Kung-Fu Panda Sullivan Smith

In Kung-Fu Panda there are examples of religions from ancient and modern China such as Taoism and Confucianism. The ways that these religions have been represented in the movie are through the concepts of Taoism and Confucianism that we have learned in class. The concepts shown in the movie are:

Yin and Yang

Yin and yang are represented in this movie because Po (The dragon warrior) has strength and power that comes from his balanced force. Po has the pain and anger of the fact that Lord Shen had killed his parents and the inner piece and urge to make the world good again balancing each other out giving him the ultimate power. These two opposing forces come together to form an unstoppable hero.


A junzi is part of confucianism culture meaning role model like having perfect human heartedness and always doing the right thing. I think that this is represented in the movie in many different ways such as ren, filial piety and doa. Po has very good ren because he is a kind person and helps others. He is very human hearted. An example of this in the movie is because Po protects his village when it is under attack and is always kind to people in his village. Filial piety also demonstrates Po as a junzi because it shows that he is human hearted because he cares about his parents. At first Po is frustrated that His dad isnt really his dad and then he finds out his parents were killed. After remembering this he respected his dad by realizing and telling him that he knows that he is really his son. The final and last reason why Po in this movie is a junzi is because he followed the dao. He follows the dao by understanding the way and code of behavior. He acts the way he should be which made it so that he was following the dao. Because Po had good ren and respected filial piety and the dao by following it that made him a Junzi because he followed every way and proper code and at the same time was kind.

Rectification of Names and The Five Virtues

In confucianism, Rectification of names is a statement that states that all things should be called what they are and all things should conform to what they are called. This relates to the movie Kung Fu Panda because Po is called a hero and he is called this because he saves everyone from being ruled by lord Shen who is evil. And he is previously called this from saving people in the past but must keep his name and show people that he can still be a hero. So he follows the dao and defeats lord Shen to bring peace and goodness to His village and everyone else in China. This also relates to how Po follows the five virtues. Po follows the five virtues by being kind and human-hearted to everyone around him and always acting with propriety. He brings justice by defeating lord shen because his village had been stolen from by lord Shen. He also acts with wisdom by creating elaborate plans to help defeat lord Shen and bring peace back to his village. And lastly to completely follow the five virtues, Po is very faithful because he tells his dad that he will defeat the evil and come back to him. His dad worries and worries about him but sure enough at the end of the movie Po comes back having defeated the evil.

Wu Wei and Self Cultivation

Wu Wei is a Taoism term that means "no action" in the sense that you are still getting things done without excessive effort. This is represented by Po in the movie because the old fortune teller tells him to stop trying to remember about his parents and just let it happen. This makes Po just let go and let his mind remember it without him forcing it. He then becomes relaxed and come and lets himself remember. In doing this he also uses the confucian term of self cultivation to teach himself inner peace which he had been trying to learn from the beginning of the movie. When Po stopped trying to force both his memories and learning inner peace he was using Wu Wei and remembered everything about his parents and understood inner peace. He made progress without action. So the key concepts of Taoism and Confucianism ultimately allowed Po to fully complete the dao and become a Junzi.


Created with images by Brett Jordan - "Kung Fu Panda (1 of 2)" • DonkeyHotey - "Yin Yang Sky - Illustration" • BLMOregon - "Donner und Blitzen Wild and Scenic River"

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