- “I've been asking myself that question. Am I the son of a panda? The son of a goose? A student? A teacher? Turns out I'm all of them. I am the Dragon Warrior! ”
- ―Po [src]
Master Po Ping, or simply Po (born Lotus Shan), is the protagonist of the Kung Fu Panda franchise.
Po was born as Lotus Shan in a remote farming village in southern China, inhabited by pandas. It was there that he spent part of his infant life happily with his father Li Shan and an unnamed mother. One winter night, however, the village came under attack by an army of wolves under the command of a power-hungry peacock named Lord Shen, who sought to eliminate all pandas in China. As Shen and his wolf followers set the village ablaze and massacred almost every panda, the Boss Wolf charged at Lotus, who was sitting in the middle of the chaos, but Li stood in the way and whacked him away with a rake, permanently damaging the wolf's left eye. While he stayed behind to fight back, his wife picked up their son and carried him with her into the surrounding forest with the other fleeing villagers. The peacock and his wolf minions gave chase, eventually catching up with most of the panda runaways, but Po's mother evaded them and came to a ship docked on the bank of a nearby river preparing to depart with crates of vegetables as cargo. With no time to lose she placed Po in one of the radish crates and bade farewell to him before returning to lure Shen and the wolves away, sacrificing her own life.
Po and the crate of radishes he was hidden in was sadly shipped to the other side of China, miles from home, to a suburban village in the Valley of Peace, where the local noodle shop's owner, Mr. Ping, discovered the panda cub. Although reluctant to get involved at first, the goose pitied for Lotus and took him inside feed him and gave him a bath. As Ping continued to feel caring for him, he grew to love the cub and decided to adopt him after realizing that nobody was going to look for such a child, giving him the name "Po" and raising him as his own son. Years went by, and Po grew into adulthood as chef and waiter at the noodle shop, learning noodle-making from his adoptive father. He never questioned Ping about whether or not he was adopted since they both shared deep love and respect for each other, but did have doubts that they were related.
Despite having low self-esteem early on, Po entertained grandiose fantasies of being the greatest Kung Fu master in all of China and hanging out with the greatest fighting elite in China that he idolized, the Furious Five, who were known to reside in the mystical Jade Palace overlooking the Valley. He didn't believe he would ever accomplish this goal, however, due to his lack of confidence as well as his total lack of physical fitness or fighting skills. Mr. Ping enthusiastically expected his son to someday run in his place, even though Po showed little interest in continuing this family tradition. He complied, though, not wanting to let his father down.
One day, the Jade Palace's senior headmaster, Grand Master Oogway, who was known as the greatest founder of Kung Fu tradition, decided to host a tournament in which he would choose one of the Five to become the Dragon Warrior, the protector of China who would be granted the unlimited power of the mystical Dragon Scroll. Upon hearing this, Po, being a Kung Fu geek, ran to the ceremony at the palace but couldn't make it in the time since the gates closed on him, shutting him out. After a complex series of failed attempts to get inside and watch the event, Po tried one more time before going back to work with his father by strapping fireworks to a chair and lighting them in order to lift him up and into the arena. This attempt worked, but this landed him inside the tournament grounds, where he found himself directly in front of Master Oogway when he was about to point out which of the Five the new Dragon Warrior was to be. Inspired by the Po's sudden appearance, Oogway took it as a sign that the universe and appointed the panda as the Warrior.
Po found himself living in the Jade Palace under the cruel tutelage of the wise and powerful, but cold and stern Master Shifu, who trained the Furious Five and considered the panda an abomination, believing that one of the Five should be the Dragon Warrior. Whilst training Po, Shifu treated him in a manner that bordered on physical, emotional and psychological abuse in order to get him to abandon his dreams of glory and leave the Palace, forcing Oogway to appoint one of the Furious Five as the Warrior. Disheartened at first by contemptuousness from strongest two of the Five, Tigress and Crane, Po retreated to the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom, where Oogway listened to his doubts about ever becoming a Fung Fu warrior. The tortoise gave him some kindly advice, telling Po that instead of being concerned about what was and what would be, he should focus on the opportunity he had at the moment. Thus, the eternally optimistic, determined and somewhat masochistic panda persevered at the Palace, despite the Five's open hostility toward him. Po managed to form a friendship with the funniest of the Five, Monkey, who appeared to find the panda's sense of humor amusing while the beautiful and powerful, while deeply self-centered Tigress still particularly resented him, but became impressed at his fortitude.
