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YMMV / Kung Fu Panda

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Please add anything related to Kung Fu Panda 2 or Kung Fu Panda 3 on their own pages respectively.

  • Adorkable:
    • Po. Look no further than when he first entered the Jade Palace and spent the next minute or two just gawking to himself over the cool kung fu artifacts. Panda-ing to the Audience, indeed.
    • Tigress usually hides it well, but when caught off guard, she can be endearingly flustered or sweet. She was this in spades in her cub years.
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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Shifu at times borders on Ron the Death Eater. Was he, personally, responsible for Tai Lung becoming evil? Does he see any of his students as anything more than a chance for personal glory by training a great warrior? Were his issues really resolved at the end of the first movie, or is he still basically the same uncaring jerk, just with less stress in his life?
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: An animated 3D movie with colourful talking kung-fu fighting animals and the main character being a big fat panda voiced by Jack Black who has to learn kung-fu to beat the Big Bad? By that description alone, you'd think this would have been a flop at the time, but it became one of Dreamworks' most successful movie franchises along with its sequels.
  • Awesome Music: Courtesy of Hans Zimmer and John Powell.
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  • Base-Breaking Character: Shifu. Some dislike him for being a cold, uncaring Sadist Teacher to Po and his other students, while others believe his rougher edges make him a deeper and more complex character. This mostly applies to the first film, however, as Shifu is significantly nicer and more supportive in the future instalments, which caused most of his detractors to think better of him.
  • Complete Monster: Ke-Pa & The Voice in the Shadows, aka Baigujing, aka the White Bone Demon. See those pages for details.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The members of the Furious Five who don't get that much screen time or development (Monkey, Viper, Mantis, and Crane) are popular, beloved characters in their own right.
    • Master Oogway only appears in the first half of the movie, but he's gone on to become one of the most beloved mentor characters in fiction thanks to his status as an Old Master, his wisdom, good sense of humor, genuine compassion for his students, and Randall Duk Kim's sincere, warm performance. His death scene is also one of the most visually and emotionally gorgeous of the entire film, accompanied by a truly astounding piece by Hans Zimmer. Many people have called him one of the best characters in animated film history, and the fanbase was delighted by his surprise return in the third movie.
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    • Mr. Ping is beloved for being a genuinely loving father to Po despite his many insecurities and flaws, showing surprising Hidden Depths by knowing the message of the film already, and also being quite funny in his various attempts to promote his noodle shop. He ended up becoming a Breakout Character to the point of becoming the Tritagonist of the third film.
  • Evil Is Cool: From busting out of Chorh Gom Prison single-handedly to putting up an epic fight against the Furious Five, there's no denying Tai Lung's badassery.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • The second it looked like Po and Tigress were on the way to becoming an item, the fandom joyfully embraced the idea.
    • While not really having anything going for it in canon, Crane and Viper appear to be the secondary item to Po and Tigress.
  • Foe Yay: Believe it or not, but there are people who ship Tai Lung/Tigress (Taigress). Compared to other pairings, this one sort of makes sense, genetically speaking.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Po spends the first half of the film as a Butt-Monkey. It's funny at the time... and then he gives a What the Hell, Hero? speech to Shifu, where he reveals that not only has he been painfully aware all along of how Shifu and the others see him as nothing but a joke and a buffoon, but that he sees himself the same way every day of his life.
  • Gateway Series: With its ambitious storytelling, blazing action and the myriad of awards, including Oscar nominations, this series has introduced millions to the Furry Fandom at its big budgeted best.
  • Genre Turning Point: Before this film, Western Animation feature films were often starkly afraid to show heroes getting into fights in which the actual trading of blows that actually connect regularly happens. Now, bruising hand to hand, albeit bloodless, combat is considered perfectly acceptable material for family films.
  • Growing the Beard: Depending who you ask, either Kung Fu Panda or Madagascar is this for DreamWorks, when they started producing either original IPs or adpatations of other works that were much better received than their earlier movies.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Trust yourself, because you can't put your faith in others who can get it wrong or whose ideology may be proven wrong as time passes. Tai Lung and the Five trusted Shifu, only to be rejected or proven wrong through getting their asses whooped; Shifu had to develop a brand new training program for Po to unlock his potential.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Mr. Ping explaining the secret behind his Secret Noodle Soup becomes this when you realize he's looking at Po with an adoring expression, and the second movie reveals he adopted Po the same day he decided not to make a soup with radishes (because a baby Po ate them all in the crate where he he was hiding). Mr. Ping in hindsight was talking about how he believes his son is special, and Po has to know it.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Thanks to Dustin Hoffman's tutoring, Jack Black surprised a lot of people with how good he was as Po.
