Why Netflix’s Kung Fu Panda is Darker than Dreamworks Movies

Exclusive: Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight EP Peter Hastings explains why this series is darker than previous DreamWorks movies and TV shows.

Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight EP Peter Hastings explains why the series is darker than the DreamWorks films. DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda franchise began in 2008 with a feature film in which the bumbling panda Po saved his valley and impressed martial arts trainer Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). The film was a critical and commercial success, with its popularity fueled by two sequels, Kung Fu Panda 2 in 2011 and Kung Fu Panda 3 in 2016, both of which were major successes. In all of the films, Jack Black voiced the anthropomorphic protagonist, although in the animated series Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness and Kung Fu Panda: Paws of Destiny, Mick Wingert took over voice acting duties. Now, however, Black is set to voice Poe again in an upcoming Netflix animated series, marking his first return to the franchise since 2016.

Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight will release on Netflix on July 14, 2022. In it, Po will embark on his final adventure, traveling the world in search of redemption and justice. On his new mission, Po will team up with returning characters such as his father, Mr. Ping (James Hong), but will mostly be accompanied by the simple knight English Bear Strayblade, voiced by British singer Rita. Ora. Last month, the trailer for Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight featured Po’s new adventure, and it featured the same fun mix of humor and action that is the hallmark of the franchise. However, it looks like the show will also include some deep and intense scenes.

Now, in an exclusive chat with Reuters, Hastings explains why Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight is darker than previous DreamWorks movies and TV shows. As the EP explains, he incorporated more serious and introspective elements into the show to accommodate the transformative perspectives of television. At the core is the same fun, fun action. But some arcs are more thoroughly explored and the show more emotional than any other project in the Kung Fu Panda franchise. Read what Hastings said below.

Because of the changing face of television, we are becoming a little more mature and a little deeper. We had dark moments in this series, as well as all the hilarious fight scenes that we usually have, so it was very interesting for me to bring a lot more emotion into it. Perhaps more emotions than Legends of Awesomeness. There are more dangers.

Of course, audiences have evolved to be more receptive to evocative and sentimental stories that leave an impression. And the lack of depth is what is often cited as a problem with Kung Fu Panda TV shows and movies. In particular, the previous two anime series, while entertaining, failed to stand out from the myriad of TV shows, and their cliché-heavy storytelling didn’t necessarily generate important discussions. So the right approach for Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight is to include dark storylines as they not only complement character development but also keep the show relevant to viewers who may be relevant to the circumstances some of the characters face. .

As shown in the trailer for Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight, part of the series will focus on the consequences of fame as well as the responsibility that comes with being a hero. Po may have been a Dragonlord before, but now he’s been stripped of his title, which will likely put him in a predicament. Also, besides the two evil weapon-hunting weasels, Veruca and Klaus, there is a mysterious character who seems to follow Po, and her origins and backstory are also causing fan intrigue. However, how Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight approaches its serious storylines and how viewers react to it won’t be clear until the series hits Netflix.

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