That evening, while Viper and Mantis tried helping the panda feel better with acupuncture, Po confirmed his suspicions that Shifu was indeed trying to get rid of him, so the Five explained that the old master was not always so strict; he used to have a kind and generous soul that was later left with an emotional hole due to letting his love for his first pupil, a fearsome snow leopard named Tai Lung, get wasted. Having overheard their conversation, Tigress put in that Tai Lung used to be Shifu's adoptive son, having been found by the red panda abandoned at the threshold of the Jade Palace gates as a cub, and showed a natural talent in Kung Fu growing up. Shifu took this as a sign that the young leopard was soon to become the Dragon Warrior and fed his head with the thought, making the hope of getting rewarded with the title Tai Lung's goal in life. Over time, Tai Lung grew proud and overly confident in his own abilities, having mastered advanced techniques such as nerve attacks, as well as all one-thousand scrolls of Kung Fu, but despite these accomplishments, he still sought the power of the Dragon Scroll. This overwhelming pride and lust for power alerted Oogway of darkness in the leopard's heart, forcing the master to refuse him the title of Dragon Warrior. Confused and outraged by this and Shifu's incapability to persuade Oogway otherwise, Tai Lung laid waste to the Valley and cut a swath of destruction in his fury before charging back to the Jade Palace to take the scroll by force. Shifu charged to stop him with a direct attack but hesitated on hurting the pupil he raised as Tai Lung swatted his adoptive father aside, shattering his hip before leaping to where the Scroll was kept. However, Oogway halted him in midair and jabbed multiple pressure points in Tai Lung's chest, knocking him out. Shifu watched horror as the warrior he'd raised and trained fell before him, vowing to become more strict and harsh as he went on to train Tigress, who was his adoptive daughter, and the rest of the Furious Five. Po was speechless at the story, but due to an unintentional mistake on his facial nerve by Mantis, he ended up making a spastic expression.
Later that night, when news reached the Jade Palace that Tai Lung just broke out of Chorh-Gom Prison and was on his way back to the valley and that Oogway just passed away and left the palace in Shifu's hands, Po nearly fled in terror until Shifu attempted to persuade him otherwise. Po revealed that he was sick of Shifu's abuse, but even more sick of himself, though had stayed because, to him, it was better than living every day just being himself, and wanted so badly for the Kung Fu master to change him into something better. He questioned Shifu on just how he planned to make him the Dragon Warrior the red panda admitted he didn't know, and departed. Discouraged, Po fled to food for comfort and nearly ravaged the kitchen in the barracks (punching through cupboards and drawers and doing a perfect split at one point) when Shifu found him the next morning. Amazed, the idealistic red panda saw that his new student showed a knack for Kung Fu while merely trying to find food in his distressed state, and decided to use this perceived weakness as a teaching tool to motivate and train him. Thus, he took Po to the Pool of Sacred Tears in the Wu Dan Mountains, where Oogway unraveled the secrets of Kung Fu centuries back. Po agreed to learn from Shifu, astounded and emotional from finally getting a chance to live his dream. From there, Shifu taught him how to use his size and weight to his advantage, as well as achieving greater balance and agility, enabling him to be a formidable opponent. The panda was put to this test through various exercises, from push-ups to ten-mile hikes, to balancing soup bowls, defending his own meals from attack, and a game of keep away, using chopsticks and a dumpling as a reward. Through determination, and with Shifu's teaching, Po's senses grew sharper, he became more confident, and in time, had achieved tremendous improvements in body, mind, and spirit.
The Furious Five, meanwhile, left the Jade Palace to go and take on Tai Lung on their own but failed miserably due to his superior skills though he left them alive as a warning. By the time they returned, beaten and humiliated, Shifu finally decided to bestow the Dragon Scroll upon Po, believing that it is the only way to stop Tai Lung. After Po received the Scroll, however, he found that it was just a blank, reflective piece of parchment. Believing all hope to be lost, Shifu ordered the Five to evacuate the Valley and told Po to leave with them while waited behind to face Tai Lung on his own. Reunited with his father, Po was prepared to leave the village when Mr. Ping revealed to him the secret of his Secret Ingredient Soup: that there was no secret ingredient! "To make something special, you just need to believe it's special!" Po came to realize the symbolism of the Scroll: it showed one's reflection, meaning that one has the power to be great within themselves. With newfound hope, Po returned to the Palace to find Shifu at Tai Lung's mercy. By the time their eyes met, Tai Lung was at first disdainful toward the large panda, but when Po revealed he had the Dragon Scroll, the ruthless snow leopard launched a savage assault and a raging battle took place, leading the two adversaries down to the village below. Po used his creative cunning to keep the scroll away from Tai Lung, even using noodles and a cart propelled by fireworks in the battle, as well as the same maneuvers in his game of "keep-away" with Shifu. Despite his ongoing success, Po finally collapsed when the leopard met him with a powerful punch, pummeling the panda to the ground. Tai Lung triumphantly took the Scroll, but upon unraveling it, he was horrified to find it blank. Failing to interpret the Scroll's symbolism, and after having Po explain it to him, he attacked the panda in a blind fury, but his deadly nerve attacks only served to have a ticklish effect on Po, making him laugh. Po subdued and ultimately captured Tai Lung with the dreaded Wuxi Finger Hold, declaring to have figured out the secret to the mysterious technique on his own, and with the word "Skadoosh", he performed the move the flexing of his pinky, killing the hateful leopard in a massive golden shock wave the spread throughout the Valley and beyond.
