Secrets of the Furious Five serves as a semi-sequel to Kung Fu Panda and appears on a companion disc of the original film's deluxe release. It was later broadcast on February 26, 2009 and is now available as a separate DVD as of March 24, 2009.
The film has Po the Dragon Warrior telling the stories of his comrades in arms, which are depicted in 2D cell animation. The only actors from the movie to reprise their roles in this short were Jack Black as Po, Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu, David Cross as Crane, and Randall Duk Kim as Master Oogway. Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan and Seth Rogen do not reprise their roles mainly due to the fact their related characters are depicted as their younger selves.
In this short, Monkey's voice actor Jaycee Chan is noted to be the son of Monkey's original voice actor being Jackie Chan. Jaycee Chan is also notable for being Crane's voice actor in the Cantonese version of the original film.
Po is assigned by Master Shifu to teach an introduction to Kung Fu class for a group of rambunctious rabbit children. Fortunately for Po, it does not take him long to bring the class to order and for the children to calm down, and begins to emphasize to the kids that combat is only part of what Kung Fu is about, while its true meaning is "Excellence of Self". To illustrate his point, he uses the stories of the Furious Five's individual pasts and the basic philosophical concepts they learned that enabled them to be great Kung Fu masters.
In his youth, Mantis was a petulantly impatient warrior who was prone to jumping to conclusions and making impulsive decisions. When this habit got himself captured, the long wait he was forced to endure in his cage allowed him to find the patience to play dead long enough to ambush his captors.
Viper, the daughter of Great Master Viper, was born without venomous fangs. Her father, who relied on his venomous bite (referred to as his "Poison Fang Technique"), was despondent she could never succeed him as a warrior, making her feel timid. However, when she grew older, her father encountered a bandit who wore armor hard enough to shatter his fangs when he tried to bite him. Seeing her father in peril, Viper found the courage to fight the bandit and defeat him with her ribbon dancing skills.
Crane was an inconfident janitor of a martial arts school until the star pupil, Mei Ling, encouraged him to try seek enrollment in the school. Although his nerve failed him at the try-outs, he accidentally found himself in the intimidating challenge that determined eligibility. Suddenly, he found the confidence to take the challenge and his skinny body proved to be an asset that enabled him to succeed.
Tigress was an orphan whose status as an apex predator and her destructive lack of control of her strength and temper left her feared and isolated with no hope of anything better. Master Shifu came to kindly teach her the discipline she desperately needed to control her movements until she could perform delicate tasks with ease enough to allay the concerns of the orphanage and the children that lived there. When she was again rejected for adoption by the adults who still feared her, Master Shifu took her in as his student and foster daughter.
Monkey was a troublemaker who tormented his village owing to him being publicly humiliated in his youth. He defied all attempts to force him to leave until Master Oogway confronted and defeated him, but also deduced the cause of his anti-social behavior. Rather than making him leave the village as per the challenge, Oogway tells him to stay and encourages him to show compassion to others, as he would want in similar circumstances.
At the End
At the end, Shifu returns to see Po's anticipated lack of progress in teaching and is surprised he underestimated Po's talents yet again considering how much the panda's students have learned. But when the bunnies ask Po how his first day of Kung Fu was, all the unpleasant memories during the original film flash through his head; he says it was "totally awesome."
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