|“||I'm just the messenger.||”|
|—Zeng, Kung Fu Panda|
Zeng is a palace servant and one of the supporting protagonists in the Kung Fu Panda series. He was first seen as Shifu's messenger in Kung Fu Panda, and then served as an assistant to Po in Kung Fu Panda Holiday.
Zeng was specifically given the mission to try to double the security at Chorh-Gom Prison where Tai Lung was being held captive, under the orders of Shifu based on Oogway's vision that Tai Lung will escape. The irony is that, while visiting the prison, one of Zeng's feathers fell near Tai Lung, who used it to pick the lock on his restraints and escape, echoing one of Oogway's statements that "one often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it". In the resulting carnage, Zeng was spared and forced to return to the Valley and herald Tai Lung's escape.
In the holiday special, Zeng was assigned as a helper to Po in his preparatory tasks for the Winter Feast. He advised Po in his selection of a chef for the prestigious event, and also informed him of his actions when he accidentally used the wrong gesture on one of the chefs, disgracing him and his village for all eternity. He refused Po's request to undo the mistake, and was disconcerted when the panda rejected all of the chefs and ran off with the Golden Ladle to present it to his father.
Zeng briefly appeared in the episode "Hometown Hero", where he delivered an urgent message to Mantis, and again in "Ghost of Oogway" when he delivered a message to Po. In "The Kung Fu Kid", he accidentally got hit in the head by Po with Shifu's flute, delivered several messages, and also briefly mentioned that he has a wife (who apparently hits him from time to time).
In "Challenge Day", Zeng was bringing Shifu his tea when he came up to see Po lazily slumbering on a hammock. As Shifu tried figuring out what to do to get Po to take his duties as the Dragon Warrior seriously, Zeng inspired his idea that Po could "lose" his title. Shifu then made up "Dragon Warrior Challenge Day", claiming that whoever defeated Po before sundown would become the Dragon Warrior, compelling the entire village to harass the panda. Though Zeng pointed out that it was a lie, Shifu thought that since there was no one in the village strong enough to take down Po, the panda would be kept on his toes. Unfortunately, Hundun the rhino broke out of Chorh-Gom Prison and defeated Po while he was exhausted and had a broken leg. When he ventured into the Jade Palace to gloat about his victory, Shifu revealed his deception. However, since no one else but he and Zeng knew about the lie, Hundun managed to imprison them both in a nearby casket. While waiting, Zeng bored Shifu with his recitation of all 1,200 varieties of bamboo before Po got them out. It was revealed in "Shifu"s Ex" he does not like Shifu and wants to leave the Jade Palace.
Zeng is extremely nervous, excitable, pessimistic, as well as weak-willed, but is nonetheless loyal and willing to fulfill an assignment given to him. He is an obedient servant, and at times can be intimidated when facing the kung fu warriors he must deal with in his duties, as shown when he delivered unwanted news to both Shifu and Commander Vachir.
Zeng is also very helpful, as well as one to adhere to the rules, as shown when he is assigned as Po's assistant. Though he witnessed the panda unintentionally use the "Hun-Shu Wave of Dismissal" on a rabbit chef trying out for the Winter Feast, Zeng declared that the chef and his village were shamed for eternity due to the gesture. When Po asked if they could simply get the rabbit back after he was taken away, Zeng laughed and simply answered, "No."
As a palace servant, Zeng obeyed Shifu's every command, even if one of them involved flying hundreds of miles to deliver a message to one of the most frightening places in all of China. He could also seem rather intimidated by Shifu at times and reluctant to disappoint him.
Upon arrival at Chorh-Gom Prison, Zeng was greatly intimidated by all the enormous guards, especially Commander Vachir. Zeng was subjected to slight bullying by the ruthless warden throughout their tour of the prison, and was even held against his will by him during Tai Lung's escape in order to keep Zeng from leaving and informing Shifu of the prison's failure to keep one prisoner.
Though Zeng and Po do not interact much, it seems that they get along well, as Zeng helped Po in his task to choose a chef for the Winter Feast. However, Zeng showed no lenience when Po insisted on undoing the "Hun Shu Wave of Dismissal" on Wo Hop.
Zeng was incredibly terrified of Tai Lung, and insisted that Vachir not anger him even when he was immobilized. When the leopard finally broke free, he immediately sought to warn Shifu, only to be stopped by Vachir. Tai Lung, in turn, was grateful for the goose's arrival as it was what allowed him to escape.
- . Retrieved September 8, 2010.
- . Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- 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 Holiday (2010). Written by , Jon Pollack & directed by Tim Johnson.