Kung Fu Panda is an American martial arts comedy media franchise that originally started in 2008 with the release of the animated film of the same name produced by DreamWorks Animation. Following the adventures of the titular Po Ping (primarily voiced by Jack Black and Mick Wingert), a giant panda who is improbably chosen as the prophesied Dragon Warrior and becomes a master of kung fu, the franchise is set in a fantasy wuxia genre version of ancient China populated by anthropomorphic animals. Although everyone initially doubts him, including Po himself, he proves himself worthy as he strives to fulfill his destiny.

Kung Fu Panda
Created byEthan Reiff
Cyrus Voris
Original workKung Fu Panda (2008)
OwnerDreamWorks Animation
(Universal Pictures)
Films and television
Short film(s)
Animated series
Television special(s)Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010)
Theatrical presentations
Play(s)Kung Fu Panda: Arena Spectacular (2010)
Video game(s)List of video games
Official website

The franchise consists mainly of four CGI-animated films: Kung Fu Panda (2008), Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) and Kung Fu Panda 4 (2024), as well as three television series: Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness (2011–2016), The Paws of Destiny (2018–2019), and The Dragon Knight (2022–2023). The first two films were distributed by Paramount Pictures, the third film was distributed by 20th Century Fox and the fourth was distributed by Universal Pictures, while the television series respectively aired on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. Five short films, Secrets of the Furious Five (2008), Secrets of the Masters (2011), Secrets of the Scroll, Panda Paws (both 2016), and Dueling Dumplings (2024), and a television special, Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010), have also been produced.

The franchise's first two features were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature as well as numerous Annie Awards, the first television series won 11 Emmy Awards and the third television series won two Emmy Awards. All four films were critical and commercial successes,[1] grossing over $2 billion overall, making it the seventh highest-grossing animated film franchise, while the second film was the highest-grossing film worldwide directed solely by a woman (Jennifer Yuh Nelson) until Wonder Woman (2017). The series is additionally popular in China as an outstanding Western interpretation of the wuxia film genre.[2]


Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Story by Producer(s)
Kung Fu Panda June 6, 2008 John Stevenson and Mark Osborne Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris Melissa Cobb
Kung Fu Panda 2 May 26, 2011 Jennifer Yuh Nelson Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger
Kung Fu Panda 3 January 29, 2016 Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni
Kung Fu Panda 4 March 8, 2024 Mike Mitchell
Stephanie Ma Stine
Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger and Darren Lemke Rebecca Huntley

Kung Fu Panda (2008)


Po, a clumsy panda bear, is a kung fu fanatic who lives in the Valley of Peace and works in his goose father Mr. Ping's noodle shop, unable to realize his dream of learning the art of kung fu. One day, a kung fu tournament is held for the elderly spiritual leader of the valley, Grand Master Oogway, to determine the identity of the Dragon Warrior, the one kung fu master capable of understanding the secret of the Dragon Scroll, which is said to contain the key to limitless power. Everyone in the valley expects the Dragon Warrior to be one of the Furious Five—Tigress, Monkey, Mantis, Viper, and Crane—a quintet of kung fu warriors trained by Master Shifu to protect the valley. To everyone's surprise, Oogway chooses Po, who has accidentally stumbled into the tournament arena after arriving late via fireworks explosion.

Refusing to believe that Po can be the Dragon Warrior, Shifu subjects Po to torturous training exercises in order to discourage him into quitting. Determined to change himself into someone he can respect, Po perseveres in his training and befriends the Furious Five, who had previously mocked Po for his lack of skill in kung fu. Po soon learns that the valley is being approached by Tai Lung, an evil kung fu warrior who has escaped from prison to take revenge for being denied the Dragon Scroll, and despairs he will be unable to defeat him. However, Shifu discovers that Po is capable of martial arts when motivated by food, and successfully trains him to learn kung fu. After his training is complete, Po is given the Dragon Scroll, which he discovers to be blank. However, Po realizes that the key to limitless power lies within himself, allowing him to defeat Tai Lung and restore peace to the valley.

