Kung Fu Panda 2 Abigail Morse

In the movie Kung Fu Panda 2, Po, a large panda, was the main character. Po was told by his Master, Shifu, to find inner peace so that he could become better at his kung fu. And Master Shifu showed Po by being able to control a water droplet after finding his inner peace. Except there was an evil peacock who was outcast from his kingdom and who was told by a fortune teller that his evil plans would be defeated by a panda. This peacock decided to build a weapon that was similar to a cannon, but in order to do that he stole metal from the townsfolk. Then Master Shifu's kung fu warriors, known as the furious five, fought the wolves working for the peacock and took back some of the metal that they were stealing. But Po saw an insignia on the wolves armor that reminded him of his childhood, and so he asked his adopted dad, a goose, where he came from, except his adopted dad didn't know. But all of a sudden the evil peacock killed another well known kung fu warrior with the weapon, so Po and the furious five had to destroy the weapon before it killed all kung fu. Then in a ferocious struggle between kung fu warriors and the evil peacock, Po discovered that the evil peacock had tried to kill all pandas to stop them from eventually destroying his plans. And during one raid Po's panda mother had hidden him as a baby in a basket which eventually brought him to his goose father. This realization allowed Po to achieve inner peace and control a rain drop just like Master Shifu did. Then Po was able to defeat the evil peacock, against all odds, by using his newfound inner peace to catch and control the fiery cannon ball aimed at him and redirect it back at the peacock. After that, Po went back to his father and admitted that even though he knew who his parents really were, he still loved being the goose's son.

The peacock in the movie was the opposite of a Confucianist or Daoist. He completely disobeyed the rules and tried to take over a kingdom. Then he killed tons of pandas just for his personal interests. And all of this was against his parents wishes, so they had to make him leave his home. What the peacock did was against the nature of wu wei and also disobeying the five virtues. He wasn't being nice to others, was unjust & unwise in his decisions, and he caused his parents to lose face. He also went against filial piety, ren, and li, by being very unpredictable and not nice.

In the movie, Master Shifu told Po to find inner peace, which is like ultimate wu wei, and he tells Po that if he masters inner peace he can be at one with his surroundings. Then Shifu shows Po how this is possible by controlling a water droplet. This is a very Daoist idea, because Master Shifu is telling Po to go with the flow of wu wei and be at one with the nature around him. And water also frequently represents the free flowing dao. Po is also like Winnie the Pooh in the way that he goes into battle without a plan and then just goes with the flow that comes with it, and this means that he's acting with wu wei.

Watch the first 30 seconds of the following video.

Master Shifu is a good example of a Confucian junzi. He was someone who all kung fu warriors looked up to, and he taught them all how to get to their full potential, which was self-cultivation. Also, the furious five had the five virtues. They were always stopping bandits from stealing, nice to the townsfolk, and very adoring of Master Shifu, who was their elder that they always listened to. The furious five had lots of guanxi too. Since they always helped the townsfolk for free, they were repaid with guanxi because they were always loved wherever they went.

Yin & Yang

The evil peacock was told that he would be defeated by a 'force of black and white', and those two colors represent the balanced yin and yang. Po is black and white too, and once he found his balance he was able to defeat the weapon that the peacock built. Po also has a lot of filial piety. He even chased the evil peacock through a dangerous weapon factory trying to find out where he came from. And even after he found out what had happened with his parents, he went to his goose dad and told him that he would always be his son. This act is showing a lot of respect for his goose father.

A future eighth grader should definitely watch Kung Fu Panda 2 for their living color project. The movie was interesting to watch, and once you started thinking about it the movie had a lot of great connections to the religions that we had been studying from China. It will help anyone who watches it for their project understand filial piety, honoring parents, much better along with other key terms. And the connections in the movie are quite easy to spot too, so there wont be any trouble in finding the legacy of the religion in it. So a future eighth grader should decide to watch this movie for their project because it helps you understand how the vocabulary words can be put into action outside of an essay and it is an intriguing movie to watch and see how the legacy of the religions pops out.

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All images are taken from Kung Fu Panda 2
The video was taken from MrChair132 on Youtube, and the movie was watched on Amazon Prime

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