What happens when the Dragon Master goes out of style? In the newest installment of the Kung Fu Panda universe, Netflix’s series Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight, Po (Jack Black) isn’t exactly a hero anymore.
Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight will mark Black’s return to the character since 2016’s Kung Fu Panda 3. That film saw Po finally ascend to Dragon Master status (and reconnect with his biological father) after defeating Kai, an old nemesis of his guru Oogway. A 2019 Prime Video spin-off series without Black, Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny, chronicled the events of Kung Fu Panda 3.
Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight — Trailer
Dreamworks Animation returns to the world of Kung Fu Panda again with the first trailer for the upcoming sequel series, The Dragon Knight. The trailer teases beloved actor Jack Black’s triumphant return to the role of Po the Kung Fu Panda, with The Dragon Knight telling the story as a series that is due to be released on Netflix.
In the new trailer, everything in Po-land seems normal at first—he’s still home slurping down noodle bowls and shouting out “Skadoosh.” But when a duo of evil weasels named Klaus and Veruca Dumont attack, in a split-second error, Po destroys the entire village and lets the weasels escape, leaving the townspeople sorely unimpressed. By dinnertime, Po has had his title of Dragon Master bumped down to “pending” status. And worse, his adoptive father Mr. Ping forlornly tells him, that the local dumpling shop has discarded a box of Po’s Dragon Master figurines. Ouch.
But when a door closes, so opens a window, and Po’s window comes in the form of British knight Luthera (Rita Ora), or “The Wandering Blade.” Luthera comes to Po’s village in search of The Dragon Master (“That would be me….title pending,” Po sheepishly answers). As it turns out, China is in danger again (these weasels are the worst!) and only Po can help. As he soon realizes, a quest to save his country is the perfect way to win back favor at home.
Aside from Po and his father, the trailer mostly focuses on new characters like Luthera, Klaus, and Veruca. Po’s veteran crew Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Crane (David Cross) are absent from the teaser.
Kung Fu Panda began back in 2008 and introduces audiences to Po, a bumbling Panda, and kung fu enthusiast, who is selected as the Dragon Warrior. When a notorious snow-leopard named Tai Lung is foretold to escape from prison, Po decides to team up with the Furious Five and destroy the evil forces that threaten the Valley of Peace. Starring Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Randall Duk Kim, James Hong, Dan Fogler, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Jackie Chan, the first Kung Fu Panda was met with rave reviews for its performances, martial arts action, humor, and spiritual themes, eventually becoming the third highest-grossing movie of the year.
This led to a franchise, with Po returning in the direct sequels Kung Fu Panda 2 in 2011 and Kung Fu Panda 3 in 2016.
However, The Dragon Knight is the third Kung Fu Panda series and ninth spin-off of the original 2008 movie overall, with the main trilogy of films, four short films, a holiday special, and two other TV shows coming before it.
Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight Sees Po Return and Save the World
An official synopsis has now been released alongside the trailer for Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight, which reads; “Jack Black returns to KUNG FU PANDA in the new series KUNG FU PANDA: THE DRAGON KNIGHT. When a mysterious pair of weasels set their sights on a collection of four powerful weapons, Po must leave his home to embark on a globe-trotting quest for redemption and justice that finds him partnered up with a no-nonsense English knight named Wandering Blade. Together, these two mismatched warriors set out on an epic adventure to find the magical weapons first and save the world from destruction — and they may even learn a thing or two from each other along the way.”
Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight — Release Date
The eleven-episode series follows Po (Jack Black) as he meets Wandering Blade (Rita Ora) on a journey to save the world from destruction at the hands of a mysterious pair of weasels. The show’s heroic duo’s clash of personalities can be seen in the trailer, as the light-hearted Po and intense, no-nonsense Wandering Blade must learn to deal with each other to succeed.
Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight is scheduled to land on Netflix on July 14, 2022.