With Tai Lung nowhere to be found, the villagers returned and Po was hailed as the hero he is. The courageous panda then returned to the Jade Palace to find Shifu battered and bruised but alive. The two Kung Fu masters lied on their backs contemplating the mysteries of the universe for about a minute before conceding to go and get something to eat.
After defeating Tai Lung passed, Po's dream was lived out every day at the Jade Palace as he sharpened his Kung Fu skills with Shifu, battling threats to the Valley with the Furious Five and taking snacks stops every now and then, much to everyone's annoyance.
One day, after taking on a dare from the Furious Five (who were all egging him on and staring in awe) in the Training Hall to see how many bean buns he could stuff into his mouth (the end result being forty), he was summoned to the Dragon Grotto, where he witnessed Shifu performing one of Oogway's last teachings, inner peace. Shifu specified that it was the next step in his training, but before they could proceed with the lesson, Tigress arrived with news that the Musicians' Village was under attack. Po immediately rose to the challenge and left with the Five. By the time they arrived to face the attackers, who were, unknown to Po, a sub-unit of Shen's wolf army led by Wolf Boss, they managed to save most of the metal the wolves were attempting to steal. The pack was chased off and the village celebrated their heroes. Suddenly, Po turned to see Wolf Boss still present and prepared to battle him. But before he could, the panda spotted Shen's symbol on the wolf's armor and received a flashback of when his mother hid him inside the radish crate that he was transported to the Valley in during the panda massacre in his birth village, which temporarily dazed him long enough to take the Wolf Boss' hammer to the face. Realizing that he had seen a vision of his past, Po went to his father and asked him where he came from. After some questioning, Ping showed him the same empty radish crate he found his adoptive son in and told him the story of his decision to raise the panda as his own child, but Po was dissatisfied with the little information he had gained, and still had a lot of remaining questions.
The next day, Shifu received a message that Master Thundering Rhino, a Kung Fu Masters Council member serving as the steward of the miles-away Gongman City, was killed yesterday afternoon by a powerful firework-smoking cannon that Shen had made from the stolen metal his army obtained from the Musicians' Village and other distant villages they ransacked. Seeing that this weapon could mean the end of Kung Fu, Shifu told Po and the Furious Five to go to the city and destroy it, though Po was concerned about how they would be able to "stop something that stops Kung Fu", to which Shifu replied "anything is possible, when you have inner peace". While starting their journey through the Valley, the panda was briefly stopped by his adoptive father when passing his noodle shop, who gave him a backpack full of his favorite foods, painted 'snapshots' of their precious moments together and Po's action figures. Fearing for his son, Mr. Ping pleaded with him not to go, but Po still wished to fulfill his duty as the Dragon Warrior. Po and the Five then set off, spending several days traveling across China, over snowy mountains, and through huge deserts. While sleeping on the last leg of their journey, traveling down a river in a small boat, Po had a dream about his biological parents replacing him with a radish. He woke up and went outside the boat to try and do the technique Shifu showed him, but droplets of water just kept falling on his head, keeping him from concentrating, eventually causing him to yell in frustration. The panda was soon caught by Tigress, who soon started to spar with him. Po saw that she couldn't feel anything whenever he hit her, giving him the wrong idea that she was emotionless. He began to feel envious of her 'show no emotion' ability, considering his current inner turmoil, and inadvertently made Tigress uncomfortable by telling her this.
When they arrived at Gongmen, they found the Wolf Boss and his wolves harassing the citizens in the streets, having been sent by Shen around the city to hunt Po after informing their master that one panda survived his genocide and was chosen as the Dragon Warrior. Po soon separated from the Five and snuck into a dragon costume before catching up, making a plan for him and the Five to use it as a disguise. They eventually found a sheep who told them that the Kung Fu Masters Council members who served as Thundering Rhino's co-stewards, Master Storming Ox and Master Croc, were being kept inside Gongman Jail. Sneaking their way there, Po and the Furious Five burst the Masters' prison cell door open, but they refused to come with them and instead stayed in the cell, fearing that Shen would turn the cannon on the city if they stood up against him. The determined panda tried to get the two Masters out of the cell but failed when Storming Ox told him that they should just give up because Kung Fu was dead. Taken aback by this, Po finally decided to leave them behind and face the tyrannical peacock on their own to prove that Kung Fu still lived. However, as soon as they turned to depart, the Boss Wolf and two of his wolves found them, but his latter two were quickly taken down by the Five. The Boss Wolf fled with Po hot on his trail in a chariot, their frantic chase ending up in front of the Tower of the Sacred Flame (where Shen was residing). All of Boss Wolf's wolves surrounded them as Po ordered the teams surrender, all according to his plan to be taken before the peacock.
