|—Po, Kung Fu Panda|
Master Po Ping (known simply as Po, and originally named Lotus) is the main protagonist of the Kung Fu Panda franchise. He is the adopted son of Mr. Ping and the biological son of Li Shan and his wife, as well as one of Master Shifu's students at the Jade Palace. He is also the foretold Dragon Warrior of legend, and a master of the Panda Style of kung fu.
Originally born in a farming village to his birth parents, Po was separated from his family as a result of a massacre. He was eventually found by Mr. Ping, who adopted him, hoping for Po to inherit the family noodle shop some day. However, Po was drawn to kung fu, and his unwavering enthusiasm led him to be chosen as the Dragon Warrior, after which he began training under Master Shifu. Though clumsy and unaccepted at first, Po persevered and fulfilled the destiny of the Dragon Warrior by defeating Tai Lung and discerning the Dragon Scroll, proving himself as a hero to everyone, including himself.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality
- 3 Fighting style and abilities
- 4 Relationships
- 4.1 Family
- 4.2 Masters of the Jade Palace
- 4.3 Masters of Gongmen City
- 4.4 Villains
- 4.5 Others
- 5 Clothing
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Gallery
- 8 Quotes
- 9 See also
- 10 References
Po was born as "Lotus" in a remote farming village populated entirely by pandas. There, Lotus grew up happily with his biological father Li Shan and his mother, until one day the village was invaded by the evil, power-hungry peacock named Shen, who sought to avert a prophecy by eliminating any threat to his future rule.
As a last resort to protecting her child, Lotus's mother hid him in a crate of radishes. They share an emotional goodbye, before she is tragically killed by Shen and his wolf army. The crate Lotus was in was eventually shipped far away to the Valley of Peace, where the owner of a noodle shop, Mr. Ping, found the baby panda, who had eaten the radishes. Though reluctant to take him in at first, Mr. Ping eventually took him in giving him the name "Xiao Po" and raising him as his own son.
Since then, Po had been happily raised in the noodle shop, learning all he knew as a noodle maker from his adoptive father. Until the events in the second film, Po never questioned Mr. Ping about whether he was adopted as both father and son shared a deep mutual love and respect. He did, however, carry doubts that they were related.
Po grew into his teenage years with a lack of focus and of his father's skill in cooking, which later led to Master Shifu getting food poisoning after Po prepared a meal for the Jade Palace while his father was away on business. Afterwards, Po began to consider other possible career paths, such as a cleaner, comedian, dancer, or doctor, and made a list of them on a scroll. This scroll later inadvertently ended up in the hands of Tigress, who mistook it for a list made by Shifu of four warriors she was to gather in order to face the villainous Boar. This led to her recruiting Crane, Monkey, Viper, and Mantis, who were quickly dismissed by Shifu who also ordered the evacuation of the valley.
During this time Po revealed to his father that he had caused Shifu's illness, which his father took as good publicity, and was then sent to gather ingredients for meals to be served to the fleeing villagers. From the hilltop his father had specified, Po then watched as the future Furious Five battled Boar, and quickly determined what he wanted to do with his life: practice Kung fu. He later made a set of Furious Five action figures which he treasured for years, only for his father to give them away to a customer. Po attempted to recover them, but after seeing the youngster developing his own love for Kung fu came to feel that they had come to the right place; it appears that at some point he later created a new set.
Po, now a young adult, is in idolistic dreamer with hopes of becoming a kung fu legend alongside his heroes, the Furious Five. However, Po's soft, large, and untrained body made such a goal seem rediuclous to Po and everyone around him, so he kept his dreams secret, even from his father Mr. Ping. Instead he resigned to the idea that his future would be running the family's noodle shop.
It was seemingly by mistake, then, that he was chosen to become the Dragon Warrior. Po was ecstatic when he heard of a tournament being held to determine which of the Furious Five would be chosen as the Dragon Warrior. He abandoned his task of selling noodles in order to see the tournament, but couldn't make it in time, as the gates closed on him, shutting him out.
After many failed attempts to get inside, Po's final idea was to strap fireworks to a chair and light them in order to lift him up and into the arena. When his plan initially failed Po was about to give up and go back to work with his father, but then the fireworks suddenly shot him into the sky, flying over the arena. Po plummeted to the ground, landing just before Oogway's claw which, when he regained consciousness, was pointed directly at him. Oogway took this as a sign that the universe had brought them all the Dragon Warrior. Everyone else, including Po, was surprised by this.
The Valley celebrated, and Po was carried to the Jade Palace where he was met by Shifu, who was openly hostile and critical of Po, particularly with respect to Po's physique. Shifu then brings Po to the Training Hall in hopes that, after seeing the level of training required, the panda would quit. In front of the Furious Five, Po's inexperience lead to him being injured and humiliated. On their way to the Student barracks, Po overhears the Five joke about his incompetence. Later, Tigress even tells him directly that he is a disgrace to kung fu and that he should leave.
Po, disheartened by his heroes' comments, retreated to the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom. Oogway, upon finding him, listened to Po as the panda related how he had doubts about ever becoming a kung fu warrior. Oogway advises Po that instead of being concerned about what was and what would be, he should focus on the opportunity he had at the moment.
The next morning, the others find that Po is not in his room and believe he left only to find he was already in the training courtyard. Shifu, still trying to get rid of Po, does not go easy on him. Po spars with the Five (sans Tigress) and is badly beaten each time, but still remains enthusiastic. Losing patience, Shifu himself spars with Po. Po is flung down the palace stairs, but his determination and fortitude impress some of the Five. Later that night, Mantis and Viper are the first to reach out to Po.
During the acupuncture session, the three talk about Shifu and why he is so harsh. Overhearing their conversation, Tigress shares Shifu's story, revealing how he had raised Tai Lung as a son and had his heart broken by Tai Lung's betrayal. Later, Po and the Five continue to bond over the noodle soup that Po makes them, though Tigress is still resistant. While making the Five laugh by doing a Shifu impersonation, Shifu himself appears.
He announces that Tai Lung had broken out of Chorh-Gom Prison, and that it is Po's destiny to defeat him, also relaying that Oogway had passed away. Startled and frightened, Po runs off but is stopped by Shifu who, despite his prior disapproval, declares that Po is the Dragon Warrior.
Po confronts Shifu on this claim, stating how Shifu never believed in him, and had been trying to make him quit. Po revealed that he had been hurt both inside and out, but had stayed because, to him, it was better than living every day just being himself. When Po demands to know how Shifu planned to make him into a warrior capable of defeating Tai Lung, Shifu admits he didn't know.
Discouraged, Po again seeks comfort in food and ravages the kitchen in the barracks, punching through cupboards and drawers, even doing a perfect split at one point.When Shifu sees this, he finally understands how Po differs from the Five, and how he can use this perceived weakness as a teaching tool to motivate and train Po.
Shift leads Po through the Wu Dan Mountains to the Pool of Sacred Tears, and in the very place where Oogway first created kung fu, Shifu begins to train Po to become the Dragon Warrior. Using food to motivate him, Po's skills and strength begin to develop. As a final test, Po must steal back the dumpling that Shifu is keeping from him. In the end, Po is able to beat Shifu, and they two bow to each other in mutual respect.
But the Furious Five, led by Tigress, had left to fight Tai Lung on their own. Despite putting up a courageous fight, Tai Lung had defeated them using a nerve attack. Crane had been permitted to return with the wounded Five in order to scare Po, but Shifu assured him that he could beat Tai Lung—with the help of the Dragon Scroll. However, when Po opened the scroll, everyone was shocked to find it was nothing but a golden, reflective surface that was completely blank.
With no legendary powers to help them, Shifu orders the 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.
