The Kung Fu Panda series, which first screened in 2008, tells the tale of a bumbling panda named Po (played by Jack Black) who taps into his latent skill as a martial arts prodigy. Featuring a blend of comedy, vibrant animation, and energetic action, the Kung Fu Panda franchise established itself as one of Dreamworks’ major triumphs.

Despite the years that have passed since the initial film, Kung Fu Panda has managed to stay popular through affiliated TV shows, video games, and amusement park rides, among other platforms. Counter to other animated series that generally lose popularity over the years, the Kung Fu Panda trilogy has upheld its standing among critics, with each movie raking in over $500 million in box office sales.

To capture authentic kung fu moves, head of character animation Sean Sexton, who has a background in Taekwondo and Hapkido, integrated real-world mechanics into Po’s movements. Collaboration with a stunt choreographer and performers provided precise reference footage for Sexton’s team to blend with animation.

KUNG FU PANDA 4 opens at South African Cinemas on Friday, 22 March 2024 – just in time for the Easter school holidays.

Kung Fu Panda 4
Po (Jack Black) in DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4, directed by Mike Mitchell.

Kung Fu Panda 4 Cast

Jack Black will return to voice Po, Awkwafina has been added to the cast as Zhen, a cunning thief who is mentored by Po to become the latest Dragon Warrior. Oscar winners Viola Davis and Ke Huye Quan will also be part of the cast, joining her as Chameleon and Han, respectively. The newest antagonist in Kung Fu Panda 4 is Davis’ Chameleon, a shape-changing villain who mimics the characteristics of Po’s previous foes. During December 2023, the complete Furious Five, along with Master Shifu and Mr Ping, were announced to be coming back for Kung Fu Panda 4, although just two actors were officially verified.

Given that the director has confirmed the return of the Furious Five, it’s highly likely that the actors will also be returning, but as this is teased as an ‘appearance’, it may be that the characters have only brief, non-speaking roles and the actors themselves are not going to be back for this installment.

In Kung Fu Panda 4, the set pieces and locations explored by Po and Zhen are more expansive than ever before. “This immense scale triggers a change in Po, making him realize he was perhaps a big fish in a small pond,” Stephanie Ma Stine, co-director says. “As he explores this vast new world, he discovers the diversity of people and embraces the sub-theme that the world is not black and white. It’s a journey that leads Po to wisdom, seeing beyond the simplistic hero-villain narrative, a realization mirrored in Zhen, a grey Corsac fox representing the shades of grey in the world.”

Kung Fu Panda 4 Trailer

Director: Mike Mitchell, Stephanie Stine

Cast: Jack Black, Awkwafina, Viola Davis, Dustin Hoffman, James Hong, Bryan Cranston, Ian McShane, Ke Huy Quan

Rating: PG

Genres: Action, Adventure, Animation, Martial Arts

Studio(s): DreamWorks Animation

Distributor(s): Universal Pictures

Music: Hans Zimmer, Steve Mazzaro

Get Your Tickets Below:

More from Everyone Gaming