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Kung Fu Panda: How (and where) to watch the movies and shows in chronological and release order!

Here’s how to watch Kung Fu Panda in chronological and release order.

Jack Black as Po in Kung Fu Panda
Image credit: DreamWorks Animation

The Kung Fu Panda franchise tells the story of Po Ping the giant panda, who is chosen as Dragon Warrior and becomes a master of kung fu. Primarily voiced by Jack Black, the narrative follows Po on his continuing journey. Produced by DreamWorks Animation, the majority of the franchise is comprised of computer animation. The series is not a spoof, but rather an action-comedy wuxia story set in a world populated by anthropomorphic animals.

With three movies (and a fourth forthcoming), three shows (released across multiple platforms) and a holiday special, figuring out how to progress through the Kung Fu Panda franchise can prove an impossible task for the untrained. Here’s how to watch Kung Fu Panda in chronological and release order.

Kung Fu Panda in chronological order:

Kung Fu Panda 1

Here’s how to watch Kung Fu Panda in chronological order:

Kung Fu Panda in release order:

Here’s how to watch Kung Fu Panda in release order:

The chronology of the Kung Fu Panda franchise has nearly been released in chronological order. While Legends of Awesomeness is the exception, this was due to a delay. Initially, the series was meant to premiere on Nickelodeon in 2010, in advance of Kung Fu Panda 2’s release in 2011. However, a delay to September 2011 meant the Nick series began airing after Kung Fu Panda 2 was released in May 2011, instead.

Kung Fu Panda short films:

In addition to the Kung Fu Panda movies and shows listed above, there have also been four short films. These films have been released as special features alongside home video releases (and re-releases) of the Kung Fu Panda movies. Some of them were subsequently released independently.

In chronological order, the Kung Fu Panda short films are:

  • Secrets of the Furious Five (2008)
  • Secrets of the Masters (2011)
  • Secrets of the Scroll (2016)
  • Panda Paws (2016)

Secrets of the Furious Five was first released on a companion disc to the original Kung Fu Panda’s deluxe DVD release in 2008. It was subsequently broadcast on NBC in 2009. Secrets of the Masters was included as a special feature for the 2011 DVD and Blu-ray release of Kung Fu Panda 2. Secrets of the Scroll was included as a bonus feature for the 2016 release of the Kung Fu Panda 2: Ultimate Edition of Awesomeness Blu-ray pack, which also includes both Secrets of the Furious Five and Secrets of the Masters. These three were also collected on the Ultimate Secrets Collection. And a version of Panda Paws was originally released in theaters before the 2015 feature Home before an updated version was included as a special feature for 2016's release of Kung Fu Panda 3: Awesome Edition.

Who are the stars of Kung Fu Panda?

The Kung Fu Panda franchise is a veritable “who’s who” of talented voice actors. While some of them appear in only one movie or special, others appear in the majority of the movies and shows.

This includes performers who are best known for their live action work, like Lucy Liu (Viper), Angelina Jolie (Tigress), Michelle Yeoh (Soothsayer), Kate Hudson (Mei Mei), Alfred Molina (Ke-Pa) and Dustin Hoffman (Master Shifu the red panda). Also appearing are actors who are known for both voice over and live action performances, James Hong (Mr. Ping), Amy Hill (Gradma Panda) Jackie Chan (Monkey), David Cross (Crane), J.K. Simmons (Kai), Diedrich Bader (Hundun), Wayne Knight (Jong Sung Jai Kai Chow), Wendie Malick (Fenghuang) and Seth Rogan (Mantis). And the larger cast also includes performers best known for their voice over work, like Fred Tatasciore (various), Kevin Michael Richardson (Temutai), Jim Cummings (Lidong) and John DiMaggio (Fung).

In some cases, new actors have taken over certain roles. Sometimes these replacements are temporary, and the actors who originated the roles return. For example, Mick Wingert voices Po in Legends of Awesomeness and The Paws of Destiny, while Tara Strong and Kari Wahlgren respectively play the role of Tigress in two of the short films.

What’s next for Kung Fu Panda?

The next Kung Fu Panda movie, Kung Fu Panda 4, is scheduled for release on March 8, 2024. This is just a few days ahead of National Panda Day, which happens each year on March 16.

In April 2023, several details about the upcoming movie were revealed at Cinemacon. Kung Fu Panda 3 will be directed by Mike Mitchell (The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part) and co-directed by Stephanie Ma Stine (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power). The story will follow Black’s Po, who is set to become the new Valley of Peace’s new spiritual leader. However, he’ll first have to find a suitable replacement to serve as the next Dragon Warrior.

Complications arise thanks to a new antagonist, the Chameleon. The Chameleon possesses the ability to “summon villains from the past,” thereby forcing Po to face these foes once again. And according to Black, “Po has to defeat every one of them.”

What about the long-term plans for the franchise? In December 2010, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the DreamWorks Animation CEO, said that six movies were planned for the series. He elaborated that the first three would comprise a “Student” trilogy, while the second three would comprise a “Master” trilogy. While Kung Fu Panda 3 co-director Jennifer Yuh Nelson clarified in 2016 that the franchise was taking the movies “one at a time,” the plot details that have been released for Kung Fu Panda 4 seemingly align with the launch of a second Kung Fu Panda trilogy in which Po has crossed from the realm of student and must step into the role of teacher.

If you're hungry for more Kung Fu Panda, check out this story about the delicious Kung Fu Panda cookies Chef Duff baked at San Diego Comic Con 2023.

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About the Author
Avery Kaplan avatar

Avery Kaplan

Contributing writer

Avery lives and writes in Southern California. She is the co-author of Double Challenge: Being LGBTQ and a Minority with her spouse, Rebecca Oliver Kaplan. Avery is Features Editor at Comics Beat, and you can also find her writing on, The Gutter Review, Geek Girl Authority, and in the margins of the books in her personal library.