The Five split up to escort the villagers out while Po returned to his father to help him pack and leave. Po, heartbroken that he had come so close to reaching his dream only to be forced to return to his mundane life, falls behind. Mr. Ping tried to cheer up his son by finally telling him the truth: the secret ingredient of the noodle shop's secret ingredient soup—was nothing. 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. Mr. Ping's words 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 save Shifu. Facing Tai Lung, Po proclaimed that he was the true Dragon Warrior. Tai Lung laughed at the claim, and Po smugly revealed that he the Dragon Scroll in his possession. This lead to a back-and-forth struggle for the scroll which soon turned into a battle that spread down into the Valley, both Po and Tai Lung trying to get the Dragon Scroll as it fell from place to place.
Despite Po's ongoing success, Tai Lung manages to get a hold of the scroll and open it, only to be shocked that it was blank. Po reveals to Tai Lung the meaning behind the scroll, that in just believing you are special is enough. Infuriated, Tai Lung throws down the Dragon Scroll and uses his deadly nerve attack on Po, but it doesn't work on Po due to his girth.
Again, the two fought, Po besting and outsmarting Tai Lung again and again, developing his own improvised style in the process. Eventually, Po catches Tai Lung in the Wuxi Finger Hold and uses it on him, sending a massive golden shock wave throughout the Valley of Peace and beyond.
When the Furious Five and villagers return to see that Po defeated Tai Lung, they cheer and bow to him, accepting him as the Dragon Warrior. Po was modestly pleased, but quickly remembered that Shifu was hurt back at the palace. He rushed back and found Shifu still injured, and told him he had defeated Tai Lung.
Shifu weakly thanked Po for bringing peace both to the Valley and to him. Po lays next to the resting Shifu for several moments before asking him if he wanted to get something to eat. He and Shifu later enjoyed a meal of dumplings by the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom, overlooking a new day in the Valley of Peace.
Po was instructed by Shifu to teach a class of new kung fu students, made up of rambunctious rabbit children. Shifu told Po that it may very well be the toughest challenge he's ever faced, and left a dubious Po to teach the class himself. After calming down the excited group, Po told them stories of how each of the Furious Five learned the secrets of kung fu. When Shifu returned to check on Po's progress, he first thought that Po had taught the rowdy students that kung fu is all about fighting; but after hearing the children point out the lessons of having patience, courage, discipline, compassion, and confidence, Shifu found that Po had taught them well, and allowed him to keep teaching the class.
It was the time of the Winter Festival, and Po was informed by Master Shifu in noodle shop that he was to host the Winter Feast at the Jade Palace. The Furious Five were surprised when Po told them this news, and offered to help him prepare for the sophisticated dinner. However, Po was confident that he could do it himself, and was excited about the chance to host the formal gathering. But soon enough, he became overwhelmed by the many tasks of preparing for the Feast, and was burdened further by not being able to have his father come to the event.
After accidentally rejecting and disgracing a rabbit chef named Wo Hop with the "Hun-Shu Wave of Dismissal", Po decided to intentionally dismiss the other chefs trying out for the Feast by tasting and saying their dishes were awful and he later offered the job to his father, along with the Golden Ladle, in hopes that the two of them could spend the holiday together. However, Mr. Ping refused, stating he couldn't be away from the restaurant and let his customers down. After Po told him he couldn't be home during the holiday, Mr. Ping grudgingly told him to to the palace feast, resulting in Po feeling guilty.
Afterwards in the palace kitchen, Po was challenged by Wo Hop to a fight to the death in order to restore his honor, and the rabbit chef made several attempts to attack Po and end his own life, the panda preventing him from doing so again and again. After several disasters (including the kitchen being set of fire and an ice dragon sculpture being beheaded), Po fell into despair, believing that he had disappointed everyone. After a comment from Wo Hop about kung fu being unable to solve everything, Po decided to call on the Furious Five and Wo Hop to help him in his preparations for the Feast. With their extra efforts, everything came together just in time. Tending to a last-minute detail, Po left to fetch some ground jasmine and saw the village houses decorated with colorful lanterns, and was sullen at seeing families together for their own feasts.
Later, when seated with Shifu, the Five, and the visiting kung fu masters at the Jade Palace, Po was complimented by Shifu for creating the perfect feast. However, Po himself was unhappy as he sat with his fellow masters, and found that he could not enjoy the ceremony, as much as he admired the kung fu heroes present. He explained to them his own traditions of having fun with his family, friends, and neighbors during the holiday. He then politely excused himself (much to Shifu's dismay), and then ran off to join his father at the noodle shop.
At the shop, Mr. Ping was pleased to see him, and apologized to Po for making him feel guilty, and Po offered to help him cook. They then worked together to make several bowls of holiday-themed noodle soup for the customers, who cheered for them. The Furious Five and the visiting masters later showed up at the restaurant and took part in the festivities as well. Po also presented the Golden Ladle to Wo Hop (whom had shown up to try and attack Po again), restoring honor to him and his home village.
Shifu also came to the noodle shop, still upset that Po had "ruined" the palace feast, but upon seeing the happy celebration taking place inside, Shifu came to appreciate Po's decision. When spotted by the panda, the master was invited inside, and though reluctant to join in the feast, Po insisted, telling him that he was part of his family as well. They joined the others, posing for a group portrait, and Po was able to appease everyone, thanks of his unorthodox, yet sincere actions.
- See Po/Biography.
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Po's dreams of kung fu adventure came true the day that Master Oogway named him the legendary Dragon Warrior. Now a master himself, Po gets to live out his dream everyday at the Jade Palace as he sharpens his kung fu skills with Master Shifu, battles bad guys with the Furious Five and of course, takes a snack break every now and then. With the Furious Five by his side, Po will stop at nothing to keep evil out of the Valley of Peace.
Some time after defeating Tai Lung, Po is finally living his dream, having proved himself as the Dragon Warrior and earned the friendship of the Furious Five. However, Shifu reminds Po that there is still much to learn. In the Dragon Grotto Shifu shows Po the technique of catching and guiding a water droplet without breaking it. Shifu explains that achieving inner peace was the only way this technique could be mastered, and that it was the next step in Po's training. But before finishing the lesson, Po and the Five were called into action to protect Musicians' Village from bandits.
Po and the Five worked together to drive off the invading pack of wolves, but as the battle neared its end, Po noticed a symbol on the wolf's armor. This triggered a flashback of his mother's face, distracting Po long enough to take the wolf's hammer to the face, knocking him down and allowing the wolf to escape.
Not knowing what to make of his vision, Po speaks to his father Mr. Ping. During their converstion, Mr.Ping reveals that Po is adopted and that he found Po as a baby in a radish crate that had been delivered to the restaurant. Po wants to know more, but Mr. Ping has no more information, leaving Po troubled about his past.
Some time later, Shifu received a message that Master Thundering Rhino of Gongmen City had been killed by a powerful weapon crafted by Lord Shen, which was capable of making kung fu obsolete. Shifu then told Po and the Furious Five to go to Gongmen City, destroy the weapon, and defeat Shen, though Po was concerned about how they would be able to "stop something that stops kung fu," to which Shifu advised him that anything was possible—if he had inner peace. But before Po and the Five could leave the Valley, they are stopped by Mr. Ping, who gives Po a backpack of comfort items for the road.
While Mr. Ping reminisces about Po's childhood, Po's conflicting feelings of where he came from and where he belongs deepen. When Mr. Ping affirms that Po, with or without kung fu, would always be his son, Po is unable to return the sentiment. Po bids his father goodbye as he and the Five leave, but his troubling thoughts follow him through their travels. One night while sleeping on a river in a small boat, Po dreams about his parents replacing him with a radish, and wakes in distress. Tigress notices his absence and goes to speak with him. Just as Po begins to open up, their conversation is cut short when the others join them and they arrive at their destination.
