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YMMV / Kung Fu Panda 2

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Lord Shen. Is he just a power hungry, cold blooded killer who will do anything to get what he desires? Or a tragic character who truly felt unloved by his parents and is taking out his pain on the rest of the world? Or how about both: A villain who is driven to increasingly wicked acts by his flaws and trauma. Also his death, being either a defiant attempt or being a total Death Seeker. The creator's commentary also heavily implies that he has some sense of morality, continuing his destructive path because he knows he can't just turn around and render all his genocidal actions as "accidents".
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    • The prophecy of the "Warrior in Black and White". While Po is certainly the more direct interpretation and fits the mold perfectly, there is yet another great warrior of black and white that could qualify as well, Shen himself. After all it was only after his attempt at genocide did he get exiled from his home. He also died from his own hand, rather intentional or not. And while Po did effectively destroy Shen's army, he sure had a lot of help from all those cannon balls that Shen kept sending his way. Even after seeing point blank that Po was actively throwing them right back at him.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • What finally stuns Lord Shen at the end is not Po countering cannonfire with kung fu to singlehandedly destroy his fleet, but the fact that Po is neither permanently mired in a Heroic BSoD believing the lie that his parents abandoning him because they hated him, nor charging in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for the extermination of his people.
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    • When Po discovers what Lord Shen did to his parents, and for that matter species, his response is to... let go of his pain and find inner peace. Shen, who has never got over his own deep-rooted issues, is utterly shocked.
    • Played with when the Soothsayer and Shen first meet Po. They know that Shen attempted genocide against the Pandas, and assume that the reason that the Panda is here is to a) avenge his family/species, and b) destroy Shen once and for all. Both are shocked when they learn that not only had Po never heard of Lord Shen, but had no idea why he should have. The look on Shen's face when Po just brushes him off, totally ignoring the well-prepared speech upon their first meeting, is priceless.
  • Author's Saving Throw: One of the criticisms of the first film was that Jackie Chan had a grand total of six lines. 2 expanded on his dialog.
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  • Award Snub: Some may feel it suffered this when it lost to Rango, though the latter was a stronger critical success.
  • Awesome Art: The animation as a whole is fantastically fluid, but it also provides us with not one but two gorgeously 2D segments in different art styles: Shen's backstory in the prologue, told in the form of Chinese shadow puppetry, and Po's memories of his childhood, done in an incredibly vibrant and colorful style that rivals if not excels Disney at its peak.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Po's nightmare in the boat before the team's arrival in Gongmen. He reunites with his parents, only to find that they've replaced him with a radish which is quieter and better at kung fu than him. Said radish then proceeds to kick his ass. This sounds like a straight up version but it is less BLAM then it appears. Po is wrestling with issues of identity, where he came from, and his origins. The fear that his parents gave him up because they were trying to replace him or that they simply didn't want him is a very real fear of some adopted people, and his mind shows this quite clearly. He wishes to know why his parents gave him up, and why they wouldn't come back for him. The radish, though, was entirely BLAM, but it was a dream. The brain uses dreams to sort out bits and pieces of information that it gathers during waking hours, and since radishes played a large role in his father's tale, it's understandable that it would make it into the dream. Kung Fu is also a massive part of his life, so it would be incorporated in as well...
    • While trying to convince Masters Ox and Croc to escape the prison, Po delivers a Rousing Speech about how they will defeat Shen and destroy his weapon. A random prisoner then enthusiastically agrees, but he's never seen again. Oddly, he was a boar and had a completely unique character model. It turns out that this character was going to be in the movie as a fourth master (alongside Ox, Croc, and Rhino), but was cut for one reason or another and the character model was used in the place of a random criminal.
  • Contested Sequel: Opinion is pretty strongly divided - the first movie is generally regarded as having a stronger structure and a classic theme, while supporters of the second point to superior characterization and animation. That said, it seems more downplayed than most cases, since fans generally like both films.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Lord Shen. Any surprise? Driving the point home further, he tends to get the Bishōnen anthropomorphic treatment in fan art.
    • The Wolf Boss has also been subject to this. Despite his prominent role in the panda genocide, plundering of innocent villages, and direction of the goon squad that terrorizes Gongmen City, some people portray him as a cuddly puppy. He's a goofier character than Shen, but he's far from an Anti-Villain. Even him turning on Shen was a case of Even Evil Has Standards, not any remorse for what he's done under his command.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The Soothsayer. Much like Master Oogway in the first film, she's utterly beloved for being an incredibly wise, funny, and yet deeply human mentor figure, and her one-on-one scenes with Shen and Po are some of the best in the entire movie.
  • Evil Is Cool: Unsurprisingly, Lord Shen's many fans definitely think so.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Boss Wolf mentioning how "Cuddly" Po is on a few occasions.
    • In one scene when Boss Wolf and Po are in mid air, they promptly hug each other.
    • Oddly enough, there's a Shen/Viper pairing out there. While there's little "proof" in the film, fans have paired them up.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Po's Oblivious Adoption, joked about in the first film takes on a darker note once we learn he's a genocide survivor.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Li Shan fighting off the Wolf Boss to protect his son and wife is even more heroically badass when the third movie reveals that he has no knowledge of kung fu whatsoever... and went up against Shen's forces armed with nothing more than a father's love.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The part where all the kung fu masters have been wounded by Shen's cannon and Po swims over to Tigress who's floating on a wooden piece have many, usually Po/Tigress shippers, point out some similarities to Titanic. The funny part is when you remember that Po is voiced by a man named Jack.
    • Po having a Moses in the Bulrushes backstory when Hans Zimmer composed the music for both this film and The Prince of Egypt.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Lord Shen, as mentioned in Alternative Character Interpretation, could be considered one if you pity him enough for his Freudian Excuse.
    • The wolf boss was Shen's only friend when he was young and served Shen loyally for 30 years. Shen murdered him the instant he refused to fire on his own men.


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