip: The whole point of the students' Super Empowering (see that trope here and on the character sheet).
- Purple Is the New Black: The Black Turtles chi is represented by a purple aura.
- Put on a Bus: Shifu and the rest of the Furious Five do not appear at all.
- Sequel Hook:
- Season one ends with a mysterious komodo dragon (later revealed to be the Emperor's advisor/adopted daughter Shi Long) placing a glowing red rock into an automaton of a guardian lion and activating it.
- Season two features The White Bone Demon escaping from her mechanical body to fight another day.
- Series Continuity Error: As season 2 begins, the Emperor of China is a lynx, and a later flashback implies he was on the throne for at least 20 years. The Legends of Awesomeness episodes in which the water buffalo Lu Kang became Emperor should apparently be ignored.
- To be fair, the canonicity of LoA as a whole is pretty questionable at this point. So for all we known it could very well be non-canon. Though the fact that Ke-Pa is brought up could mean that only some events from the series are canon while some others aren't.
- Spirit Advisor: Oogway to Po.
- Super Empowering: The panda children are imbued with the chi powers of four legendary kung fu masters. Just not what they'd normally get.
- Truer to the Text: Behind the scenes articles describe this series as having a look, spirit, and style closer to that of the movies compared to Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.