Watching DreamWork’s Kung Fu Panda on TV last night, not for the first time I have to admit, was another good lesson in humility, wisdom, trust and self confidence.
If you haven’t seen the film it is, on the face of it, a kids cartoon, lots of action, lots of fun.
At a deeper level, it tells the story of the underdog, Po the Panda, who is chosen as the Dragon Warrior against the odds. Nobody believes that Oogway the Turtle has made the right decision, that he was chosen by chance, even though Oogway explains that there is no such thing as chance.
Even Po is convinced that he has been chosen by mistake, and cannot believe that he is the Dragon Warrior. He is slandered by everyone, even Shifu, who is charged with training Po in the ways of Kung Fu. The other pupils of Shifu, Tigress, Monkey, Crane, Viper and Mantis also look down on Po, though they slowly come to see that his determination is to be admired.
After Oogway passes on, having asked Shifu to believe in Po and following a lot of learning, Po has to meet his nemesis Tai Lung to save the valley.
Lots of Buddhist principles are woven through the film, a great cast, a good watch and a fun way to learn. Look out for the sequel, inventively called Kung Fu Panda II, more fun and yet more lessons.