Secrets of the Furious Five
|Secrets of the Furious Five|
|Directed by||Raman Hui|
|Produced by||Karen Foster|
|Written by||Paul McEvoy
Randall Duk Kim
|Music by||Henry Jackman
|Edited by||John Venzon|
|Distributed by||Paramount Home Entertainment|
Secrets of the Furious Five is an American animated short produced by DreamWorks Animation, which serves as a semi-sequel or spin-off to the animated feature film Kung Fu Panda and appears on a companion disc of the original film's deluxe DVD release. It was later broadcast on NBC on February 26, 2009 and is now available as a separate DVD as of March 24, 2009.
The film has a framing story of Po the Dragon Warrior (in computer animation) telling the stories of his comrades in arms, the Furious Five, which are depicted in 2D cel animation, similar to the opening and end credits of the original film.
The only actors from the film to reprise their roles in this short were Jack Black as Po, Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu, David Cross as Crane, and Randall Duk Kim as Master Oogway. Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan and Seth Rogen do not reprise their roles mainly because their related characters are depicted as their younger selves.
Po (Jack Black) is assigned by Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) to teach an introduction to Kung Fu class for a group of rambunctious rabbit children. Fortunately for Po, it doesn't take him long to bring the class to order and for the kids to calm down, and begins to emphasize to the kids that combat is not the only part of what Kung Fu is about, while its true meaning is "excellence of self." To illustrate his point, he uses the stories of the Furious Five's individual pasts and the basic philosophical concepts they learned that enabled them to be great Kung Fu masters.
In his youth, Mantis was a petulantly impatient warrior who was prone to jumping to conclusions and making impulsive decisions. When this habit got himself captured by crocodile bandits, the long wait he was forced to endure in his cage allowed him to find the patience to play dead long enough to ambush his captors.
Viper, the daughter of Great Master Viper, was born without venomous fangs. Her father, who relied on his venomous bite to protect the village, was despondent that she could never succeed him as a warrior, making her feel timid. One day during a festival, Great Master Viper encountered a gorilla bandit who wore armor hard enough to shatter his fangs when he tried to bite him. Seeing her father in peril, Viper found the courage to fight the bandit and defeat him with her ribbon dancing skills.
Crane was an unconfident janitor of a Kung Fu academy until the star pupil Mei Ling encouraged him to seek enrollment in the school. Even though his nerve failed him at the tryouts, Crane accidentally stumbled into the intimidating challenge that determined eligibility and suddenly found the confidence to take the challenge, with his skinny body proving to be an asset that enabled him to succeed.
Tigress was an orphan whose status as an apex predator and her destructive lack of control of her strength left her feared and isolated in the rest of the orphanage where she lived. Master Shifu came to kindly teach her the discipline she desperately needed to control her movements until she could perform delicate tasks with ease enough to allay the concerns of the orphanage and the kids that lived there. When she was again rejected for adoption by the adults who were still scared of her, Master Shifu took her in as his student and foster daughter.
Monkey was a troublemaker who tormented his village owing to him being publicly humiliated in his youth. He defied all attempts to force him to leave by removing their belts that cause their pants to fall down until Master Oogway confronted him and defeated him in a fight (since he wore no pants), deducing the cause of his anti-social behavior. Rather than making him leave the village as per the challenge, Oogway told him to stay and encouraged him to show compassion to others, as he would want in similar circumstances.
At the end, Master Shifu returns to see Po's anticipated lack of progress teaching and he's surprised that he underestimated Po's talents yet again, considering how much the panda's students have learned. But when the bunnies ask Po how his first day of Kung Fu was, all the unpleasant memories during the original film flash through his head; he then proudly says, "It was totally awesome!"
- Jack Black as Po
- Dustin Hoffman as Shifu
- David Cross as Crane
- Randall Duk Kim as Oogway
- Elizabeth Ann Bennett as Ant / Bunny
- Jaycee Chan as Young Monkey
- Jim Cummings as Instructor
- Jessica DiCicco as Young Viper
- John DiMaggio as Crocodile Bandit #1 / Gorilla Bandit
- Carol Kane as Sheep
- Stephanie Kearin as Crocodile Bandit #2
- Max Koch as Young Mantis
- Stephanie Lemelin as Mei Ling
- Meredith Scott Lynn as Master Viper's Mom
- Tom Owens as Ladybug
- Eamon Pirruccello as Impatient Bunny
- Grace Rolek as Shy Bunny
- Will Shadley as Nerdy Bunny
- James Sie as Great Master Viper
- Tara Strong as Young Tigress
Secrets of the Furious Five has received eight nominations in the "Animated Television Production or Short Form" category at the 36th Annie Awards, of which it received four ("Character Animation," "Character Design," "Music," and "Production Design").
The individual DVD release has received much criticism from consumers confusing it for a feature-length production. The UK DVD release is described on the packaging as "The Next Kung Fu Panda Adventure", implying that it is a sequel to the first as opposed to a spin-off.
- Simon, Ben (2008-11-30). "Kung Fu Panda / Secrets Of The Furious Five". Animated Views. Retrieved 2010-11-06.