Despite his low self-esteem, Po entertains grandiose fantasies of being the greatest Kung-Fu master in all of Asia and hanging out with the Furious Five, the greatest fighting elite in Asia, whom he idolises. He doesn't believe he will ever accomplish this goal however due to his lack of confidence as well as his total lack of physical fitness or fighting skills. Po works in a noodle bar with his father Mr. Ping who is a goose. This suggests that Po is adopted. One day Master Oogway, the greatest Kung-Fu master in creation, decided to choose someone to become the Dragon Warrior, the protector of Asia. The Dragon Warrior is granted the unlimited power of the Dragon Scroll which. On the day Master Oogway chooses the new Dragon Warrior, Po being a kung-fu geek runs to the Jade Palace where the ceremony will take place. Through a complex series of events, Po finds himself directly in front of Master Oogway when he is about to chose the new Dragon Warrior. Oogway appoints Po. Po now finds himself living in the Jade Palace, under the cruel tutelage of the wise and powerful but cold and stern Master Shifu who taught the Furious Five and considers Po an abomination, believing that one of the Furious Five should be the Dragon Warrior. Whilst training Po, Shifu treats him a manner that borders on physical, emotional and psychological abuse in order to get him to abandon his dreams of glory and leave the Jade Palace, forcing Master Oogway to appoint one of the Furious Five the Dragon Warrior. The eternally optimistic, determined and somewhat masochistic Po perseveres however, despite the Furious Five's open hostility toward him. Po manages to form a friendship with two members of the Five, Master Viper and Master Mantis while Master Tigress and Master Crane remain contemptuous of him. Master Monkey, doesn't say much and so his opinion regarding Po is never discussed. The beautiful and powerful but deeply self-centred Tigress particularly resents Po.
Meanwhile the fearsome Tai Lung breaks free of his prison and makes his way to the village to take the Dragon Scroll for himself. When news reaches the Jade Palace, Po nearly flees in terror and Master Shifu attempts to persuade him otherwise. Po reveals that he is sick of Master Shifu's abuse but he is even more sick of himself. Master Shifu resolves to take Po more seriously and train him to be the Dragon Warrior. The quixotic red panda takes Po to the Pool of Sacred Tears where Master Oogway unraveled the secrets of Kung-Fu. There, Shifu teaches Po 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 Furious Five meanwhile, leave the Jade Palace to go and take on Tai Lung but fail miserably. They return, beaten and humiliated to the Jade Palace and Master Shifu finally decides to bestow the Dragon Scroll upon Po, believing that it is the only way to stop Tai Lung. After Po receives the Scroll however he finds that it is a blank, reflective piece of parchment. Believing all hope to be lost, Shifu orders the Five to evacuate the Valley and tells Po to leave with them. As the rest all leave, Shifu waits behind to face Tai Lung.
Reunited with his father, Po is leaving the village when his father reveals to him the secret of his Secret Ingredient Soup: there is no secret ingredient! "To make something special, you just need to believe it's special!" Po comes to realise the symbolism of the Scroll: it shows ones reflection, meaning that one has the power to be great within themselves. With new found vigor, Po returns to the Jade Palace where he finds Master Shifu at the mercy of Tai Lung. Po introduces himself as the Dragon Warrior. Tai Lung is at first disdainful toward the large panda but when Po reveals he has the Dragon Scroll, the ruthless snow leopard launches a savage assault and a raging battle takes place, leading Po and Tai Lung down to the village below. During the duel, Po beats, humiliates and even sits on Tai Lung but is eventually beaten into submission. Tai Lung triumphantly takes the Dragon Scroll but upon unravelling it is horrified to find it blank. Failing to interpret the Scroll's symbolism, and after having Po explain it to him, the Tai Lung attacks Po in a blind fury. Po subdues and ultimately destroys Tai Lung through the use of the dreaded Wuxi Finger Hold technique. With Tai Lung defeated, the villagers return and Po is hailed as the hero he is. The courageous panda then returns to the Jade Palace to find Master Shifu battered and bruised but alive. The two Kung Fu masters lie on their backs contemplating the mysteries of the universe for about a minute before conceding to go and get something to eat.
Po could adequately be described as a geek. Despite being a young adult he lives with his father, working in the family noodle bar and collects action figures, much to the bemusement of his neighbours. 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 obesity 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 humour 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.
- Gasp I've only seen paintings of that painting!
- 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.
- 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|