    • Florentino Fernández, Po's Spanish voice actor, was known by his rather vulgar humor style (and his rather excellent imitations, on the other hand) and was thought to be a bad choice for a character with the emotional depth of Po. However, his performance turned out astoundingly good.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Seth Rogen and green insects are inseparable now.
    • The Chinese were so impressed by this movie, that they held conferences about why they couldn't make animated movies like this. The third movie was even produced by the new DreamWorks Orient studio in China.
    • Think this is the last time Jackie Chan will voice a Chinese monkey? Well think again!
  • I Am Not Shazam: His name is Po, not Kung Fu Panda. Got that, Seltzer and Friedberg?
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "My time has come."Explanation 
    • "I see you like to X. Maybe you should X...ON MY FIST!!!" Explanation 
    • "Finally, a worthy opponent. Our battle will be LEGENDARY!"Explanation 
    • Content Aware Po Explanation 
  • Memetic Psychopath: For some reason, the internet seems to enjoy replacing search results for infamous leaders of brutal regimes such as Holocaust and Communist China with pictures of Mr. Ping. Depictions of him as a physically abusive father are also popular.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Kung Fu Panda and its sequels are very popular in China.
  • Moral Event Horizon: When Tai Lung confesses to Shifu that all he ever wanted was to make him proud, only to find out that he had Shifu's pride and love all along, he only spends one moment looking genuinely affected before he's right back to demanding the scroll, saying he doesn't care about apologies. Since he's basically thrown away any sort of redemption that might have been offered to him, that moment signals that he deserves everything that happens to him afterward.
  • Narm: More than a few people have compared the after-effects of The Wuxi Finger Hold to a gigantic fart cloud. The fact that it's produced by pulling someone's finger just adds to this.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Kung Fu Panda the game is actually a well-made, fun Devil May Cry-style game, even though it departs from the film's story quite a bit. The same couldn't be said about the sequel's game.
  • Popular with Furries: This film series is one of the seminal inspirations that was one of the first to truly rival Disney's Robin Hood and Animalympics in cinematic influence.
  • Rooting for the Empire: A sizeable portion of fans found Tai Lung to be so damn cool that they were hoping for him to stick around and maybe even have a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Signature Line: "Skadoosh!"
  • Signature Scene: Oogway's death until Po admitting his deep self-loathing to Shifu that the latter feels absolutely helpless to help with proved DreamWorks can make something as deep as their main rival Pixar.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Stated almost word for word in the directors' commentary about Tai Lung. Although, considering his writeup in Art of Kung Fu Panda, maybe not. To elaborate: He is raised up for most of his life believing that he is destined to receive the legendary Dragon Scroll, a belief that his master Shifu actively fed and encouraged. When he is denied that right and Shifu says nothing in his defense, he unsurprisingly goes completely ballistic, attacking Shifu and then rampaging through the village. Interestingly, in the original script Tai Lung's only crimes were a) trying to take the Dragon Scroll and b) attacking his master and father. While this latter crime, filial impiety, was extremely serious in ancient China (and to some extent still is), Values Dissonance caused test audiences to sympathize greatly with Tai Lung since he hadn't hurt anyone else and was only taking out his anger on the one who, arguably, had failed him by not teaching him proper humility while at the same time raising his hopes too high. So the rampage was added in precisely to make him less sympathetic, though due to the fact that the viewers aren't shown much of the actual rampage, only told about, he still ended up more sympathetic than he was supposed to.
  • Values Resonance: Despite not being actually made by the Chinese, if one actually were to look at things from a traditionalist Confucian perspective, Tai Lung becomes an even more fitting villain. He's guilty of filial impiety, a very, VERY severe sin in Confucianism. The one thing that really seems to anger Shifu is Tai Lung suggesting that he ignore Oogway's decision for the Dragon Scroll, in effect asking Shifu to commit his own filial impiety.
  • Viewer Species Confusion: Some viewers unfamiliar with red pandas aren't sure what kind of animal Shifu is, asking if he's a raccoon, rabbit, or fox.
  • Win the Crowd: Either this film or Madagascar made people start thinking twice about disregarding DreamWorks as just another film studio or Always Second Best to Disney.
  • The Woobie: Po, particularly when he reveals himself to be a Stepford Smiler and Sad Clown with self-loathing issues. He wants to be special, because he doesn't like who he is. He gets over these issues by the end of the first film, just in time for the second film to reveal a really depressing backstory.


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