- This article is about Po's biological father, previously known as Po's father. You may be looking for Po's adoptive father, Mr. Ping.
|“||Sure, we're cute, cuddly dumpling eaters. But just because that's all we know, that doesn't mean that's all we are.||”|
|—Li, "Unholy Dragon Returns to the Mountains" from Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny|
Li Shan (known simply as Li; previously known as Po's father and Panda Dad) is a giant panda and the biological father of Po. He was separated from his wife and son during the massacre of his home village by Lord Shen and his wolves. In Kung Fu Panda 3, he finds Po and takes him to his current residence in a hidden village with other pandas.
Twenty years prior to the events of the film, Li lived happily with his wife and infant son in the panda village. But one day, an evil peacock by the name of Lord Shen and a pack of wolves invaded their home, bent on annihilating all of the pandas. In the chaos, Boss Wolf and another wolf attempted to kill the young Po, but his father defended him and swatted the wolves away with a rake, damaging Boss Wolf's left eye and scarring it for life. Li then told his wife to take their son and run, which she did. It is unknown what exactly happened to Li during and after the battle, but he managed to survive and presumably fled to the mountains with other surviving pandas, spending the following years in hiding.
In the film, Li was first seen in one of Po's nightmares, where he and his wife told Po how they replaced him with a radish that was better at kung fu than he was.
At the very end of the film, Li was seen living in a hidden village far away from the Valley of Peace with many other pandas. He suddenly became aware of Po's existence and proclaimed, "My son is alive" while overlooking the other pandas in his village.
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In Kung Fu Panda 3, Li was shown in the noodle shop partaking in a dumpling-eating contest, receiving cheers from a crowd of customers after breaking his son's dumpling record. When Po questions who he is, Li introduces himself and says that he's looking for his son, who was lost many years ago.
Po reveals that he lost his father. The crowd watches them in suspense, but the two eventually depart, neither making the connection that they're father and son, much to the exasperation of the crowd. Soon, however, they realize their mistake and embrace. When Po asks how he found him, Li explains that other Pandas survive as well in a hidden village, and that he was informed of Po's survival by a message "from the universe." Mr. Ping is skeptical of this, however, having raised Po himself since he was a baby. Nevertheless, Po decides to spend some time with Li by giving him a tour of the Jade Palace, messing around with several kung fu artifacts in the process.
Shortly after being introduced to Shifu, however, Kai's warriors arrive to attack the valley, leaving Li concerned for his son's safety. After learning more about Kai and his history with Oogway and the Pandas, the heroes decide that Po must become a master of chi, and Li offers to train him. The two Pandas set out for the village and are joined by Mr. Ping, who is troubled by Li's return and what it could mean for his and Po's relationship. Upon reaching the village, Po is overjoyed to meet so many other Pandas, and feels that he finally knows who he is.
Li teaches his son the ways of his people, but keeps postponing the lessons for chi. After Li has a heartfelt conversation with Po about his mother, Tigress arrives at the village and informs the pandas of Kai's approach, and Li then admits that he has lied to Po about knowing the ancient chi techniques of the pandas, having been lost to them over the centuries. Furious and with the guilt of not being there for his friends and literately failing his purpose as the Dragon Warrior, Po denounced Li as his father and refused to go with him, determined to face Kai and destroy him using the Wuxi Finger Hold, but is informed by Tigress that it cannot be done alone.
After a pep talk from Mr. Ping, Li offers himself and the other Pandas to Po's tutelage so that he will have an army to face Kai's Jade warriors. Following some rigorous-and highly unconventional-training, Li and the Pandas face Kai's assault, and manage to disorient him by attacking his army.
At the end of the battle, Po, unable to normally affect Kai with the Wuxi Finger Hold, sacrifices himself to save Li and the others by using it on himself, taking not only himself but also Kai to the Spirit Realm. Inspired by Po's leadership and sacrifice, Li leads the others and manage to employ the chi technique, which allowed Po to destroy Kai and ultimately return to the mortal realm as a master of chi, to everyone's awe and chagrin. Proud of their son, Li and Ping embrace Po happily.