Once in Gongmen City, they find that the wolves that had raided the Musicians' Village had taken over the city, harassing the citizens. Po and the Five sneak into the city disguised in a giant dragon costume. A citizen informs them that Master Storming Ox and Croc were being kept inside Gongmen Jail. They locate the jail and find the masters within, but the two masters refuse to leave their cell, stating that Shen will use the weapon on the city if they do.
They are forced to leave without the masters, but before they do they are discovered by Boss Wolf who flees the scene, forcing the Five and Po to chase after him. Po eventually catches the wolf, but their chase leads them to Shen's palace, where all of Shen's wolves surrounded them. Po surrenders and he and the Five are put in cuffs, though he assures his friends that he has a plan.
They are taken to Shen, who laughs at the sight of Po in chains. Shen taunts Po at his failure in planning when he had "a lifetime to plot his revenge." Po began to sense that Shen and the Soothsayer knew something that he didn't, but Shen gave no answers, and ordered Boss Wolf to fire the cannon at him and the Five. When he tried to light the fuse, however, Mantis was quick to put it out, and attacked Boss Wolf.
This distraction allows the Five to escape their bonds. The Five destroy the weapon while Po goes after Shen himself. Before Po can capture Shen, the pattern on Shen's feathers causes another vision. Po realizes that Shen had been there the last time he had seen his parents. Shen takes advantage of Po's hesitation and escapes. Having made additional cannons in secret, Shen brings down the Tower with the Five and Po still inside. They escape, however, and return to Gongmen Jail.
The Five, particularly Tigress, confront Po on why he let Shen escape. Po struggles to reveal his feelings in front of the others but finally admits to his need to know where he came from, and that Shen knows about his past. Tigress sympathizes with him, but due to Po's emotional involvement, insists that he stays behind. Unbeknownst to the Five, though, Po sneaks into the cannon foundry, thereby ruining their plans to blow up the building.
Po finds Shen and demands answers as the Five struggle against Shen's minions to reach Po. When Po finally corners Shen, the peacock claims that he'd seen Po's parents abandon him and that they didn't love him. Taking advantage of Po's shock, Shen fires a cannon at Po and sends him flying out of the factory and into a nearby river, where he drifted unconscious and badly injured.
The current eventually brings him to an abandoned village where he is rescued by the Soothsayer. When Po awakens, the Soothsayer shares the story of how she had long ago foreseen that Shen would be defeated by a warrior of black and white, and how that relates to Po's present and past. As Po looks around the village, more memories arise. The Soothsayer advises Po to stop fighting his memories and to let them flow, and in doing so, Po finally remembers what really happened.
In his memory, he saw his parents happily living with him in the village when he was a baby, and saw Shen and his wolves attacking the villagers. Using raindrops, Po manages to perform the same water drop technique Shifu had demonstrated and uses them to guide his memories. He sees that his parents had not abandoned him, as Shen claimed, but had both risked their lives to save him. His mother had hidden him in a crate of radishes before distracting Shen and the wolves to follow her alone. The tragedy of Po's past weighs heavy on him, but the Soothsayer reminds Po that it's his actions in the present that define him. Po reflects on all that he's accomplished, his friends and family, and finally understands who he is, thus finding inner peace.
Po returns to Gongmen City just as Shen and his fleet are about to embark on his conquest of China. Po is able to free the captured Five and they fight their way towards Shen. Later in the battle, Storming Ox, Croc and Shifu join and, all together, the warriors almost reach Shen. Shen, however, fires a cannon directly at the group of warriors and blasts them out into the harbour. With the other masteres weak and exhausted, Po is left to defeat Shen alone. Adapting the water droplet technique, Po is able to redirect the cannonballs, and uses them to destroy Shen's fleet and main ship.
Po finds Shen in the wreckage, and urges him to let go of the past or else he would never find peace. Unwilling to change, Shen instead attacks Po in a rage, until Shen accidentily cuts loose his destroyed cannon, which falls on top of him and explodes. Po rejoins his fellow masters on the docks as they watch the fireworks display above the city. Having achieved inner peace, Po is able to return to his adoptive father Mr. Ping with the confidence of knowing he is where he belongs.
Po went to explore the Masters' Council exhibit with Tigress and Mantis, whom he had told there was an "emergency". After crashing through the ceiling, Po started studying the exhibit in awe, and told Tigress and Mantis the story of how Thundering Rhino, Storming Ox, and Croc were brought together.
Later, Shifu arrived and dismissed Tigress and Mantis, and tasked Po with fixing the roof of the exhibit. Before he could start, Po slipped on the floor and fell into the Sarcophagus of Su Wu, which he was trapped in for a presumably long period of time.
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Greatly enjoying his status as Dragon Warrior, Po is stunned when Shifu announces that he is leaving the training of the Furious Five to Po in order to pursue his own studies in the art of controlling Chi. After a miserable first day, Po learns that Shifu knew that such would be the case, but that he knows that new challenges are the only way for Po to reach his full potential. He tells Po there is more to being the Dragon Warrior than fighting and running through town giving high-fives. Shifu's words plant the seeds of doubt in Po about his own identity.
When he returned to the noodle shop to play with his action figures while bathing, Po is caught in the act by Mr. Ping, who could tell that something was bothering him. Po soon opened up about his insecurities about being a teacher and whether he was still the Dragon Warrior. Mr. Ping only caught the first half and became excited, knowing that it puts Po in a higher position to expand their franchise.
Then suddenly, a pig burst in, announcing that a stranger was beating Po's dumpling eating record. Po went to the restaurant to investigate and was surprised to see the challenger to be another panda. The panda introduced himself as Li Shan and stated he was looking for his son. Both pandas were slow on the uptake until the assembled crowd groaned and Po and Li warmly embrace each other. Though a jealous Mr. Ping attempts to dispute whether Li was actually Po's biological father, the pandas ignored him as Po learned how to belly gong. Li then shared with Po that learned of his survival via "a message from the universe", and that there was a secret village of pandas.
The pair spend some time goofing off in the Jade Palace, before being discovered by Shifu and the Five. After they identified Li as his father, Shifu suggested that Li observe Po teach a class. Thankfully for Po, they then heard a bell signalling that the valley was under attack by strange monsters made out of jade, whom Po and Monkey quickly dub jombies. Po then recognized their attackers as Masters Badger Twins and Porcupine, who were supposed to be deceased. As the fight moved to the floor of the noodle shop, Po used his "Dumplings of Doom" technique so he and his friends could subdue the jombies. An ominous voice then spoke from the creatures, identifying himself as Kai, vowing to take their chi, before the jombies turn into jade statuettes and flew off.
Returning to the Jade Palace, Shifu found an obscure scroll, revealing Kai was once a comrade of Oogway's five hundred years. Po became deeply interested in the tale when it mentioned that pandas were once great practitioners of chi, who taught Oogway the art, but Kai abused the power to take chi from others, leading to Oogway banishing him to the Spirit Realm. The tale ended stating that only a true master of chi could defeat Kai, which Po assumed Shifu qualified, but was told otherwise. Li then stated that he could teach him, but to do so, Po had to come with him to the secret village to rediscover the true meaning of being a panda. Believing his father's arrival was a sign from the universe, Po agreed to accompany him.
