Tai Lung was the main antagonist in Kung Fu Panda.
Tai Lung . He was voiced by Ian McShane.
Prior the film, Tai Lung was an infant snow leopard who was left in a basket on the doorstep of Master Shifu, one of the greatest martial artists in Asia. Tai Lung's true parents whoever they were, are never revealed, nor is the reason for their abandonment of him on Shifu's doorstep. In any case Shifu raised Tai Lung as a son and grew to love him as one. He taught him all his knowledge of Kung Fu and Tai Lung grew into an immensely powerful young man, possibly the greatest pupil Shifu had ever taught, exhibiting an astonishing grasp of Kung Fu. Shifu was immensely proud of Tai Lung and recommended to his own master, the ancient turtle Oogway, that Tai Lung be given the position of Dragon Warrior. Oogway however, saw darkness in the heart of Tai Lung and refused him the position. The refusal was a great blow to Tai Lung's pride and seemed to send him mad. Consumed with hatred and bitterness, he ransacked the entire village, broke into the Jade Palace and attempted to steal the Dragon Scroll which would give him the secret of limitless power.
Master Oogway was able to immobolise the power-crazed snow leopard who was then imprisoned in a maximum security fortress presided over by an elite fighting team of rinoceri and built specifically for the purpose of containing Tai Lung. Many years later, Master Oogway had a nightmare of Tai Lung breaking free and told his pupil, Master Shifu who then sent his his duck messager to the fortress to warn the gaol-keeper to double security however in doing so, Master Shifu inadvertently secured Tai's escape, calling to mind Master Oogway's statement that "one often meets one's destiny on the path taken to avoid it." The duck emissary shed a feather whilst in the presence of the incarcerated Tai Lung which the megalomaniac leopard used to unlock his chains and escape. In a frightening display of his powers, Lung defeated the entire rinocerous elite and obliterated the prison before dispatching the terrified chicken to warn Shifu that "the real Dragon Warrior has come home."
Meanwhile at the Jade Palace, a ceremony had taken place to determine the identity of the new Dragon Warrior. Master Oogway had bestowed this august position on an overweight panda named Po, to much controversy. After news of Tai Lung's escape reached the Jade Palace, Master Shifu's five apprentices, the Furious Five went to find and defeat Tai Lung. Finding him was easy, defeating him however was easier said than done. Lung immobolised each of them in turn with the nerve attack Oogway had used to subdue him years ago which he had presumably figured out during his long period in prison. In an act of uncharacteristic mercy however, he let them live before continuing on his journey to the Palace. Somehow the Five got back before him and warned their master. Up until this point, Shifu had held Po in utter contempt but the defeat of his apprentices and Master Oogway's death of old age spurred him into action. Shifu took Po to the Pool of Sacred Tears where Oogway had unwravelled the secrets of Kung Fu. There, Shifu taught Po all his knowledge of the martial arts, training him to use his bodily size and weight to his advantage and eventually turning Po into a skilled martial artist. As Lung approached the Palace, Shifu saw fit to entrust the awesome power of the Dragon Scroll to Po however after looking upon the scroll, Po found it to be a blank, albeit shiny and very reflective piece of parchment. Believing all hope to be lost, Shifu ordered the Furious Five to round up the villagers and send them away from the village so that they would be safe from Tai Lung's rage. They did so. While leaving the village with his father, Po realised the significance of the Dragon Scroll. It shows one's reflection when they look in it meaning that the secret of limitless power was in them the whole time. To tap into their inner strength, they only have to believe in themselves which Po never did.
Meanwhile Tai Lung finally arrived at the Jade Palace where he intended to humiliate and destroy Shifu, take the Dragon Scroll, unlock the secrets of ultimate power and conquer the world. He and Shifu faced off on the Palace steps. After much taunting and sarcasm, Lung finally attacked his hated former mentor and an almighty battle took place during which Shifu proved himself a powerful opponent but was ultimately no match for Tai Lung who savagely beat him to the ground, screaming "Everything I ever did, I did to make you proud. Are you proud of me now father? Eh!" Lying in a swoon, Shifu managed to tell Tai that he had always been proud of him. In one of his more human and vulnerable moments, Tai Lung's hate-infused scowl softened slightly and for the first time he appeared doubtful. He quickly regained himself and seized Shifu by the throat, ordering him to turn over the Dragon Scroll. Shifu informed Tai Lung that the Dragon Warrior had it and he would never possess its power. Enraged, Lung was about to kill his former master when Po arrived and challenged the beast. Amused by the sight of the apparently harmless Po and amazed that such a comical creature could be the Dragon Warrior, Lung acidely remarked "What are you going to do big guy? Sit on me?" to which Po responded with characteristic dryness "Don't tempt me" before revealing that he possessed the Dragon Scroll. Lung immediately assaulted Po and an even greater battle took place which took the two mighty combatants down to the village below and during which Po made good his threat to sit on Tai Lung. The duel came to a head in the centre of the village where Tai Lung finally beat Po into submission and took the Dragon Scroll only to find to his horror, that it was blank. Ravaged and humiliated, his dreams of supreme power forgotten, the deranged feline pounced on Po in a blind rage. Po simply deflected the attack with his ample stomach, sending the astonished snow-leapard ricocheting into the sky before plummeting back down with a scream and landing on the ground, creating a large, Tai Lung shaped crater. His sleek fur deshevelled, his usually immaculate whiskers askue, the disgruntled despot crawled out of the crater, mocking Po with the words "You can't defeat me - you're just a big, fat panda" and pointing at the panda with a claw only to find himself in the deadly grip of the Wushi Finger Hold, a technique that involved clasping one's opponents index finger and moving one's little finger in such a manner that one's opponent will be utterly destroyed. Exclaiming "Skadoosh", Po deployed his little finger, obliterating Tai Lung in a brilliant, rippling flash.
Tai Lung possesses a brutal, somewhat sociopathic nature and sometimes gives the impression of being quite insane though most definitely egomaniacal as he wished to rule the world. Whether his insanity is the result of his long incarceration or if it was present before his imprisonment is not clear however he is driven by a blind hatred of his mentor, Master Shifu and an obsessive desire for vengeance. Nevertheless he possesses a fearsome dignity and is quite refined, speaking in a cultured British accent and exhibiting a dry, ironic sense of humour. Tai Lung is charismatic and even charming on occasion but this only adds to his aura of menace. He is able to use his immense presence and his notorious reputation to intimidate his opponents, sometimes for no reason other than his own personal amusement. Despite his sophisticated personality he is given to violent mood swings during which his vicious and psychotic nature is all too evident.
Ironically he never needed the Dragon Scroll as unlike Po, he believed in himself all along meaning that the power of the Scroll was already within him.
Tai Lung bears similarities to Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader from Star Wars in that both men were powerful adepts who were corrupted by pride, rage and ambition, leading them to rebel against their master.
His characterisation is also similar to that of Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter. Both characters are prodogies who went on to become arrogant, power hungry evil masterminds who bore an animosity toward their mentors.
Tai Lung was similar to Lego Island's The Brickster.
- I'm glad Shifu sent you. I was beginning to think I'd been forgotten. Fly back there and tell him the real Dragon Warrior is coming home.
- So that is his name: Po. Finally! Our battle will be legendary.
- I have come home, master.
- Ah yes, you have a new favourite. So where is this Po? Did I scare him off?
- I don't want your apology. I want my scroll!
- He's a panda! You're a panda! What are you going to do big guy? Sit on me?
- Give me the scroll!
- You're bluffing. You're bluffing! Shifu never taught you that!
- Shifu taught you well, but he didn't teach you everything.
|Kung Fu Panda|