At the end of the film, with Shen and Kai both defeated, Li and the other pandas celebrate freely among the villagers in the Valley of Peace, using the chi manipulation technique along with everyone in attendance.
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Li presented a speech to commemorate the annual peach blossom festival which going to be blessed by the Dragon Master, before being interrupted by four panda children on a wheeled cart. When Mr. Ping comes to the village to see the performance of his son, Li felt a bit down and jealous.
But when their son need some help, they band together and help Po and the four constellations beat Jindiao.
However, in the process of training his chi to help Po and the four constellations beat Jindiao, Li asks Zhizhu about how much time is needed to master chi and got a response that it took seven years for his ancestor to master chi, he began to despair and feel inadequate to save his son. He feels that all of his son's achievements is in spite of Mr. Ping to which Mr. Ping quickly said to him "But just because that's all we know, that doesn't mean that's all we are.", which makes him regain his spirit.
Think about who Po would be if the discipline of Kung Fu had never entered his life, and that's Li. Po's old man is a loud, exuberant, party-loving panda always out for a good time, whether that's eating and napping or napping and eating.
Li is laid back, fun-loving, and somewhat lazy. He enjoys eating, napping, having a good time, and bonding with his son. He seems to get along fairly well with the other villagers, as they all came to greet him when they returned with his son. He also takes it upon himself to teach Po how to "be a panda" by simply doing many fun and easygoing activities, such as eating, swimming, and rolling.
Additionally, in Kung Fu Panda 2, Li appeared to be a happy farmer who cared about his family when Po saw him in his visions. He also showed bravery and a distinct sense of protectiveness, as shown when he defended his wife and infant son and fought back the wolves who attacked his village. At the end of the film, decades after he had presumably lost his wife and child, Li found out that his son was alive, and seemed pleased after becoming aware of this.
Li seems to share many similarities to Po. In the third film, he was seen celebrating with the noodle shop patrons, who were cheering him on with his mouth full of dumplings, similar to how Po was seen with a mouth-full of bean buns in the second film. Like Po, Li is also shown to be quite oblivious in some cases. Upon meeting Po, Li shared that he was looking for his son, and said he's sorry when Po in turn replied that he lost his father. Li wished him luck and departed, apparently not discerning the many clues that point to Po being the long-lost son he was looking for until a good moment later. Upon realization, he joyfully hugged Po, and even hugged a disconcerted Mr. Ping. He also joined Po in playing with many of the weapons in the Hall of Warriors as if they were like toys.
Despite some of his childish traits, Li does show a level of seriousness, particularly towards the loss of his wife and his protectiveness of Po. Li still loves his wife, having an altar with a small painting of her with Po, and traveled from far away to retrieve their son. Li is also haunted by the events of the past that separated him from his family, and has a fear of losing Po again. Because of this, Li proved to be surprisingly deceptive, managing to come up with a lie that he could teach Po how to use chi merely so he could take him to the safety of the panda village, and stalling the truth until Po confronted him about it. Though he was distraught when Po was upset and refused to leave the village when Kai was arriving, he was eventually comforted after a parent-to-parent talk with Mr. Ping.
Li is also very brave, not only having protected his family in the past, but was the one to persuade the others pandas to learn to fight, and was alongside Mr. Ping in helping to defend the village upon attack. He even aided Po against the fight with Kai and his jade zombies, and was the first to mimic the chi technique he saw in the scroll, and gathering the others to follow, helped Po to defeat Kai once and for all, using his own chi and proclaiming that Po taught him who he was meant to be: A father.
