|“||There are no accidents.||”|
|—Oogway to Shifu, Kung Fu Panda|
Master Oogway was an elderly tortoise and the previous senior master of the Jade Palace. He is credited as the founder of the Valley of Peace, the creator of kung fu, and the developer of the Dragon Warrior legend.
Highly venerated for his wisdom, knowledge, and experience, Oogway was considered by many to be a sage. He was greatly respected by Shifu, the Furious Five, Po, the entire Valley of Peace, and all of China. He was known as the greatest kung fu master in history, with no other reputation surpassing his. He spent his life dedicated to preserving the art of kung fu as a force for good and passed on this and many of his other teachings to his students. In the small remainder of his life, he had the chance to finally locate the Dragon Warrior before he ascended into the Spirit Realm.
It is known that Oogway made his departure from his home in the Galápagos Islands on a journey of discovery almost a thousand years ago, traveling all around the world and visiting every country until he arrived in China. Oogway stood on a hill overlooking the land that would later become known as the Valley of Peace and knew that he had found the place he would call home for the rest of his life. To commemorate the moment, Oogway planted the seed of his favorite tree on the hill, which would eventually grow into the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom.
Oogway accomplished many things after this—such include the creation and perfection of kung fu, the development of the Dragon Warrior legend and creation of the Dragon Scroll, the peace-sustaining in the Valley of Peace, and the assisting of others outside the Valley. He was also an ally of the Four Constellations and conspired with them to prevent their fallen master Jindiao from capturing the Wellspring. Oogway recruited Bunnidharma to craft the Spirit Urn for use against Jindiao, but the plan to trap his spirit within it failed.
Sometime during his youth, he was an ambitious warrior who led a mighty army, fighting side by side with Kai, his brother-in-arms and his closest friend. One day, they were ambushed and Oogway was badly wounded. Kai carried his friend for days, searching for help, until they came upon a secret village high in the mountains and inhabited by pandas, who used their mastery of chi to heal Oogway. Fascinated by the power, Oogway was taught by the pandas how to use it, but Kai was solely interested in increasing his own power, which he discovered he could do by taking the chi of others. Oogway realized he had to stop Kai, and the two former friends engaged in a fierce battle that "shook the Earth". In the end, Oogway triumphed, banishing Kai to the Spirit Realm.
Some time in his youth, a dangerous tribe of Underworld Demons took up residence in the valley, terrorizing its citizens and laying waste to the settlement, gleefully destroying all who attempted to escape or enter. The peaceful villagers fled for their lives amidst the onslaught, but Master Oogway stood against the otherworldly menace, using his fighting skills in conjunction with the Hero's Chi, a power gifted from Heaven that dwelt within the tortoise's body. Using this mystic life energy to fuel his abilities, Oogway drove the demons back from whence they came, the demonic hordes fleeing back to the underworld through a crater atop Jade Mountain. He used the Hero's Chi in order to seal the entrance preventing their return, but one more demon remained at large. Faster and stronger than his dark brethren, the Demon King Ke-Pa appeared before the kung fu master in the form of a giant dragon, taking advantage of Oogway's exhausted and weakened state to finish him off. Defenseless against the monster's onslaught, the tortoise collapsed at the foot of the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom. Since Oogway had protected the Valley of Peace, the tree, in turn, chose to protect him, using the powers to Heaven and Earth to re-energize the injured master, enabling him to defeat Ke-Pa. Oogway used his Hero's Chi to trap the dragon-like demon in the body of a mortal pig, rendering him powerless so long as the peach tree lived.
At a later point in time, the villagers built the Jade Palace atop the mountain in tribute to Master Oogway's many great deeds. The building was constructed in the very place where the portal to the underworld had been sealed, and it was in his new home that Oogway would train many others in the art of kung fu.
Though it is unknown exactly when, Oogway eventually admitted Shifu, who had departed from his family to commit himself entirely to the training and duties of kung fu at the Jade Palace. Through his hard work and determination, Shifu was eventually elevated to the rank of master.
When Shifu rose to the rank of master in his youth, he quickly became overwhelmed by a mass of new responsibilities. Unable to cope with the stress, Shifu decided to quit his kung fu life, but Oogway stopped him and taught him hing kung, which involved balancing on leaves. Through Oogway's teachings, Shifu learned to regain internal balance.
|The canonicity of this section is questionable.|
Information in this section may conflict with previously established canon.
According to a flashback in "Father Crime," Oogway took Shifu on as a student after Shifu's father, Shirong, left him sitting at the top of the steps to the Jade Palace. Another flashback from "The Spirit Orbs of Master Ding" reveals that Oogway fought alongside the previous Furious Five to defeat Ding and imprison him within Mugu Mountain.
