Kung Fu Panda Movie Poster

Trivia for Kung Fu Panda

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  • The Kung Fu and Wuxia convention, where attacks on the correct nerve and Chi points can cause paralysis and other effects, is adopted, although it is not explained in the movie, and the jade figurine topped sticks on the shell worn on the imprisoned Tai Lung are positioned at the traditional Chi energy points of the body. The sticks are intended to keep the villain from accessing the power from those points, which is why he was first concerned about removing them before attempting to break his chains.
  • The individual fighting styles of the Furious Five members (Crane, Mantis, Tiger, Monkey, and Viper) are actual Kung Fu styles modelled after the particular animals. Po's fighting style is modelled after bear-style Kung Fu.
  • (At around nineteen minutes) The scene when Po enters the Jade palace and is amazed by all the relics is based on one of the directors' first experience entering the Skywalker Ranch of George Lucas, the place where all the props from the Star Wars movies can be found.
  • Po employs the bear-style of Kung Fu in his showdown with Tai Lung.
  • One character that needed revisions was Tai Lung, who continually seemed too sympathetic as the villain of the story. As a result, the producers included the sequence that illustrates the story Tigress tells about Tai Lung's betrayal of his father's principles, and his rampage after being refused the Dragon Scroll, to make him sufficiently despicable to the audience. By contrast, Po was refined by Jack Black and the writers from an unpleasant, obsessed fan who unsettled his heroes to an affable martial arts lore devotee, painfully self-aware of his inadequacies.
  • The opening scene is an homage to Japanese animé, as both directors are big fan of the genre. They wanted to distinguish the opening dream sequence, so it was hand drawn, whereas the rest of the film (with the further exception of the animation in the end credits) was CGI.
  • WILHELM SCREAM: (At around thirty-three minutes) When Tai Lung is escaping prison and is hitting the Rhino guards with a mace. He flings a guard into the air, and when he kicks the guard through the door, just before he lands, you hear it.
  • The characters of K.G. Shaw (Kyle Gass) and J.R. Shaw (J.R. Reed) are a reference to The Shaw Brothers Creative Group, who created many 1970s Kung Fu movies. Tai Lung is named after Shaw star Lung Ti.
  • Shifu's Chinese name, as shown in the end credits, means "Teacher-Master" ("Shi-fu" in Pinyin transliteration). Shifu is a red panda, but with a lot more white fur than red.
  • Oogway's Chinese name, as shown in the end credits, means "Tortoise" ("Wu-gui" in Pinyin transliteration). Oogway is a tortoise and often wears a cassock with the markings of a stylized tai-ji/tai-chi fish diagram on his back.
  • According to his online diary, Jackie Chan recorded his voice-overs during a single five-hour recording session in Los Angeles on October 15, 2007. He also recorded his lines for the Mandarin and Cantonese versions.
  • Tai Lung's Chinese name, as shown in the end credits, means "Big or Great Dragon" ("Da-long" in Pinyin transliteration). Tai Lung is a snow leopard, which is why he is white with a long bushy tail and rosette markings.
  • The code title used during production for this movie was "Daydreamer".
  • The circular marking on Mantis' back contains the stylized rendering of a Chinese art character for "longevity" ("Shou" in Pinyin transliteration), which is commonly used in paper cuttings, wooden panels, silk prints, et cetera.
  • Dustin Hoffman's contract included a stipulation which allowed him to do additional voice recording sessions without hindrance, should he be unsatisfied with his performance. Beyond the contract, Hoffman also tutored Jack Black on his performance in the nighttime stairway argument scene.
  • According to an interview with James Hong, his father owned a noodle shop. When the producers found out about this, they incorporated it into his character, Mr. Ping.
  • Jackie Chan's signature jump, kick, and yell (as The Monkey) is similar to the animated intro for USA Network's Horror Kung-Fu Theatre (1990).
  • The first DreamWorks Animation movie to be released in IMAX.
  • The name of the prison is "Chor Ghom Prison". "Chor Ghom" is Cantonese for "go to prison" or to literally "sit in prison".
  • (At around five minutes) When Po's father gives him noodle soup for the tables, he says that they go to four different numbers: two, five, seven, and twelve. There is a pattern to these numbers: the number added to the previous number equals the next number. For instance, 2+5=7, 5+7=12.
  • Baseball player Pablo Sandoval earned the nickname of "Kung Fu Panda" after leaping around a tag at home plate against the Dodgers on September 19, 2008. Teammate Barry Zito commented that he thought that Sandoval looked like the Kung Fu Panda in avoiding the tag.
