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Kung Fu Panda 4 ending explained

Dreamworks' Kung Fu Panda 4 brings onboard a new villain, lots of new characters, and a couple great twists.

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It’s been eight years since Kung Fu Panda 3 saw our hero Po Ping finally united with his biological father and people. Since then there have been a number of Dreamworks TV shows and specials, but only now are we getting the next installment of the film series. And though it maintains the tone and general skadoosh-y awesomeness of the prior three films, it also includes a lot of new cast members, including one that looks to be a new ongoing member of Po's kung fu crew.

Here’s the full picture.

What happens at the end of Kung Fu Panda 4?

Having spent the film working to face the villainous sorceress the Chameleon (and avoid having to pick a successor for himself as Dragon Warrior), Po Ping finds himself unexpectedly caught in her trap. When he gives his mystic Staff of Wisdom over to his new friend, the fox thief Zhen, to enable her to help break him out, he is shocked to watch her hand it over to the Chameleon instead. It turns out, she’s been playing him the whole time.

The Chameleon uses the staff to open the Spirit Realm and begins to call forth ancient heroes and villains so as to steal their powers, starting with the original film's villain Tai Lung. Meanwhile, having been knocked off a high parapet by the Chameleon, Po finds himself unexpectedly rescued by his adopted father Mr. Ping and biological father Li Shan.

Realizing that his insistence on trying to stay the Dragon Warrior has blinded him, Po decides to go back to confront the Chameleon. A contrite Zhen first tries to stop him, then recruits all her criminal friends to help distract the Chameleon’s guards so that Po might reach her.

Once there, the two do battle. Po finds himself outmatched by the Chameleon, who is now able to shift amongst the bodies and powers of all the kung fu masters she’s taken, and also to merge powers and bodies. All seems lost until Zhen shows up and unlocks her own prodigious kung fu abilities to lay the Chameleon low. Finally Po is able to take the Chameleon down once and for all. Before Tai Lung leaves, he acknowledges that Po was in fact a great choice for Dragon Warrior. He and the other spirits bow with respect to Po, then leave with the Chameleon.

In the end, Po returns to Master Shifu and agrees to take on the role of Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace. He reveals that Zhen will be his replacement as Dragon Warrior. While Shifu meditates on all this, Po takes Zhen to train with the Furious Five.

Who dies in Kung Fu Panda 4?

No one dies at the end of Kung Fu Panda 4. But the Chameleon is dragged to the Spirit World, which is pretty close.

Are there any musical numbers in Kung Fu Panda 4?

While there are no musical numbers in Kung Fu Panda 4, the film’s end sequence does include Jack Black's Tenacious D singing a cover of Britney Spears’ classic “…Baby, One More Time.”

Does Kung Fu Panda 4 have a mid or post credits sequence?

Kung Fu Panda 4 does not have mid or post credit sequence.

Are the Furious Five in Kung Fu Panda 4?

People excited to see the Furious Five again may be disappointed. Early in the film we learn that the Furious Five are each on special missions of their own. At the very end of the film, they do appear together briefly to help train Zhen to be the new Dragon Warrior, but they are not a big part of the movie.

Are there any surprise appearances in Kung Fu Panda 4?

It’s not exactly a surprise for anyone that’s seen the trailer, but Ian McShane does return as first season villain Tai Lung, and becomes the first victim of the Chameleon’s power-absorbing ability.

Are there any big stars in Kung Fu Panda 4?

In addition to normal castmembers Jack Black (Po), Dustin Hoffman (Master Shifu), James Hong (Mr. Ping), and Bryan Cranston (Li Shan), there are some new big stars in Kung Fu Panda 4.

Viola Davis plays the sorceress the Chameleon. Awkwafina plays Zhen, the fox thief who first manipulates Po and then becomes his pupil. And Ke Huy Quan is Han, the pangolin leader of a group of thieves and criminals in Juniper City, where the Chamelon has set up her base.

Will there be a Kung Fu Panda 5?

In 2010 then-Dreamwork Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said six Kung Fu Panda films were planned in total. That’s a long time ago; Katzenberg isn’t even at Dreamworks any more.

But having said that, the film does end with the Furious Five training Zhen to be the new Dragon Warrior, while Po has only just agreed to his new role as Spiritual Leader. Those choices would seem to suggest more stories are definitely coming.

Kung Fu Panda 4 is in theaters now. Buy tickets on Fandango or Atom Tickets.

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Jim McDermott: Jim is a magazine and screenwriter based in New York. He loves the work of Stephen Sondheim and cannot take a decent selfie.
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