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You are no match for our kung fu.
  —Thundering Rhino to Shen, Kung Fu Panda 2  

Master Thundering Rhino (also known simply as Rhino) was a rhinoceros and a master of kung fu. He was the previous leader of the Kung Fu Council, which protected the vast metropolis of Gongmen City after the city's single heir, Lord Shen, was exiled for his crimes.


Earlier years

Master Thundering Rhino was born into a long line of kung fu masters, having been raised and trained under the teachings of his father, Master Flying Rhino. He became legendary in his own right by slaying the Ten Thousand Serpents in the Valley of Woe (see below).[2]

Although it is currently unknown how Thundering Rhino arrived in Gongmen City and became the leader of the Kung Fu Council, he is noted to have been the master of Storming Ox. When the young ox skipped out on his chores and snuck into the city palace to watch Thundering Rhino spar, Master Rhino was impressed by his enthusiasm and decided to train him in the art of kung fu. Storming Ox proved to be a constant challenge to Master Rhino (due to the ox's favoritism of action over contemplation), but ultimately turned out to be his greatest pupil. Storming Ox eventually joined Thundering Rhino in the Kung Fu Council as his loyal friend and trusted member.[6]

Thundering Rhino is also known for his successful effort in making Master Croc turn away from his old life of crime with the Wool Stealing Crocodile Bandits. Having crossed paths with the trouble-making criminal one day, the two dueled in an epic kung fu battle on the shores of the Wa Su Li River. Eventually, Thundering Rhino's kung fu proved superior over Croc's. The defeated Croc waited for the fatal blow to end his life, but Thundering Rhino never delivered it; he instead asked Croc to use his kung fu for good. Moved by the Master's compassion, Croc did indeed decide to use his kung fu to right wrongs and protect the weak, and eventually came to sit at Master Rhino's side in the Council.[7]

In Secrets of the Masters

The canonicity of this section is questionable.
Information in this section may conflict with previously established canon.

Thundering Rhino fighting Croc and Storming Ox

An alternate backstory for Thundering Rhino portrayed him as a kung fu warrior who spent his days street-fighting in his pursuit to earn his father's pride, using his "Unstoppable Force" to aid him in his battles. One day, Rhino partook in a three-way-fight with Storming Ox and Croc, a battle which ended in a complete standstill. The scene was witnessed by Master Oogway, who was unimpressed but soon found an opportunity for the three warriors to change for the better when the Wu Sisters escaped from a nearby prison.

After the fight, the warriors were given a single coin for their three-way-tie, which led to an argument between the three that nearly ended in another battle. Fortunately, Oogway soon appeared before they started fighting. Though Croc mistook Oogway for a fan, Rhino was shocked upon learning the tortoise's identity, and reacted with reverence. Oogway gave them the offer to journey to Wu Fortress and recapture the sisters using their special skills. However, the trio refused to join him unless they gained something in return. When Oogway's suggestions of using their skills for honorable reasons did not move the trio, the tortoise claimed that they would be rewarded with a "wealth of riches". Seeing an opportunity to gain his father's pride, Rhino finally agreed along with Ox and Croc.

A fateful meeting.

And so the three set off with Oogway towards the fortress, passing through various obstacles as they went. During the journey, Rhino attempted to bargain with Oogway to dump the other two warriors and split the profits between themselves. However, Ox and Croc were doing the same thing, but Oogway ignored all their offers. While surrounding a campfire one night, While both Ox and Croc made clear their selfish reasons for joining Oogway, Rhino remained quiet and refused to reveal his own reasons. However, Oogway already understood Rhino's troubles, and gave the three some cryptic advice; that when the path one takes always leads back to themselves, they will never get anywhere unless they "change course". Before they could settle for the night, Oogway received news that the Wu Sisters were plotting to unify the gang leaders, and the group set out in order to reach the fortress as soon as possible.

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To encourage them to change their ways, Oogway secretly led the trio into an extremely dangerous path called the Bridge of Mists. When the three inquired as to how they would get across, Oogway replied by flinging all three of them into the bridge, forcing them to prop themselves between the two pillars. Oogway then taught them all an important lesson about cooperation, by having crossing the makeshift bridge the three made up, pulling up Rhino as he did so, and then having them all make it across the bridge to the other side, pulling each other up as they went.

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Later during the day, the trio and Oogway were climbing up the side of Wu Fortress, where they finally learned that Oogway was being metaphorical about his promised riches. Rhino's protests accidentally got them trapped on a river of lava when his heavy footsteps caused the ledge they were standing on to break away. Oogway managed to get them to safe ground, but fell to his apparent death, leaving them with the advice "Remember the path".