Journeying to the panda village with Li Shan - and being accompanied by Mr. Ping - Po meets other pandas, including his cousins Dim and Sum and the ribbon dancer Mei Mei, and learns more about his mother. However, when Tigress arrives with word that the other masters have all been defeated and turned into jombies by Kai, Po is dealt a second unpleasant surprise: his father has been lying to him about knowing how to control Chi out the misguided belief he was protecting his son. Angered, Po resolves to take Kai head on, but Tigress insisted Kai couldn't be beaten in a head-on fight, so Po insisted on using the Wuxi Finger Hold instead. However, Tigress poked the holes in his plans by reminding that Kai sees through the eyes of his jombies, making it impossible to sneak up on him. They are then approached by Li, Mr. Ping, and the other pandas, who volunteer to stand with him and learn kung fu to battle Kai. Po is initially hesitant, but when Li claimed that they could learn to be like Po, he then realizes what Shifu tried to help him learn: that in teaching others he needs to help them become their best selves, not duplicates of their teachers. He thus set about helping the pandas become kung fu warriors in their own way, and soon his "army" faced off with Kai's force of jombies.
Po's plan worked to perfection, until he learned the unfortunate truth: the Wuxi Finger Hold was ineffective against Spirit Warriors like Kai. However, Po then hit upon an alternative strategy, and used the hold on himself while grabbing Kai in order to send them both to the Spirit Realm. Furious, Kai began to steal Po's Chi as he had the other masters', but Po then received unexpected aid: the villagers and Tigress unlocked the power of their chi and in so doing helped Po master his own. With his new power, Po manifests his chi in the form of a dragon while acknowledging that as the son of a panda, the son of a goose, a student, and a teacher, is what makes him the Dragon Warrior, and fought Kai again. After destroying his two jade swords, Kai swore to take Po's chi even if it took him another five hundred years, to which Po only mocked him, provoking him into attacking. Po then willing gave his chi to Kai, overloading him with power, destroying him and freeing the masters he had captured, including Oogway.
The battle having knocked him out, Po was roused by Oogway, who was pleased with how much Po had matured. He revealed that he was the one who sent Li the "universe mail". He also revealed that reason why he chose Po as Dragon Warrior was because when he first laid eyes on him, he saw the future of kung fu in Po, as well as the pandas who taught Oogway chi in the past, making Po the perfect embodiment of the yin-yang and Oogway's true successor. Oogway then presented Po with a Yin-Yang staff. Though Po was hesitant to take it, he accepted after Oogway mentioned he possessed a bigger staff. After fencing with his new staff, Po asked Oogway what was going to happen next. The tortoise then seemed to vanish in a cloud of petals, making Po panic, only to discover that Oogway wasn't going anywhere, as he was already home. After being told that he could decide whether or not to return, Po was able to use his chi to return to the physical realm. Having emerged triumphant, Po was happily embraced by his fathers and fellow masters. As he greeted Shifu, the latter expressed his pride that the student had finally become the teacher, but got caught off after noticing Po's new staff. Po explained that it was a gift from Oogway, to Shifu's annoyance, before asking if Po could teach him.
Po and his extended family all return to the Valley of Peace, where they continue practicing their chi, as Po proudly gazes upon his legacy in the spot where his journey began.
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In "Enter the Dragon Master", the panda children Nu Hai, Bao, Jing, and Fan Tong get into an argument after all four of them want to play Po in one of their pretend games. Po himself later arrives in the village to bless a Sacred Peach Statue at the invitation of his father Li, only to find the village wrecked by the children's antics. After gaining the chi of the Four Constellations, the children ask Po to train them, but he initially refuses. However, he is then summoned to the Spirit Realm by Oogway, who informs him that it is his destiny to be the master of the new Constellations. After seeing them in action in battle with Jade Tusk and her warriors, Po eagerly embraces his unexpected new role.
- “There is no secret ingredient. It's just you.”—Po, Kung Fu Panda
Po is usually easygoing, playful, and cocky like a big kid, as well as rather "fanboyish" when expressing his love for kung fu. In the first film, he is seen as a huge kung fu fan, owning posters and action figures of his favorite warriors, but is himself clumsy, portly, and having low self-confidence, only dreaming he could be a great warrior while feeling stuck in his unfulfilling life at his father's noodle shop. But when given the chance, he is all too eager to learn kung fu the hard way, enduring physical beatings and insults in hopes of changing who he is. After learning that "there is no secret ingredient", Po shows the inner strength to save the Valley of Peace by using his own skills and ingenuity and in the end becomes his own hero.
Po possesses a kind and selfless nature, and is generally friendly and laid back. He also has a strong sense of justice, and is willing to risk his life to protect others. Though immature and oblivious in some situations, Po is able to take things seriously when it is called for, and is not hesitant to accept heavy responsibility—at times taking on more than he can handle. He is also capable of learning things very quickly with the right motivation, as shown in the first film, and has memorized a vast amount of knowledge about kung fu, even being reliable enough to teach a class on his own.
Po also displays an action-craving attitude along with a natural affinity for humor, and isn't above acting clownish and dishing out quips, even making fun of himself, in order to entertain others. Imaginative and adventurous, he continues to act excitable and marvel over his heroes even after he has become the Dragon Warrior, at times leaving them embarrassed by his behavior. As Po tends to be less serious and disciplined than other masters, he also tends to think more outside the box, and will find different, creative ways to solve a problem if need be. Po has also broken some rules and traditions (as well as still having a habit of breaking physical things), though this is often unintentional. Po's lack of discipline and flippant personality often give him an unintentional advantage over his enemies, since, combined with his appearance, it causes them to disregard him or struggle to take him seriously, so they are often shocked when he proves to be a tenacious and incredibly skilled warrior.
One of the recurring plot lines in the television series is Po's struggle to not let his title affect his ego. Throughout the series, he is shown to have many adoring fans and he welcomes the attention, occasionally to the point that it begins to negatively impact his duties or those around him. Despite this, he also possesses the self-awareness to realize when he has made a mistake, and is willing to accept responsibility for his actions.
Though having grown more confident since becoming the Dragon Warrior, Po nevertheless has moments of intimidation and self-doubt. Even as he tries to talk tough, this boisterous behavior tends to become more comical than threatening, and is perhaps a front for the panda's insecurities. Despite this, Po does have a sense of dignity and defiance, as shown in the first film when he argued with Master Shifu as he tried to leave the palace, and in the second film when he argued with Tigress in order to seek out Shen.
Additionally in the second film, Po was revealed to be rather stubborn when it comes to admitting his problems, even to his friends, as he developed confusion about his own identity after learning he was adopted by Mr. Ping, and seeing visions of his biological parents. This inner struggle showed that Po tries to stay true to his idea of a strong "hardcore" warrior who is unaffected by emotions. He was also persistent enough to not heed the warning of his friends and endanger himself in order to find answers about his past. However, after finding the truth about what happened to his parents, the panda was able to let go of this dilemma by retaining an appreciation for the life he had led, and achieved inner peace by not letting tragedy define who he was.
In the third film, as Po is continuously pushed to his limits, first by Shifu making him the Master of the Furious Five and then the arrival of Kai and subsequent defeat of most of his friends, as well as having found his biological father and having to please both him and Ping, Po finally starts to reveal how for all his light-heartedness and optimism, he is not without limits. While confident in his fighting ability, Po is forced to relfect inwardly and rely on his mind and spirit in order to fully understand himself and, therefore, master Chi. He approached the challenge enthusiastically and diligently, but displayed anger, frustration, and doubt when Li admitted to lying. Po was quick to forgive his father, and, quickly adapts to his circumstances to defeat Kai.
Po has not only matured since his days before learning kung fu, but his unlikely triumph as the Dragon Warrior has changed those around him. Simple, good-natured, and fueled by determination, Po has never held grudges, not even against those who doubt him or treat him with contempt, and is selfless when it comes to protecting those in need, even being able to show compassion for his enemies. Po is much like the opposite of the foes he faces, such as Tai Lung, Shen, and Kai, in that he shows light-heartedness and humility instead of arrogance and desire for more power. It is these qualities, as well as his great respect for kung fu and his loving heart, that mark Po as the Dragon Warrior, able to defeat such villains when no one else could.
