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Kung Fu Panda 4: Time of Courage is a 2022 3D American computer-animated comedy-drama martial arts film, directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, produced by DreamWorks Animation, and distributed by Universal Pictures. It is the sequel to the 2016 film Kung Fu Panda 3 and is the fourth installment in the Kung Fu Panda franchise.

Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, and Michelle Yeoh reprise their roles from the previous films. They are joined by Mark Hamill, Kathy Bates, Simon Pegg, and Cliff Curtis. Danny Cooksey reprises his character from the television series. In the film Po and the Furious Five go up against their biggest enemy yet, Blaze, who has the power to control the minds of everyone in China. He traps Po, Shifu, The Furious 5, and Peng in their worst nightmares and it's up to them to conquer their fears and take him down once and for all.

The film was released in theaters June 28th, 2022 in Real D 3D and Digital 3D. Kung Fu Panda 4: Time of Courage became the highest grossing animated film of that year (like its predecessors Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2). The Film won an Oscar for the 2022 Oscar for Best Animation and was even nominated a Cannes Award for Outstanding Animated Film.

Plot

In a deep chamber a dark entity named Empress (Kathy Bates) lurks among the tombs and opens up a coffin and resurrects and elderly black panther named Blaze (Mark Hamill). Empress gives Blaze the power to control minds so he can build his own empire.

Not far from Valley of Peace, Po (Jack Black) and the Furious Five save a pottery village from being destroyed by a group of deadly bandits who seriously injure Viper (Lucy Liu). That night both Po and Viper have nightmares that both had a recurring theme in them, the death of loved ones. When both feel that this is some kind of premonition they contact the Soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh). She tells all the masters that she senses a great power in the Emperial district in China and feels it's from the work of Blaze, a long dead black panther who was a selfish and cruel Emperor. Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) agrees that he, Po, and the Five will go after Blaze and stop his chance of taking over the Chinese Empire, much to the dismay of Mr. Ping (James Hong).

Along their journey they come across Peng (Danny Cooksey), an old friend of the group. Once he hears the news about Blaze he decides to join Po and the others to help take him on. Meanwhile, elsewhere Empress and Ember (Simon Pegg) discuss with the Underworld rulers for their actions in awakening Blaze, Empress states that she awakened Blaze so he can take back the Chinese Empire and gave him special powers to do so, but she only did it so that when she is strong enough to break free from the underworld she could easily take the Empire from him, since he trusts her, and free every spirit from the Underworld. The idea is agreed by the rulers.

Blaze manages to take over the Empire and ultimately sends all the leaders into their personal nightmares for eternity Po and the others make it outside the Emperial City, where the Chinese Empire resides. They come across General Bison (Cliff Curtis) and his army, Po convinces the general to let his army join them in battling Blaze. Blaze, sensing Po and the others, manipulates General Bison's mind to convince him that Po and the others are dangerous threats. The general suddenly orders his army against Po and the others, they try to outfight the soldiers but unfortunately they are surrounded and taken prisoner.

Once the group is brought to Blaze, they are interrogated. After some time Blaze sends all of them into their own personal nightmares. Each one of the group members are forced to deal with the nightmares that begin to drive them insane. Luckily Po manages to use his Chi to a different kind of level where he begins to communicate with everyone telepathically. He encourages everyone to fight back against their nightmares. Tigress (Angelina Jolie) is able to overcome her fear of being left alone in the world with no one who loves her, Peng is able to beat his uncle Tai Lung in his nightmare, Mantis (Seth Rogen) and Monkey (Jackie Chan) overcome their nightmares of one another's death, Viper and Po overcome their fear of their parents hating them and tossing them away forever, Shifu battles past demons and mistakes that have been taking toll on his life. Everyone manages to free themselves of their nightmare with the exception of Crane (David Cross). Crane is stuck in a nightmare where he is the only one out of all of them to have survived the attack against Tai Lung, Shen, and Kai. Po telepathically encourages Crane to overcome his fears, Crane decides to quit being afraid and overcomes his fears, because of this he manages to escape.

Po offers half of his Chi to the others and they battle Blaze, who also proves to be valuable fighter. After a major fight everyone manages to defeat Blaze and save the Empire. Unfortunately Empress and Ember have gained enough power to return from the Underworld and easily defeat the warriors. Tigress and Monkey become seriously injured during the fight, which forces everyone to flee the palace and the Imperial City. Empress and Ember take over the Empire and bring every spirit from the Underworld to the surface.

In the woods outside the City the group are forced into hiding. Each feeling distraught and ashamed of not saving the Empire. Tigress and Po discuss the future for the warriors with both declaring that they cannot stop fighting no matter what and will be ready soon enough to save all of China.

Cast

  • Jack Black as Po, an energetic, yet accident-prone, giant Panda who became the Dragon Warrior and protects the Valley Of Peace.
  • Angelina Jolie as Tigress, the South China tiger leader of the Furious Five, who is Shifu's adopted daughter and Po's semi-love interest.
  • Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu, the elderly and stern red panda kung fu master to the Furious Five, Po, and later Peng.
  • Mark Hamill as Blaze, a former deceased Black Panther who was once emperor that was brought back to life by an unknown entity and given the power to control minds and take back the Chinese Empire.
  • Jackie Chan as Monkey, a golden snub-nosed monkey and member of the Furious Five; he has an easygoing attitude and he is adept with a staff.
  • Lucy Liu as Viper, a green tree viper and a member of the Furious Five, she is kind and the most good-natured member of the Five.
  • Seth Rogen as Mantis, a Chinese mantis and a member of the Furious Five, he is extremely strong for his size and is also experienced in acupuncture.
  • David Cross as Crane, a red-crowed crane and a member of the Furious Five; he is pragmatic, has a dry sense of humor, and harbors secret feelings for Viper.
  • Danny Cooksey as Peng, is the nephew of Tai Lung, who left his life as an assistant potter and took to traveling as a self-taught prodigy in the martial arts. He is good friends with Po and the Five and is later taken under their wing to train with them at the Palace.
  • James Hong as Mr. Ping, Po's adoptive father who is a happy-to-lucky Chinese goose who runs a noodle restaurant.
  • Michelle Yeoh as Soothsayer, an aged goat who was named for her unique gifts and abilitie, she meets up with Po and the others and gives them information on Blaze's past and what he is capable of.
  • Kathy Bates as Empress, an entity who brought Blaze back to life and is secretly planning on something devious.
  • Simon Pegg as Ember, Empress's brother, who is a selfish and arrogant entity who loathes others.
  • Cliff Curtis as General Bison, a general for an army of soldiers who is brainwashed by Empress into believing that Po, The Five, and anyone associated with them is a threat.

Production

Release

The Film was released in the U.S on June 28th, 2022 and was released in other countries on June 29th, 2022.

Reception

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