In the episode "Scorpion's Sting", Shifu told Po and the Furious Five of Oogway's involvement with Scorpion's history. Being the celebrated healer in the Valley of Peace, Scorpion one day came across a hypnotic elixir, which warped her body and mind upon injection. This corrupted Scorpion used her new power to brainwash the citizens of the Valley of Peace and launch an assault on the Jade Palace. Oogway protected the Palace, having used two things to his advantage: the villagers' loyalty, which he used to free them from their mind control; and his hard shell, which shattered Scorpion's stinger when she attempted to sting him. After Scorpion was defeated, Oogway exiled her from the Valley of Peace.
In "Sticky Situation", Taotie shared with his son his past training with Shifu under Oogway. In "Sight for Sore Eyes" it was revealed that Junjie was also one of Oogway's students, but that his anger prompted Oogway to choose Shifu to oversee the Jade Palace instead.
In "Owl Be Back", Oogway trained Fenghuang, who was a member of the prior Furious Five, and became the most powerful under Oogway's tutelage. She turned dark, desiring to rule the Jade Palace herself and challenged Oogway. The old turtle had foreseen Fenghuang's fall from grace and had crafted an owl-shaped inescapable cage to imprison her. They fought fiercely but the owl could not defeat Oogway, and so fled the palace before she could be captured.
In "Ghost of Oogway", it appeared that Oogway returned to the Jade Palace as a ghost to mentor Po. However, this was later revealed to be a shape-shifting trick of Junjie, who had attempted to take over the Jade Palace once again by trying to trick Po and the Furious Five into shirking their training. After the fox was defeated, the real form of Oogway was seen overlooking the Jade Palace from afar. He said what Shifu thought he never would say: "Awesome."
Oogway is later referenced in the episode "Enter the Dragon", in which the Demon King Ke-Pa narrates the story of his defeat at the hands of the old tortoise. Due to the death of the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom, Ke-Pa's dark magic returns to him, allowing him to return to his mighty dragon form upon the tree's final demise. After enslaving the citizens of the Valley of Peace and destroying the Jade Palace, the demon finds that Oogway left the Hero's Chi to Po, who uses the mystic power to defeat Ke-Pa just as the tortoise had once done in ages past. While the original peach tree was burned to ashes by the dragon's fire, it is the very sapling that Oogway and Shifu previously planted in the first movie that ultimately provided Po with the energy he needs to defeat Ke-Pa once and for all.
In "Mouth Off" it is revealed that Oogway also mentored Wushen and, due to his chatty nature, suggested that he undertake a vow of silence to improve his skills. A week later, he witnessed as Wushen invented his signature technique: the Silken Moon Touch.
|The canonicity of this section is questionable.|
Information in this section may conflict with previously established canon.
Oogway played a key role in helping Thundering Rhino, Storming Ox, and Croc to find the road to their acclaimed paths. In their earlier years, Rhino, Ox, and Croc used their kung fu skills and specialties for money by street fighting. One night, after watching their failed attempt to beat each other up in a match, Oogway was unimpressed, commenting "that they will only lose, until they find a battle worth fighting."
Upon finding that the Wu Sisters had just escaped their imprisonment, the tortoise realized this was a chance for Thundering Rhino, Ox, and Croc to put their skills to better use. When he approached the three, they denied his pleads for justified purposes and only decided to help him when he said they would find "riches" from going on the mission.
As the four journeyed together, Oogway gave the the three warriors a tough lesson in teamwork, by throwing each one in between a gap of a stalagmite-like bridge while he crossed, showing the trio that by helping him, they helped themselves and each other in getting across, as each was able to make it past the bridge.
As they camped for the night, both Storming Ox and Croc begin fantasizing about their wealthy lives. However, Oogway could tell that Thundering Rhino was not out for glory, but to earn the respect of his father Master Flying Rhino. He then tries convincing the street-fighters not to continue using their skills for money but is unsuccessful. But as soon as Oogway goes to sleep, he is approached by a messenger bird, who tells him that the Wu Sisters seek to unify the gangs of China in order to conquer it. Thus, Oogway is forced to hasten their journey.
At a point in the journey they came to a volcanic wasteland, where Oogway revealed that the riches he spoke of before were meant to be emotional riches, which upset the three warriors and caused Rhino to confront Oogway, but in the process the hill the trio were on collapsed, and head for a lava-based waterfall. Oogway gave chase and saved the three from the fall by blasting them to safety with a chi attack. He reminded them all to "remember the path" before going over the edge himself.
Saddened by Oogway's apparent death, Rhino, Ox, and Croc decided to return home. In the process, they stumbled across a village that had been pilfered by the Wu Sisters' forces, and they took pity on the inhabitants after a villager tried to pay them to go after the Wu Sisters. As Oogway had intentioned, the three realized honor was more important than money.
