Kung Fu Panda History

Kung Fu Panda 3
Kung Fu Panda 3 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by Melissa Cobb
Written by Jonathan Aibel
Glenn Berger
Starring
Music by Hans Zimmer[1]
Edited by Clare Knight
Production
companies
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • January 23, 2016 (China)
  • January 29, 2016 (United States)
  • March 11, 2016 (United Kingdom)
Running time
95 minutes
Country
  • United States
  • China
Language
  • English
  • Mandarin
  • Chinese
Budget $120-140 million
Box office $23.1 million
Kung Fu Panda 3 is a 2016 3D American-Chinese computer-animated action comedy martial arts film, produced by DreamWorks Animation and Oriental DreamWorks, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni. The film was written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, produced by Melissa Cobb, and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro. It is a sequel to the 2011 film Kung Fu Panda 2 and the third installment in the Kung Fu Panda franchise. The film features the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, David Cross, James Hong, Bryan Cranston, Kate Hudson, and J.K. Simmons.
The film received a limited release in China on January 22 for a special 3 hours peak preview and is scheduled to be released day and date starting from January 28 in South Korea and Russia and on January 29 in the United States and Canada in 3D and premium large formats with other markets scheduled to be released in March and April.

Contents

Plot

In the Chinese Spirit Realm, Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) fights against Kai (J. K. Simmons) but willingly gives in and has his chi stolen but not before warning Kai that the Dragon Warrior, Po (Jack Black), will stop him. Kai uses this as a challenge to steal the chi from the Dragon Warrior too and returns to the mortal world using Oogway's chi. Meanwhile, Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) announces his retirement and passes the role of teacher to Po. Po is elated at first, but discovers that teaching kung fu is not as easy as he expected, as the Furious Five members Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Crane (David Cross), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Monkey (Jackie Chan) are injured as a result. Po is demoralized as a teacher, which makes him question who he really is and whether he is the Dragon Warrior. In response, Shifu advises Po that instead of trying to be a teacher, he should try to be himself.
Po heads home to his adoptive father, Mr. Ping (James Hong), at his noodle shop, where a panda named Li Shan (Bryan Cranston) breaks Po's dumpling-eating record. They both soon learn that Li is Po's biological father and they bond with each other, much to Ping's jealousy. After introducing Li to Shifu and his friends, the valley is suddenly attacked by jade statues controlled by Kai. Po notices that some of the statues resemble past Kung Fu masters before the they retreat. The team then learn through research that Kai was Oogway's old friend who fought with him as brothers long ago. When Oogway was injured, Kai carried him until they reached a secret village of pandas, who healed Oogway using their chi. While Oogway learned the way of the chi, Kai was jealous and wanted the same power and ended up betraying Oogway, but was defeated and banished to the spirit realm for 500 years. In order to defeat Kai, Po must learn to channel chi himself, which Li offers to teach him in exchange for going to the secret panda village where Li came from. Po and Li, along with Mr. Ping, travel to the village while Shifu and the Furious Five stay behind. Upon arrival, Po befriends the villagers and becomes infatuated with a ribbon dancer named Mei-Mei (Kate Hudson). Although Po is eager to learn chi, he first learns the life of a panda in the village, which he feels grateful to be a part of. Later, Li talks to Po about remembering his wife and hoping that he won't lose his son again.
After learning that many Kung Fu masters are missing, Shifu sends Crane and Mantis to find Kai but avoid engaging him. Crane and Mantis join with Master Bear, Master Croc and Master Chicken to confront Kai, but one by one they are all easily defeated and have their chi stolen. Kai then arrives at the Jade Palace and destroys it, but not before stealing the chi of Monkey, Viper and Shifu. Tigress escapes to find Po and warns him about Kai. Afraid, Li and the pandas prepare to run away. When Po demands that Li teach him chi, he responds that he doesn't know chi, and that he lied so he wouldn't lose his son again. Infuriated, Po leaves and trains to fight Kai alone. Mr. Ping then comforts Li, admitting that he was worried Li would take Po away as his father. He then realizes that being a part of Po's life was what made Po happy and who he is now, and that as fathers they should be there for him as much as they can.
Tigress confronts Po and tells him he cannot defeat Kai. While Po is relentless at first and refuses to admit it, he eventually gives in and agrees he can't fight Kai alone. However, Li and the villagers decide to stay and ask Po to train them so they can fight back. Po agrees and teaches them using their everyday activities as their assets and begins their plan to save their village. Kai arrives and confronts Po, who had been waiting for him. Kai sends his minions to capture Po, but they are held off by the pandas and Tigress, distracting Kai. The plan works at first, but ultimately fails when Po tries to use the Wuxi finger hold on Kai, who reveals that it can only work on mortals, which he is not. Kai gains the upper hand in their fight, but Po grabs Oogway's chi around Kai's neck and uses the Wuxi finger hold again, this time sending them both to the spirit realm. They fight again, but Kai defeats Po and prepares to take away his chi. Using what they learned from Po and about who they are, Li, Tigress, Mr. Ping and the pandas are able to use their chi to save him. Po becomes a true master of chi and defeats Kai. The Kung Fu masters are freed while in the spirit realm Oogway expresses his happiness to Po about how much he has grown in becoming the Dragon Warrior. By choice, Po returns to the mortal world and is embraced by everyone. They all return to the Jade Palace where they continue practicing their chi.