Taken up to Shen's throne room, the panda was embarrassingly inspected by Shen's childhood nanny the Soothsayer, but he shooed her aside, found a small figurine of the cannon and destroyed it, thinking that it was the real one, but his triumph turned to horror when he saw the actual, larger cannon positioned on the spot where the throne used to be. In the conversation between Po, the Soothsayer, and Shen that followed, Po began to sense that Shen and the Soothsayer knew something that he didn't. Shen then ordered the Boss Wolf to fire the cannon at Po and the Furious Five, but when the wolf tried to light the fuse, Mantis (who had never been captured, fooling the guards with one of Po's Furious Five action figures) quickly to put it out and attacked. Meanwhile, Viper successfully picked and unlocked Tigress' cuffs, freeing her and the others. While Tigress and Mantis took out the cannon by hammering it into the floor and toward the tower's base, Po attacked Shen and saw his chance to fight him, but the peacock took this opportunity to show the panda the marks on his tail feathers, triggering the same flashback of his mother he had earlier, this time ending with the part showing Shen leading the massacre on the panda village. Realizing that Shen was there when he lost his biological parents, Po stood his ground in surprise as Shen escaped flew to a nearby factory. The Five were horrified that their companion let the peacock get away, and despite having destroyed the cannon, Shen, unfortunately, revealed from the factory that he had produced more of it there. Seeing that they were trapped inside the collapsing tower as it was blasted apart by a shower of firework-spitting cannon shots, their only way out was up. Po and the Five reached the top of the palace and jumped over the walls, evading the fire arrows being shot at them. They returned to Gongmen Jail, where they found Storming Ox and Croc were still in the cell. Tigress confronted Po as to why he let Shen escape and decided to leave him in the jail when he refused to answer. After trying to leave anyway, but being stopped by Tigress in a brief fight, Po finally told her that he saw Shen in his past and he wanted to ask him about what happened. He voiced his determination to interrogate Shen, saying that "the hardcore can't understand," but was then surprised when Tigress unexpectedly hugged him. She told him that she did understand but still kept him there, for she didn't want to see her friend die. The panda realized that Tigress wasn't as emotionless as he had thought, but still wanted answers about his past, and followed the Five to locate Shen at the cannon foundry. After a long battle, the peacock eventually lied that Po's parents abandoned him and didn't love him. Taking advantage of Po's shock, he revealed one of his largest cannons and fired at the panda. Po blocked most of the blow with a working pan, but the force still shot him out of the factory and into a nearby river, unconscious and badly injured.
Floating down the river and into a foggy bamboo forest, Po was eventually rescued by the Soothsayer, who brought him to the ruins of the panda village he was born in and healed him. Po, at first, was confused about what destiny of his the Soothsayer spoke of, but then he started to have visions of the happy life he had in the village with his parents. In order to add in the tragedy of the tale, the Soothsayer went on to explain that Shen's family were the original rulers of Gongman City, who were mostly known for the invention of fireworks until Shen himself became interested in weaponizing the fireworks' gunpowder, wondering if it could be used in warfare. Seeing what danger his idea would bring, his loving parents relied on advice on what their son's future held from the Soothsayer, who in response foretold that Shen will only be stopped from going down his current path if a "warrior of black and white" stood in his way. Fearing any obstacles in his plan while eavesdropping on this deviation, Shen figured out that the warrior part of the goat's prophecy referred to a panda and decided to take action with his wolf army in order to change his fate, seeing the massacre they committed against the village and other panda-populated areas as the only mean necessary to achieve the objective. When satisfied that all pandas were eliminated, he returned to his family full of pride only to be confronted by his parents, who were horrified Shen's atrocity and exiled him along with his army from the city for life. But Shen felt profoundly wronged for this treatment, for he considered his crime as bravely defying fate to realize his goals, and swore revenge by promising to someday return and force China under his rule. Advised by the Soothsayer to stop fighting, Po let his mind flow, finally achieving inner peace in the process and performing the same water drop technique Shifu had demonstrated. As the memory of the panda massacre flowed through his mind and ended with his mother hiding him in the radish crate before distracting Shen and the wolves to follow her alone, the young panda saw that it meant that his parents did not abandon him, but had both risked their lives to save him. Through some wise words from the Soothsayer, he also learned that despite his terrible beginning, he had led a deeply fulfilling life since being adopted by Mr. Ping.
Po returned to Gongmen City, finally knowing who he really was, and saw the Furious Five tied up in chains above Shen's fleet, which was just about to leave the city to begin his conquest of China. Shen noticed the panda and ordered his wolves to fire at him, but Po made it onto the boat and attacked the wolves, thus freeing the Five. Later in the battle, Storming Ox and Croc joined in, along with Shifu, who had traveled to the city after sensing Po's near-death-experience. When Po was being fired at, Tigress pushed him away, taking most of the impact of the cannon. All of the Kung Fu warriors set themselves on pieces of the boat, exhausted and defeated. Angered at the sight of his friends injured before him, Po swam to a piece of shattered timber and stood before the entire fleet, where Shen fired at him once more. Concentrating on his inner peace, he evaded the cannon fire and performed the astounding act of redirecting them into the river. Shen ordered to fire at him again and again, only to find out that he enabled but Po kept on evading until he threw one of the cannonballs at him, impacting with his much larger cannon and destroying his entire fleet. Later, Po found Shen among the remains of his fleet, who then asked the panda how he managed to find peace after all he had done to him. Po told him that he had simply left his past behind, and urges Shen to do the same. But Shen ignored this and instead started attacking Po in a rage. Po evaded Shen's attacks until Shen had suddenly cut loose his destroyed cannon, which fell on top of him and exploded as Po dived out of range into the water. Po surfaced near the dock and was greeted by Tigress, who then helped him out of the water and complimented his actions as "pretty hardcore". Po then suddenly hugged her just as she had done in the jail, shocking her and the rest of the Five who were watching nearby. Shifu came by moments later and congratulated Po on achieving inner peace at a young age. All of the villagers then cheered for Po as he and his friends watched the fireworks display.
