|“||You are not the Dragon Warrior. You will never be the Dragon Warrior until you have learned the secret of the Dragon Scroll.||”|
|—Master Shifu to Po, Kung Fu Panda|
This scroll contains the ultimate Kung Fu secret — "the key to limitless power". 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.
Master Shifu mentioned in Kung Fu Panda 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. 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.
Before Kung Fu Panda
Twenty years before the events of Kung Fu Panda, a snow leopard named Tai Lung was presented to Oogway by Shifu, in order to determine if he was worthy of becoming the Dragon Warrior. Unfortunately, Oogway saw darkness in Tai Lung's heart, and refused him the title, as well as the Dragon Scroll, which was being kept inside the Hall of Warriors. Outraged, Tai Lung laid waste to the Valley of Peace before returning to the palace and crashing through the doors of the Hall of Warriors, with the intent to claim the scroll for himself. Tai Lung brutally knocked Shifu aside and leapt 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 his crimes.
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 blank.
With nothing else that could be done, Shifu told 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, Po took out the Dragon Scroll, and found himself looking into his own reflection: Instead of being blank, the scroll showed a golden reflective surface. Mr. Ping's words of wisdom made the connection, and at last, Po understood the meaning of the Dragon Scroll, 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 and Tai Lung fought, and the battle spread down into the Valley, both Po and Tai Lung trying to get the Dragon Scroll as it fell from place to place. Po used his creative cunning to keep the scroll away from Tai Lung, as well as the same maneuvers in his game of "keep-away" with Shifu.
Unfortunately, despite his ongoing success, Po finally collapsed when Tai Lung met him with a powerful punch, pummeling the panda to the ground. When Tai Lung took the scroll (relishing at finally having his hands on it), he was 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 is no secret ingredient; it's just you." Infuriated, Tai Lung tossed away the Dragon Scroll and the two continued their battle, 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 was not seen nor mentioned again.
- According to the filmmakers' commentary on the DVD of the first film, 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.