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Things We Saw Today: 10th Anniversary of Kung Fu Panda 2 Reminds Me How Great This Movie Is

Kung Fu Panda 2

Sometimes sequels are better than the movie that came before them, and the best example that I can think of—on its 10-year anniversary, coincidentally—is Kung Fu Panda 2 from Dreamworks Animation! While the first movie was about Po accepting his destiny as the chosen one, the second movie in the series is about Po making peace with his past and letting that empower him to move him forward.

That notion was put front and center after the Soothsayer found Po during the second half of the movie. She nursed him back to health, and slowly but surely started helping Po unlock the memories that he had hidden so deep inside of him that they were causing him pain as they came back to the surface. And with every revelation that was made, he started connecting the dots from his past to his future.

And for us, for the viewer, oh, we were trying to hold it together instead of turning into a whimpering mess. Or at least I was trying to hold it together. After all, we see ourselves in the content we consume. And while watching this, all I could think about was the pain that I had suffered in the past at the hands of my abuser and how, like Po, the only way to make peace with my past was by letting it empower me forward.

Back in the movie, as things got more desperate for Po’s family via flashbacks, the Soothsayer advised him to stop fighting it and to let it flow. So he started opening up and working through it. He started facing his past, one ugly bit after ugly bit, until the very moment he understood the sacrifice his mother had made for him to survive and thrive, even if not by her side.

And it might’ve been hard, it might’ve left him panting and trying to catch his breath, but it worked. He faced what he thought was impossible and came out the other side, ready to fight for his found family and for the rest of his story. Because it really is like the Soothsayer says, “Your story may not have such a happy beginning, but that doesn’t make you who you are. It is the rest of your story, who you choose to be.”

Cue the flashbacks of all the wonderful things Po experienced, the family he made along the way, and the battles he won by being himself. Also, cue the tears because Kung Fu Panda 2 had a woman thinking about where she’s come from and where she’s going, through a children’s movie, no less. And the Soothsayer tied it all together, and made me think of myself when she asked, “So, who are you, panda?”

His response of “I am Po” resonated in a way no other hero’s journey has. He chose his future at that moment for himself and cemented this movie as one of the best out there when it comes to character and story development. And every time I watch this movie, every time I watch this specific scene, I’m reminded of the strength we all have inside and how we all have the power to move forward.

What else did we see out there on the Internet today?

  • Early reviews for the Friends reunion are not great. (via The Daily Beast)
  • Karine Jean-Pierre made history by being the first openly gay woman to deliver White House briefing and we might be crying a little bit. (via The Hill)

Werewolves mashed together with comedy in a little town with a Ranger that just started? Yes, please!

  • We’re really happy that Paramount+ made canon what we already knew when it comes to Phil and Lil’s mom Betty in Rugrats. (via AV Club)
  • Amazon’s anthology series Modern Love gets a season 2 premiere date and we want it now if it means more of Sophie Okonedo (via Deadline)

Howard University honors icon Chadwick Boseman by renaming College of Fine Arts after him. (via The Washington Post)

Happy Wednesday, everybody! You’ve conquered your day!

(image: Dreamworks Animation)

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Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.