|“||Get ready to dance... with danger!||”|
|—Mei Mei, Kung Fu Panda 3|
Mei Mei is a resident of Panda Village and a passionate ribbon dancer. She first appears in Kung Fu Panda 3, where she meets and flirts with Po, and later enlists under his instruction in learning kung fu. Po helps her to utilize her dancing skills into her fighting style, handing her a pair of nunchucks to use alongside her ribbon stick. She is also featured as a supporting character in the Amazon Prime series Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny.
Mei Mei was first shown presenting herself in a ribbon-dancing performance as Po, Li, Mr. Ping, and several panda villagers watched. While Po was dumbfounded, Mei Mei tried to impress him and flirted with him, much to his unease. She proceeded to wrap him in her ribbons and move him to perform actions that made it look like Po was trying to woo her. Additionally, Mei Mei insisted on showing him how to dance, despite his reluctance, and ended the performance by holding him up in the air wrapped in ribbons, to which the crowd cheered.
Later, as the threat of Kai came closer to the Panda Village, Po decided to teach the pandas how to fight using their known talents. He taught Mei Mei how to use nunchucks, helping her to apply her ribbon-dancing to learning combat. Though she was clumsy with the weapon at first, she was soon able to use it to great effect, and quickly defeated one of Kai's jade zombies.
When Po sent himself and Kai to the Spirit Realm, she and the others in the Panda Village gathered to help Po as he was battling Kai. She used her chi with the others, acknowledging herself as "a nunchuck chick", and helped Po to defeat Kai.
After Kai's defeat and Po's return to the mortal realm, Mei Mei was shown practicing kung fu at the Jade Palace with the other pandas, and was briefly shown to be flirtatiously impressed with a different male panda.
Mei Mei enjoys ribbon-dancing and performing, and is fun, easygoing, and hyperactive, as well as being rather "diva-like". She is also mildly narcissistic and controlling, willing to use her ribbons like puppet-strings on someone and playfully act like they're lavishing her with attention. She also tends to be very forward and flirtatious, particularly around Po. She also flirted with another male panda at the end of the film.
Fighting style and abilities
Mei Mei has been described as the best ribbon-dancer in the Panda Village. Taking advantage and this skill, Po helped her to apply her ribbon-dancing to fighting by giving her nunchucks, and Mei Mei mastered the weapon in a relatively short period of time, even using it effectively against the jade zombies when they attacked the village. Using her ribbons to manipulate her enemies' movements, she captures them, and then strikes them using her nunchucks. She later described herself as being "a nunchuck chick."
Mei Mei also took part in defeating Kai, using her chi power with the other panda villagers and helping Po when he was in the Spirit Realm. She is shown to continue learning chi along with the other pandas at the end of Kung Fu Panda 3
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Upon first meeting Po while she was performing, Mei Mei immediately "made eyes" with him, while Po seemed to feel incredibly nervous and awkward at receiving such attention. However, she acted as if Po was romantically interested in her, from saying flattering things about herself and pretending Po was saying them, to wrapping him in her ribbons and moving him like a puppet, making him give her flowers and kiss her paw.
Despite Po being very hesitant, Mei Mei continued to engage with him, excitedly insisting to show him how to dance when he claimed he couldn't, and "helping" him when he failed miserably by picking him back up and wrapping him in ribbons. At some point in the film, the two of them incidentally got tied up together, with Mei Mei sarcastically commenting towards Po being "subtle", despite it being an accident.
Later, Po taught her how to use nunchucks, helping her to make use of her ribbon-dancing to learn this new skill in order to fight off the jade zombies. Proving capable of doing so, she and the others in the Panda Village helped Po when he was fighting Kai, and she acknowledged how Po had helped her to discover that she was "a nunchuck chick". She also helped Po to defeat Kai by using her chi.
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Mei Mei's outfit was designed to resemble that of a bride's, consisting of a decorative red robe with purple lining, and a pink dress worn underneath. She also wears a blue sash around her waist that has two strings of beads attached with tassels. She also occasionally carries a lavender fan with a butterfly design on it.
In some images, Mei Mei's appearance has differed from her look in the film, where her fan instead features a dragon design, and her robes have different patterns. Mei Mei has also been shown wearing headdresses: one being a golden flower-shaped headdress, and the other with a black-colored midsection.
- Mei Mei's name translates from Chinese to English as "beautiful" (traditional and simplified Chinese: 美美?; pinyin: měiměi), as well as "younger sister" / "young woman" (妹妹, mèimei).
- Mei Mei was originally set to be voiced by Rebel Wilson. However, it was reported in September 2015 that due to an extended production schedule, Wilson was forced to bow out of the film and was replaced by Kate Hudson. Later, in May 2017, Wilson testified in a defamation trial against a tabloid magazine publisher that she was fired from her role due to being "too divisive" after a series of articles written about her were released earlier in 2015.
- In story development, Mei Mei was originally going to be promised in an arranged marriage to Po.
- In preparation for her role, Mei Mei's former voice actress Rebel Wilson had written a love poem dedicated to Po. She had also brought a pair of pink nunchucks to her first meeting with the film directors.
- Revealed by Kung Fu Panda 3 head of story Philip Craven in an interview. @2:20 in the video: "How's Po gonna react to meeting a girl panda who's the same age as him?"
- USA Today - "Sneak peek: 'Panda 3' amps up bear count" by Bryan Alexander. Published & retrieved June 10, 2015.
- Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016). Written by , & directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, . Distributed by 20th Century Fox.
- The Hollywood Reporter - "Kate Hudson to Replace Rebel Wilson in 'Kung Fu Panda 3' (Exclusive)" by Borys Kit. Published & retrieved September 4, 2015.
- Revealed in the video description of the first episode of Pandiva by DreamWorksTV.
- 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.
- Miller-Zarneke, Tracey. The Art of Kung Fu Panda 3, p. 44. ISBN: 9781608874941.
- MDBG English to Chinese dictionary - "美美"
- MDBG English to Chinese dictionary - "meimei"
- : “Had my first recording sesh for Kung Fu Panda 3 today..crushed it x”
- The Australian - "Rebel Wilson: sacked from Kung Fu Panda for being 'divisive' after magazine articles" by Simone Fox Koob. Published May 25, 2017. Retrieved June 7, 2017.