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Film Theory: Kung Fu Panda, The REAL Reason Po is the Chosen One!

Film Theory: Kung Fu Panda, The REAL Reason Po is the Chosen One!

panda

s man who doesn't love

panda

s they're already legendary for their sneezes and their reactions to sneezes but they also love slides playing in leaves and eating 10 to 14 hours every day i mean i'm not necessarily one for spirit animals but uh that panda lifestyle sounds awfully relatable to me but you know who doesn't love pandas a surprising number of naturalists and economists who write articles with not-so-cuddly titles like why i hate pandas and you should too and humans should stop meddling with pandas and let them die and pandas aren't cute they're death-loving oxygen thieves yikes i mean sure we do spend a lot of conservation money on animals that seem uninterested in mating for the survival of their own species but ask yourself this if we let pandas die who is going to become the dragon warrior to save all of china yeah now you see how important pandas are hello internet welcome to

film

theory

the show that studies martial arts footage in super slow motion to make sure that everyone is in fact

kung

fu fighting rather than like you know judo fighting or kepura fighting or krav maga fighting dear viewer if you've been on the cinematic journey that i call

film

theory

for more than a few episodes you already know my would be creepy if it weren't my job level obsession with kids movies but now it's even less creepy because i've got myself a toddler and i can spend quality time with my son watching something that we can both enjoy well bonus still getting my work done on the side multitasking for the win our most recent father-son feature

kung

fu panda my son loved the movie but as any of you who've ever been around a toddler know little kids are prototheorists who ask a lot of questions luckily his questions so far have been pretty simple what's that a panda what's he doing kung fu boom nailing it but as it gets older those questions are going to start to get more sophisticated how is the panda such a good fighter why did oogway choose poe to be the dragon warrior to save the valley in the first place as opposed to literally anyone else why do all the animals have themselves creepy human teeth hmm

reason

able questions all future version of my son and while i can't answer the third one today i do want to cover the first two why is poe of all the animals the dragon warrior what makes poe so special you ever notice that it never

real

ly gets that solid of an explanation in the movie in a fictional world where there's already plenty of other highly skilled and trained warriors what makes this random panda the

chosen

one oh there's a

reason

and that reason is getting this thing in the chinese theater so i can make boatloads of cash and what's become the most important theatrical market in the world but the cynical