After Ox, Croc and Rhino defeated the Wu Sisters in a battle with their combined skills, Oogway appeared before them again after rounding up the gang leaders, revealing that he had not died in the fall, and asked them if they found the riches they were looking for. When they answered yes, the old master claimed he had never doubted them, and adds that he was proud of the warrior trio who had become friends.
Oogway was one of many that was called upon to rid a village of Monkey, who was carelessly pranking the villagers and "pantsing" anyone who tried to stop him. The old master confronted the young troublemaker and directly told him to leave. When challenged to a duel to determine who would leave the village, Oogway found himself surrounded by Monkey's banana peels, but was unaffected, and ended up pulling Monkey out of harm's way when he himself slipped as a pillar fell from behind.
Amazed, the defeated Monkey asked why he saved him. Oogway shared with him his admiration of the young warrior's skills, but also sensed great pain in him, and saw the reason for Monkey's mischievous behavior, as he had been laughed at when his own pants fell in public as a child. Distraught and humiliated in front of the whole village, the young Monkey surrendered, turning to leave, but Oogway stopped him; rather than making him leave the village as per the challenge, he encouraged him to stay and use his skills for good. Inspired by the wise master's compassion, Monkey started to become a good warrior by helping others, treating them the way he would want to be treated.
Oogway watched as Shifu mentored young Tigress, cautioning his pupil against trying to mold her into a copy of himself. After intercepting a flyer from Mr. Ping's noodle shop, Oogway suggested that they order takeout, only for Shifu to end up with food poisoning, forcing him to send for other warriors to help fight the incoming threat of Boar. Oogway supported Tigress when she volunteered to deliver Shifu's message, and then suggested that it had been no accident when she brought back an entirely different group of recruits. He later went to Tigress as she sat bemoaning her "failure", but he again expressed his conviction that she could not be Shifu; she had to be herself. His wisdom holding true, Oogway watched with Shifu as Tigress and her new teammates (the Furious Five) defeated Boar, and then cured Shifu's food poisoning.
Decades prior to the film, Oogway's old student, Shifu, had adopted and trained Tai Lung, whom he had found outside the Training Hall doors as a newborn cub. Years of praise and hard work passed by, and eventually, Shifu presented his prized pupil to Oogway for judgment, believing Tai Lung to be the Dragon Warrior. However, Oogway had watched Tai Lung's training and seeing the darkness in the prideful snow leopard's heart, rejected Tai Lung as the Dragon Warrior without hesitation and could not be persuaded by Shifu to reconsider, causing Shifu to bow down reluctantly to Oogway's words and Tai Lung to become enraged.
The snow leopard swiftly went on a furious rampage across the Valley of Peace, ravaging the village and terrifying its citizens before rushing back to the Jade Palace to take the Dragon Scroll by force. Oogway and Shifu remained at the Jade Palace to defend the Dragon Scroll and when Shifu was unable to bring himself to defeat Tai Lung and was overpowered as a result, Oogway himself intercepted Tai Lung before he could take the scroll and easily defeated him with paralyzing nerve strikes to the chest, immobilizing and knocking out the snow leopard. Oogway then ordered Shifu to construct the Chorh-Gom Prison in the frigid outskirts of Mongolia and imprisoned Tai Lung there as punishment for his crimes against the Valley of Peace, intending to keep him locked there for the rest of his life.
Twenty years later, in the film's present time, Oogway had a premonition that Tai Lung would escape from prison and attack the Valley out of revenge. Oogway shared this vision with Shifu, who suddenly became fear-stricken. Oogway calmed his old student and instructed him and the others to hold a tournament in order to choose the legendary Dragon Warrior, the only one worthy to receive the power of the Dragon Scroll.
The tournament to determine the identity of the Dragon Warrior started later that day in the Palace's arena. Oogway, with Shifu at his side, watched as the Furious Five performed in front of their spectators and masters, displaying their skills individually by interacting with various weapon-wielding wooden contraptions. Once all but Tigress had performed, Oogway indicated the time for selection, sensing the Dragon Warrior nearby.
However, when it seemed like Oogway was about to select Tigress, a large panda named Po landed right in front of her, after having ridden a chair riddled with fireworks to get in the arena. Oogway commented on the interesting circumstances and declared the panda to be the Dragon Warrior, much to everyone's surprise. Although Shifu tried to intervene, Oogway replied, "There are no accidents," and carried out with his decision.
That night, Oogway found Po sulking under the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom and stuffing himself with the tree's peaches after undergoing a chaotic crash course through the Training Hall as well as a negative reception from Shifu and the Five. Oogway understood Po's impulse to eat when he was upset and offered to listen to his troubles. He commented on the lack of faith Po showed in himself, and encouraged the panda to live for the present instead of worrying about what was and what would be. Po followed his advice the next day and survived through Shifu's strict training exercises with optimism.
