The Tao of Po by: patrick WU

Daoism is only for special people. People who are able to let life guide them. Most people can't sit by and do nothing while some other force does things for them. They will want to jump in and intervene to prevent bad things from happening, and try to make good things appear. But, in Daoism, that isn't how the world works. People have set destinies, their Dao, that they must find. Following it is easy, if you are willing to take a back-seat.

In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po is a renowned and respected warrior whom other look up to. They respect him and worship him as a Kung Fu master. But when, Lord Shen returns to Gongmen city with a new weapon to conquer all of China, the world turns to Po. He and his friends set off to find Shen and bring him down and destroy his weapon. Along the way, he learns more about his past and where he comes from. Once he's realized the truth, he can achieve inner-peace, the essential tool for a Kung Fu master. He uses his new power to defeat Shen and save China.
This film demonstrates many values of Daoism. An example of such, is when, at the beginning of the movie, the Soothsayer foretold that Shen would be stopped by a force of black and white. This led Shen to believe that a panda was to defeat him, so e went out to raze the panda villages. But, the prophecy actually meant the the balance of yin-yang would stop him. Meaning that if Shen was to do something bad, the forces of nature would balance it out and make something good happen in return. It just so happens that a panda was the one to do it. Shen ultimately wasn't defeated by Po, but by the balance of nature. Balance is a key principle of Daoism, the fact that everything that happens, and opposite reaction will also occur as well. In order to maintain the balance of the world, there must be good, and there must be bad, for one cannot live, without the other. Within this example, Lord Shen tried to force his destiny to change by killing the pandas. But in Daoism, you cannot force things to happen. If you do, they will respond in a way that will set you back on your Dao. Shen's destiny was to become corrupted by power and die at the hands of fate, he wanted a different one and wanted to change it, but in Daoism, your destiny is predetermined, your purpose is to follow it to the best of your ability. Because if your stray to far from your Dao, the universe will respond and put you back in your place.
When Po achieved inner-peace, he was able to connect himself with the universe and sharpen his mind. He understood his pas, and where he came from, and learned to accept what had happened, and and was able to move on. He had been haunted by visions of his past for a long time, and only once he learned to accept it, was he able to find inner-peace. This connects to Daoism because is Daoism, you must be able to take what happens, and move on, not to dwell on the things in the past, but to think about now, and what you can do to follow your Dao. Daoism is all about the present, and not the past or the future, because both are affected by the present. Once Po, realized this, he could harness the flow of the universe and become one with himself.
Lord Shen, destroyed the harbor and pushed his fleet of ships armed with cannons into the ocean.
Once Po had tried to defeat Shen, but failed, he tried again a second time, but failed, he tried a fourth time and failed. He tried to force Shen to his demise, but you can't force anything in Daoism. So, in the end, he just let Shen come at him, and did what came to him. He didn't try to force a fight, he just defend what he thought was right. Shen fired cannonball after cannonball at Po, but with his new self, a more calmed, and at peace version, Po was able to shrug them off.Dodging and catching the cannonballs. This is a staple principle of Daosim. Po, went with the flow, and did what cam natural to him. He didn't think, he just acted. That is what Daoism is all about, letting your Dao guide you to your destiny, not the other way around. Po was able to defeat Shen this way, not only because he was destined to, but because he just let it happen. The other times when he fought Shen, he was actually fighting his Dao, not letting it take over and to the work. But at the end, he gave it, and was able to fulfill his destiny.
In Gongmen Jail, Master Croc and Master Storming Ox, are locked up after Shen's overthrow of Gongmen City. They have the capacity to fight back and defeat Shen, but choose not to, because of their fear that Shen would turn the weapon on the city. But, their Dao was to aid Po in defeating Shen, so, when the time came, the universe set them back on track, with a little help from Master Shifu. He persuaded them to carry out their duty as defenders of Gongmen City and take back the freedom of the people. Master Ox and Master Storming Ox realize what they must do to help the city, and follow their Dao.
In the harbor, Po and his friends are shredding down the wolves and their cannons. Wolf Boss and Shen are at the very back of the fleet, and can still fire their cannons. When Shen orders Wolf Boss to fire the cannon at Po, he refuses, because it would result in the death of their own soldiers. In rage, Shen kills Wolf Boss and fires the cannon himself. Wolf Boss shows that he isn't all bad, and cares for his comrades. He does what he can to protect them. His Dao is to be with his fellow wolves, and he ultimately fulfills it, dying to protect the wolves, even against orders from his elders. In Daoism, following your Dao is the most important thing, everything else comes second. In Daoism, there is no good or bad, there is just the Dao.

Kung Fu Panda 2 is a great film not only due to its hilarious-action packed cinematics, but also for its deeper connection to Daoism and what it conveys. There are so many good examples of Daoism in this movie, from Po's Inner Peace, to Shen's disruption of the balance of yin-yang, there is so much to find. Everytime you watch, you will find something new. Guaranteed. Kung Fu Panda 2 is the best experience due to it's fun nature as a kids movie, and deeper connection to Daoism. All in all, choose Kung Fu Panda 2 fro you Living Color Project!

Photo Bibliography:

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.