Po returned home to Mr. Ping, who missed his son very much. He then told him that he found the place where he was born and had also found out how he ended up in the radish basket that Mr. Ping had found him in. He then declared that Mr. Ping was his father, having a newfound respect for the goose that took him in and the two shared a tearful hug before they went into the noodle shop's kitchen to cook.
After defeating Shen, and Po was greatly enjoying his status of Dragon Warrior, getting praised across China into defending their land and high-fiving them when he passed by fans. But this often misled him from knowing what it meant to be the Dragon Warrior or figuring out what Oogway saw for him.
One fatal afternoon, following his visit with the Furious Five down to his father's noodle shop to order justice platters, the six-headed up to the Training Hall to start practicing the dramatic entrance move, which the panda tried to do first by kicking open the front door only to be stopped by Shifu's sudden appearance. Once inside, the red panda announced that it was prepared for as his final class, in which the Five's training was to be left in Po's hands. Stunned at first, Po asked what could he teach the Five when they already knew Kung Fu, to which Shifu explained that there was always more to learn even for a master, and left by showing the dramatic exit move as an example. Despite Mantis asking how could being trained by Po, his point was proven as very bad when the Five were gravely injured by the deadly Training Hall equipment due to the panda's humiliating misguidance. Miserable by his rough start, Po walked sadly to Oogway's statue in the Masters Garden on the Jade Palace grounds later that night and bumped into Shifu, who revealed that he intended his student to fail so that he could become more than he was and learn more to being the Dragon Warrior than fighting and running through town giving high-fives. Though Shifu's words planted the seeds of doubt about Po knowing own identity, the former proved his point by introducing the amazed latter panda to the forms of power that awaited him, such as the mastery of Chi, the energy flowing through all living things that is used by every Kung Fu master heal fauna or grow flora. Shifu went on to explain that Po's turn to teach would able the master to pursue his own studies in the art of controlling his Chi so that the student would later follow and learn to master his using mastery of self, as Oogway demonstrated by sitting alone in a cave for 30 years wondering what more he was. Po expressed no way to ever become like his master, who insisted that he's not trying to the "turn you into me. I'm trying to turn you into you". Confused since that didn't make any sense, Po commented that if Shifu kept it up he'll be the net Oogway, but then realized Oogway's statue was there and apologized to it for his disrespect as if it was the real person, letting the deceased master get back to his eternal peace.
The next morning, the young panda returned to the noodle shop to play with his action figures while bathing but was caught in the act by his adoptive father, who could tell that something was bothering him when Po accidentally added Sichuan peppercorns to the water, unfocusing mistaking it for bath salt. Soon, Po opened up about his insecurities on being a teacher and whether he was still the Dragon Warrior. Mr. Ping only caught the first half and became excited, knowing that it would put Po in a higher position to expand their business, but proceeded to prepare his son for his dumpling eating contest. However, a pig burst in announcing that was beating Po's dumpling eating record, so Po went into the restaurant to investigate and was surprised to see the challenger to be own biological father. At first, Li Shan was slow on his own uptake as Po was until the assembled crowd groaned and both pandas embraced each other, with Li addressing his son by his birth name (Lotus) and teaching how to belly gong, much to Ping's jealousy. The goose implied that he thought Po was the only Panda left, to which Li corrected him by telling everyone that he and many other survivors of Shen's panda genocide were able to take refuge from the peacock's hungry eyes via a secret panda village in the mountains that served as an ancestral sanctuary for all pandas in China, and how he was able to learn of Po's survival was via "a message from the universe". When asked if it was true that he was living his life as the Dragon Warrior, Po took his father up to the Jade Palace for a tour. There, the pair spent some time goofing off with the artifacts in the Hall of Heroes before being discovered by Shifu and the Furious Five. After they identified Li as Po's father (since they looked exactly identical), Shifu suggested that the older panda observes his son teach a class, which meant to the Five more humiliation from the latter panda. Thankfully for Po, they then heard a bell signaling that the Valley was under attack, thus giving the panda a chance to let his father observe him fighting a battle. Once he joined in, however, he was stunned to see the attackers as strange living zombies-like jade statues dubbed "Jombies" by him and Monkey, yet surprised when he recognized them as Master Badger Twins and Master Porcupine, who were supposed to be deceased. As the fight moved to the floor of the noodle shop, the panda used his "Dumplings of Doom" technique so that he and his friends could subdue the jombies. The creatures eventually transitioned their eyesight to that of a spiritual bull named Kai, who spoke from them and vowed that he will have each present Kung Fu master's Chi before turning the jombies into flying jade amulets and calling them back to him.