In Kung Fu Panda 3, Li was among the panda villagers who were taught by Po how to fight. During an invasion, he wore self-made "armor" consisting of items such as pans and woks, with Mr. Ping tied to his stomach to aid him. He was able to his these "weapons" to fend off the jade zombies, and he later used his chi to help Po and vanquish Kai. At the end of the film, Li was briefly shown practicing kung fu under Po, though suddenly halted when he got a crick in his back.
Li was seen happy and content as he stood with his wife in Po's final flashback, meaning he likely loved her. During the village raid, he told her to take their infant son and run away as he held off the wolves, and she did so. It marked the last time Li was seen with his wife.
Li still loves his wife and grieves her loss, keeping an altar with a picture of her with their son. He describes her as being the "total package: smart, beautiful, and a tremendous appetite."
- “My son is alive...”—Li, Kung Fu Panda 2
Li was shown to love his son. During the village raid, when Boss Wolf and another wolf attacked his son, Li furiously defended his child with nothing more than a farming rake, and told his wife to take their son and run away. After the raid, it is likely that Li believed Po was killed along with his mother, as he was seen surprised and hopeful after realizing that Po was alive at the end of Kung Fu Panda 2.
In the third film, Li meets Po, while stuffing dumplings in his mouth in a similar manner to Po. He soon shared that he was looking for his son, to which Po replied that he had lost his father. Li is sympathetic, but like Po, fails to realize the obvious, and wishes Po luck, saying he hopes he finds his father before departing. They soon get the clue and are happy to have found one another and they spent of their time bonding and even played with the weapons of the Hall of Warriors.
When Li learned Po was the Dragon Warrior, he was worried for Po's safety as he fought with the jade warriors and came up with the lie he could teach Po how to use chi, wanting to take him to the panda village, and managed to calmly keep up the lie until Po urged him to teach him how to use chi. He continued the lie throughout much the film, telling Po he wasn't ready yet and he needed to learn what it meant to be a panda, such as sleeping in, rolling, eating, and overall relaxing.
He then took Po to the altar with his wife's picture, explaining the remorse he felt over not protecting his family. Po promised he wouldn't leave him, as they shared a hug. However, after learning the truth that Li didn't know how to use chi, he felt betrayed and angry, as he had counted on learning chi in order to stop Kai. He then declared that Li had lost him, choosing to stay in the village to prepare for battle rather than evacuate with him. Distressed at this, Li retreated to his hut, where Mr. Ping spoke t him that, telling Li that Po would forgive him, and that it was important that they both be there for him.
Deciding to help Po defend the village against the jade zombies, Li teamed up with Mr. Ping to the first alongside Po, persuading the villagers to as well. However, he watched in horror when Po used the Wuxi Finger Hold on himself and Kai, sacrificing himself by sending them both to the Spirit Realm. However, Li managed to bring out the power of chi himself, and used it with the other pandas in the fight with Kai to send to Po, resulting in Kai's defeat. When Po returned, Li and Mr. Ping were overjoyed upon seeing him alive.
At the end of the film, Li appeared to have begun training under his son alongside the citizens of the Valley of Peace and the other pandas, proud of Po and happy to be in his life.
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They are Li's nephews possibly through a brother or sister of his,[source?] there is not much interaction save for him introducing them to Po after they return to the Panda Village. He seems to love them, as he was quite happy to show them he reunited with his son.
At first, when Li and Po reunited, Mr. Ping immediately recognized Po was Li's long lost son. When Po and Li realized that though, Mr. Ping refused to believe it because he was scared of losing Po. Li in the other hand was grateful for Ping taking care of Po for so long and being his father while he couldn't. As Po and his father left to spend time together and Po wanted to show Li the town and make him proud, Ping mentioned he was already proud of Po. He even snuck his way in Po's luggage so he could join them on their journey to the panda village, which Li had no hesitation to allow despite how the village was supposed to be a secret. When Po rejected Li as his father after he learned Li lied about teaching him how to use chi so he could take Po to the village where he would be safe, Mr. Ping comforted him, saying that he felt Li would steal Po away from him but he realized that having Li in Po's life didn't mean less of Po for Mr. Ping but more love for Po and that as his dads they needed to support Po during his fight against Kai. Rather than getting angry at Mr. Ping, Li was actually sympathetic, having suffered the same experience after what happened to Po. He also said that Po would surely forgive him, as Mr. Ping had also lied to Po for twenty years about being his father and Po managed to forgive him. The two fought together against the jade zombies and worried over Po when he sent himself and Kai to the spirit realm and were overjoyed when he came back.