Dispirited at their loss, the trio tried to find their way home, though Rhino was slightly reluctant to do so. However, they encountered a village devastated by the Wu sisters' forces, and its citizens desperately attempted to hire them for protection. Moved by the villagers' plight, Rhino declined the fee the villagers offered and along with Ox and Croc resolved to stop the Wu sisters for the sake of a higher ideal.

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Thus motivated, the trio interrupted the sisters' summit. When the former street-fighters revealed that they were doing this for honor, they intimidated the various visiting gangs into retreating while the sisters fought alone. Although the sisters proved too much to fight alone, as Rhino discovered when he was briefly trapped beneath a broken pillar, Rhino, Ox and Croc managed to combine their talents to defeat them in a coordinated attack. After Ox deduced that the tail knot at the center of the vortex was their weakness, Croc charged at the vortex and brought it to a halt with his tough hide. Once Croc had repositioned the vortex, Rhino charged through the knot and broke the sisters apart. The trio then worked together to defeat the separated sisters, eventually trapping them beneath a large statue head.

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At the moment of their victory, Oogway reappeared, having captured the rest of the gangs, and praised Rhino, Ox, and Croc for being worthy warriors who had found a higher purpose to fight. Oogway also stated that Rhino's father would be proud of what his son had just accomplished.

According to Po, after these events Oogway sent Rhino and his fellow warriors on a journey which eventually led them to Gongmen City where they formed the Masters Council, with Rhino as the leader.

In Kung Fu Panda Issue 3

Thundering Rhino fighting the Ten Thousand Serpents

Searching for shelter during a long journey, Thundering Rhino came upon the Valley of Woe, where travelers had settled in and claimed the fertile land as their new home. But unknown to them, the Ten Thousand Serpents had been woken underground by the fireworks they'd displayed in celebration, and the snakes drove them out, saying it was their land. Thundering Rhino intervened, telling the snakes there was no reason they couldn't share the land, but this failed to sway them. They gathered in great numbers and covered him almost completely, thinking he was helpless.

However, Rhino had only let them surround him to lull them into a false sense of victory, and he made a sudden punch, shoving them all away. A one-sided battle ensued, with Rhino striking down the numerous snakes with a variety of techniques. After commenting that a peaceful solution would be better way to end the conflict, he then proceeded to grip the serpents by their tails, tie them into knots, and throw them to a far off desert, telling them they were evicted. He later humbly accepted the thanks and hospitality of the villagers, who would welcome him in the Valley of Woe "from now until forever".

In Kung Fu Panda Holiday

Note: The Master Rhino described in this section may or may not be Thundering Rhino due to observed physical differences, namely his eye color and horn shape. However, DreamWorks Animation has listed him as Thundering Rhino.[8]

Master Rhino at the noodle shop's Winter Feast celebration

Master Rhino was one of the twenty-nine representatives at the Jade Palace's formal Winter Feast dinner. When Po stood up to give his speech, Rhino was highly regarded to being "more awesomely skilled and ... wrinkly than [he]'d ever dreamed [he]'d be," to which the rhino didn't seem to take kindly to. Nevertheless, he, like the other masters at the table, was inspired by Po's determination to be a good son over being a good host, and he joined the other persuaded masters as they made their way over to the festivities at Mr. Ping's noodle shop. The guests already there marveled at the masters' arrival, and Master Rhino enjoyed himself by telling a story about encountering a "crocodile thief" to the young bunny children.

In Kung Fu Panda 2

Master Thundering Rhino with Masters Storming Ox and Croc

Some time after taking over the stewardship of Gongmen City after the deaths of the previous rulers, Thundering Rhino and his two apprentices sparred together in the palace courtyard before they were confronted by Lord Shen, who ordered them to leave his palace. While surprised by Shen's unexpected return after several years of exile, Rhino refused, along with Croc and Storming Ox, and made it clear that Gongmen City was under their rule and protection. Shen said he was glad they felt that way, while a gang of wolves pushed a large wooden box into the courtyard. When Ox inquired to what was inside the box, Shen stated that it was their "parting gift", in that it would literally part them.

Thundering Rhino fighting Shen

Outraged, Ox and Croc leapt to attack the peacock. The two were defeated, though Shen's weapons were broken by Thundering Rhino when he attempted to attack the master, whom proved his impenetrable armour by effortlessly blocking each of When’s blades with remarkable speed and precision with his hammer and horn, before gently pushing Shen backwards with the Cloudhammer with such power it broke his blades. The peacock perceived to call him show-off. Rhino declared that this defeat was a warning, and that Shen was no match for their kung fu. Shen agreed, but also stated that this (referring to the object in the box) is. With that, Shen revealed his great weapon: a cannon. Thundering Rhino bravely prepared for battle, but was killed by the weapon's first blast.