Returning to the Jade Palace, Shifu found an obscure scroll revealing that Kai once shared a close brotherly bond with Oogway when the two fought alongside each other as generals in a great army. One day, when Oogway was badly wounded from a trap sprung by an enemy army, Kai carried him for days in search for help until they came to the secret panda village Li was currently residing in, where the pandas used their mastery of Chi to heal the tortoise. Oogway became fascinated by this energy and learned from the pandas how to use it by giving Chi to others, but Kai was only interested in increasing his own power with this energy and learned from the pandas' teachings how to use it by taking Chi from others rather than give it. This forced Ooway to stop his old friend by engaging him in a battle that shook the earth, which ended when he banished Kai to the Spirit Realm. But in order to prepare for the bull's future return to the Mortal Realm, the tortoise foretold that he could only be stopped by a true master of Chi. Because his son was deeply interested to have learned that his panda ancestors were great practitioners of Chi, Li stated that he could teach him, but to do so, Po had to come home with him to the secret village to rediscover the true meaning of being a panda. Realizing that must be why the universe sent his father to him in the first place, Po agreed.
Arriving at the mountaintop village with both his biological and adoptive father (the latter having to have stowed away in his son's backpack), The young Dragon Warrior was introduced to other pandas, such as his biological cousins Dim and Sum and the ribbon dancer Mei Mei. With them, he learned how easy it was for a panda to roll downhill rather than walk, sleep past noon and
Though Po had merely been trying to see which of the Furious Five would be chosen as the Dragon Warrior, he himself ended up being selected by Oogway instead of any of Shifu's students. Though Oogway had foretold that whoever he'd choose would bring peace to the Valley and to Shifu himself, Shifu refused to accept that a "flabby panda" could be the true Dragon Warrior. Outraged at this turn of events, he immediately determined that he would make the unwitting panda quit his training by morning, and later met Po in the Jade Palace, quickly showing his disapproval for the panda by mocking his pudgy appearance. Though Po tried to talk back, he was quickly caught in the Wuxi Finger Hold by the master, who threatened that he would regret ever being chosen.
Daunted, Po was then shown into the Training Hall, but being a big fan of kung fu, he showed a willingness to do some moves himself. However, he clumsily came upon several training mechanisms, Shifu and the Five merely watching him in his struggle, and Shifu only pleased to see the panda having a hard time. Though Po was discouraged that Shifu could ever make him into the Dragon Warrior, he received some advice from Oogway to concentrate on the moment instead of doubting his abilities.
That next morning, the red panda was convinced that Po had quit as his quarters were empty, but he saw that Po had instead arrived at early the training courtyard to "warm up". Annoyed, Shifu later set him up with many brutal sparring matches with the Five and himself, again hoping it would drive the panda to quit. However, Po only demonstrated an eager fearlessness to continue despite failing and getting pummeled every time. Infuriated, Shifu kicked the panda out of the training grounds and down the palace stairs himself.
However, Po still didn't quit and was later seen with the Five, mimicking Shifu's stern personality much to their amusement, until Shifu himself appeared a moment later and shared the grim news that Tai Lung had escaped prison and was returning and that Po was the only one who could stop him. Po was alarmed and fled but was stopped by Shifu outside the palace stairs. Po then confronted the master about how he'd been trying to get rid of him, and that neither of them really thought he was the Dragon Warrior. Shifu asked him why he hadn't quit in spite of everything and was taken aback when Po admitted that being beaten and humiliated was still better than living every day being himself, and hoped that by staying, the kung fu master could change him. When Po demanded just how Shifu could actually help him to win against Tai Lung, Shifu was at a loss and quietly retreated without an answer.
The next morning, Po was discovered raiding the barracks' kitchen, eating everything he could find in his distraught state. Shifu was astounded to see that Po displayed an unintentional talent in kung fu while trying to rummage the place for more food, even making a perfect split while doing so. Shifu understood that the best way to teach him was to use food as motivation, and with that, he took the panda to the Wu Dan Mountains. He proclaimed that he would be Po's master and would teach him kung fu, much to the elation of the panda. During an intense period of training, the two formed a bond of friendship and trust, and Shifu saw Po's mastery and humility in a final test of "keep away" using a dumpling as the prize. Though Po won, he gave back the dumpling, declaring with confidence that he wasn't hungry, and ended bowing respectfully to his master, with Shifu bowing to him in return.
By the time they returned to the Jade Palace, Shifu believed that Po was ready to receive the Dragon Scroll, and used his name instead of calling him "panda" when addressing him. But when the scroll turned out to be blank, both Po and Shifu were confused, neither seeing how Po could defeat the snow leopard on his own. With Tai Lung approaching, the Five were ordered to evacuate the Valley, while Shifu declared he would fight Tai Lung himself. Po was reluctant to let Shifu fight alone, afraid he would be killed, but he obeyed and left with the Five. Once he reunited with his father and realized the true secret of the Dragon Scroll, Po returned to the palace just in time to save an injured Shifu from Tai Lung's attack.