Later that night, Oogway was seen practicing his tai chi underneath the peach tree when Shifu informed him of Tai Lung's escape from prison, which had confirmed Oogway's vision. Oogway told Shifu that he must let go of the "illusion of control", and instead nurture and believe in Po's abilities in order for him to stop Tai Lung, demonstrating this metaphor by planting a peach seed that Shifu pulled from one of the peaches of the tree. Shifu still displayed confusion and doubt, but Oogway reassured him one more time that he must believe, and Shifu committed to trying. Nearly a millennium of teaching and developing kung fu, the greatly aged tortoise sensed his time had come, and handed Shifu his staff, then turned into a swirling cloud of peach blossoms that ascended into the Spirit Realm, successfully ending time in the mortal world.
Oogway only made a handful of cameos in the film. The first was during the intro as he replaced the young fishing boy in DreamWorks' logo. The second was in Po's memories during his flashback, where Oogway was briefly seen choosing Po as the Dragon Warrior, which allowed Po to attain inner peace and stop Lord Shen and his wolf army from destroying kung fu and taking over China. The third was during the credits, where Oogway was in the background as a baby Po was being carried into the village.
Oogway was meditating in the Spirit Realm when suddenly he was attacked by his former friend Kai, who aimed to steal his chi and escape the realm. The two fought fiercely, and though the two were nearly equal in skill, Kai gained the upper hand and ensnared Oogway with his chain blades. Just as Kai began to take away his chi, Oogway told him that he had sent another on the path to defeat him. He was then transformed into a jade amulet, with which Kai wore around his neck.
After Kai's defeat, Oogway and the other kung fu masters returned to normal. Meeting Po in the Spirit Realm, Oogway observed that the panda had grown since he last saw him, as he had hoped when he sent the message to Po's father, leading to the two finding each other. He stated that on the first day they met, Oogway saw the future of kung fu in Po, as well as the past. He sensed that Po would be the one to unite them both and become his true successor. He then presented Po with his staff, to which Po was hesitant to accept, but Oogway insisted, humorously stating that he had "a bigger one". Oogway then perched himself on a branch of the nearby peach tree, informing Po that he must be the one to decide whether or not to stay in the Spirit Realm, although he himself was unaware of how to do so, as he had never tried. Though he was unsure of what exactly to do, Po waved Oogway's staff as Oogway watched him teleport magically back to the mortal realm.
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Oogway brings Po to the Spirit Realm to inform him that he is to be the mentor of the Panda Guardians. When Po expresses feelings of self-doubt, Oogway encourages him while also assuring him that this is the path he is meant to follow.
More coming soon!
Oogway is credited as the creator of kung fu, which he had created not just as a battle tactic, but as an art to be used for good and prosperity. He also achieved harmony and focus. This eventually helped him gain the ability of spiritual ascension.
It is noted in chapter three of the micro-series Legend of the Legendary Warrior that Oogway discovered a pool on top of a peak, which he wept into after observing his reflection and being "moved by the beauty of nature and the plight of the oppressed." As he meditated next to the pool, he achieved harmony and focus by focusing on the mysteries of the natural world, thereby forming the basis of the self-defense system of kung fu ("excellence of self").
Oogway worked for ten thousand days to perfect this system. Once completed, he admitted students under his instruction in learning kung fu, observing and helping them to discover their own styles, which led to a variety of different types of kung fu, as demonstrated by warriors such as the Furious Five.
It was also Oogway who developed the legend of the Dragon Warrior, whom he said would be the only one worthy to know the secret of the Dragon Scroll. Also developed by Oogway, the Dragon Scroll is a scroll containing the ultimate secret to kung fu—"the key to limitless power." However, when the scroll was unveiled, it was discovered the inside was nothing but a reflective sheet. Oogway had understood the simple knowledge that one must only believe in himself to achieve "excellence of self," and therefore, there was no actual written secret.
Oogway is also credited as not only the founder of the Valley of Peace, but also the one who brought and sustained peace to the land and its inhabitants. Once Oogway had fully developed his system of kung fu, he proceeded to continue helping make his new home a safe haven and a peaceful place to live. He assisted the Chih Kuan Crane Clan in fighting off the Black Steel Flying Lizards, who then wanted to repay the wise master by assisting him in his efforts with protecting his home, and thus created the thousand-mile-long bridge that guaranteed safe passage into the valley.
Oogway also admitted students under his instruction in learning the art of kung fu, which was only "entrusted ... to the finest masters in the land." Eventually Oogway's efforts proved successful and the Valley of Peace was a safe haven for the "soft and weak". Additionally, the Jade Palace was constructed in Oogway's honor, where the Dragon Scroll was placed until Oogway declared the right time for the choosing of the Dragon Warrior.
- “Your mind is like this water, my friend. When it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear.”