Fighting style and abilities
- “My fist hungers for justice! [stomach belches] That was my... fist.”—Po, Kung Fu Panda 2
Unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy and study kung fu alongside the Furious Five, Po began training under Master Shifu. But it was soon apparent that the traditional styles of kung fu aren't a good fit for a six-foot-two-inch, 260-pound panda. Shifu discovers that for Po to become the Dragon Warrior, he must embrace Po's inherent panda nature and exploit his physical attributes... including his generous belly and rear end. In the end, Po created his own style that uses his perceived weaknesses as his strengths.
Po often uses an improvised style when he fights and is a master (and the creator) of Panda Style. In his battle with Tai Lung in the first film, Po's bulky physique made him naturally immune to Tai Lung's nerve attacks (which were blunted so much that to Po it felt like he was being intensely tickled), and his portliness making him incredibly resistant to severe physical hits, allowing Po to take Tai Lung's strength and use it against him. Additionally in the second film, Po took a near-direct hit from one of Shen's largest cannons (using only a wok to shield him) and still managed to survive.
Po will also use anything in the surrounding area to his advantage, such as when he confused Tai Lung by using makeshift stilts to mix up pots and pans which hid the Dragon Scroll, and when he used fireworks to allow him to reach the scroll before his opponent. Po has also demonstrated some skill in the use of various weapons. In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po was shown using a sword against Shen's wolves by using metal musical instruments; combined with his recently-acquired acrobatic skills, he held his own and overwhelmed them by use of an apparent technique of spinning on top of his head. Similarly, Po managed to throw a tuning fork at Shen and nail him to the wall without injuring him.
Despite his size, Po has shown to be extremely agile, able to hold his own against a master as swift as Shifu during training. Furthermore, once he achieved "inner peace", Po was able use the same water drop catching technique as Shifu demonstrated in order to redirect Shen's cannon fire against his armada and was later able to dodge Shen's strikes in a one-on-one confrontation.
In battling alongside the Furious Five, Po has come up with a few techniques of his own. He demonstrated a "Feet of Fury" technique, at which he rapidly kicked at his opponents. He has also learned to work with the members of the Five and perform attacks with them, such as when he and Tigress did a "Double Death Strike" against their opponents.
One of Po's most astounding skills is his quick learning speed; he grasps various kung fu techniques over an incredibly short span of time, whereas others would spend years perfecting such skills. This has amazed his friends and foes alike. In just a manner of days with the right motivation, Po was able to grow proficient enough to match kung fu masters like Shifu and Tai Lung, and achieved inner peace at a very young age. Throughout Legends of Awesomeness, Po has also been shown performing powerful kung fu techniques after seeing them only once or simply reading about them. He also invented a few types of fighting styles by himself.
Despite Po's physiological limitations, he is extremely quick and agile, able to overpower and go toe-to-toe with some of the greatest threats he has ever faced, such as Tai Lung or Shen or even the supernatural entity, Kai. Like any panda, Po's physiology is also extremely durable, being able to take a powerful blows from Tai Lung, with only minor injuries. He even withstood a hit from Lord Shen's biggest Cannon, with only some injuries and went into a temporary comatose state for a short time. His greatest showcase of durability was when he managed to take a focused strike from Kai, a being who has supernatural strength with only some bruises. His physiology is also immune to any stun-based attacks, making Tai Lung's special attacks pointless against him.
In Kung Fu Panda 3, Po was shown the power of chi by Master Shifu, who was able to use it to make a flower bloom. Eventually, Po confronted the supernatural warrior Kai, who was stealing chi from kung fu masters and turning them into jade zombies that would become his henchmen. Po eventually ended up bringing the both of them into the Spirit Realm, where he was able to use the power of chi himself, so proficiently that he was able to form a dragon-shaped embodiment of light around himself. Aided by his best friends and family, Po was able to gather enough chi to overpower and destroy Kai and return to the mortal realm, having once again demonstrated how swiftly he can learn a new skill.
Like Kai, Po is now technically a "Spirit Warrior" himself, having been sent to the Spirit Realm and made his way back to the physical world. And similarly to Kai, this could mean that Po is now impervious to certain kung fu techniques, such as the Wuxi Finger Hold.
Raised as a son from a long line of noodle makers by Mr. Ping, Po is a talented noodle maker and an excellent chef, having worked in his father's restaurant for years. He knows how to chop up items rapidly and with precision. In Kung Fu Panda Holiday, he ends up attempting to cook the entire Winter Feast for the Jade Palace by himself, only really failing because he didn't have enough time to do so alongside all his other responsibilities. At no time did he demonstrate that he didn't know how to cook something in the kitchen.
- “That's my boy! That big lovely kung fu warrior is my son!”
Po has a close relationship with his adoptive goose father. Presumably up until the first film, he had been pretending to share his father's interest in noodles and inheriting his noodle shop. Mr. Ping was delighted at the idea of Po following the family business, though seemed oblivious to the fact that Po was actually a big fan of kung fu. Despite his dream to become a kung fu warrior, Po complied to work in the noodle shop half-heartedly, not wanting to disappoint his father.
When Po confessed his true interest was in kung fu, Mr. Ping was flabbergasted, and even more so after Po was declared the Dragon Warrior. However, the goose seemed to think little would come of it as he only carried on absentmindedly after Po returned home after seemingly failing in becoming a kung fu warrior, merely bringing Po back into the noodle business while they evacuated the Valley. But when he noticed Po was despairing, he expressed he was sorry things hadn't worked out, but added that he still had a future to look forward to as they were "noodle folk".
When this didn't cheer him up, Po revealed that he sometimes thought it was hard to believe he was the goose's son. Mr. Ping was taken aback, but again tried to comfort his son by telling him the secret of his "secret ingredient soup", which helped Po to understand the meaning of the Dragon Scroll and eventually succeed in his dreams. At the end of the film, Mr. Ping was proud and overjoyed in his son's heroics, and the two embraced in a hug.
In Kung Fu Panda Holiday, Po had the difficult choice of deciding whether to be with his father during the holiday, or to follow his duties as the Dragon Warrior and attend the feast at the Jade Palace. This led to a mild argument between the two as Po tried to fix things so his father could come while Mr. Ping insisted he had to stay at his restaurant, begrudgingly telling Po to "do the right thing." In the end, Po dismissed himself from the banquet at the palace, unable to enjoy it, and spent the holiday cooking with Mr. Ping, who apologized to Po for making him feel guilty.
Their bond was tested even further in the second film, when Mr. Ping finally told Po that he adopted him as a cub. An awkwardness grew between them as a result, with Mr. Ping fearful for his son as he left to stop a new threat, and Po unable to answer Mr. Ping when he asked him if he was still his son. However, Po discovered his horrific past and realized that he had led a happy life with Mr. Ping. When he returned to the Valley of Peace, he saw Mr. Ping had been deeply worried for him and was overjoyed to see him again, though was apprehensive when Po stated that he had found where he was born, and now knew who he was. Po declared that he was his son. The two heartily embraced, and then insisted on cooking for one another, reunited again as a family.
In the third film, Po's biological father is to appear and Po will apparently have a hard time trying to please both him and Mr. Ping, who "feels very protective", according to Po's voice actor Jack Black. When Mr. Ping heard Po was going to become a teacher, Mr. Ping thought it was a promotion and that Po should go for it since it would mean one day Mr. Ping could serve noodles in the jade palace. He also became upset when Li showed up and declared himself Po's father. While when he first saw Li and heard his story, he recognized he was Po's father but denied it and tried to separate the two. He even followed them when they went to the Secret Panda village. Po clearly knew of Mr. Ping's feelings, considering how annoyed he was with Ping following him, but ultimately decided to let him come along. He tried to be there for Po and prevent him from bonding with his biological father too much. He even tried feeding him buns and tried finding him around the village. When Kai is coming, he wanted Po to run with him but Po, disillusioned with how both Li and Ping just wanted to run, coldly turned his back on his adopted father just like he did with Li. He even declared to Li he was scared Li would steal Po from him, but realized that Li being in Po's life didn't mean less for Mr.Ping but more for Po. He joined the fight against Kai and when his son was sent to the Spirit Realm, he was extremely worried and sent some of his chi to Po, saying Po gave him a family. He was happy when Po came back and told him never to do that again. By the end of the film, the bond between Po and Mr. Ping remains strong as the two still acknowledge each other as family even when Li is reintroduced into Po's life.