After Po defeated Tai Lung, he again returned to the palace and found Shifu, who weakly thanked him for saving the Valley and bringing him peace, seeing that Oogway had indeed been right and that Po was the Dragon Warrior foretold of in legend. After the master trailed off and closed his eyes, the panda pleaded with him not to die, only for Shifu to yell back that he wasn't dying, he was only at peace, and master and student shared a long meditative moment side by side, until Po interrupted, asking if Shifu wanted to get something to eat, which the red panda agreed to after a sigh. Po and Shifu then shared a meal of dumplings at the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom, together as two friends.
Although Shifu has accepted Po, he continues to show some impatience with the panda, and later stated that the day Po was chosen as Dragon Warrior was the worst day of his life, though also noted that Po had not been the real cause of his turmoil, but rather it was his own expectations and presumptions. He also appeared to be slightly jealous that Po had mastered inner peace at such a young age, though he was deeply impressed at Po's incredibly swift mastery and how he used it to defeat Lord Shen. The two now continue to sustain a good friendship, with only the occasional quarrel, and Po has also come to consider Shifu as being part of his family.
The Furious Five
As a big fan of the Furious Five, Po's admiration for them is great, so much that his bedroom is covered in posters and he owns an action figure set he had carved himself. He was willing to make several comedic and potentially dangerous attempts to get into the palace arena, just to see the Five perform in the Dragon Warrior Tournament. Po was disheartened when the Five were disdainful of him after being chosen as the Dragon Warrior, though he was eventually able to win them over with his cooking skills and his tenacity.
In the second film, Po has joined forces with the Furious Five and now stands as good friends with them. However, he has a tendency to embarrass them from time to time, for example when he indiscreetly sneaked into Gongmen City donning a Dragon Costume, and when he later destroyed a model of Shen's cannon, mistaking it for the real one, with the Five staring at him in shock and embarrassment. However, the Five deeply care for Po, evidenced by their despair when Po was seemingly killed, and their ecstasy when he returned alive.
After being chosen as the Dragon Warrior, presumably before it seemed Tigress was about to be chosen, Po was treated with contempt by her, as shown during his first night in the Palace's barracks, and he was upset when Tigress blatantly told him he was a disgrace to kung fu and should leave. Although Tigress continued to display resentment towards Po for the majority of the film, he never held a grudge against her for it. It wasn't until the film's end that Tigress finally accepted Po as the Dragon Warrior, and Po seemed appreciative of it.
In the sequel, Po and Tigress seemed to have developed a close friendship with each other since the events of the first film. This was first seen when Po stuffed forty bean buns in his mouth, and Tigress encouraged him, joining in on the fun with the rest of the Five. Furthermore, like the rest of the Five, Tigress has learned to work in unison with Po in combat, as shown when they fought off the wolf bandits in the Musician Village.
When Po became afflicted with an identity crisis when he learned the truth about his adoption, Tigress alone persuaded him to talk about his emotional problems, but during their conversation Po unknowingly made Tigress feel uncomfortable when he claimed that she couldn't feel anything.
Despite their close friendship, Po was extremely reluctant to tell Tigress about his discovery of Shen's involvement in his past when she interrogated him in Gongmen Jail. When Tigress ordered Po to stay behind in the prison after he had allowed Shen to escape, he insisted on leaving, leading to a minor one-sided duel between them. Po eventually revealed his wish to learn the truth about his parents and stated that the 'hardcore' wouldn't understand. He received a shock when she hugged him instead of lunging at him. She told Po she did understand, but wouldn't allow her friend to be killed, showing him that she wasn't as unfeeling as Po thought she was.
Near the end of the movie, during the battle in the canal, Tigress shoved Po out of the line of fire a second before Shen fired his cannon and sent the kung fu warriors flying into the harbor. After the explosion, Po swam for Tigress after spotting her lying motionless on a piece of driftwood, and gently took her paw. Seeing how badly injured she was, Po locked eyes with Shen, giving him a long burning glare. He then pushed Tigress out of firing range before swimming away to face Shen's Armada for the last time.
After Shen was defeated, Po hugged Tigress after she had complimented his heroic actions as "pretty hardcore". Tigress was bewildered and didn't hug back, but stood alongside Po and the others, her paw resting on his arm, and happily watched the fireworks above Gongmen City in wake of Po's victory.
Po wears a simple pair of burlap pants that consists of patchwork done in different colors, which occasionally sags down Po's waist. He also wears a striped red-and-gold strap around his waist, wraps around his ankles, and sandal-like shoes.
In Kung Fu Panda Holiday, Po's casual winter clothes consisted of a red snow hat with yellow-dotted black stripes and a yellow scarf. At the Jade Palace's formal Winter Feast dinner, Po wore his same pants, but with a tall dark coronet-like hat on his head and a large dark cape around his neck.