Oogway was seen as a reasonable and noble master who would remain calm in serious situations, most likely due to his strong faith in others and his ability to foresee the future. Unlike his student, Shifu, he never showed any signs of fury, impatience, or outrage. He believed in letting things happen in their time and course, instead of trying to change or control them. Oogway's attitude was usually very humble and passive, and he is seen to be compassionate, as shown when he consoled Po about his disappointing first day of training, and when he saved Monkey's life during a duel.
He would, however, sustain a firm, controlled tone in his disciplinary commands if it was necessary, such as when he first met Monkey and told him to leave the village he was bothering. He also showed some slight frustration when dealing with Thundering Rhino, Ox, and Croc on their quest for riches, though he remained patient and cryptic while he was guiding them on their own journey. Additionally, he was not entirely incapable of genuine horror and being displeased, as when he saw Tai Lung training, Oogway looked disappointed by the ambition and darkness in his heart and when Kai revealed he stole the Chi of every Kung Fu Master in the Spirit Realm, Oogway looked almost frightened before he shifted to expressing frustration on how Kai could never learn that no matter how many Chi he had, he still would not succeed in fulfilling his goals of domination. He would also resort to more extreme methods to teach lessons, as shown when he threw Croc, Rhino, and Ox into the Bridge of Mists to get across and eventually teach them about teamwork.
Though at times he could seem senile with his puzzling ways, Oogway was incredibly wise and rational, and gave great advice using strong and witty metaphors to emphasize his points. Oogway also had a playful side, and would sometimes poke fun at others, perhaps as a test of their patience or simply for his own amusement. He was shown to almost always be kind and content, even when he knew he was about to pass on.
The third film reveals Oogway was once a bellicose warmonger with great ambitions, having led a massive army with his brother-in-arms Kai. After the ancient pandas healed the injuries he had from the previous war, Oogway transitioned from the ambitious and truculent warlord he was to the judicious and honorable Kung Fu master beloved and respected by all. When Kai was not able to make the same transition and even began to steal the Chi of Pandas, Oogway was ready, albeit reluctantly, to exile Kai into the Spirit Realm.
Fighting style and abilities
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As the founder of kung fu, Oogway was considered by many to be the greatest kung fu master in history. He was an advocate for peace and harmony and his vast lifespan allowed him to hone his skills considerably, obtaining vastly superior knowledge that he would eventually pass down to other masters in the Jade Palace, including the titular character Po. As he was the one who founded Kung Fu in the first place, Oogway didn't have a signature technique or fighting style as he had completely mastered all Kung Fu techniques in existence, even techniques other masters or practitioners had not heard of.
During Tai Lung's raid on the Valley of Peace, Oogway subdued the snow leopard with an incredibly fast nerve attack that quickly knocked him out, a remarkable feat as Tai Lung was such a kung fu prodigy that he was the first to master the Thousand Scrolls of Kung Fu. Due to his far greater experience and knowledge, his mastery of Nerve attacks are shown to be considerably superior to Tai Lung, as he uses much less effort while exerting far greater force and speed to the point of being in slow motion and able to instantly render his victim unconscious rather than just paralyzing them.
Additionally, Oogway managed to defeat Fenghuang, an owl who was considered to be the most powerful member of the Furious Five in her generation who turned evil, without much effort. In "Enter the Dragon", centuries ago, Oogway managed to singlehandedly defeat the demons of the underworld using the Hero's Chi and despite being exhausted, was able to fight against Ke-Pa, the ruler of the demons, and although he was overcome by fatigue, he lasted long enough for the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom provide him with protection and strength in which he used to defeat Ke-Pa, trapping him in the body of a mortal.
Despite his physiological limitations, Oogway also possessed unbelievable physical strength for his stature, seeing how he was able to easily lift up Thundering Rhino by the horn and toss him in a gap between the Bridge of Mists. He was extremely quick and agile for a tortoise, as he was able to easily intercept Tai Lung despite his own vast speed and land the nerve attack that defeated him without him being able to react at all. His shell also provides him enhanced durability, as he was able to endure catastrophic injuries for days, before being healed. His physiology also has an extended lifespan, indicated by the fact that he is a millennia old, is ancient & the founder of Kung Fu. He is also highly skilled in the use of Chi, being able to use Chi to heal others and himself as well as enhance his physical prowess and can fire powerful blasts of Chi, being strong enough to inflict some pain on Kai. Oogway's knowledge is such that he always knows about the future events, even knowing the means he could use to come back from the spirit realm to the mortal world, but had no intentions to, desiring those he treasured to know everything he knows, and he was able to banish Kai into the Spirit World not just in soul but also body, suggesting that he could even open gateways to the spirit realm.
