Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll

Movie review by
Grace Montgomery, Common Sense Media
Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll Movie Poster Image
Short origin story will appeal most to series fans.
  • NR
  • 2016
  • 23 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

You'll only be your best self by being yourself.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tigress learns the importance of being herself; Master Shifu learns to value others for their unique characteristics; Po lets go of prized possessions to help someone else.

Violence & Scariness

A scary boor destroys anyone who gets in his path. A scene of kung fu fighting action including lots of kicks and punches.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The Kung Fu Panda series has lots of product tie-ins and merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll tells the origin story of the kung fu fighters in the popular Kung Fu Panda franchise and was originally a short only available on the first and second Kung Fu Panda movie DVDs. There's not a lot to worry about in this short and sweet animated film, but an enraged boor charging through cities destroying anything in his path might be scary for young, sensitive viewers. There's also one scene of kung fu action full of punches and kicks. The sequence of events may also be confusing to young viewers or those not familiar with the series.

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What's the story?

When Po's father accidentally gives away his figures of the Furious Five, Po starts to reminisce about how he accidentally brought the Furious Five together. Left to run the restaurant, Po (Jack Black) accidentally poisons Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) with some bad noodles, forcing the master to look for outside help to defend the city. With the savage Boar on the rampage, destroying all the masters in the land, Master Shifu sends Tigress (Tara Macri) on a mission to find four warriors to come to their aid. But Tigress confuses a scroll with Po's career wish list (comedian, doctor, dancer, and cleaner) for the master's favored warriors, leading her on a path to discover her true self and bring together the Furious Five.

Is it any good?

Die-hard fans of the Kung Fu Panda series will no doubt enjoy this short and sweet animated tale, but those unfamiliar with the series may find it a little ho-hum. There are some slapstick laughs and a positive message about being true to yourself, but there's no character development and it's assumed you know the characters and care where they came from. A change in animation style also signals to the viewer that Po is reminiscing about the past, but the shift is subtle and younger viewers or those not familiar with the series may be unsure what's the past and what's the present.

Fans of the franchise looking for more should check out this short and silly story, but newbies to the series should start with Kung Fu Panda before diving in.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the characters change in the film. What does Master Shifu learn? What about Tigress? How do they change by the end of the short?

  • What role does violence play in the story? Did the characters have any other options? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Which Kung Fu Panda movie is your favorite? Why is it your favorite?

Movie details

For kids who love cartoons

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