Po’s call comes in the form of a piercing gong ringing over the valley. He immediately ascertains the “Dragon Warrior” is to be chosen, and, going against his father’s orders to serve noodles, rushes to the Jade Palace, anxiously anticipating the final decision. After a fateful incident involving a chair loaded with fireworks, Po finally lands in the walls of the palace, after he was earlier unable to get inside the palace doors before they closed. Dizzy and startled, Po wakes up to find the finger of the great tortoise Master Oogway pointed right at him. Gasps go out as everyone present realizes Po has been chosen to become the great “Dragon Warrior.” As the celebrations begin, Master Shifu, a red panda who eventually becomes Po’s mentor, begs Master Oogway to reconsider his decision...
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... and Shifu lay down next to each other, until Po says, “‘Want to get something to eat?’” (Kung Fu Panda 2008). Shifu responds, sighing, “‘Yeah”’ (Kung Fu Panda 2008).
Kung Fu Panda is a pristine example of the Hero’s Journey. As the viewer follows Po’s journey, it is very easy to identify each stage of the journey and see how these stages transform Po from a lazy slug into a ninja-like warrior, calling out his catch phrase “‘Skadoosh!’” as he demonstrates his supreme kung-fu abilities (Kung Fu Panda 2008). He gains self-confidence in his abilities, using his newly discovered inner strength to rise above his obstacles. However, the film’s ending is just the beginning for Po. He can now use his knowledge and his training to defend the Valley of Peace and all of China with the help of his now-comrades and greatest allies, the Furious Five and Master Shifu.
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