Rhino's hammer was left mounted in the palace's center square as both a warning to others and a trophy for Lord Shen.

In Kung Fu Panda 3

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Thundering Rhino's statue, standing next to Master Elephant's and in front of Lizard's ones, can be seen to be situated among with other legendary masters at the Master Garden at Jade Palace.

He can also be seen on Kai's belt as one of the masters whose chi was stolen[source?], though he does not appear as a jade zombie. He and the other deceased masters are presumably restored to their true forms once Kai was defeated.


Thundering Rhino talking to Shen

As head of the Kung Fu Council, Thundering Rhino has been noted to be revered for his wisdom, kind humor, and good deeds.[8] In Kung Fu Panda Holiday, he was shown to appreciate Po's decision to celebrate the Winter Feast with his father instead of hosting the formal feast at the Jade Palace, and joined him at the party at the noodle shop, entertaining a group of children with tales about one of his adventures.

Thundering Rhino's mercy and compassion towards others is also made apparent in his experience with Master Croc. After defeating the criminal in battle, rather than finishing the victory by delivering a fatal blow, Thundering Rhino instead asked Croc to use his kung fu for the benefit of others. This act of compassion caused a change in Croc that helped him to turn over a new leaf.[7]

The canonicity of this section is questionable.
Information in this section may conflict with previously established canon.

Finally giving up fighting for money, Rhino tells the Villagers that they fight for honor

In his youth, Thundering Rhino was hot-headed and aggressive, evident in his reaction to Croc's claim that being the son of a kung fu master doesn't make him a winner. Though he showed a more noble side than his companions Ox and Croc, he nevertheless greatly desired wealth and fought for it, though this may have stemmed from his need to live up to his father's name. Thundering Rhino eventually gave up fighting for money during his quest to defeat the Wu Sisters.[9]

Fighting style

Master Thundering Rhino is the most revered amongst all of the masters on the Kung Fu Council. Using the unbeatable attack of the legendary Cloud Hammer, Master Thundering Rhino is able to take on huge numbers of attackers and emerge victorious. Master Rhino also has "Unstoppable Force". When he starts running—nothing can stop him. When not engaged in battle or leading the Kung Fu Council, Master Thundering Rhino can be humorous and a great resource of wisdom.[2]

Thundering Rhino facing Shen's cannon

Supervising animator Rodolphe Guenoden commented on Thundering Rhino's mode of force as "a ramming style of fighting, charging forward with his horn, befitting his animalistic tendencies."[10] In addition, Tigress referred to his "horn defense" as being impervious to any technique. This was shown whilst deflecting Lord Shen's swords, where Thundering Rhino used his horn to knock one of them away.[1]

Thundering Rhino appeared to focus largely on brute strength, but was by no means lacking in speed or accuracy, as he was able to swiftly overwhelm Shen, who was an accomplished kung fu master himself and had solely held his own against both Croc and Storming Ox.[9] Rhino quickly defeated the peacock with speed, power and precision, smashing Shen's weapons with his Cloud Hammer, even keeping one arm behind as he did so. His victory was accomplished with such ease that Shen stated that he was a "showoff." Unfortunately, Thundering Rhino was no match for Shen's powerful cannon, and was killed on impact.[1]


His father

The canonicity of this section is questionable.
Information in this section may conflict with previously established canon.

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Thundering Rhino always wished to earn his father's respect, originally assuming that fame and glory would amount to that. But when he teamed up with Storming Ox and Croc to take down the Wu Sisters, he realized that choosing honor over money would make his father proud.[9]

The Kung Fu Council

Storming Ox

Thundering Rhino met a young ox who had skipped out on his chores to watch the master spar. When Rhino caught him in the act, instead of punishing him he took him on as a student. Ox proved to be a constant challenge due to his aggressiveness, but Rhino's faith and perseverance was rewarded when Storming Ox reached the rank of master and became his greatest pupil, as well as his fellow member of the Council. They stayed together for years, acting as comrades in many battles and justly ruled Gongmen City together until that fateful day the banished heir returned and killed Storming Ox's master before his very eyes, with the unstoppable weapon, a tragedy which broke Storming Ox's spirit.[6]


Thundering Rhino heard of Croc and his bandits, and personally stopped their threat and confronted Croc himself. Though Croc put up a good fight, he was no match for Master Thundering Rhino and accepted his fate to die. Instead, Rhino showed mercy and convinced Croc to fight for good instead of evil, an act of mercy that touched the defeated bandit, and Croc became one of Rhino's most devoted students.[7]


The canonicity of this section is questionable.
Information in this section may conflict with previously established canon.