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Like Po, Li is shown to enjoy eating and having a good time. when they first meet, Li is shown stuffing dumplings in a similar manner to Po and the two were both fairly oblivious that the other is their family until they belatedly realize it and embrace. They enjoy bonding and even played with the weapons of the Hall of Warriors. Po showed off the hall of heroes and his fighting abilities to make Li proud, though this only made Li worry for his safety. Po followed his father to the village when his father claimed to be able to teach Po how to use Chi to stop Kai. His father took him to the village, along with Mr. Ping who sneaked in and was introduced to the many relatives and pandas there. His father also began teaching him how to be a true panda, such as sleeping in and eating more than one dumpling at a time and yawning and other panda activities.
After some bonding time, Li then took Po to the altar with his wife's picture, explaining the grief he felt over not protecting his family. Po promised he would not leave him but after learning his father lied about being able to teach him chi, he felt betrayed since his lie cost him his friends and Po couldn't protect them or the valley as he left to learn chi in the village. In his anger, Po coldly denounced Li as his father and decides to stay in the village rather than evacuate to train and battle against Kai, leaving Li distressed as he just wants to protect Po, haunted by the events of the past that separated him from his family which was why he lied, but Mr. Ping teaches him that no matter what Po would be his son and forgive him and what was important was that both of them be there for Po. Po's faith in his father is restored when he becomes the first alongside Mr. Ping to volunteer to help, persuading the village to as well. He even aided him against the fight with Kai and his jade zombies. When Po sent himself and Kai to the spirit realm, he watched in horror and was the first to mimic the chi technique he saw in the scroll and gathering the others to follow so he could lend his chi to his son to fight Kai. He and Mr. Ping were overjoyed upon seeing Po alive and he began training under his son alongside the citizens of the valley of peace and the other pandas, proud of Po and the two reunited as family.
Po initially had no memories of his mother. When his memories started to resurface, he could only remember her leaving him and he began to think she and his father abandoned him, even having a dream where they replaced him with a radish that knows kung fu. However, with some encouragement from the Soothsayer, he remembered she in fact sacrificed herself in order to save him from Lord Shen and his army and realized how loving and caring she truly was.
When Po went with his father to his hut, Li showed him a painting of his mother with Po as a cub, and talked fondly about her and how much he'd loved her. Though recalling their loss was saddening, Po was still pleased to hear more about her.
Po's cousins were introduced to Po by Li after arriving at the Panda Village. Po was very excited after learning he had cousins, as that meant he had more relatives besides his father. They get along very well, as they have similar likes and personalities.
Masters of the Jade Palace
Though Po had merely been trying to see which of the Furious Five would be chosen as the Dragon Warrior, he himself ended up being selected by Oogway instead of any of Shifu's students. Though Oogway had foretold that whoever he'd choose would bring peace to the Valley and to Shifu himself, Shifu refused to accept that a "flabby panda" could be the true Dragon Warrior. Outraged at this turn of events, he immediately determined that he would make the unwitting panda quit his training by morning, and later met Po in the Jade Palace, quickly showing his disapproval for the panda by mocking his pudgy appearance. Though Po tried to talk back, he was quickly caught in the Wuxi Finger Hold by the master, who threatened that he would regret ever being chosen.
Daunted, Po was then shown into the Training Hall, but being a big fan of kung fu, he showed a willingness to do some moves himself. However, he clumsily came upon several training mechanisms, Shifu and the Five merely watching him in his struggle, and Shifu only pleased to see the panda having a hard time. Though Po was discouraged that Shifu could ever make him into the Dragon Warrior, he received some advice from Oogway to concentrate on the moment instead of doubting his abilities.
That next morning the red panda was convinced Po had quit as his quarters were empty, but he saw that Po had instead arrived at early the training courtyard to "warm up". Annoyed, Shifu later set him up with many brutal sparring matches with the Five and himself, again hoping it would drive the panda to quit. However, Po only demonstrated an eager fearlessness to continue despite failing and getting pummeled every time. Infuriated, Shifu kicked the panda out of the training grounds and down the palace stairs himself.
However, Po still didn't quit, and was later seen with the Five, mimicking Shifu's stern personality much to their amusement, until Shifu himself appeared a moment later and shared the grim news that Tai Lung had escaped prison and was returning, and that Po was the only one who could stop him. Po was alarmed and fled, but was stopped by Shifu outside the palace stairs. Po then confronted the master about how he'd been trying to get rid of him, and that neither of them really thought he was the Dragon Warrior. Shifu asked him why he hadn't quit in spite of everything, and was taken aback when Po admitted that being beat and humiliated was still better than living every day being himself, and hoped that by staying, the kung fu master could change him. When Po demanded just how Shifu could actually help him to win against Tai Lung, Shifu was at a loss and quietly retreated without an answer.
The next morning, Po was discovered raiding the barracks' kitchen, eating everything he could find in his distraught state. Shifu was astounded to see that Po displayed an unintentional talent in kung fu while trying to rummage the place for more food, even making a perfect split while doing so. Shifu understood that the best way to teach him was to use food as motivation, and with that, he took the panda to the Wu Dan Mountains. He proclaimed that he would be Po's master and would teach him kung fu, much to Po's elation. During an intense period of training, the two formed a bond of friendship and trust, and Shifu saw Po's mastery and humility in a final test of "keep away" using a dumpling as the prize. Though Po won, he gave back the dumpling, declaring with confidence that he wasn't hungry, and ended bowing respectfully to his master, with Shifu bowing to him in return.
By the time they returned to the Jade Palace, Shifu believed that Po was ready to receive the Dragon Scroll, and used his name instead of calling him "panda" when addressing him. But when the scroll turned out to be blank, both Po and Shifu were confused, neither seeing how Po could defeat the snow leopard on his own. With Tai Lung approaching, the Five were ordered to to evacuate the Valley, while Shifu declared he would fight Tai Lung himself. Po was reluctant to let Shifu fight alone, afraid he would be killed, but he obeyed and left with the Five. Once he reunited with his father and realized the true secret of the Dragon Scroll, Po returned to the palace just in time to save an injured Shifu from Tai Lung's attack.
After Po defeated Tai Lung, he again returned to the palace and found Shifu, who weakly thanked him for saving the Valley and bringing him peace, seeing that Oogway had indeed been right, and that Po was the Dragon Warrior foretold of in legend. After the master trailed off and closed his eyes, the panda pleaded with him not to die, only for Shifu to yell back that he wasn't dying, he was only at peace, and master and student shared a long meditative moment side by side, until Po interrupted, asking if Shifu wanted to get something to eat, which the red panda agreed to after a sigh. Po and Shifu then shared a meal of dumplings at the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom, together as two friends.
Although Shifu has accepted Po, he continues to show some impatience with the panda, and later stated that the day Po was chosen as Dragon Warrior was the worst day of his life, though also noted that Po had not been the real cause of his turmoil, but rather it was his own expectations and presumptions. He also appeared to be slightly jealous that Po had mastered inner peace at such a young age, though he was deeply impressed at Po's incredibly swift mastery and how he used it to defeat Lord Shen. The two now continue to sustain a good friendship, with only the occasional quarrel, and Po has also come to consider Shifu as being part of his family.
