Even Dragon Warriors have to find their sense of inner peace, no matter how ill-suited for the task they may be. After three epic adventures, “Kung Fu Panda 4” looks set to kick things up a notch or two as Po faces his biggest and most formidable threat yet.
In a premise that actually seems to take the nearly decade-long hiatus into consideration, Po is now hand-picked to the position of Spiritual Leader after a shockingly effective run as Dragon Warrior. But, as /Film reported earlier this year from CinemaCon, that promotion means picking his own replacement in the form of the fox Zhen (voiced by franchise newcomer Awkwafina). Such plans are complicated with the arrival of the Chameleon, a shapeshifting new antagonist (Viola Davis) whose plan involves summoning all the master villains Po previously defeated and sent to the spirit realm. Nothing short of a grand team-up between the buddy comedy duo of Po and Zhen, along with returning figures like Shifu, Mr. Ping, Li, and Tai Lung can hope to save the day. Excitingly, Ke Huy Quan also joins the cast as Han, leader of the Den of Thieves.
“Kung Fu Panda 4” comes from director Mike Mitchell (known for “Trolls” and “Shrek Forever After”) and co-director Stephanie Ma Stine (“She Ra and the Princesses of Power”) from a script by franchise veteran writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. The latest installment of the over $1 billion-grossing franchise comes to theaters on March 8, 2024.