Cast

Production

Development

In 2010, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that the Kung Fu Panda franchise was planned to have six movies, or "chapters", altogether. In July 2012, Kung Fu Panda 3 was officially confirmed by Bill Damaschke, DWA's chief creative officer.
The film was made as a co-production between DreamWorks Animation and Oriental DreamWorks, a Shanghai-based studio, founded in 2012 as a partnership between DreamWorks Animation and Chinese companies. One third of the film was made in China, and the rest in the United States, at DWA. This was the first time that any major American animated feature film had been co-produced with a Chinese firm. The filmmakers worked closely with SAPPRFT to ensure the film's release in China. As a film with a co-production status in China, it allowed the production companies to circumvent the country's strict import quota and take a greater share of box-office revenue than imported films. To ensure the film's success in China, in addition to the English version, the Chinese version of the film was also fully animated, making them the only versions that will have the characters' lips synchronized with their voices.

Casting

Kung Fu Panda 3 saw the crew from the second film reunite, including director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, producer Melissa Cobb, screenplay writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, and Guillermo del Toro as executive producer. Initially, Nelson was directing the film alone, but by February 2015, Alessandro Carloni had joined her as a co-director. According to the report, Carloni, who was an animation supervisor on the first film and a story artist on the second, joined Nelson following her request to strengthen "the director's bench" to ensure that the film is completed in a timely manner
On April 9, 2013, DreamWorks Animation announced that Rebel Wilson, Bryan Cranston, and Mads Mikkelsen had joined the cast of the film. By April 2015, J.K. Simmons had replaced Mikkelsen, whose character had been rewritten. Five months later, Wilson was replaced by Kate Hudson due to an extended production schedule. The studio had to reanimate previously completed scenes to reflect Hudson's interpretation of the character.
The film's antagonist, Kai, is the first supernatural villain of the Kung Fu Panda series. Described by del Toro as "the most formidable villain yet," the creators wanted him to stand apart from his predecessors.Nelson reasoned: "You can't go brawler because Tai Lung was brawler. You can't go smarter because Shen was smarter. Where can you go? You have to go supernatural, bigger, and even more intimidating."

Music

On July 25, 2014, it was announced that Hans Zimmer would return to score the film. The score includes performances from renowned Asian musicians such as Chinese pianist Lang Lang, Chinese cellist Jian Wang, Erhu virtuoso Karen Hua-Qi Ottosson returned for her 3rd time on Kung Fu Panda 3. This time not only on Erhu but also Zhong Hu and Gao Hu, erhu musician Guo Gan, and Taiwanese pop singer Jay Chou and Canadian-Taiwanese young singer Patrick Brasca. The soundtrack album was released on January 22, 2016. John Powell, who collaborated with Zimmer on the first two films, did not return for the third instalment. A portion of the score includes a melody from the song "I'm So Sorry" by the rock band Imagine Dragons.

Release

In September 2012, it was announced that Kung Fu Panda 3 would be released on March 18, 2016. On April 9, 2013, the film's release date was moved forward to December 23, 2015. In December 2014, the film was moved back to its original release date of March 18, 2016, to avoid competition with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In April 2015, the release date was once again shifted, this time to January 29, 2016. AMC Theatres partnered with Fox and DWA to play the movie in Mandarin at seven theaters and in Spanish at 14 locations in the U.S and Canada meaning there will be a mix of subtitled and dubbed formats of Kung Fu Panda 3. This will mark the first time that AMC is playing a major theatrical release in dubbed/subtitled Mandarin. The film had a day-and-date release starting from January 28 in South Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Jamaica and Puerto Rico and China and the U.S. and Canada on January 29, 2016. Other markets will follow on March and April. According to Deadline.com, the strategy behind such a staggered release was to take advantage of certain opportunistic dates which presented themselves such as the Chinese New Year in February for China.