The Furious Five
- See Po/Relationships.
When Oogway had found Po sitting under the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom one night, Oogway sensed the panda's pain and asked why he was upset. Po explained his position with Shifu, the Furious Five, and his previous life at the noodle shop with his father, to which the old tortoise kindly gave him advice about concentrating on the present instead of worrying about the past or the future. This comforted Po and encouraged him to keep trying to achieve his dreams and fulfill his destined calling as the Dragon Warrior.
Though Po respected Oogway, he possibly thought he was a bit senile as well, as he commented that Oogway was a "crazy old turtle after all" when the Dragon Scroll that was meant to be the secret to limitless power was revealed to be blank. But Po still considered him an important figure to him, and even apologized to Oogway's statue for failing to follow in his footsteps.
At the end of the third film, after he defeated Kai, Po remained in the Spirit Realm, where he encountered Oogway. Oogway admired how much Po has grown and reveals to him that he was the one who sent the universal message to his father to inform him that his son was still alive, which Po thanks him for. Oogway reveals that on the day he chose Po as Dragon Warrior, he saw the future of Kung Fu and the past of when pandas once knew chi. By teaching the pandas chi, Po united the future with the past. Oogway calls Po his true successor and passes down his Yin Yang staff. With it, Po returns to the Mortal Realm and continues to spread Oogway's teachings.
Masters of Gongmen City
Storming Ox and Croc
Po first met Masters Storming Ox and Croc in Gongmen Jail during the events of Kung Fu Panda 2. Po was first under the impression that both Ox and Croc were actually in need of rescuing. When they revealed their decision to stay in prison, Po tried to convince the two that Lord Shen needed to be stopped. Masters Ox and Croc were both adamant that any attempt to stop the peacock would merely result in Shen's cannon being turned against the citizens of Gongmen City, and refused time and again to leave their cell. Po was beside himself to see the prestigious kung fu masters seem so easily defeated, and was even more dismayed at Storming Ox's proclamation that kung fu was dead. Having lost patience with the hopeless duo, Po told them to remain in their cell to wallow in their shame.
His belief in them was restored during the Battle of Gongmen City, when Ox and Croc unexpectedly joined in the battle after all, having been persuaded by Master Shifu.
Po already knew some things about Tai Lung (specifically the leopard's mastery of all one thousand scrolls of kung fu and his eventual incarceration), but he had never actually met him. But when Shifu told Po one night that Tai Lung was returning to the Valley of Peace and he was the only one who could stop him, Po instantly became baffled and fear-stricken. Similarly, when Tai Lung had escaped prison, his only thought was to battle the Dragon Warrior and claim the Dragon Scroll, which he thought was rightfully his.
When they finally met, Tai Lung was taken aback, as he had never dreamed that the legendary Dragon Warrior would be a panda. As they fought each other, their determination and rivalry were constantly tested when they tried to outdo each other. Even after Tai Lung had victoriously retrieved the scroll and Po explained the truth about its message, in that it's blank, reflective surface symbolized that the power was only to believe in oneself. Enraged, the snow leopard continued to fight him to the point of exhaustion. As Po gained the upper hand, he finally performed the Wuxi Finger Hold, which served to defeat the snow leopard and prove to all that he was indeed the true Dragon Warrior.
- Shen: “The only reason you're still alive is that I find your stupidity... mildly amusing.”
- Po: “Well, thank you, but I find your evilness extremely annoying.”
- Shen: “Who do you think you are, panda?”
- Po: “Who do you think I am, peacock? [Both of them start to laugh.] Why are we laughing?”
- Shen: “[to Boss Wolf] Take aim.”
- —Po and Shen after they met, Kung Fu Panda 2
Until the events of the second film, Po had only heard of the peacock's name days before confronting him in Gongmen City, and was unaware of what Shen had done to his family and birth village. Before finding out the truth, he had treated Shen like any other ruthless villain; but when he saw a vision of Shen and what had happened to his village, Po tried numerous times to get information from him about what exactly happened the night that the pandas were massacred.
Shen merely saw this as an opportunity to be cruel. He told Po numerous lies, stating that he had been abandoned by his mother and father, and even stating that Po's parents never truly loved him in the first place. After finding inner peace and discovering that Shen had lied, Po bravely stood up to the peacock before his fleet could leave the city and spread destruction across the country. And after defeating him and his army, Po boldly confronted Shen, and tried to talk him into letting go of his past, commenting that "The only thing that matters is what you choose to be now". Shen responded by choosing to attack him, and Po stayed on the defensive until Shen's strikes inadvertently led to the peacock's own death.
- Boss Wolf: “Is that all you got? 'Cause it feels like I'm fighting a big old fluffy cloud!”
- Po: “Well, this cloud is about to bring the thunder!”
Ever since Boss Wolf whacked Po in the face with a hammer during their encounter at the Artisan Village, Po took an intense dislike to the wolf and attempted to pay him back when Crane pointed him out in Gongmen City. As enemies, Po struggled against Boss Wolf, and Boss Wolf taunted and insulted the panda at every opportunity, but unlike Shen, he did not underestimate him, having witnessed his kung fu skill first hand.
It was later revealed that Boss Wolf and Po had met before: When Shen and his army attacked a panda village years ago, Boss Wolf had attacked Po when he was an infant, but Po's father intervened and struck him in the face with a farming tool before he could harm the child. This incident scarred Boss Wolf's left eye. While Po was eventually able to remember this encounter, Boss Wolf most likely never knew that Po was the same panda he had tried to murder as a baby.
- Kai: “You must be the Dragon Warrior.”
- Po: “And you... must be Kai! Beast of Vengeance. Maker of Widows.”
- —After meeting each other for the first time, Kung Fu Panda 3
In the third film, Po is to face Kai, a a villain who can "steal the powers from every kung fu master he defeats", and who has "his sights set on Po." Po, along with most others, had never heard of Kai, much to his annoyance. When he sent his jade warriors to fight the Furious Five and Po, he was happy to have found Po and set his sights on eliminating him. Po went to the Secret Panda Village to learn chi to defeat Kai and when he learned his father had lied about teaching him chi, he decided to stay in the village to confront Kai. Tigress warned him that Kai was too powerful, with Po denying the claim and telling her he would use the Wu Xi finger hold on Kai, but Tigress warned him he wouldn't even be able to get close to him. Po then agreed and trained the villagers to fight Kai to distract him long enough to get a hold of Kai and use the Wu Xi finger hold on him. When he realized that didn't work, he decided to use it on himself and send Kai with him. Kai, angered that Po had sent him back, engaged in a fight with him, which Po ultimately won.
The two did not spend much time together but it is clear they hate each other. Po hates him for destroying the Valley of Peace and turning his friends and the other masters into jombies while Kai saw him merely as an obstacle to defeat. Unlike the previous two villains, Kai did have some respect for Po since the very beginning, having understood Po was a formidable opponent he needed to defeat to accomplish his goals. Moreover, Po was also the only one that remembered Kai's various titles ( i.e; "beast of vengeance" and "maker of widows") and history, making Kai thankful to the point of mentioning that it almost made him want to spare Po's life. However, he stil underestimated him which led to his downfall. Po also respected Kai's amount of skill, understanding he would need help to get close enough to defeat Kai and thinking his jombies were cool. He also showed his respect when he called Kai by his long self proclaimed titles such as maker of widowers, which made Kai happy enough to almost not want to kill him. However, Po did taunt him at times, calling Kai chatty and using sarcastic gestures. Kai was annoyed when Po sent him back and promised he would defeat him but ultimately lost.
- See Po/Relationships.
Po's relationship with the Soothsayer started out as a bit unexpected and non-existent, as Po had never seen her before. Po had thought she was sided with Shen, which made the Soothsayer realize that he didn't know what had happened in his past.
