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This article is about the scroll featured in Kung Fu Panda. For other uses, see Scroll (disambiguation).

You are not the Dragon Warrior. You will never be the Dragon Warrior until you have learned the secret of the Dragon Scroll.
  Shifu to Po, Kung Fu Panda  

The Dragon Scroll is a legendary scroll, written by Oogway that contains the secret to "limitless power". Oogway declared that only the Dragon Warrior would be worthy enough to read the Dragon Scroll. It rested for nearly a thousand years at the back of the Hall of Warriors just above the Moon Pool in the mouth of a golden dragon statue, until the events of the first film when the Dragon Warrior (Po) was finally given the scroll.

Description

The Dragon Scroll in its resting place within the Hall of Warriors in Kung Fu Panda

The Dragon Scroll is a red and green scroll encased in a metal case of identical colouring embroidered in golden dragon imagery. When opened, the scroll depicts a reflective golden surface which most would misinterpret as blank. Before the Dragon Warrior was chosen, the scroll was stored high above the Moon Pool in the mouth of a golden dragon statue. Apparently the only way to retrieve the scroll was for a highly skilled kung fu master to manipulate the air currents to carry peach blossom petals up to the scroll and dislodge it from the mouth, and then catch the scroll before it plunged into the pool.

History

Background

Shifu: “ [Looking up at the scroll] The Dragon Scroll...
Oogway: “It is time.
Shifu: “But who? Who is worthy to be trusted with the secret to limitless power? To become... the Dragon Warrior?
Oogway: “...I don't know.
—Shifu and Oogway while deciding how to stop Tai Lung's return, Kung Fu Panda

Po realizing the secret of the scroll

This scroll contains the ultimate kung fu secret—"the key to limitless power".[1] Only the Dragon Warrior was deemed worthy enough to receive the Dragon Scroll and to view its secret; however, though the original film showed that the only people to view it were Po, Shifu, Oogway (in context), and Tai Lung, during the credits, Po was seen showing the reflective scroll to some bunny children.

Shifu mentioned that, according to legend, whoever read the Dragon Scroll would be able to hear a butterfly's wing beat, to see light in the darkest cave, and would feel the universe in motion around them.[2] This exact description is mentioned in chapter three of "Legend of the Legendary Warrior", when the Legendary Warrior learned about the birth of kung fu and of how Master Oogway could do these very things after achieving "excellence of self" ("kung fu"). Therefore, the ultimate secret to "kung fu" was to believe in yourself. Oogway understood this simple knowledge and thus created the Dragon Scroll, which only consisted of a golden reflective surface. The scroll was kept in a container held in the mouth of a dragon statue, which was attached to the ceiling above a pool in the Hall of Warriors.

Before Kung Fu Panda

Oogway protecting the scroll from Tai Lung

Twenty years before the events of Kung Fu Panda, Shifu, who was a student of Oogway's, trained a snow leopard named Tai Lung in the art of Kung Fu, all the while making him believe that he was destined to be the Dragon Warrior after seeing his great talent in martial arts. He then presented his student to Oogway to determine if he was worthy of the mantle, but Oogway saw that Tai Lung's heart was filled with darkness, and because of which, he would never truly understand the meaning of the Dragon Scroll. Thus, the turtle refused him the title, as well as the scroll. Devastated and outraged, Tai Lung laid waste to the Valley of Peace before returning to the palace with the intent to claim the scroll for himself. Tai Lung brutally knocked Master Shifu aside and leaped for the scroll, but was stopped in his tracks by Oogway and defeated. After this incident, Tai Lung was sent to Chorh-Gom Prison for twenty years for his crimes against the Valley of Peace, and Shifu was left embittered by his student's betrayal.