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)


Po now lives his dream as a kung fu master and protects the Valley of Peace alongside the Furious Five. However, he is thrown into internal conflict when he begins having flashbacks of his mother and learns from Mr. Ping that he was adopted as an infant. Shortly after, Po and the Five are sent on a mission to stop the evil peacock Lord Shen from using a newly developed weapon, the cannon, to conquer all of China and destroy kung fu tradition. Po remains tormented by thoughts of being abandoned by his real parents until he is guided by a wise old soothsayer to embrace his past, and remembers that his parents risked their lives to save him from Shen, who had set out to exterminate all pandas after learning of a prophecy that he would be defeated by "a warrior of black-and-white". Po achieves inner peace, which allows him to destroy Shen's new weapon, defeat Shen, and accept Mr. Ping as his father. However, during the last scene of the movie, it shows Po's biological father realizing his son is alive.

Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)


Shortly after the events of the second film, Shifu relinquishes his duties as master of the Jade Palace to Po, claiming that the next step of his own apprenticeship is to oversee the Furious Five's training. While struggling with this new responsibility, Po rejoices upon reuniting with his biological father, Li, though Mr. Ping is less enthusiastic. However, news arrives that the spirit warrior General Kai has returned to the mortal realm and is 'collecting' Kung Fu masters from all over China, both living and dead, to serve in his army of Jade Zombies. Po and the others discover from a scroll left by Oogway that Kai can only be defeated by the power of Chi, a technique known only by the panda colonies; thus, Po and Li set to the secret Panda Valley in order to have Po learn it. Po eventually discovers, to his horror, that Li had deceived him, because the pandas have long forgotten about how to manipulate the Chi, and he just wanted to protect his son from Kai. Once making amends with both his adoptive and biological fathers, Po joins forces with Ping, Tigress, and the pandas to make a stand against Kai, all mastering the power of Chi in the process and using its power to destroy him for good. After returning to the Valley of Peace, Po spends his days spreading the teachings of Kung fu and Chi.

Kung Fu Panda 4 (2024)


Shifu tasks Po to retire as the Dragon Warrior and find a successor as he must advance to become the Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace. Disappointed, he struggles to find the right candidate angering Shifu. He later spots a thief named Zhen entering the Jade Palace and sends her to prison but soon learns that Tai Lung has returned. Zhen reveals that it wasn't actually Tai Lung but a shapeshifting sorceress named The Chameleon. Po decides to go after her and Zhen agrees to lead him to the Chameleon in exchange for a reduction of her sentence. They both head towards Juniper City and there, Po finds that Zhen is a wanted criminal, leading to both of them getting arrested. They successfully escape to the Den of Thieves where Zhen reunites with her old mentor Han who allows them to stay there for one day. Po and Zhen then enter Chameleon's lair, where Zhen betrays Po, takes the Staff of Wisdom and gives it to the Chameleon, who is revealed to be her master. Po manages to escape without the staff but Chameleon, who has shapeshifted into Zhen, throws him off of the cliff and Po gets saved by his adoptive and biological father. The Chameleon uses the staff to summon every martial arts master from the Spirit Realm, stealing their kung fu abilities and locking them in cages. Zhen decides to deflect away from Chameleon and reunites with Po. Zhen later manages to convince the Den of Thieves to help her out in saving Po. Zhen and Po defeat the Chameleon and return the stolen Kung fu to their masters. Po sends them back to the spirit realm with Tai Lung taking the Chameleon with him. At the Valley of Peace, Po chooses Zhen as the next Dragon Warrior and the Furious Five joins him in training her.

Television special and series

SeriesSeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast releasedNetwork
Kung Fu Panda HolidaySpecialNovember 24, 2010 (2010-11-24)NBC
Legends of Awesomeness126September 19, 2011 (2011-09-19)April 5, 2012 (2012-04-05)Nickelodeon
226April 6, 2012 (2012-04-06)June 21, 2013 (2013-06-21)
32818June 24, 2013 (2013-06-24)June 22, 2014 (2014-06-22)
10February 15, 2016 (2016-02-15)June 29, 2016 (2016-06-29)Nicktoons
The Paws of Destiny12613November 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)Amazon Prime Video
13July 4, 2019 (2019-07-04)
The Dragon Knight111July 14, 2022 (2022-07-14)Netflix
212January 12, 2023 (2023-01-12)
319September 7, 2023 (2023-09-07)

Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010)


Kung Fu Panda Holiday (also known as Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special) is a 2010 television special that premiered on NBC on November 24. It tells a story of Po, who is assigned to host the annual Winter Feast by Master Shifu, despite his wishes to spend the holiday with Mr. Ping.

Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness (2011–2014; 2016)


Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness is an animated television series based on the Kung Fu Panda film series, set between the first two films. The show was originally intended to premiere in 2010, but was delayed and officially launched on Nickelodeon on November 7, 2011. Of the series's voice cast, only Lucy Liu, Randall Duk Kim, and James Hong reprise their roles from the films as Viper, Oogway, and Mr. Ping, respectively. The first season, consisting of 26 episodes, ended on April 5, 2012. The second season aired from April 6, 2012, to June 21, 2013, and also consisted of 26 episodes. A third season consisting of 28 episodes began airing June 24, 2013, going on an extended hiatus after June 22, 2014, before airing its last 10 episodes two years later, from February 15 to June 29, 2016, as a tie-in to the theatrical run of Kung Fu Panda 3.

Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny (2018–2019)


Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny is the second Kung Fu Panda animated series, set after the events of Kung Fu Panda 3. Across 26 episodes produced by DreamWorks Animation Television with Amazon Studios and ordered, and aired by Amazon Prime Video, the series was released in its 13-episode first season's first part on November 16, 2018, and its 13-episode first season's second and final part on July 4, 2019.[3] The series follows Po on a fresh adventure, mentoring four young pandas (Nu Hai, Jing, Bao and Fan Tong), who happen upon a mystical cave beneath the Panda Village - and accidentally absorb the chi of the ancient and powerful Kung Fu warriors known as the four constellations. The four friends realize that they now have a new destiny - to save the world from an impending evil with their new-found Kung Fu powers. They are aided along their journey by Po, who finds himself faced with his biggest challenge yet - teaching this ragtag band of kids how to wield their strange powers.

Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight (2022–2023)


Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight is the third Kung Fu Panda animated series, which premiered on Netflix on July 14, 2022, with Jack Black reprising his role as Po.[4][5] The series follows Po as he must leave his home behind and embark on a globe-trotting quest for redemption and justice that finds him partnered up with a no-nonsense English knight known as the Wandering Blade. Rita Ora joined the cast as Wandering Blade and James Hong reprised his role as Mr. Ping.[6]

Short films


Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five (2008)


Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five, or simply Secrets of the Furious Five, is an animated short film that serves as a semi-sequel (or spin-off) to Kung Fu Panda and appears on a companion disc of the original film's deluxe DVD release. It was later broadcast on NBC on February 26, 2009, and is available as a separate DVD as of March 24 the same year. The film has a framing story of Po (in computer animation), telling the stories of his comrades in arms, the Furious Five, which are depicted in 2D cel animation.

Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters (2011)


Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters is an animated short film released on December 13, 2011, as a special feature attached to the Kung Fu Panda 2 DVD and Blu-ray. It tells the backgrounds of the masters of Gongmen City: Thundering Rhino, Storming Ox, and Croc.[7]

Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll (2016)


Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll is an animated short film officially released as a bonus feature in the Kung Fu Panda: Ultimate Edition of Awesomeness Blu-ray pack in January 2016.[8] Secrets of the Scroll details the forming of the Furious Five, and their first fight together against a common enemy. Unlike previous Kung Fu Panda[citation needed] short films, Secrets of the Scroll has yet to be released on its own DVD or Blu-ray.

Panda Paws (2016)


Panda Paws is a short film that was released with the home media of Kung Fu Panda 3. Panda Paws involves the character Mei Mei (voiced by Kate Hudson) competing with Bao at the "Spring Festival". A version of the short was previously released in theaters preceding the DreamWorks Animation film Home in 2015, with Rebel Wilson voicing Mei Mei, prior to her firing from Kung Fu Panda 3.[9]

Dueling Dumplings (2024)


Dueling Dumplings is a short film that was released with the home media of Kung Fu Panda 4. It involves Po and Zhen offering each other dumplings from their respective homelands. They bicker over whose are better and try to force each other to try them. After a playful battle, they end up tasting each other’s dumplings and end up liking them.

Cast and characters

List indicator(s)

This section includes characters who will appear or have appeared in the franchise.