At one point in Kung Fu Panda 2, he also wore a small straw hat for a short time when he went to confront Shen's fleet in Gongmen City.
In Kung Fu Panda 3, Po is shown in a new outfit that appears to match his fur, with a white robe that has black trimming, and long, black sleeves trimmed with gold. With this, he wears a long gold cape, a red sash across his waist, and a straw hat. This appearance greatly resembles that of the dream Po from the first film, and only appears when Po is in the Spirit Realm. While there, Po was also eventually given a special staff by Oogway himself.
Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five
Kung Fu Panda Holiday
Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness
<Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters
At the Beginning He, Tigress and Mantis came at the Museum where the Exhibit of Master Ox, Croc, and Rhino. but at the End, Shifu notices the Hole Made By Po. fixing and locked in a cage.
Kung Fu Panda: Secrets Of The ScrollAs Po grew into his teenage years with a lack of focus and of his father's skill in cooking, which later led to Shifu getting food poisoning after Po prepared a meal for the Jade Palace while his father was away on business. Afterward, Po began to consider other possible career paths, such as a cleaner, comedian, dancer, or doctor and made a list of them on a scroll. This scroll later inadvertently ended up in the hands of Tigress, who mistook it for a list made by Shifu of four warriors she was to gather in order to face the villainous Boar. This led to her recruiting Crane, Monkey, Viper, and Mantis, who were quickly dismissed by Shifu who also ordered the evacuation of the valley.
During this time Po revealed to his father that he had caused Shifu's illness, which his father took as good publicity, and was then sent to gather ingredients for meals to be served to the fleeing villagers. From the hilltop his father had specified, Po then watched as the future Furious Five battled Boar, and quickly determined what he wanted to do with his life: practice Kung fu. He later made a set of Furious Five action figures which he treasured for years.
Personality and Traits
Po could adequately be described as a geek. Despite being an adult, he lives with his father, working in the family noodle bar and collects action figures, much to the bemusement of his neighbors. It is a traditional part of Chinese culture for the son to live with the parents for his entire life and to care for them in old age. He gives the impression of being free-spirited and eternally upbeat but his carefree exterior hides his self-loathing. He tells Master Shifu "...every time you threw a brick at my head, or said I smelled, it hurt, but it could never hurt more than it did every day of my life just being me."
Po's inferiority complex is probably the result of his heaviness and his lack of hygiene which are likely the result of his domineering father not teaching him independence. Nevertheless, under Master Shifu's encouragement and training, Po develops a healthy and full sense of self. Po's enthusiasm, determination, and sense of humor are among his greatest strengths. Despite his initial lack of self-confidence, he possesses a larger than life personality from the start of the film. He is also shown to be quite intelligent as shown by his deduction of the Dragon Scroll's symbolism, his vast knowledge of Kung Fu and how he worked out the technique of the Wuxi Finger Hold which not even the exceptionally talented Tai Lung knew the secret of.
- Po is allergic to feathers dust flowers and pollen.
- Po is the enemy of Tai Lung, Lord Shen, and Kai.
- Before he became a dragon warrior he was a chef.
- He can spar Tigress and Monkey in Father Crime.
- He can be seen sometimes with Tigress.
- Jack Black, Po's voice actor said that Po was one of his favorite roles.
- In Kung Fu Panda 3 Po's real name is revealed to be Lotus Shan.
- Po's voice actor Jack Black also voiced Lenny in Shark Tale.
- Po is at least 20 years old, as it is stated by Mr. Ping in Kung Fu Panda 3 that he "raised Po for 20 years before [he] finally told him that he was adopted", and that he "lied to him [Po] for 20 years..."
- Tigress is also at least 20 years old, as she states in Kung Fu Panda 2 that she "used to punch the ironwood trees by the palace to train" for 20 years.
- (Gasp) I've only seen paintings of that painting!
- Oh, you know this hold?
- Good morning Master!!
- (After discovering Mr. Ping wasn't his real father) I knew it!
- The Sword of Heros! Said to be so sharp you can cut yourself just by look-ARGH!
- Thanks, I er, probably loosened it up for you though.
- Buddy, I am the Dragon Warrior.
- (Screams after his pants fall down) Drafty.
- I lied, I don't dream about noodles dad!
- There is no Secret Ingredient. It's just you!
- I'm not a big fat panda. I'm the big fat panda.
- (Out of breath) I know you're trying to be all mystical and kung-fu-e, but could you at least tell me where we're going?
- You wanna go get something to eat?
- I mean it might work...a little, I mean I'm pretty scared.
- Get ready to feel the thunder!
- Uh, hey, guys! Lets quiet down. No cell phones, no talking, no texting. You don't think it makes a sound? It does. I can hear it. Click click click click click! Okay, I know what you're thinking: You're a panda, man. What are you gonna do about it? Check it out! (Does some kung fu moves.) You guys are awesome. Except for you, with the texting. I'm watching you.
|Kung Fu Panda|