Po has certainly grown since becoming the Dragon Warrior back when Kung Fu Panda first started. He had to deal with classic wuxia style villains in the movies, face many foes in the television series, train a new generation in The Paws of Destiny and, with The Dragon Knight, prove his worth elsewhere. He’s lost the former title, and the difference may well rest in where he’s honoured.
Much of the third season takes place in England and it feels drawn out. After the events of the much shorter second season at Tikal to locate the Tianshang weapons, simply retrieving them and becoming the new custodians isn’t enough. They’ll have to destroy them. I had to rewatch much of the prior season to remind myself about what went on, and then realised, perhaps viewing the first again would also help refresh my memory.
Instead of sailing a straight line to that nation, a cruise through the Caribbean is required and they encounter pirates! (“The Trial of Mr. Ping” and “Baddie Issues”).At the same time, this ostrich’s past is revealed, and I was just as shocked as Po! His former life is rife with equal parts seven seas adventure and even a love to which he can’t return to. Just when I thought Will Turner from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies had it rough with not being able to be with his love, this bird got it worse. This side-story wonderfully weaves in and out of the big plot to destroy the weapons of mass destruction, but even then, to make sure nobody gets them, the juggling act to maintain the momentum for this season falls apart.
This latest season should’ve been 12 or fifteen episodes. That way, it’s easier to keep track of who wants what, and who is after the weapons. Like a certain ring of power, getting these magical items to where they were created to be destroyed is tougher than anyone realises. And if this allusion is not enough, apparently there’s someone lurking in the supernatural world wanting a piece of the action.
As a result, I’m wondering what kind of tale the producers are out to craft. Overall, it’s a terrific part three that packs a lot in. Not even a few rewatches helps as I had to wonder which subplots were important. As much as I enjoyed watching the Dumont bandits make their last hurrah in Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight, their fates are no longer intertwined and I’ll just leave it at that.
In order to get another season in, the latest twist was one I did not expect. I’ll watch this series through to the end since I made it this far. Hopefully the episode count won’t be ridiculous. As for when season four will release will have to be sometime in the New Year, before the release of the fourth movie.