real

ities of filmmaking aside i do believe that there is also a reason in universe for why poe is the perfect candidate above and beyond everyone else and it's not what you'd expect so shove as many dumplings in your mouth as you can and rest those comment fingers of fury we're jump kicking into the world of kung fu panda skadoosh when master oogway determines that poe is in fact a dragon warrior a mythical hero he foretold would one day save the valley and gain limitless power most of the other characters were skeptical that poe could possibly be a great warrior for one main reason his body type they're not exactly subtle about it either look at you this fat flavions i'm in this ridiculous belly now this kind of stuff was probably my least favorite part of kung fu panda because it's perpetuating some negative stereotypes about bodies that just flat out aren't true the idea that you have to have yourself six-pack abs in order to be a good athlete or a good fighter isn't just biased it's actually scientifically inaccurate and no i'm not just talking about sumo wrestlers here for instance in 2019 the heavyweight boxing champion of the world was this guy anthony joshua and he faced off against this guy andy ruiz jr anthony joshua looks like what we've been conditioned to think that an elite athlete should look like and andy ruiz doesn't but since i'm bringing this up you probably know how this story is gonna end ruiz knocked joshua down four times throughout the fight ultimately winning by tko that's some technical knockout for those of you who've never played punch out before sure they had themselves a rematch that anthony joshua won by decision but andy ruiz has 33 wins in the ring and only two defeats as a professional boxer so it's not like he's some nobody who just threw one lucky punch sports nutritionist dr mayor ranchurtis said after the fight that ruiz's additional mass was actually working to his advantage and that's simple physics since force is mass times acceleration more mass behind the punch means a stronger punch ruiz is also not the only elite fighter with this sort of body type this is daniel cormier one of only a handful of mixed martial artists ever to hold the championship in multiple different weight classes serena williams has faced all sorts of criticisms about her body mainly that she's too muscular to play tennis which let's be real you're too muscular to be an athlete is probably one of the dumbest of dumb takes but no figure she's almost undoubtedly the greatest woman's tennis player in history we could do this all day the point is that looking at someone's body shape tells you nothing about their physical skill their flexibility strength speed balance or any other attribute that actually matters in athletic performance can poe be the dragon warrior despite not having washboard abs and giant biceps of course he can and in terms of how much strength he can put behind his strikes his weight may actually be acting as an advantage there's also an argument to be made that poe's body type makes him a better warrior not just because he can inflict more damage but also because he can absorb more damage apparently pandas fall out of trees all the time and according to zookeepers don't usually get injured as much as they get embarrassed just when i thought pandas couldn't get any more relatable anyway science suggests that their added body fat might be helping them avoid injury when this happens a 2003 study found that higher levels of subcutaneous fat quote was associated with significantly decreased injury for people in car accidents a study from leeds beckett university also demonstrated that overweight individuals had a higher pressure pain tolerance than those whose body mass indexes were in the normal range and this isn't just me randomly applying real world science to a fictional movie we see it actively play out in the films in kung fu panda 2 ho takes a blast from lord shen's canon at nearly point-blank range and he manages to survive it because it hits him in his more cushioned midsection and in the original kung fu panda the snow leopard tai lung's special attack looks like it affects his opponent's nerves as he uses it to paralyze the furious 5. but poe is immune to that attack in his final battle and instead of being paralyzed by it he just gets tickled given mantis's difficulty finding pose pressure points earlier in the movie due to his returned physique it appears that carrying a few more lbs's is poe's secret offensive and defensive weapon but matpat aren't pandas super low energy and lazy wouldn't that make poe a terrible fighter yes the letter to the editor that we seem to get every episode it's true that normal pandas have low metabolic rates and are seen as relatively slow moving and lazy but poe isn't a normal panda see the main reason that pandas have such slow metabolisms is that their diets are horribly inefficient pandas have short digestive tracts which is perfect for eating meat but instead they spend 10 plus hours per day eating bamboo to get their nutritional needs and then because they can't digest it all that well they have to poop about 40 times a day you heard that right 40 batches of panda pellets per day shaman really should have been using pandas on all those ad campaigns but on a more chemical level it means that pandas have extremely low levels of the hormone tyrosine which regulates thyroid function and things like energy usage but you'll notice that poe's diet isn't bamboo it's well everything else especially dumplings and bean buns and tofu all the things that mr ping serves and wouldn't you know it meat soybeans and other legumes are all the foods that are highest in tyrosine so it's likely that po is eating a diet that both will make him much more energetic than the normal panda while also saving him time on chewing wood and clogging a septic tank maybe that diet is just what we needed to turn an ordinary panda into a martial arts master so that's all well and good poe's body type is actually helping him attack with more force and cushion blows more easily his special diet is making him more energetic than your average panda but still why didn't oogway just choose one of the furious five as a dragon warrior i mean this one has always bugged me since you know they were all seasoned kung fu experts to begin with and poe was not so i did some digging and realized that while yes they all knew kung fu they didn't know the right kind of kung fu see calling kung fu only one thing is like saying basketball and water polo are the same sport because in both you're trying to throw a ball into a net there are a ton of different styles of kung fu including the shaolin animal styles what are five of the most common animal styles provided you're not including in and out secret menu i bet you can guess tiger monkey crane snake and mantis just like we see in the movie but you were wondering why there was a random mantis as part of the team huh well now you know it's a dedicated style of kung fu each of these styles is used by its corresponding member of the furious five but none of them in particular use another common animal style the dragon style now there's no such thing as panda style in the real world but poe actually has some instincts that would help him utilize that dragon style most effectively one of the defining elements of dragon style kung fu is the dragon step which moves in this unconventional zigzag kind of dance and before po receives any training his instinct is to use as he calls him his crazy feet and given that the dragon style is in many ways a mashup of techniques from all the other animal styles poe is in a great position to learn it because we know he's been a super fan of the furious five since the beginning he's been studying slash practicing their techniques in his bedroom since day one it's one of the first things that we know about him each member of the furious five can have their own specialization but by learning from all of them poe is laying the groundwork to become the dragon warrior master without ever realizing it in fact oogway kind of tells us this at the end of kung fu panda 3 that his vision for the dragon warrior was someone who could serve as a sort of connecting point on the first day we met i saw the future of kung fu and the past i saw the panda who could unite them both that is why i chose you po both sides of the yin and yang oogway ari knew from his own experience that pandas had the ability to master chi the spiritual elements of kung fu but his mention of yin and yang here is relevant even though oogway's first impression of poe is that he's a buffoon who just crash landed in front of him he sees the opposing side that is pose potential that's why when oogway laid eyes on what appeared to be a clumsy unassuming panda he knew that inside was also a graceful and powerful dragon unless when oogway says that he saw both sides of the yin and yang he means po was black and white and his fur made him literally look like a yin yang sign not the whole body shape thing and mastering different styles and nah that's definitely not that thing it was clearly the body shape and the diet and his super phantom of the furious five that made him the perfect dragon warrior oh and uh also the whole make money in china thing that one's that one's actually probably the most important but hey that's just a theory a film theory and fun fact you know i was able to watch kung fu panda in order to make this theory with the help of our sponsor for today's episode nordvpn that is not a joke this is a true story so for years i've been telling you guys about how nord protects your privacy online with its military military-grade encryption in fact your information is double encrypted for increased anonymity and it works across all your different devices which is super important for something like your phone when you're using unsecured networks but here's a real-world example of how i used nord for this very episode kung fu panda isn't streaming here in the us or i guess it is but it's streaming on hbo max and i've been really reticent to get hbo max because i refused to get yet another subscription service so i used nord to switch to a different server literally one click and suddenly it looks like i live in japan where lo and behold kung fu panda 1 and 3 are streaming on netflix but what about kung fu panda 2 well click again and i'm suddenly in the uk where kung fu panda 2 is available alongside a bunch of other dreamworks classics like megamind heck i was even able to find myself a new kung fu panda series i wasn't familiar with secrets of the scroll without nord i would have had to pay for all of those movies which would have cost me anywhere between like 16 bucks on the low low end to at least 35 and let me be clear in that single moment nord paid for itself for the entire year and that was just one weekend for 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film theory kung fu panda the real reason po is the chosen one

Source : The Film Theorists