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Continuing The Journey
Even with all of the technological advances, the addition of elevated action and a larger scale, plus the visual impact of 3D, "Kung Fu Panda 2” is still the journey of one dreamer named Po.

Jonathan Aibel muses, "Most of us aren't pandas who are gonna become kung fu masters, but we all have secret dreams, and feel, for whatever reason, that we can't do what we really want to do because maybe other people are telling us we're not good enough. So I think it's the vulnerability of the character of Po and the fact that he never gives up—and ultimately succeeds—that makes this story so relatable.” Melissa Cobb continues, "And still at the center of it, Po is still Po. He's better at kung fu, but he's still a little bit goofy, at times a little bit clumsy, has a large appetite, and sometimes his enthusiasm outweighs his ability. But whatever situation he gets himself into, the audience identifies and just has fun watching it all play out.”

For director Nelson, it is her continuing communal journey with like-minded artists that brings her back to Po's story. She closes, "We've been through a long, long span of panda years together, and we all know the characters. We know the movie and we're all very protective of making sure that it's done well. Everybody's just so passionate about it. It's really a treat to work with so many people who personally take it upon themselves to make a great product. You don't have to ask. They will say, ‘Well, that could be better, in my opinion, so I'm going to keep working on it,' even if you don't ask for it. They're just honor-bound to make this really great. And so it's just wonderful. They're great people, without ego, and the movie always comes first. It really is about excellence of self and the contribution of that to a shared goal.”

Jack Black adds, "It all sorta comes full circle. I've been playing this character now for about five years, giving kids something to have fun with, and also, to learn that just giving it your all is what is asked. You can't pre-judge how good you're going to be at something—you can defeat yourself before you ever get out of the gate. But you just go for it.”


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