His Kung Fu skills were so strong, that he had once defeated Kai, an extremely powerful Warrior who was easily among the greatest to ever walk China, with their battle being so great that it "shook the earth" and managed to compete against him despite his improvements for the 500 years he spent honing his abilities, whereas all other masters were completely outclassed by Kai, with his loss being partially due to him willingly surrendering. Oogway was also extremely skilled in the use of his staff, it being his sole weapon, having used it to defeat Kai and break his spear. In addition to his legendary kung fu skills, Oogway could also have important visions of future events, which tended to come true, as seen in his prediction of the return of Tai Lung, who has been in prison. Oogway had shared this particular vision with his student Shifu, and merely watched as Shifu tried to prevent it by dispatching Zeng to warn the guards at Chorh-Gom Prison, saying to himself, "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it." Nevertheless, the wise master let fate play out its cards, and sure enough, it was revealed that one of Zeng's feathers became the "key" that helped Tai Lung escape.
Oogway has the ability to converse with others through visions while they are in a dormant state such as meditation, sleep or an unconscious episode.
He confirmed to Po when they met up in the Spirit Realm in the third film that he sent the vision of the Valley of Peace's location to his father Li Shan which led the panda on his journey to find and with reunite with Po.
He also visits Po twice in Paws of Destiny in visions, to reassure him about his new position to train the four Chi Endowed panda kids and warn him that Jindiao is on the rise.
Oogway doesn't stay too long while conversing with a mortal when in a vision, he will mostly elaborate the unrealized mortal's potential or warn them of dangers coming in the form of riddles and then disappear all mystical and Kung-Fu-y.
- Shifu: “ [bowing] Master Oogway. You summoned me? Is something wrong?”
- Oogway: “Why must something be wrong for me to want to see my old friend?”
Oogway had taken in Shifu as his student when he was a cub, after Shirong had left after falsely promising Shifu he'd return for him and left him at the Jade Palace doorstep waiting for days. During Kung Fu Panda, Oogway often called Shifu his "old friend." Oogway was known to teach Shifu how to maintain balance, both externally and internally. Shifu raised Tai Lung during his young years, telling him he was destined for greatness. When Oogway had seen darkness in him, Shifu decided to trust Oogway, despite his love for Tai Lung.
However, Shifu was outraged when Oogway chose Po as the Dragon Warrior, leading him to disobey Oogway by trying to get rid of Po. Soon, Shifu came to ask help from Oogway at his peach tree. Oogway said that he must let go of the illusion of control, illustrating his point by using a metaphor of a peach seed, which showed how he cannot control it. After that, Oogway ascended into the Heavens as his time had come. Shifu appeared sad and confused at the sudden death of his master, and was left with his master's staff. Soon after, Shifu followed his master's advice and trained Po to be the Dragon Warrior. Shifu was seen still carrying his master's staff in Kung Fu Panda 2.
In the third film, Shifu was shown to be both helpless and horror-struck at the sight of the villainous Kai hurling a statue of Oogway into the Jade Palace, proclaiming: "Master Oogway, forgive me."
When Po fell into the arena on the day of the Dragon Warrior tournament, Oogway was just as surprised as everyone else, commenting on the "interesting" circumstances. However, while the incident looked like an accident to others, Oogway saw Po's coming as a sign and named him the Dragon Warrior. Po was shocked by this turn of events, but did not have time to argue before he was whisked into the Jade Palace. It wasn't until that night when Oogway found the panda sulking under a peach tree that they actually spoke to each other. After Po conveyed his upset feelings to the tortoise, Oogway advised him to be less concerned about the past and the future, and to instead live for today. This encouraged Po to keep pursuing his dreams of learning kung fu. After defeating the Demonic Spirit, Kai, Oogway explains his true intentions for making Po, the Dragon Warrior, before naming him his "true successor". He also passed on his Yin & Yang Staff to Po, before Po departed the Spirit Realm.
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Kai and Oogway were brothers-in-arms and best friends centuries before the time of the Dragon Warrior, and as such, they had led a great army together. One day, they were ambushed by an enemy army and Oogway was badly injured. Despite the perilous journey, Kai himself had carried his beloved friend to help, to the pandas, who could heal and restore life with the power of chi. The loyal bonds that united the tortoise and yak were shaken upon Oogway's realization that Kai was after the power over chi, and though it pained him to do so, Oogway dueled Kai in an earth-shaking battle which ended with Kai being banished to the Spirit Realm, body and soul. Centuries later, Oogway was confronted by Kai after he too had ascended to the Spirit Realm. By this time, Kai had became completely driven with anger over Oogway's betrayal and even more powerful than before. Although Kai defeated Oogway, it was shown that Oogway willingly let himself be defeated so that Po could defeat Kai and complete his destiny as the Dragon Warrior, which he outright stated to Kai, leaving it unclear if Oogway could have defeated Kai had he actually wanted to stop him.