During his younger days, Li went without a shirt and simply wore a pair of patched-up beige pants, similar to Po. He also wore a striped belt that resembles Po's, which reached up over his stomach.
At the end of Kung Fu Panda 2, he was also seen wearing a well-spun green cloak with tree branch patterns and brown lining. This cloak seemed to set him apart from the other pandas in the hideout, and is similar in color and style to Shifu and Oogway's jade-colored wrappings.
In Kung Fu Panda 3, Li is again seen in mainly green clothing, now consisting of a long green vest that has white, carpet-like tufts, and a pair of baggy green pants. He also has thin green strands across his chest, and a beige belt that holds a small pouch on his waist. He is also seen wearing a straw hat when he meets Po at the noodle shop.
- Li's name translates into English literally as "plum hill" (traditional and simplified Chinese: 李山?; pinyin: lǐshān). His first name could also mean "strong" or "powerful" (力, lì).
- Li's Chinese voice actor is Jackie Chan, who also serves as the English voice actor for Monkey.
- Li's voice actor in Kung Fu Panda 2, Fred Tatasciore, has also provided the voices for Shifu and other characters in Legends of Awesomeness and various video games.
- According to producer Melissa Cobb, Po recalls his father in his flashbacks in Kung Fu Panda 2 as "a powerful farmer, strong, but a bit rough around the edges."
- Li's revelation quote to Po in one of the film's teasers references Darth Vader's famous quote "I am your father" from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.
- “My son is alive.”—Li sensing Po, Kung Fu Panda 2
- Po: “Who are you?”
- Li: “I'm Li Shan. I'm looking for my son.”
- [ Mr. Ping and a crowd of customers gasp.]
- Po: “You lost your son?”
- Li: “Yes. Many years ago.”
- Po: “I lost my father.”
- Li: “I'm very sorry.”
- Po: “Thank you.”
- [There's a long silence as the crowd looks from one to the other in anticipation.]
- Li: “Well... good luck to you.”
- Po: “You too. I hope you find your son.”
- Li: “And I hope you find your father.”
- [The two quietly depart while the crowd sighs in disbelief.]
- Disembodied voice: “I... am your father.”
- Po: “Uh, what?”
- [The disembodied voice is revealed to be Li's; he is crawling up the Jade Palace stairs, gasping for breath.]
- Li: “I... am your father! [He turns over tiredly.] What's with all the stairs?”
- Collider - "Exclusive First Trailer for ‘Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny’ Shows Off the Amazon Series" by Dave Trumbore. Published & retrieved October 1, 2018.
- IMDb.com - "Kung Fu Panda 2"
- Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011). Written by , , Charlie Kaufman & directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson. Distributed by Paramount Pictures.
- USAToday.com - "Sneak peek: 'Panda 3' amps up bear count" by Bryan Alexander. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
- Official Kung Fu Panda website - "Li"
- MDBG English to Chinese Dictionary - "李山"
- MDBG English to Chinese Dictionary - "li"
- Oriental-DreamWorks.com - "《功夫熊猫3》2016年1月29日中国上映，成龙、杨幂、朱珠等众星献声新角色" ("'Kung Fu Panda 3' January 29, 2016 Chinese release, Jackie Chan, Yang Mi, Zhu Zhu and other stars vocals new role"). Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- Miller-Zarneke, Tracey. The Art of Kung Fu Panda 2, p. 63. ISBN: 1608870189.