They were soon caught up in matters that delayed their relationship to develop any further, but after Po was blasted from the Fireworks Factory and knocked unconscious in the river, she took him in and nursed him back to heath. Po, at first, thought she was still working for Shen and tried to escape, but then she told him that she only wanted to help him. Po then asked why she saved him, and she replied that he needed to fulfill his destiny. She aided Po in recovering the long-lost memories of his past and helped him see his true calling of the warrior he was born to be. This left Po more sure and more aware of himself than he ever was.
Po most likely never held a grudge towards the Soothsayer for making the prophecy that led to his village's destruction.
Po met Mei Mei after reuniting with his biological father and finding the other pandas. Upon meeting the ribbon-dancer, Po was extremely nervous to her outgoing, flirtatious behavior, but he started to mellow out with her overtime.
Po wears nothing from the top, but does wear burlap pants that consist of patches stitched in, with a variety of different colors and hues. He also wears a red and yellow striped portion of his pants above, and wears gauze wraps around his ankles, and shoes that look like panda toes, and panda paws on the bottom.
In Kung Fu Panda Holiday, Po's casual winter clothes consisted of a red snow hat with yellow-dotted black stripes and a yellow scarf. At the Jade Palace's formal Winter Feast dinner, Po wore his same pants, but with a tall dark coronet-like hat on his head and a large dark cape around his neck.
In Kung Fu Panda 3, Po is also shown in a new outfit that appears to match his fur, with a white robe that has black trimming, and long, black sleeves trimmed with gold. With this he wears a long gold cape, a red sash across his waist, and a straw hat. This appearance greatly resembles that of the dream Po from the first film, and only appears when Po is in the Spirit Realm. While there, Po was also eventually given a special staff by Oogway himself.
- Po's full name, Po Ping (traditional Chinese: 寶平?; simplified Chinese: 宝平; pinyin: bǎo píng), translates to "precious peace" in Chinese.
- Po has a special "fighting fist" control that he only uses when he's engaging in kung fu.
- When the real Po is first seen in Kung Fu Panda, he is shown upside down. This was meant as a visual motif, as Po is also shown upside down in the final scene of the film.
- According to Jack Black, Po is technically the "leader" of the Furious Five, but not a member of the quintet.
- Po's favorite Furious Five member is Tigress, despite the fact that she showed considerable disrespect and disgust at him throughout most of the first film.
- In the first film, Po mentions that he has "no claws", but he does appear to have them, albeit stubby ones.
- According to Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, Po never went to school as a cub. However, during the credits of Kung Fu Panda 2, young Po is seen in a schoolhouse.
- In an interview with "Po" for Scholastic News Online, Po shares how Crane told him the giant panda is called a "large bear-cat" in China. This actually comes from the literal translation for "giant panda" in Chinese (traditional and simplified Chinese: 大熊貓?; pinyin: dà xióng māo).
- In the opening sequences of the first film (during Po's dream), he rapidly kicked his enemies in mid-air. This move was used for real by Po during the first fight scene in Kung Fu Panda 2, calling the move "Feet of Fury".
- In Kung Fu Panda 2, when Po supposedly fit forty bean buns in his mouth, there were actually only nine.
- In the end credits of Kung Fu Panda 2, it is revealed that Po carved his Furious Five action figures himself.
- In the comic "Pong" from Issue #4 of the KFP comics, Po created paper mache sculptures of The Five to honor them. This clearly shows his dedication and loyalness to his heroes.
- Earlier versions of Po's character had him not as a fan of kung fu, and he was "rather hateable and stupid and dead-end". However, Jack Black's performance helped to change and define Po's personality as more of a vulnerable kind instead.
- In development, Po went through a variety of origins. Among these were living in a panda village with his mother, working in a chime factory, and being an indentured servant to Mr. Ping.
- In earlier story treatments, Po's adoptive father was going to be Shifu.
- The "weirdest" animation control was for Po's uvula.
- Po's cheeks were rebuilt during the first film to allow him to stuff his mouth with more food.
In popular culture
- Baseball player Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants is nicknamed "Kung Fu Panda."
- As a tribute to the star of the films, a newborn giant panda cub in Zoo Atlanta—the only one born in the U.S. in 2010—was named Po. Jack Black was present for the naming of the newborn cub.
- A spoof character of Po, known simply as "Kung Fu Panda", appeared in the 2008 parody film Disaster Movie.
- Spoof versions of Po have appeared in the Cartoon Network TV series MAD in the episodes "Are You Karate Kidding Me?", "TwiSchool Musical/Avenger Time", "Kung Fu Blander", and "PO-blivion". Po was voiced in all episodes by Brian T. Delaney, who had also voiced Mantis in the first Kung Fu Panda video game.
- Po made short appearances at the 2011 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on April 2, 2011, in which he interrupted the show and eventually annoyed the host, his voice actor Jack Black. This was done as a tribute to one of the show's sponsors, Kung Fu Panda 2.
- Po appears as a crossover playable character in the 2D platform fighter game Brawlhalla.
- Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016). Written by , & directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, . Distributed by 20th Century Fox.
- Revealed in the behind-the-scenes filmmaker commentary on the Kung Fu Panda 3 DVD/Blu-ray.
- Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Secrets of the Scroll (2016). Written by Paul McEvoy & directed by . Distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Used as an adjective that means "little" (traditional and simplified Chinese: 小?; pinyin: xiǎo).
- Revealed in "Fluttering Finger Mindslip" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Ep. 5, Season 1. Written by Jessica Gao & directed by Jim Schumann. Originally aired November 9, 2011.
- Revealed in "The Way of the Prawn" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Ep. 6, Season 3. Written by Gene Grillo & directed by Michael Mullen. Originally aired July 1, 2013.
• [[Dragon Warrior (legend)|Dragon Master]
- Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010). Written by , Jon Pollack & directed by Tim Johnson.
- 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 "Rhino's Revenge" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Ep. 12, Season 1. Written by Scott Kreamer & directed by Michael Mullen. Originally aired November 27, 2011.
- Revealed in "Royal Pain" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Ep. 2, Season 2. Written by Gene Grillo & directed by Lane Lueras. Originally aired September 26, 2012.
- BehindTheVoiceActors.com - "Voices of Po"
- Nick.com - "Po from Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness"
- Toy World Magazine (January 2015) - "Living the Dream" (p. 65) by Nick Cooke (DreamWorks Animation UK Hardlines Director)
- USAToday.com - "Sneak peek: 'Panda 3' amps up bear count" by Bryan Alexander. Published and retrieved June 10, 2015.
- 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 2 (2011). Written by , , Charlie Kaufman & directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson. Distributed by Paramount Pictures.
- Miller-Zarneke, Tracey. The Art of Kung Fu Panda, p. 24. ISBN: 1933784571.
- Kung Fu Panda Fun Facts by HP
- Revealed in the DVD audio commentary of DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda (2008). Narrated by John Stevenson and Mark Osborne (directors).
- ComingSoon.net - "CinemaCon: Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss In Boots Interviews" by Edward Douglas. Published and retrieved March 29, 2011.
- Revealed in "In With the Old" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Ep. 21, Season 1. Written by Kevin Seccia & directed by Michael Mullen. Originally aired January 16, 2012.
- Scholastic.com - "Kung Fu Panda-monium!" by Marie Morreale. Published and retrieved November 7, 2008.
- Revealed in the DVD audio commentary of DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011). Narrated by Jennifer Yuh Nelson (director), (producer), (prod. designer), and (sup. animator & fight choreographer).
- Dreamworks Animation SKG, Inc. Investor Relations - "Zoo Atlanta and DreamWorks Animation Announce Panda Cub's New Name". Published and retrieved February 15, 2011.