  • An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's official presence has not yet been confirmed.
  •  C indicates a cameo role.
  •  Y indicates a younger version of the character.
Character Films Short films Television special Television series
Kung Fu Panda Kung Fu Panda 2 Kung Fu Panda 3 Kung Fu Panda 4 Secrets of the Furious Five Kung Fu Panda:
Secrets of the Masters
Kung Fu Panda:
Secrets Of the Scroll
Panda Paws Dueling Dumplings Kung Fu Panda Holiday Kung Fu Panda:
Legends of Awesomeness
Kung Fu Panda:
The Paws of Destiny
Kung Fu Panda:
The Dragon Knight
Po Ping / Li Lotus
The Dragon Warrior
Jack Black Jack Black
Liam KnightY
Jack Black Jack Black Mick Wingert Jack Black
Master Shifu Dustin Hoffman Dustin Hoffman Fred Tatasciore
Tigress Angelina Jolie Silent cameo Tara StrongY Angelina Jolie Kari Wahlgren
Tara MarciY
Angelina Jolie Kari Wahlgren Action figure Silent role
Mantis Seth Rogen cameo with scream provided by Seth Rogen Max Koch Seth Rogen Seth Rogen Max Koch Flashback cameo
Monkey Jackie Chan Silent cameo Jaycee ChanY James Sie Jackie Chan James Sie
Viper Lucy Liu Jessica DiCiccoY Lucy Liu Lucy Liu
Crane David Cross Silent cameo David Cross David Cross Amir Talai
Mr. Ping James Hong James Hong James Hong
Oogway Randall Duk Kim Character is mute Randall Duk Kim Statue Randall Duk Kim Randall Duk Kim Piotr Michael
Tai Lung Ian McShane
Riley OsborneY
Archive footage Silent cameo Ian McShane Character is mute André Sogliuzzo Silent cameo
Zeng Dan Fogler Dan Fogler Mick Wingert
Commander Vachir Michael Clarke Duncan
Lord Shen Gary Oldman Archive footage Silent role Silent cameo
Soothsayer Michelle Yeoh
Wolf Boss Danny McBride
Storming Ox Dennis Haysbert Dennis Haysbert
Croc Jean-Claude Van Damme Tony Leondis
Thundering Rhino Victor Garber Paul Scheer Jonathan Groff
Li Shan Fred TatascioreC Bryan Cranston Christopher Swindle
General Kai J. K. Simmons Silent role Silent cameo
Mei Mei Kate Hudson Kate Hudson
Rebel Wilson
Chrissy Metz
Master Bear Fred Tatasciore Fred Tatasciore
Master Chicken Stephen Kearin
Black Tortoise
Steele Gangon Steele Gangon Gunnar Sizemore
Lei Lei Liam Knight
Grandma Panda Barbara Dirickson Barbara Dirickson Amy Hill
Sum Al Roker
Dim Willie Geist
Zhen Awkwafina Awkwafina
The Chameleon Viola Davis
Han Ke Huy Quan
Granny Boar Lori Tan Chinn
Captain Fish Ronny Chieng
Wo Hop Jack McBrayer
Fung John DiMaggio
Hundun Diedrich Bader
Taotie Wallace Shawn
Bian Zao Simon Helberg
Fenghuang Wendie Malick
Junjie Stephen Root
Temutai Kevin Michael Richardson
Bao Fred Tatasciore
Peng Danny Cooksey
Chao James Sie
Jong Sung Jai Kai Chow Wayne Knight
Scorpion Lynn Milgrim
Lidong Jim Cummings
Hu Neil Ross
Ke-Pa Alfred Molina
Nu Hai
Blue Dragon
Haley Tju
White Tiger
Laya Deleon Hayes
Fan Tong
Red Phoenix
Makana Say
Jade Tusk Cherise Boothe
Rooster Michael Rivkin
Jindiao Steve Blum
Yaoguai Demon Mitch Watson
Princess Xiao Lacey Chabert
Shi Long Sumalee Montano
White Bone Demon Elisa Gabrielli
Sun Wukong James Sie
Wandering Blade Rita Ora
Klaus Chris Geere
Veruca Della Saba
Rukhmini Rahnuma Panthaky
Akna Melissa Villaseñor
Colin Ed Weeks
Forouzan Shohreh Aghdashloo
Zhen Stephanie Hsu
Rabia Kinza Khan
Lao James Sie
Chuntao Tru Valentino
Weimin Parry Shen
Diya Deepti Gupta
Padma Anjali Bhimani
Jayesh Sean T. Krishnan
Pelpel Harvey Guillén
B'ah Jorge Diaz
Queen Zuma Sarah-Nicole Robles
Kyle Richard Ayoade
Master Mastodon Martin Aistrope
Nian James Sie
Changpu Dayci Brookshire
High Priestess Rolonda Watts
Shoddy Boat Owner Nolan North
The Queen of England Barbara Goodson
Drake Mick Wingert
Edgar Billy Boyd
Duncan Nicholas Guy Smith
Benny Keith Ferguson
Lucinda Toks Olagundoye
Kemanzi Kineta Kunutu
Sir Alfred Omid Abtahi
Master Sloth Sean Astin
Master Longtooth Kineta Kunutu
Master Ostrich Kenna Ramsey