Although Kai would often comment on how he wished to completely destroy Oogway's legacy, he did refer to Oogway as Master Oogway, suggesting a measure of respect for Oogway was still there. Oogway himself interacted with Kai rather cordially, even calling him old friend at one point, but his initial casual demeanor changed when he learned Kai had taken the chi of every master in the Spirit Realm, for the first time making Oogway ever show horror before shifting to frustration on how Kai had many years to think on his actions but never learned that he could never fulfill his goal of domination. Oogway showed no sadness when Kai was vanquished by Po either, showing that any bond between them has long since died (though it's not entirely implausible for Oogway to have still felt grief), though at least unlike Kai Oogway didn't have much resentment for Kai or at least not at the level of hatred.
Oogway simply welcomed Tigress to the Jade Palace after Shifu adopted her from Bao Gu Orphanage and, while observing her training, held caution against letting her getting molded into a copy of her master. The tortoise even supported Tigress when she volunteered to deliver Shifu's message, and later suggested that it had been no accident to bring back an entirely different group of recruits. He later went to the tigress as she sat bemoaning her "failure" but again expressed his conviction that she could not be Shifu; she had to be herself. He may have even considered selecting Tigress as the Dragon Warrior since he appeared to be pointing in her direction during the Dragon Warrior tournament before Po fell in front of her. Oogway's decision to choose "a fat, flabby panda" like Po over a loyal student like herself offended her, leading her to wonder whether or not Oogway made the right choice. She began to accept his decision following Po's victory over Tai Lung.
Pranking and humiliating whoever came his way, Monkey was considered a nuisance to the people of his village, and Oogway was called on for help in driving the young troublemaker away. When they met, Monkey promised to leave if Oogway could defeat him, but he underestimated the old tortoise. Not only did Oogway win their fight, but he saved Monkey from being crushed under a falling pillar. The old master then complimented the young warrior's skill, but he also sensed great pain in him. Reminded of being humiliated himself in his youth, Monkey was about to leave the village, ashamed and defeated. Oogway instead convinced him to stay and use his skills for good. Following his advice, Monkey soon became a hero to the townspeople and followed Oogway's example by treating others with compassion.
The Kung Fu Council
- “When the path you walk always leads back to yourself, you'll never get anywhere.”
When Oogway first beheld the three future masters Thundering Rhino, Storming Ox, and Croc, he was disappointed by their use of their talents for petty street fighting, though he felt all three of them had potential. Upon discovering the escape of the Wu Sisters, Oogway decided to involve the trio in "a battle worth fighting" in the hopes that it would help them to unlock their true potential. He had to persuade the three to accompany him, promising them "riches" though he failed to correct them at the time that he spoke of spiritual wealth rather than money. However, his ultimate aim was always to help them become better, and in the end he was gratified to learn that they had finally learned to look beyond themselves.
It was unknown how much interaction Oogway had with Tai Lung, who was Shifu's prized student and adopted son, but Oogway knew him enough that he could tell that beneath all of Tai Lung's skills in Kung Fu, his heart was filled with ambitious darkness that made him unfit to become the Dragon Warrior. He was clearly displeased with how Tai Lung became prideful, as a flashback had him observe Tai Lung's training with clear disappointment, and when Shifu presented Tai Lung to Oogway to be nominated the Dragon Warrior, Oogway did not hesitate to reject Tai Lung and remained firm even as Shifu tried to defend Tai Lung. This combined with Shifu bowing to Oogway's refusal enraged Tai Lung and he waste to the Valley of Peace and tried to claim the Dragon Scroll for himself, but though he defeated Shifu due to Shifu's inability to bring himself to destroy Tai Lung, Oogway displayed his substantially greater Kung Fu skills and easily subdued him with a single powerful nerve attack, knocking him out, and then proceeded to imprison Tai Lung in Chorh-Gom Prison for his crimes. Unlike Shifu, Oogway didn't seem too afraid, if at all, of Tai Lung returning, as although he sounded grave, Oogway appeared to be content with the fact that Tai Lung would escape. Despite knowing his time would soon come, effectively meaning that seemingly no one could defeat Tai Lung as he was the only Kung Fu master who could defeat the snow leopard, Oogway remained confident until his death that the real Dragon Warrior, Po, despite his appearance, could defeat Tai Lung in his absence and it proved to be true as Po was able to defeat Tai Lung once and for all, sending him to the Spirit Realm with the Wuxi Finger Hold. Tai Lung in return resented the master ever since he was imprisoned and took delight in breaking his staff.
The former Furious Five
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Aside from Shifu, little is known of Oogway's relationship with other members of the previous Furious Five. He took a special interest in training Fenghuang due to her vast potential, but he was not blinded to her growing ambition and corruption. Anticipating that she might follow in the path of the other most powerful members of the Furious Five who had turned to evil, he prepared an Owl-shaped cage to contain her, and unveiled it after she challenged him for mastery of the Jade Palace. He achieved victory, but she fled rather than face capture; the fear of Oogway kept her in exile for a number of years.