  • This movie took four years to make.
  • The film was originally going to be a spoof of the Kung Fu genre, but one of the directors, John Stevenson, wanted to have a blend of comedy and action to make this movie more epic, saying, "I wasn't interested in making fun of martial arts movies, because I really think they can be great films. They can be as good as any genre movie when they're done properly."
  • To get the ambiance of the movie, production designer Raymond Zibach and art director Heng Tang spent several years researching Chinese art and Kung Fu movies. This effort, combined with the rest of the crew's extensive research and knowledge of Chinese culture, so impressed the Chinese that there were meetings by official government cultural bodies to discuss why their own country has not produced animated movies of such quality themselves.
  • According to visual effects supervisor Markus Manninen, the computer animation used throughout the film was more complex than anything DreamWorks had done before.
  • The animators took a six-hour kung fu class to get an idea of the movie's action.
  • The filmmakers cite the martial arts movies Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Hero (2002), House of Flying Daggers (2004), and most of all, the action comedy Kung Fu Hustle (2004), as influences on this movie.
  • (At around one hour and fourteen minutes) When Tai Lung asks Po, "What are you gonna do, big guy? Sit on me?" the question becomes prophetic. Later, when the two are tumbling down the stairs, Po does indeed sit on Tai Lung's head.
  • Jack Black was nearly forty-years-old when he voiced the young Po.
  • Po's adoptive goose father, Mr. Ping, is never mentioned by name in this movie, but he is in the sequels.
  • As with most DreamWorks animated movies, Hans Zimmer (collaborating with John Powell this time) scored this movie. He visited China to absorb the culture and get to know the China National Symphony Orchestra as part of his preparation.
  • The idea for this movie was conceived by story artist Jed Diffenderfer, but was pitched by DreamWorks animation executive Michael Lachance as his own. Diffenderfer was let go as a part of the usual layoffs associated with film wraps but was hired back when existing creative heads could not reproduce the Kung Fu Panda story style. The original story reel can be found on Diffenderfer's website.
  • The main enemy in Po's dream (at the beginning) turned out to be Kai, the main villain in Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016), and the wolves turned out to be the Wolf Army from Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011).
  • This is the second DreamWorks Animation movie to feature Jack Black (Po) and Angelina Jolie (Tigress). The first being Shark Tale (2004).
  • The film was released the same year as the 2008 Summer Olympics, taking place in Beijing, China.
  • The third highest grossing film of 2008.
  • After this movie's release, in 2011, there has been a lawsuit where a writer named Terence Dunn had sued DreamWorks Animation for stealing the idea of this movie from him. Dunn alleged that DreamWorks Animation had stolen his pitch for a "spiritual Kung Fu fighting panda bear" which he had sent to a DreamWorks executive in 2001. DreamWorks Animation later denied any wrongdoing, and after a two week trial, the jurors found in favor of DreamWorks.
  • Lucy Liu and Jackie Chan were in Shanghai Noon (2000).
  • The name of "Po" was chosen as an homage to the television series, Kung Fu (1972), and the blind Master Po, as played by Keye Luke.
  • This is the second DreamWorks movie to use someone other than the fishing boy to be sitting on the DreamWorks logo at the start of the movie. In the case of this one, it's a martial arts monkey (not the character named Monkey) who makes his way up not using balloons. The first movie like that being The Cat in the Hat (2003). This would even be the case for the logo variants of later DreamWorks Animation movies in the updated logo introduced in How to Train Your Dragon (2010) (which also had Chris Sanders involved), examples include this movie's sequels.
  • For most of the movie, Shifu calls Po "Panda", much like how he refers to the Furious Five members by their species. He doesn't call him by his real name until the scene where Po is finally given the Dragon Scroll, as well as when Po goes to see him after defeating Tai Lung.
  • First DreamWorks movie to use computer animation and traditional animation (as seen in Po's dream at the start of the movie and during the credits), as well as the first DreamWorks movie to use traditional animation since Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003).
  • This movie, as of 2016, is the only animated movie of DreamWorks that became a franchise to not have a consistent gap between the release of its sequels, since Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) came three years later, and Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) came five years after that. Shrek (2001)'s sequels released three years apart (2001-2010). Madagascar (2005)'s sequels released three and a half years apart (2005-2012). How to Train Your Dragon (2010)'s sequels all released four and a half years apart (2010-2019).
  • Seth Rogen's third animated film after Shrek the Third (2007) and Horton Hears a Who (2008).
  • Originally, Mantis was going to be the hidden secondary antagonist of the movie.