Additional crew

Role Film
Kung Fu Panda Kung Fu Panda 2 Kung Fu Panda 3 Kung Fu Panda 4
Composers John Powell & Hans Zimmer Hans Zimmer Hans Zimmer & Steve Mazzaro
Editor Clare Knight Christopher Knights
Animation Studio DreamWorks Animation
Distributor Paramount Pictures 20th Century Fox Universal Pictures
Running time 1:31:58 (1:32:19 with the Universal logo) 1:30:24 95 min 94 min



Box office performance


The film series has grossed over $2.3 billion, making it the seventh highest-grossing animated franchise and DreamWorks Animation's second highest-grossing franchise behind Shrek.

Film Release date Box office Rank Budget Ref.
Opening weekend
North America
North America Other territories Worldwide All time
North America
All time
Kung Fu Panda June 6, 2008 $60,239,130 $215,771,591 $416,311,606 $632,083,197 #182 #149 $130 million [10]
Kung Fu Panda 2 May 26, 2011 $47,656,302 $165,249,063 $500,443,218 $665,692,281 #320 #135 $150 million [11]
Kung Fu Panda 3 January 29, 2016 $41,282,042 $143,528,619 $377,642,206 $521,170,825 #410 #207 $145 million [12]
Kung Fu Panda 4 March 8, 2024 $57,989,905 $193,545,505 $350,478,625 $544,024,130 TBD $85 million [13]
Total $207,167,379 $718,094,778 $1,644,875,655 $2,362,970,433 $510 million [14][15]

Critical and public reception


Each Kung Fu Panda film has received positive reviews, with critics often praising the animation, voice acting, and character development.[citation needed]

Critical and public response of Kung Fu Panda
Title Critical Public
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Kung Fu Panda 87% (190 reviews)[16] 74 (36 reviews)[17] A−[18]
Kung Fu Panda 2 81% (185 reviews)[19] 67 (34 reviews)[20] A[18]
Kung Fu Panda 3 87% (179 reviews)[21] 66 (34 reviews)[22] A[18]
Kung Fu Panda 4 72% (155 reviews)[23] 54 (33 reviews)[24] A–[18]


Award Category Kung Fu Panda[25][26][27] Kung Fu Panda 2[28][29][30] Kung Fu Panda 3[31]
Academy Awards Best Animated Feature Nominated Nominated
Annie Awards Best Animated Feature Won Nominated Nominated

Video games


Arena show


Directed by entertainment director Franco Dragone, Kung Fu Panda: Arena Spectacular is an in-progress live arena show, featuring characters from the Kung Fu Panda. Combining circus and Chinese acrobatics as well as arena show effects, the production was supposed to be released around the same time of Kung Fu Panda 2.[39] After a multi city casting tour in 2010,[40] the production went behind closed doors until late 2011 when a new set of audition dates were announced for the following year.[41] However, shortly before the announced January 2012 auditions, both Franco Dragone and DreamWorks decided to postpone the live show's opening date, canceling all auditions.[42] No further announcements have been made since.



A themed area Po's Kung Fu Garden was opened in 2012 at DreamWorks Experience, one of the themed lands at the Australian theme park Dreamworld. At opening Po's Kung Fu Garden consisted only of a small area featuring a Po photo opportunity. In late 2012, additional rides and attractions were added to the area. All of the rides were moved to Ocean Parade since DreamWorks Experience was rethemed as Kenny and Belinda's Dreamland in 2023.[43]

A multi-sensory attraction, based on Kung Fu Panda, opened at the DreamWorks Theatre on June 15, 2018, at Universal Studios Hollywood.[44]

A Kung Fu Panda-themed children's play area opened at DreamWorks Water Park on October 1, 2020.[45]

Universal Studios Beijing also has a Kung Fu Panda themed area called Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness, which opened alongside the park in September 2021.

Universal Studios Florida's upcoming DreamWorks Land will include the play area Po's Kung Fu Training Camp and the digital meet-and-greet Po Live!.[46]


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