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Kung Fu Panda 4: Release Date, Trailer, Cast, And Other Things We Know About The Next Installment Of The Series

Kung Fu Panda 4 is coming to theaters soon – and this is what we know so far about it. 

When it comes to animation studios, there are some true top dogs out there. Of course we could bring up all the amazing Disney movies, or the incredible Pixar films, but I’ve always loved DreamWorks Animation the most.  There is one franchise from the studio that is continuing that I don’t think any of us were prepared for, and that, my friends, is Kung Fu Panda

The story is going to continue with Kung Fu Panda 4 after the release of the third movie back in 2016. Truly, it’s time we returned to the adventures of Po.

If you’re like me, however, you have plenty of questions – when is this movie going to come out? Who is going to star in it? What kind of story are we going to dive into? Fear not, as we know a few things about Kung Fu Panda 4. Let’s get into it. 

What Is The Kung Fu Panda 4 Release Date?

Po in Kung Fu Panda 4.

(Image credit: DreamWorks Animation)

Kung Fu Panda 4 has a release date of March 8, 2024, according to Deadline.

The release date was actually announced at the time of the announcement of the film itself, so it’ll be ready for our 2024 movie release schedule. This is major news for fans of the franchise, as we’re not going to have to wait that long for this to come out.

2024 is already looking to be a great year for movies, especially in March,  as The Fall Guy is releasing as well as Dune: Part 2 and more, so I’m excited to see this movie added to that already packed schedule. 

Jack Black And Several Others Will Be Back For The Film

Master Shifu in Kung Fu Panda 4.

(Image credit: DreamWorks Animation)

It would pretty much be a sin if Jack Black didn’t return to voice Po, the person who made that lovable Panda so, well, lovable in the first place, despite his clumsiness before becoming a kung fu master. And, during CinemaCon 2023 (via The Hollywood Reporter) Jack Black was the main person promoting the upcoming film and talking about his role, so we know he’s going to be back. 

Black was eager to talk about the plot of the film, saying that it’s one of Po’s most dangerous missions yet – in his own dramatic way:

Po faces his biggest challenge ever. Will he survive?

Black has been having quite the career recently. He voices Bowser in the Super Mario Bros. Movie cast, and ended up inspiring that viral hit, “Peaches” that I am sure you have heard everywhere at this point. 

Shrek Vs. Kung Fu Panda: Which Is The Better Animated Movie Franchise

Shrek and Kung Fu Panda

(Image credit: DreamWorks Animation)

The ultimate battle — which DreamWorks franchise is the better one? Shrek or Kung Fu Panda?

Besides that, he’s also had roles in both Jumanji films, as well as Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, and several smaller movies that showcased his talent. But, it’s great to see him return to a voice role that we all know he loves dearly. 

And thankfully, we have confirmation from The Independent in December 2023 that several cast members are coming back, or were announced. It was confirmed that Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, David Cross and Lucy Liu would come back to voice Master Tigress, Master Monkey, Master Mantis, Master Crane, and Master Viper. 

Additionally, several new cast members joined the film, including Awkwafina, Viola Davis, and Key Huy Quan. Several other former voice actors are returning as well from previous movies, which includes Ian McShane as Tai Lung, Bryan Cranston as Li Shan, James Hong as Mr. Ping, and Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu. 

Check Out The Trailer For Kung Fu Panda 4

If you’re interested in what this new story of Po and his warriors will entail, check out the official trailer for Kung Fu Panda 4. The trailer lets fans get their first look into the villain, the Chameleon, and the intense powers she has to bring former villains back from the beyond – as well as our first look at Po’s new Dragon Warrior.

Kung Fu Panda 4 Will Follow Po Trying To Find The Next Dragon Warrior

The Chameleon as Tai Lung in Kung Fu Panda 4.

(Image credit: DreamWorks Animation)

If you were wondering where on earth they could take this story after the way Kung Fu Panda 3 ended, we have an answer. When the trailer released for the film, it shows that Po is taking on more of a leadership role, which was also confirmed back at CinemaCon. 

Po is now set to become more of a “spiritual leader” within the Valley of Peace, but in order to do that, he has to find a successor – someone who is worthy of becoming the Dragon Warrior. Now, he is the one who is doing the training for a whole new character. We see that character in the trailer, a corsac fox that he trains named Zhen (voiced by Awkwafina).

The director, Mike Mitchell, spoke about Po’s journey in the fourth film in an interview that he did with The Hindustan Times in December 2023, saying that they really wanted to make sure that he was “evolving” as a character, and that this needed to be a momentous journey: 

And so for Po, we wanted to make sure that he’s always evolving, always trying to level up, always trying to get to the next step on his journey. And this one, we decided to just make the greatest, biggest journey of all time, where he needs to earn becoming the ‘Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace.’

That’s not the only thing Po has to face, though. In the fourth film, Po meets the Chameleon (Viola Davis’ character) , a new villain who has probably one of the scariest powers I’ve ever heard of – she can summon past villains, meaning that (in Black’s words at CinemaCon), “Po has to defeat every one of them.”

I don’t know guys. Honestly, I am pretty hyped for this movie. I remember how much I loved the villains of the Kung Fu Panda franchise and this just sounds like the ultimate one, but mix that with some of the past ones that I truly adore? This is going to be a wild ride, that is for sure. 

Mike Mitchell Directed The Film

Zhen in Kung Fu Panda 4.

(Image credit: DreamWorks Animation)

Also confirmed at CinemaCon 2023 and mentioned above, Mike Mitchell directed Kung Fu Panda 4. This is a director who is seasoned with regards to animated movies, and has created some of the best ones from the last decade that fans from all over have loved to watch. 

Some that you might recognize include The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, the first Trolls film (which led to a franchise), and Shrek Forever After (which is so much better than the third film). He’s also worked on other movies such as Sky High, Surviving Christmas, and more. 

Mitchell isn’t the only person who directed. Also confirmed at CinemaCon was that Stephanie Ma Stine was set as a co-director. She has worked in the film industry on movies such as Raya and the Last Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon, so it’ll be awesome to see her at the helm with Mitchell. 

The two directors actually spoke about the upcoming film to Animation Scoop in December 2023, saying that their main goal for Kung Fu Panda 4 was to make sure the story was indeed’s Po’s next step, and that it was made for the big screen:

For this one — two things: One is we wanted to make sure that we were gonna tell the next step for Po. We wanted to make sure we had the best story and the best villain and the best theme to move forward and make another one of these out of my favorite franchise. And two: we wanted to make sure everyone recognized that this is for the big screen. All of us worked so hard — not just on the sound design but on the visuals and all the technology, animation and fight sequences. We wanted to make sure everyone feels, “Oh, these guys made it for the big screen. We gotta see this in theaters.

No problem, guys, I will most certainly be in theaters to see this movie. 

Can March get her sooner? I need to see these villain fights, now! Now all we have to do is wait for March 8th, and that doesn’t seem so far away right now, if we’re being honest. Time for the holidays to just move on by. 

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