Junjie was another of Oogway's students, and one who admired him greatly; however, Oogway's perception allowed him to recognize the anger in Junjie's heart and his disdain for Shifu, and he thus refused to grant Junjie mastery over the Jade Palace.
Wushen was another of Oogway's pupils, who showed immense promise but was held back by his chatter; as such, Oogway encouraged him to take a vow of silence in order to develop greater self control.
Oogway wears a green sash across his chest that wraps around and nearly covers the back of his shell. This sash is held together by a ring, and the back bears a large, stylized design that is meant to be a tai chi diagram of fish forming the yin yang symbol. It is likely this type of clothing and its color, as well as his staff, is a sign of leadership for the senior Master of the Valley, as Shifu goes on to wear a similar green wrap after inheriting the title in the wake of Oogway's passing.
In Kung Fu Panda 3, Oogway's sash has been elongated, extending a couple of feet or so behind him, resembling a cape. It is unknown whether it is the same garment and he managed to alter it himself, or if it's a different garment entirely.
The only other clothing he has been seen wearing is his cone shaped hat and yellowish green robe in Secrets of the Masters, possibly his traveling attire, along with spiked metal body armor and armbands during his war days as shown in a flashback in Kung Fu Panda 3.
- "Oogway" is the English approximation of the Chinese word for "tortoise" (traditional Chinese: 烏龜?; simplified Chinese: 乌龟; pinyin: wūguī).
- He may have been inspired by Bodhidharma (see also: Bunnidharma) the legendary monk whose teachings are associated with the creation of shaolin kung fu as well as the introduction of Bhuddism to China. Interestingly, both individuals are historically described as mysterious foreigners; Bodhidharma a "blue eyed barbarian" from "western lands" (perhaps Persian or Indian) while Oogway is a giant tortoise from the western hemisphere.[source?]
- The number of petals it took to make Oogway disappear added up to 37,517 petals.
- In Kung Fu Panda 2, Shifu is seen wearing a jade green wrap similar to one Oogway wore before his passing. This was intended to symbolize wisdom and to illustrate that Shifu has now stepped up and taken over Oogway's old position as senior master and spiritual adviser.
- At one time, Oogway was going to have a "hard-swearing, mob-boss personality." He was also going to be a "creepy grandpa" who kept wanting to pinch Po's cheeks.
- In some versions of the character, there was going to be a tiny snail on Oogway's staff to serve as his sidekick. This snail was later featured in Kung Fu Panda World when Shifu welcomed new players, again at its suitable perch atop the staff.
- Per a request from the directors, the rigging department developed a special control to facilitate animating the loose skin under Oogway's neck, termed his "waddle."
- . Retrieved July 24, 2010.
- Revealed in "Owl Be Back" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Ep. 9, Season 1. Written by Doug Langdale & directed by Michael Mullen. Originally aired November 26, 2011.
- Revealed in "Sight for Sore Eyes" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Ep. 11, Season 1. Written by Doug Langdale & directed by Juan Meza-Leon. Originally aired November 27, 2011.
- Revealed in "Sticky Situation" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Ep. 3, Season 1. Written by Scott Kreamer & directed by Gabe Swarr. Originally aired November 7, 2011.
- Revealed in "Mouth Off" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Ep. 7, Season 3. Written by Doug Langdale & directed by Aaron Hammersley. Originally aired July 2, 2013.
- Anderson, Matt and Various. Kung Fu Panda: Art of Balance, p. ??.[source?] ISBN: 1936340364
- Revealed in "Scorpion's Sting" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Ep. 1, Season 1. Written by Doug Langdale & directed by Jim Schumann. Originally aired September 19, 2011.
- Revealed in "Ghost of Oogway" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Ep. 14, Season 1. Written by Kevin Seccia & directed by Lane Lueras, Luther McLaurin. Originally aired November 29, 2011.
- Revealed in "Enter the Dragon Master" from DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny on Amazon Prime Video. Ep. 1, Season 1. Written by Elliott Owen & directed by Lane Lueras. Released November 16, 2018.
- Kung Fu Panda Official Site - Legend of the Legendary Warrior
- Scholastic.com - "Kung Fu Panda-monium!" by Marie Morreale
- Miller-Zarneke, Tracey. The Art of Kung Fu Panda, p. 88. ISBN: 1933784571.
- Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Secrets of the Furious Five (2008). Written by , Todd Berger & directed by Raman Hui. Distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment.
- Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters (2011). Written by Todd Berger, & directed by Tony Leondis. Distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment.
- Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda (2008). Written by , & directed by John Stevenson, Mark Osborne. Distributed by Paramount Pictures.
- Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016). Written by , & directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, . Distributed by 20th Century Fox.
- IMDb.com - Trivia for Kung Fu Panda (2008)
- Kung Fu Panda Fun Facts by HP
- Miller-Zarneke, Tracey. The Art of Kung Fu Panda 2, p. 43. ISBN: 1608870189.