‘Kung Fu Panda’ Returns With Fourth Installment and Biggest Villain Yet!

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Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu) Po (Jack Black) and Monkey (Jackie Chan) in 'Kung Fu Panda'

Credit: Dreamworks Animation

More Kung Fu Panda (2008)? Yes, please!

Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu) Po (Jack Black) Crane (David Cross), Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) and Monkey (Jackie Chan) in 'Kung Fu Panda'
Credit: DreamWorks Animation

One of DreamWorks’ most consistently quality works has been the Kung Fu Panda franchise. Another off-the-wall idea, similar to How to Train Your Dragon (2010), was an idea that, from the outset, didn’t seem like it would be that big of a hit: an animated wuxia (martial arts) movie starring Jack Black and using anthropomorphic animals. But it really did work.

How to Train Your Dragon's Toothless (left) and Hiccup (right) sharing meaningful moment
Credit: DreamWorks Animation, Paramount Pictures

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So well, in fact, there have been three feature-length films, three series, and four short films, with another feature-length film on the way. The combination of the classic Hero’s Journey, along with an outstanding ensemble cast in each, has cemented the franchise as a fan-favorite for almost twenty years now.

Jack Black as Po in 'Kung Fu Panda'
Credit: DreamWorks Animation

Over the years, Po (Jack Black), Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Viper (Lucy Liu), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Crane (David Cross), Monkey (Jackie Chan), and Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) have all done battle with such foes as the snow leopard Tai Lung (Ian McShane), the peacock Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), and the bull Kai (J. K. Simmons), among others, each time coming off triumphant, learning more about themselves, and each other.

Ian McShane as Tai Lung in 'Kung Fu Panda'
Credit: DreamWorks Animation

Announced in August of last year, Kung Fu Panda 4 (2024) is one of the more highly anticipated movies coming from DreamWorks Animation, but very little was known about the sequel until just now! DiscussingFilm posted the update to their Twitter account, which gave a brief synopsis of the film, including a new villain!

“‘KUNG FU PANDA 4’ follows Po as he must leave the Valley of Peace and go to the big city. He then comes face-to-face with his biggest threat yet, The Chameleon. #CinemaCon”

While The Chameleon sounds more like a villain Spider-Man has faced, it does give a promising update. It will also be intriguing to see Po (Black) entering a world unlike those audiences have seen before in the “big city,” as, until this point, most settings have been very pastoral. Details beyond those shared above are still sketchy at best, but Jack Black has at least been confirmed to be returning as the Dragon Warrior himself!

Jack Black as Po in 'Kung Fu Panda'
Credit: DreamWorks Animation

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With Black’s recent success as Bowser in The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023), it’s a smart move for DreamWorks to bring him back to one of his most successful voice-acting roles. With any luck, they will also be bringing back the rest of the available cast, and knowing the franchise, they already have someone amazing tapped to play The Chameleon for when the film releases on March 8, 2024!

What do you think of this update? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!

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