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Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight

Kung Fu Panda Dragon Knight season 3

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Marsella Evans
Kennedy Unthank
Emily Tsiao

TV Series Review

Kung Fu Panda crashes back onto the screen—the small one this time—in Netflix’s comedic action show. Back to his hilarious antics, Po does damage to his reputation while trying to protect a village and must regain the people’s trust.

How might he do this? Well, villainous weasel siblings, Klaus and Veruca, are after the four powerful Tianshang Weapons, which will allow them to raise an ancient army of the dead. Po must go on a quest around the world to stop them—and anyone else who might use the weapons for their evil plans.

Joining him on his quest are Wandering Blade (a no-nonsense chivalrous warrior), master-thief-slash-con-artist, Rukhmini, and the greatest noodle maker in the world, Po’s dad, Mr. Ping. Blundering Po and his comrades must learn from each other and work together to protect their respective home countries.

The show has a few content concerns. There’s an island full of mages, and we see a couple of characters become possessed and we hear a few Eastern ideas on spirituality. Additionally, Rukhmini, who’s female, reunites with another female partner-in-crime. And though it’s never explicitly stated, contextual clues seem to indicate the two have romantic feelings for each other.

The story also incorporates some slapstick humor and mild violence. But on the positive side, characters also learn about the consequences of lying (and stealing). And the theme of unlikely heroism is continued from the Kung Fu Panda movies.

Episode Reviews

Sept. 7, 2023 – S3, Ep1: “The Trial of Mr. Ping”

Po’s father is accused of breaking the Pirate’s Code. That means Po and his friends must save both him and the Tianshang Weapons from the scallywags.

We see some fistfights and swordfights. The worst outcome consists of a few animals getting knocked out from the fights. Rukhmini tells of how a pirate haven is said to decapitate trespassers. And following a trial which finds Mr. Ping guilty of “treason, theft and arson,” Mr. Ping is sentenced to death by guillotine (not to worry though, his goose isn’t cooked). A kraken throws a man overboard, but he returns unscathed.

Mr. Ping is called the “Soul Reaper.”

Jan. 12, 2023 – S2, Ep1: “The Liar and the Thief”

Po worries about Blade when she takes on an attitude of “no rules” after learning she’ll never succeed in becoming a knight. Rukhmini convinces her old partner to help them steal a magical pendant from a powerful man.

A glimpse of the weasels’ army of the dead shows the creatures with glowing red eyes. Rukhmini wields the Endless Whip of Flame, a magical object that is pretty much what it sounds like. While searching for the Helm of Winds, the evil weasels Klaus and Veruca find their boat flying through the air as the helmet activates its powers as they get closer. A legend says a pendant will lead the wearer to one of the Tianshang weapons.

Characters get into scuffles, though nobody is seriously injured. A woman has fond memories of fights with her old partner that nearly led to their deaths. Rukhmini is disgusted that her hometown is no longer populated by thieves and con artists. She takes it upon herself to steal goods from local merchants until she is caught (though Po manages to get her out of trouble and returns at least one of the stolen objects). Characters lie (and some reap the consequences). Po’s crew plans a heist. Someone flatulates.

Jul. 14, 2022—S1, Ep1: “A Cause for the Paws”

Po is enjoying life as the famous Dragon Warrior, visiting fans and eating delicious food. He embarks on a food tour of China, but he gets caught up in a scuffle over a sacred gauntlet. Po ends up destroying a village and losing the artifact. His reputation is destroyed, but he meets Wandering Blade and wants to join her on her mission to save the world, so that he can prove himself worthy of the Dragon Warrior title again.

His worthiness will be tested by four scheming weasels, who take the gauntlet and are after a handful of other powerful artifacts. During an attempt by the weasels to steal the gauntlet, knives are thrown, though none of them hit any of the characters. The weasels are hit with a large wooden door, but they bounce back and threaten to cook the rhino defenders of the artifact. Po remarks with surprise that Wandering Blade is a girl, and she responds that she is a knight. She violently threatens Po a few times before leaving without Po (after initially telling him they could leave together).

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Marsella Evans 2022 intern
Marsella Evans

Marsella Evans is the Plugged In intern for Summer 2022.

kennedy-unthank
Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”

Emily Tsiao

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her husband indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.

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