Kung Fu Panda 4

Kung Fu Panda 4 is a 2024 American animated martial arts comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Universal Pictures. It is the fourth installment in the Kung Fu Panda franchise and the sequel to Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016). The film was directed by Mike Mitchell, co-directed by Stephanie Ma Stine (in her feature directorial debut), written by Darren Lemke and the writing team of Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, and produced by Rebecca Huntley. It features Jack Black, Ian McShane, Dustin Hoffman, James Hong, and Bryan Cranston reprising their roles from the previous films, with Akwatia, Ke Huy Quan, Ronny Chieng, Lori Tan Chinn, and Viola Davis joining the cast as new characters. In the film, Po (Black), who must find and train his successor as the new Dragon Warrior, teams up with fox bandit Zhen (Awkwafina) to defeat evil sorceress The Chameleon (Davis), before she steals the kung-fu abilities of all masters in China.

Directors Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni were asked about the possibility of a fourth Kung Fu Panda film before the release of the third film in January 2016, with Nelson later saying in August 2018 that she was open to a fourth installment. DreamWorks officially announced the fourth film in August 2022, with Mitchell, Ma Stine, and Huntley attached as director, co-director, and producer, respectively, by April 2023. Most of the main voice cast, along with the return of Aibel and Berger as writers and co-producers, was announced in December 2023, following Awkwafina’s casting in May of that year. Lemke’s involvement was confirmed in February 2024. Composer Hans Zimmer, who had scored for the previous three installments, the first two with John Powell and the third alone, returned as composer alongside frequent collaborator Steve Mazzaro. Some additional production assets were borrowed from Jellyfish Pictures.

Kung Fu Panda 4 premiered at the AMC 14 Theater at The Grove in Los Angeles on March 3, 2024, and was theatrically released in the United States on March 8. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and was a box-office success, grossing over $545 million worldwide, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2024.

Kung Fu Panda 4

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mike Mitchell
Written by
  • Jonathan Aibel
  • Glenn Berger
  • Darren Lemke
Produced by Rebecca Huntley
  • Jack Black
  • Akwatia
  • Bryan Cranston
  • James Hong
  • Ian McShane
  • Ke Huy Quan
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Viola Davis
Cinematography Joshua Gunther
Edited by Christopher Knights
Music by
  • Hans Zimmer
  • Steve Mazzaro
DreamWorks Animation
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • March 3, 2024 (The Grove)
  • March 8, 2024 (United States)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $85 million
Box office $545.5 million


In the Valley of Peace, Po helps his fathers Li Shan and Mr. Ping open their new restaurant. Shifu then tells Po that he must advance and become a spiritual leader, which means Po can no longer be the Dragon Warrior and must find a suitable successor to take his place. Po struggles to choose the right candidate as he does not want to lose his status, and he stumbles upon a fox bandit named Zhen trying to steal ancient weapons from the Jade Palace. Po is able to outsmart Zhen and send her to prison, but a group of mine workers tell him that Tai Lung has returned and destroyed an entire quarry. Zhen reveals that Tai Lung’s return was masqueraded by a sorceress known as The Chameleon, who can shape-shift into any animal she wants as well as copying various kung fu techniques simply by touching them.

With Zhen’s assistance, Po heads to Juniper City to take down The Chameleon, little knowing that his fathers, worried that Po is in over his head this time, are following them. After encountering a shifty tavern and fighting off the inhabitants, they soon arrive at Juniper City. They are almost arrested and escape to the Den of Thieves, where they receive aid from the den’s leader Han, who is also a close friend of Zhen. From there, Po and Zhen head to The Chameleon’s lair until Po is captured. It is then revealed that Zhen has been acting as a double agent for The Chameleon, and was tasked to acquire Po’s Staff of Wisdom, which has the power to access the Spirit Realm. Po almost manages to escape, but The Chameleon, taking Zhen’s form, fools him and throws him off a cliff, to the real Zhen’s horror. He nearly falls to his death, but is rescued by his fathers, who convince him that sometimes change can be good.

Using the staff, The Chameleon summons every deceased kung fu master and steals their techniques, including Lord Shen, General Kai, and Tai Lung. After escaping for good, Zhen reunites with Po, but he refuses to back down from facing The Chameleon, so she, Ping and Li head back to the Den of Thieves to convince them to help them save Po. As they battle The Chameleon’s army of Komodo dragons, Po attempts to reason with The Chameleon to no avail, although she does give the staff back to him as she no longer needs it. They battle, but when Zhen intervenes, The Chameleon turns into a Chimera of several kung fu masters. After the battle, she then shifts into a copycat of Po, fights him, and soon traps him in a cage. Putting his trust in Zhen, Po gives her the staff, with which she bests The Chameleon. Po, who was only pretending to be trapped, defeats The Chameleon using the staff and returns all of the stolen kung fu to their owners, who show respect to Po and return to the Spirit Realm, with Tai Lung taking The Chameleon with him.

While returning to the Valley of Peace, Po chooses Zhen as his successor, much to Shifu’s annoyance. Confident with his choice, Po and the Furious Five help train Zhen to become the next Dragon Warrior.

Voice cast

  • Jack Black as Po, a giant panda who is set to become a spiritual leader after renouncing his title as the Dragon Warrior.
    • Black also voices The Chameleon’s form of Po.
  • Awkwafina as Zhen, a corsac fox who is a wanted thief and accompanies Po on his journey.
    • Awkwafina also voices The Chameleon’s form of Zhen.
  • Viola Davis as The Chameleon, a nefarious shape-shifting chameleon sorceress that can copy others’ kung fu by absorbing their abilities and Zhen’s boss.
  • Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu, a wise red panda and Po’s master.
  • James Hong as Mr. Ping, a Chinese goose and Po’s adoptive father.
  • Bryan Cranston as Li Shan, Po’s biological father.Ian McShane as Tai Lung, a snow leopard who was Shifu’s adopted son and former disciple until he became evil. Po vanquished him to the Spirit Realm in the first film and General Kai captured him off-screen during the third film, but The Chameleon brings him back from the Spirit Realm. In this film, Tai Lung is the secondary antagonist after being the main antagonist of the 2008 film.
    • McShane also voices The Chameleon’s form of Tai Lung.
  • Ke Huy Quan as Han, a Sunda pangolin who is the leader of a den of thieves.Lori Tan Chinn as Granny Boar, an elderly female boar who can take out her tusks and use them as weapons.
  • Ronny Chieng as Captain Fish, a green arowana that lives in a pelican’s mouth, who is his seemingly adoptive mother.
  • Harry Shum Jr. as Scott, a fire-breathing crocodile who was sent to the Spirit Realm by Po.

The Furious Five make a brief non-speaking appearance in the end credits with the exception of Seth Rogen providing screams for Mantis. Lord Shen and General Kai also have non-speaking appearances when The Chameleon is summoning villains from the Spirit Realm. YouTuber Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson has a cameo as Panda Pig, a pig painted black-and-white who is one of the 5 candidates for the next Dragon Warrior.



Kung Fu Panda 4 premiered at the AMC 14 Theater at The Grove in Los Angeles on March 3, 2024, and was released in the United States on March 8, with showtimes a day prior. The film was shown at the Columbia University School of the Arts on March 1, 2024.

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