Reception

Box office

In the United States and Canada, early tracking suggests the film will open to about $40–45 million from 3,955 theaters with Box Office Mojo reporting as high as $53 million opening, which is on par with Kung Fu Panda 2's $47.7 million opening in 2011 but much lower than the orginal film's $60.2 million opening in 2008. However, DreamWorks Animation and Fox are being more conservative suggesting a "mid $40 million" opening. The lower end of the projection was because 4% of all K–12 schools are off per Rentrak. According to digital data monitered and compiled by Moviepilot from various online social activities like Facebook likes, YouTube views, tweets and Google search among others, it predicted an opening of $48–50 million. Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyts at Rentrak said the film, "should land somewhere between the first two installments" noting that after moviegoers – mostly from the East Coast – were affected by the 2016 United States blizzard, patrons, mostly families, would be on the look-out for entertainment movies which Kung Fu Panda 3 delivers. On January 27, two days before the film's release, Fandango reported that Kung Fu Panda 3 was the top advance ticket seller for the weekend, outstripping previous DWA films Home as well as Kung Fu Panda 2 at the same point in their sale cycles. Box office pundits also noted that the film didn't face any serious competition with its counterparts of newly released films such as The Finest Hours and Fifty Shades of Black, as well as holdovers The Revenant and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as all are expected to gross around $10 million. In China, expectations were high for the film with Nancy Tartaglione of Deadline.com reporting a bigger opening weekend than the U.S. and a bigger total gross. Conservative estimates for its Middle Kingdom opening were at $35 million and rising to well upwards of $50 million. Even before the film's official release in China, it was already projected to emerge as the highest-grossing animated film there, a record currently held by Monkey King: Hero Is Back ($153 million), since it had the added benefit of opening a week before the Chinese New Year, as well as Valentine's Day and debuting amidst the school holidays, the Lunar New Year blackout period in which foreign films are banned from entering the state meaning lesser competition and longer legs, and since it has the special privilege to run throughout the period and is also not limited to running 30 days in theaters.
The film was released in China on January 22, 2016 in a limted release, a week before its United States release. It had a 3-hour special sneak preview where it earned $6.4 million from two different versions of the film topping the daily box office charts. This broke the previous Saturday preview record held by Surprise: Journey to the West. Buoyed by good word-of-mouth, it had a single day opening of over $16 million from over 15,000 screens which is the biggest of 2016 thus far and second biggest for an animated movie behind the $18.8 million opening of Minions in 2015 and uncluding previews from its Saturday showings earned a total of $23.1 million (unofficial figure) which is one of the biggest opening and single day gross in China.

Critical response

Kung Fu Panda 3 has received generally positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 79%, based on 72 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Kung Fu Panda 3 boasts the requisite visual splendor, but like its rotund protagonist, this sequel's narrative is also surprisingly nimble, adding up to animated fun for the whole family". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 65 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". In CinemaScore polls, cinema audiences gave the film an average score of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
IGN gave the film score of 8.5 out of 10, saying, "Kung Fu Panda 3 offers a fun-filled, action-packed conclusion to DreamWorks' endearing animated series."

Video game

Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends is a single and multiplayer RPG martial arts video game that features characters from all three Kung Fu Panda films.[47] Developed by Vicious Cycle Software and published by Little Orbit, the game was released on December 1, 2015 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.[48] The Wii U version was released on December 15, 2015.[48]

Possible sequels

On December 3, 2010, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said that perhaps the series could see three more sequels after Kung Fu Panda 3, bringing it to a six-film series.[17]
In January 13, 2016, Collider asked the filmmakers of Kung Fu Panda 3 about the possibility of a fourth film.[49] Co-director Jennifer Yuh Nelson said, "It’s one at a time. We want to make this a perfect jewel, and then we’ll see what happens after that."[49] Co-director Alessandro Carloni said, "With the sequels, we don’t want to try to have them feel open-ended. We want it to feel like a completed journey, and we feel this movie does. And then, if a fantastic story presents itself, great."[49]

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