In Kung Fu Panda

Tai Lung: “Finally! Oh yes. The power of the Dragon Scroll is... mine! [Looks at scroll in confusion] It's nothing!
Po: “ [Groans while getting up] It's OK. I didn't get it the first time, either.
Tai Lung: “What?
Po: “There is no secret ingredient. [Tai Lung throws the scroll to the ground] It's just you.
—Tai Lung and Po when the scroll's meaning is revealed., Kung Fu Panda

Po receiving the Dragon Scroll

The Dragon Scroll remained in the Hall of Warriors until the moment that Po, the prophesied Dragon Warrior, was deemed ready to receive the scroll. Master Shifu retrieved the scroll, using peach blossoms on air currents to dislodge it from the dragon's mouth, and handed it to Po. After a moment in which Po required Shifu's help to remove the lid for the scroll's casing, Po slowly and cautiously opened the Dragon Scroll. Its mysterious contents terrified Po for a moment, but then it was revealed that the scroll was nothing but a reflective surface, which confused him. Even Shifu did not understand what the scroll's message meant. Seeing the blank scroll, Po was convinced that Oogway "was just a crazy old turtle after all" and once again believed that Oogway picked him entirely by accident, but Shifu still insisted that Oogway was wise and that he was trying to tell them something.

Mr. Ping telling Po the "secret" to his noodle soup

With Po having lost all his confidence and nothing else that could be done, Shifu ordered the Furious Five to evacuate the Valley, saying that he would fight Tai Lung himself to buy them all time. They obeyed, Po reluctantly leaving with the others. During the evacuation, Mr. Ping tried to comfort Po by finally telling him the secret ingredient of the Noodle Shop's secret ingredient soup: nothing. He explained that he never needed to add anything more to plain, ordinary noodle soup. By simply believing it to be special, it became special on its own. Astounded by this, Po took out the Dragon Scroll and looked into his reflection again. Relating Mr. Ping's words of wisdom to the scroll, Po realized its true meaning: that the true Dragon Warrior wasn't some invincible paragon, but a person who simply believed in his own abilities. Thus, he finally understood the secret to "limitless power".

He made his way back to the Jade Palace and arrived just in time to distract Tai Lung and save Shifu, who was almost killed by Tai Lung during their fight. Po then presents the scroll and dared Tai Lung to take it from him. Upon which, Tai Lung punches Po away and grabs the scroll, but Po inadvertently knocks Tai Lung and gets the scroll back. Tai Lung then angrily charged at the panda, and Po got scared and tried to run away at the last minute. The battle spread down into the Valley, both Po and Tai Lung going back and forth trying to get the Dragon Scroll as it fell from place to place. Po used his creative cunning and his own improvised style to keep the scroll away from Tai Lung, as well as the same maneuvers in his game of "keep-away" with Shifu.

Po's reflection on the Dragon Scroll

Unfortunately, despite his ongoing success, Po finally collapsed when Tai Lung met him with a powerful punch and pummeled him to the ground. Tai Lung then took the scroll, relishing at finally having it, but he was then disappointed and stunned when he discovered it was blank. Po, as he was getting up from being pummeled, told him that it's okay, since he didn't get it the first time either. Tai Lung was confused, so Po explained to him that there never was a secret ingredient to being the Dragon Warrior; all that was needed was to believe in yourself. He then looks at the surface of the scroll to see his own reflection to emphasize what he was talking about. As Oogway most likely predicted, Tai Lung, having realized that all he had worked for was for nothing, tossed away the Dragon Scroll and the two continued their battle, ending with Tai Lung finally being defeated.

During the end credits, Po was seen showing the Dragon Scroll to a group of rabbits.

After the events of Tai Lung's return to the Valley, the Dragon Scroll, with its purpose fulfilled, was not seen nor mentioned again.

Trivia

  • The Dragon Scroll went through several different iterations in its development before simply becoming a reflective scroll. These variations included such items as a legendary sword, an empty box, a box with a mirror inside, etc.[3]
  • In a scene from Kung Fu Panda Holiday, Po is carrying a large amount of objects, among which are several scrolls which greatly resemble the Dragon Scroll.[4]

Gallery

Images

Videos

References

  1. Internet Archive: kungfupanda.com The Jade Palace on the September 24, 2010* version of the official Kung Fu Panda website via the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
  2. Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda (2008). Written by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger & directed by John Stevenson, Mark Osborne. Distributed by Paramount Pictures.
  3. Revealed in the DVD audio commentary of DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda (2008). Narrated by John Stevenson and Mark Osborne (directors).
  4. Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010). Written by Jonathan Groff, Jon Pollack & directed by Tim Johnson.
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