|“||Don't you look at me!||”|
|—Mei Li, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness|
Princess Mei Li is a character in the Nickelodeon television series Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. She is the young daughter of an emperor who, by tradition, was destined to be surrendered over to the Qidan Clan as a slave, all as part of a peacemaking treaty. She was saved from this terrible fate by Po, Tigress, and Mantis in "The Princess and the Po".
In the episode "The Princess and the Po", Po learned from Shifu that he, Tigress, and Mantis would be escorting Princess Mei Li on her peacemaking mission to the Qidan Clan. Upon meeting Po and the others in the Valley of Peace, the piglet princess was quickly revealed to be very demanding and rude to everyone around her, including her servants, snapping that they not look at her. Upon meeting Po, she insulted him and hit him with her scepter (which broke), and threatened to behead him and anyone else as she pleased. Po, instead of taking a disliking to her, decided that he would try to earn her trust and friendship by entertaining the little princess on the way to Qidan, ensuring Tigress and Mantis that "kids love the Dragon Warrior".
However, as they traveled, Mei Li only showed more of her mean-spirited nature: She constantly complained, bullied her protectors, and threw fire-poppers at them, all while putting down Po's attempts to make her happy by performing various stunts. He and the others put up with the princess' behavior, but the journey was interrupted when Fung and his gang of crocodile bandits ambushed them. Po and the others fought them off, while Mei Li continuously whined and got in the way, showing no concern for the battle going on around her.
Eventually, the bandits escaped when Mei Li (who had been placed in a nearby tree for safekeeping) began to fall, distracting Po, Tigress, and Mantis. Because of this, the bandits fled with all of the valuables of the princess' party (including all the food), except for a jug of water. To make things worse, Mei Li selfishly used the water to clean her dusty crown, and then proceeded to yell at Tigress and Mantis for the incident, both of them accepting her rebuke, as they are unwilling to defend themselves. Po, however, had enough with this and tries to defend his friends, thus making the princess hit him with the toy breaking it, and claims that the incident is all Po's fault, but Po then tells the princess that she was wrong to blame everyone else for her mistakes, and that her valuables wouldn't have been stolen if she hadn't interfered during the fight in the first place. At that rate, Mei Li gets angry at Po for speaking out against her, but he doesn't care, angrily stating that when something is wrong, it's wrong, and also declared the fact that she is mean, rotten, bossy, bratty, and that nobody likes her. After a moment, Mei Li's anger faded, and she burst into tears and ran off to a secluded area.
That night, Mei Li sat alone and apart from the others, and Po, feeling bad for what he had said, came beside her. He began to tell her a "story" of a panda who wanted to protect a princess and make her happy and, after catching fire to his foot and extinguishing it, Mei Li quietly approached him. She offered him the once-broken puppet he had made for her, now fixed, apologizing for her previous behavior. She then told Po that she never had any real friends. Po offered to be her friend, which she accepted, and the two happily sat down to play a game of mahjong.
The next morning, Mei Li was shown laughing as she was carried by Po, holding his ears and steering him as he ran aimlessly around, making it clear for both Tigress and Mantis that Po has finally earned her trust and friendship. Soon, the travelers came to the territory of the Qidan. As Mei Li went ahead to approach the Qidan king, one of her servants relayed to Po, Tigress, and Mantis that she is to become a sacrificial slave to the Qidan in exchange for peace. Shocked, Po, Tigress, and Mantis followed Mei Li and met with their warrior king, Temutai, and Mei Li heard of the plan to make her his royal servant. Po refused to give her to the king, and he and the others fought off the Qidan warriors, but Mei Li escaped from Po's grasp. She surrendered herself to Temutai, declaring that she wouldn't let them risk their lives for her.
At this, Po offered Temutai a deal to battle his strongest warrior for the princess' freedom, saying that he would become his servant if he lost, along with Tigress and Mantis. At first, Temutai refused, but upon learning that Po is the legendary Dragon Warrior (confirmed by Tigress and Mantis), he instantly accepts the challenge, and rose to fight himself. Though Mei Li tried to interfere, she was forced to simply watch the fight. Po was soon finding it difficult to fight the tough warrior king, and while he was down, Mei Li tried to encourage him, giving Po the idea of using "princess style". He jumped and landed on the Qidan king's head, steering Temutai by pulling his ears in the same way Mei Li had steered him, and crashing him into pillars and stone blocks until the king was eventually brought down.
Seeing that he underestimated Po of his moves, Temutai admitted defeat and as part of deal with Po, he guaranteed peace for Mei Li's people, and Mei Li left with Po and the others, eating rice balls stuffed with bean paste made by the Qidan. They encountered Fung and the crocodile bandits, and it is likely that Mei Li's possessions were recovered by Po, Tigress, and Mantis afterwards.
Mei Li showed signs of being spoiled, rude, selfish, ignorant, frustrating, argumentative, and obnoxious when first introduced to Po and his friends. As a princess, she was likely waited on hand and foot and given anything she desired. She had no qualms about abusing and insulting others, even threatening to behead them, and was ungrateful to those in her service. However, this masked a wish in the young princess, as she had no true friends, only servants who pretended to like her because she was royalty.
On her journey to the Qidan Clan, Mei Li constantly gave Po and the rest of her protectors a hard time. She blamed Tigress and Mantis when her possessions were stolen, and this caused Po to call her out on her cruel, bratty behavior. Upon hearing his outburst, Mei Li ran away in tears, possibly out of realization that he was right, and later was quiet, keeping to herself. That night she and Po talked to each other, and Mei Li told the panda she knew she was disliked, and that she never had any true friends. She accepted Po as her first friend when he offered, and was afterward shown to be much happier and kinder than before. She was also less selfish, as she surrendered herself to King Temutai to be his servant for the rest of her life in order to save Po, Tigress, and Mantis.
Mei Li took an instant dislike to Po, possibly because she believed that the panda was only trying to befriend her in order to get something from her. Throughout the journey to Qidan, she tortured him with fire-poppers and ruined his chances of getting her to like him.
Despite her behavior, Po persisted in trying to entertain her with various objects such as board games and stilts. However, when Mei Li caused a gang of croc bandits to succeed in stealing their supplies and she began blaming Tigress and Mantis for what happened, Po finally tired of her selfishness. In his outburst, Po declared that Mei Li's behavior was wrong, and that nobody liked her. Mei Li was reduced to tears after hearing this, and a guilty Po later told her (through a story) that he had been sincerely trying to be friends with her, but her spite caused him to fail. Upon hearing this, Mei Li explained the reasons behind her behavior. In their conversation, Po convinced Mei Li that his desire to be friends with her was unconditional, and finally succeeded in befriending her.
When they finally reached Qidan, Po initially let Mei Li go in alone, but upon discovering her dark fate, immediately attempted to save her. He refused to let her go, even when she surrendered herself to Temutai. Po was eventually able to secure Mei Li's freedom by defeating Temutai in a duel, and the princess left Qidan with her new friend.
Mei Li wear a luxurious green robe and a dark-colored crown with jeweled flowers.
- In various descriptions of "The Princess and the Po", Mei Li's name was listed as Pei Pei. It is possible that the character's name was merely rumored, or perhaps changed before the episode aired.
- “I'll have you beheaded! I'll have all of you beheaded! I'll make you behead yourselves!”
- —Princess Mei Li, The Princess and the Po