Kung-Fu Panda 2 By Michael degraft-johnson

In the movie Kung-Fu Panda 2, the legacy of ancient China is very evident through the utilization of many forms of ancient Chinese culture and beliefs. This culture is shown through the use of taoist beliefs such as Wu-Wei and yin and yang.

One of the main focuses of the movie was the achievement of inner peace. This is a perfect example of taoist beliefs. Tao translates in Chinese to "the path". The focus of Tao is to follow a certain path. If one were to follow this metaphorical path, they would need to achieve piece and be humble. One example of a character who exemplifies Tao, would be Po. In the movie Po is extremely humble. He puts others before himself and tends to people and there needs. In the movie, Po's parents were taken away from him by an evil ruler. He doesn't learn about this until he is older and with the aid of his master's teachings, he is able to achieve inner peace and defeat him.

Po's Master – taught Po to follow the Tao by teaching him patience and humility

Another important part of taoism is filial piety. Filial piety is respect for elders. Just as he is peaceful and humble, Po also respects his elders. However, Po is not the only want who shows this Taoist principle. The rest of Po's teammates also show a respect to their master. Filial piety is not only an important part of taoism, it is an important part of Chinese culture as a whole. In Chinese culture, filial piety is one of the many pillars of society, because elders are so important to society. Adults teach and build up our society so it is only right that we treat them with respect.

Symbol for yin and yang

Yin and Yang is a Chinese concept that stands for universal balance. It can be interpreted to opposition of elements such as good and bad or dark and light. Yin and Yang can also be interpreted as peace, so it can be seen how this relates to the main point of the movie which is achieving inner peace.

Po is practicing Wu-Wei and mastering inner peace

Wu-Wei is another taoist principle shown in the movie. Wu-Wei is the cultivation of the mind, or the flow of life and it falls in directly with peace, as one of the movies main focuses is the discovery of this peacefulness. Along with filial piety and yin and yang, this is also a very important part of taoism. Being the main focus, all of the other principles can be put into this more general category.

I would recommend this experience to a future 8th grader. This experience was not only fun to watch, but it is also full of examples of Chinese culture. I enjoyed the comedy that was applied to this movie and would hope that future students would get to enjoy this as well.

Credits:

Created with images by MAMJODH - "Yin-Yang Golden Ring and Blue Mosaic - computer generated image"

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