Kung Fu Panda 4

Kung Fu Panda 4
Comes across as well as you’d expect for the fourth entry of a long-running animated series.

Kung Fu Panda 4

Release Date: March 8, 2024
Runtime: 01:34
After Po is tapped to become the Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace, he needs to find and train a new Dragon Warrior, while a wicked sorceress plans to re-summon all the master villains whom Po has vanquished to the spirit realm.

Table of Contents

The Dragon Warrior has to find a successor while trying to stop a shape-shifting sorcerous in . Po () discovers from his master Shifu () that the time has come for Po to ascend to the role of the Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace and find a successor to the role of Dragon Warrior. However, Po is reluctant to step down as Dragon Warrior and jumps at the chance to get back into action, after hearing reports of the return of his original nemesis Tai Lung (). However, this turns out to be the work of an all-powerful shapeshifting sorcerous known as The Chameleon () and Po reluctantly teams up with the foxy thief Zhen () to track The Chameleon down.

Kung Fu Panda 4 Synopsis

Kung Fu Panda 4 is the fourth, and presumably final, film in the animated action-adventure series directed by Mike Mitchell (The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Monsters vs Aliens, Shrek Forever After) and co-directed by Stephanie Ma Stine. After fifteen years as the mythical Dragon Warrior, the titular Kung Fu Panda Po is disappointed to discover that the time has come for him to stop kicking butt and move on to a life of spiritual guidance and meditation. As such Po jumps at the chance to go on one final adventure to put a stop to the evil sorcerous The Chameleon.

As Po leaves on this adventure with the thief Zhen, both his adoptive father Mr. Ping () and his birth father LI () begin to worry and follow on their son's trail. Meanwhile, Po and Zhen arrive in Juniper City and nearly instantly catch the attention of the authorities, due to Zhen's status as a wanted thief. As such, they take shelter in the Den of Thieves led by the armadillo Han ().

My Thoughts on Kung Fu Panda 4

Beginning with the original film in 2008, Kung Fu Panda is arguably second only to the Shrek series when it comes to Dreamworks Animation's longest-running franchise. Kung Fu Panda 4 arrives 8 years after 2016's Kung Fu Panda 3 and follows the 2022 Netflix series Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight. Of the original cast of the 2008 film, only Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, James Hong, and Ian McShane, with Bryan Cranston also returning from Kung Fu Panda 3. Noticeably absent are the “Furious Five” voice actors of , Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, and . While the characters do make a brief cameo in the film, it is without dialogue.

The main newcomer to the cast is rapper-turned-actor Awkwafina (Raya and the Last Dragon, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) voicing the thief character of Zhen. Po reluctantly recruits Zhen's help to find The Chameleon and in doing so begins to take her under his wing. However, The Chameleon, voiced by Viola Davis, turns out to be a very cunning foe.

Kung Fu Panda 4 comes across as well as you'd expect for the fourth entry of a long-running animated series. The film is fine enough to distract kids for 90 minutes but doesn't have a deep enough plot to keep adults interested. In fact, the Tenacious D cover of Britney Spears' “Baby One More Time” that plays over the end credits is arguably better than the entire rest of the film.

Trailer for Kung Fu Panda 4

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.