Understanding Giant Pandas’ Life from Kung Fu Panda 3
Date: 2018-02-20

From 2008, there are three Kung Fu Panda film series. In the films, we can see the happy-go-lucky Po acting cute as he grows up. He is a bit lazy but he has faith and always makes unremitting efforts for it. Sometimes he is timid while he is responsible to what happened. In the first two films, Po enjoyed his life with seeking for foods, practicing his skills, guarding the Valley of Peace with friends, being his Dragon Warrior. At that time, taking over the noodle restaurant was unconsidered for him. He did believe that he can tap his eating potential even by keeping a record of steamed stuffed bun eater. As a panda adopted by a Chinese goose, he has no idea about “panda”. In the third film, Po had a family reunion with his real father and came back to Panda Village together.


The writer was a bit surprised and familiar when seeing the Panda Village in the film, because the scene in the film was actually what we knew about the panda’s daily life. The film uses many authentic Mount Qingcheng locations as well as computer graphic effects for the home of panda. Giant panda's daily life in the Chengdu Panda Base has been the source materials and inspiration of the creation team. Let's go and see how Mount Qingcheng fits into Panda Village.


In the film, Po came back home with his father. After climbing snow-capped mountain, crossing the dense fog, they finally arrived in the Panda Village, which was as wonderful as Xanadu. In reality, wild giant pandas live in the deep mountains in elevation of 2600m to 3500m where is cloud-covered with thin air ata temperature under 20℃. Giant pandas prefer cool rather than hot so they enjoy this temperature. Their ideal habitat is gentle slopes rich in bamboo and water, just as showed in the film.


1 电影里的熊猫村.jpg
Panda Village in the Film


2 野外大熊猫生活环境.jpg
Giant Pandas’ Living Environment in the Wild (photo by Li Binbin)


In the Panda Village, the villagers rolled down of the hill to the feast for Po’s home. Po was puzzled about this action. His father told him that pandas move in rolling-up instead of walking! In the film, the process of Po learning to roll is a punch line. In reality, pandas have a nickname as“Gwen-Gwen” in Chinese which means rolling. They are pretty like rolling up! In the live camera we can see that they roll for happiness, sadness, angriness, and escaping from danger. It is common to see these situations in sub-adults pandas. Actually, there is no authoritative theory to explain why they like rolling. But in terms of the geographic conditions of pandas’ habitat, maybe rolling is the fastest way to move.


3 电影里众熊猫滚下山坡.gif
The villagers rolled down to the feast in the film. 


 4 高兴要滚一滚.gif
Rolling for Happiness


5 心情不好也要滚一滚.gif
Rolling for Sadness


In the film, Po got up and asked his father to teach him how to be a panda in an early morning. From the light in the film, it is pretty early. Nevertheless, his father told him that a real panda cannot get up until the afternoon. So Po had to go back to bed.


Tourists always complain that pandas are too lazy to do anything; what pandas can do is sleep, and so on. It is totally wrong. Despite of its taxonomic classification as a carnivoran, the giant panda’s diet is primarily herbivorous, consisting almost exclusively of bamboo. However, the giant panda still has the digestive system of a carnivore, as well as carnivore-specific genes, and thus derives little energy and little protein from consumption of bamboo. For this reason, they have to eat a large number of foods to meet their needs and decrease movement to maintain energy as well. They are in a big body shape. Actually, it can reduce heat loss. Another, giant pandas are no “fat” with bamboo diet.


There is an interesting plot in the film that when the villagers saw Po and his father they excitedly ran to them, but they were exhausted themselves on the way and had to have a break. Their clumsy looks make audiences laugh. Similar in reality, giant pandas always make people laugh with their funny movement and action.


 6 众熊猫跑到一半 停下来大口喘气.gif
Villagers having a break for burn out.


7 “萌三太子”:“哎呀……走不动了歇一歇……”.gif
Oops, I just finished a long walk and I should have a break.


8 “哎呀……过‘河’好累歇一歇……”.gif
Oh, crossing a river is so tired. What I want to do is a rest.


There are so many funny movements and actions of giant pandas as I mentioned. Maybe you can find more if you are a careful observer!


Fossil evidence indicates that giant panda has been living on the earth for millions of years. They suffered from difficulties and adapted to the changes of environment. Their chubby body and iconic appearance have attracted people’s attention from all over the world. Their black-and-white markings make our life colorful. There is no doubt that we should conserve this special species!




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