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Oogway: “So, did you find the riches you were seeking?
Rhino: “ [smiling] You know... I think we did.
Oogway: “I never doubted you would. [He places a hand on Rhino's shoulder.] Your father will be proud, as am I.
—After defeating the Wu Sisters, Secrets of the Masters

The relationship between Rhino and Oogway was a little more personal than that of Croc or Ox. Upon first meeting the tortoise, Rhino quickly recognized him before Croc or Ox did, presumably because of his background as a kung fu master's son. Similarly, Oogway immediately understood Rhino's reason for following him to stop the Wu Sisters, which was to please or live up to the expectations of his father.

Oogway's last words ("Remember the path"), before his apparent death after saving trio from a river of lava, left Rhino shaken and tried to contemplate what the tortoise meant before he died. Upon coming across a desolated village (shown to be the handiwork of the Wu sisters' forces) and being offered payment by one of the villagers, Rhino finally understood the message of Oogway's words and declared that he and his comrades must fight for honor instead of personal gain.

Later, after going back to face the Wu sisters and successfully defeating them, Oogway revealed himself and congratulated Rhino personally, saying his father would be proud.[9]


Shen fighting the Kung Fu Council in Kung Fu Panda 2

Thundering Rhino: “What do you want, Shen?
Shen: “What is rightfully mine... Gongmen City!
Thundering Rhino: “Gongmen is under the stewardship of the Masters' Council and we will protect it even from you.

Rhino was fully aware of the crimes committed by Shen when he, along with the Kung Fu Council, agreed to take the stewardship of Gongmen City, and made it clear when the banished heir returned that they would protect the city from him. Still, upon meeting the peacock, he acted civil towards him until the fight broke out between Shen and Rhino's two disciples, both of whom were easily defeated by his surprisingly strong kung fu skills and bladework. Although Rhino staved Shen's assault with his unstoppable kung fu skills, he was no match for Shen's unstoppable cannon and died in the process.[1]

The Wu Sisters

The canonicity of this section is questionable.
Information in this section may conflict with previously established canon.

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Game's over, kitties! We're gonna put your tails back in jail!
—Rhino to the Sisters, Secrets of the Masters

Coming soon!


Master Rhino's garments consist of white robes held in place by a large gold waistband and a gray jacket with black trim and gold details. The shoulders of the jacket flare out and up. The base of his horn is also decorated with a cloud design that matches the carvings on his hammer.[1]

At the Jade Palace's formal Winter Feast dinner, Rhino wore a long silver robe over a traditional black kung fu uniform laced together with a yellow stripe across the waist.


  • Thundering Rhino was designed to appear "as square and solid as a stone wall," and thus formidable to any opponent that challenges him and the Council.[10]
  • Rhino's voice actor in Kung Fu Panda Holiday, Jonathan Groff, is one of the writers of the short.





[A desperate rabbit citizen holds out a coin for Rhino.]
Rabbit: “You fight for money, right?
[Rhino pauses, looks back down at the rabbit, and places his hands over the rabbit's own, obscuring the coin.]
Rhino: “No... we fight for honor.
—While traveling through a destroyed village, Secrets of the Masters
[During their fight, Shen's blades are sliced off by Rhino.]
Shen: “Show-off.
Thundering Rhino: “That is a warning. You are no match for our kung fu.
—While battling each other, Kung Fu Panda 2

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011). Written by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Charlie Kaufman & directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson. Distributed by Paramount Pictures.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Internet Archive: kungfupanda.com Master Thundering Rhino on the April 7, 2011* version of the official Kung Fu Panda website via the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  3. Internet Movie Database Kung Fu Panda 2 at the Internet Movie Database
  4. Internet Movie Database Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special at the Internet Movie Database
  5. Internet Movie Database Secrets of the Masters at the Internet Movie Database
  6. 6.0 6.1 Internet Archive: kungfupanda.com Master Storming Ox on the April 7, 2011* version of the official Kung Fu Panda website via the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Internet Archive: kungfupanda.com Master Croc on the April 7, 2011* version of the official Kung Fu Panda website via the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kung Fu Panda Thundering Rhino on the official Kung Fu Panda website. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters (2011). Written by Todd Berger, Paul McEvoy & directed by Tony Leondis. Distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Miller-Zarneke, Tracey. The Art of Kung Fu Panda 2, p. 75. ISBN: 1608870189.