  • When the rope bridge fight scene was conceived by directors Mark Osborne and John Stephenson, the animators protested that they didn't know how to create such a complex sequence. For the directors, that protest was an encouraging sign. It meant that nothing like it had been done before, and thus they were determined to create it.
  • The chopstick fight between Po and Master Shifu is a reference to a similar scene in Fearless Hyena 3 (1980).
  • DreamWorks Animation's second movie to not have any humans, after Shark Tale (2004) (not counting Antz (1998) or Flushed Away (2006) where humans are only seen briefly, and without their faces being shown especially on television screens).
  • James Hong (Mr. Ping) and Jackie Chan (Monkey) appeared in Mulan (1998), (Chan though was only in the Mandarin dub of the movie), which is also a movie that takes place in China.
  • This is the first DreamWorks Animation film to be produced in a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio; all of that company's previous films before this one were produced in 1.85:1.
  • The first DreamWorks Animation movie to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature since Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005).
  • The second DreamWorks Animation movie to be produced in a 2.39:1 aspect ratio after Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002).
  • Tai Lung is the only villain in the Kung Fu Panda franchise to not have an army of his own, unlike Lord Shen and his wolf army and Kai and his Jade Zombie army.
  • Tai Lung is a snow leopard, which, in the real world, is a predator of the Giant Panda (Po) and the Red Panda (Shifu).
  • Though Commander Vachir says that Chor Ghom Prison has one thousand guards, when Tai Lung escapes, he fights against far less than one thousand, even if not all of his escape was shown on-screen.
  • Jack Black's third animated film after Ice Age (2002) and Shark Tale (2004).
  • Jack Black and Seth Rogen appeared in Blue Sky Studios movies. Jack Black appeared in Ice Age (2002), Seth Rogen appeared in Horton Hears a Who (2008).
  • Dustin Hoffman and Michael Clarke Duncan's second collaboration, after the live-action movie Racing Stripes (2005), where they were in the voice-over cast.
  • David Tennant were considered for the role of Po.
  • Robert De Niro were considered for the role of Shifu.
  • Teri Hatcher were considered for the role of Tigress.
  • Kevin Spacey were considered for the role of Tai Lung.
  • Adam Sandler were considered for the role of Monkey.
  • Ray Romano were considered for the role of Mantis.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar were considered for the role of Viper.
  • David Koechner were considered for the role of Crane.
  • Danny DeVito were considered for the role of Mr. Ping.
  • Jeff Garlin were considered for the role of Zeng.
  • Keith David were considered for the role of Commander Vachir.
  • Wayne Knight's fourth theatrically released animated film after Hercules (1997), Tarzan (1999), and Toy Story 2 (1999), as well as his first animated film to not be from Disney and his first animated film to be Rated PG by the MPAA.
  • Michael Clarke Duncan's third theatrically released fully animated film after Brother Bear (2003) and Dinotopia: Quest for the Ruby Sunstone (2005), as well as his only computer animated one and only one to be rated PG. It's also his last before his death in 2012.
  • DreamWorks Animation's first film to have Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois involved, as they joined DreamWorks Animation in 2007 after the releases of Shrek the Third (2007) and Bee Movie (2007). They later worked on many projects by DreamWorks Animation as studio members. The two later directed How to Train Your Dragon (2010) and The Croods (2013), respectively. In this film, Sanders and DeBlois worked as artists.
  • This marks the second (and also last) collaboration with writer Chris Sanders and actor Michael Clarke Duncan after Brother Bear (2003).
  • The second collaboration with writer Chris Sanders and composer Hans Zimmer after The Lion King (1994).
  • This marks the second time that writer Chris Sanders has worked on an animated film taking place in China; he previously did so in Mulan (1998).
  • The eleventh computer-animated film to be produced at 2.35:1 after A Bug's Life (1998), The Polar Express (2004), The Incredibles (2004), Cars (2006), Monster House (2006), Happy Feet (2006), TMNT (2007), Battle for Terra (2007), Ratatouille (2007), and Beowulf (2007).
  • The eleventh computer-animated film to feature no humans after A Bug's Life (1998), Dinosaur (2000), Jonah: A Veggietales Movie (2002), Shark Tale (2004), Robots (2005), Chicken Little (2005), Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), Cars (2006), Surf's Up (2007), and Horton Hears a Who! (2008).

Spoilers

  • Pressure points are more difficult to locate on obese people, as shown when Mantis has trouble performing acupuncture on Po. In the end, this served to protect Po from Tai Lung's pressure point attacks.
  • Apparently with the release of Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016), Tai Lung is the only villain not to "die" (he returns sometime in the Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness (2011) television series).
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