DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda 3 is coming to theaters next March after being pushed back a few months from its original December 2015 spot. Over the past few weeks, several sources revealed some exciting news about the film’s new synopsis, characters, voice actors and some teaser trailer updates!
In the January issue of an online British toy magazine called Toy World, Nick Cooke, Director of hardlines at DreamWorks Animation UK, revealed some fun, new details about some upcoming DreamWorks features including Kung Fu Panda 3. In the article he wrote the following about the film:
WARNING: Spoilers ahead!
Po continues his now legendary legendary adventures of of awesomeness and must face two, hugely epic, but very different threads. Po has saved the world countless times, but none of that has prepared him for his greatest challenge yet – pleasing 2 fathers. Po reunites with his biological father (Bryan Cranston) and returns to his birthplace, yet soon realizes he doesn’t fit in. There he meets the overly eager Mei Mei (Rebel Wilson), who has been promised an arranged marriage to Po. Po must also battle an evil spirit called The Collector (Mads Mikkelsen), who is able to steal the powers of every Kung Fu Master he defeats – and his sights are set on Po.
This new synopsis gives a better idea at what to expect from the film’s plot, and it is exciting to learn more about the story and these new characters that will join the franchise.
DreamWorks previously announced that several new actors will join the cast of the third Kung Fu Panda film. We previously learned that Bryan Cranston, Rebel Wilson and Mads Mikkelsen joined the cast; today we learned who they will play. Bryan Cranston will play the character most people rumored he would play, Po’s biological father. Rebel Wilson will play a panda called Mei Mei and Mads Mikkelsen will play the villain of this film, The Collector.
Something new we learned through an unofficial source is that J.K Simmons, who recently won an academy award for his role in Whiplash, also joined the voice cast of the film. On Instagram DreamWorks storyboard artist Phil Craven posted an image of J.K Simmons in a recording booth, recording lines for a movie. Craven clearly mentioned that they were in a recording session for Kung Fu Panda 3. We have no official word from DreamWorks on his role in the film yet.
[UPDATE 3/17/15] The images have been removed at request of DreamWorks.
An unofficial Chinese source leaked a few character designs of new characters that will appear in Kung Fu Panda 3. The images are very basic CG models that look like they are most likely models of some kind of upcoming toy line.
The first character design that was leaked is Mei Mei’s design. Mei Mei is a cute, chubby panda voiced by the hilarious Rebel Wilson. She wears a beautiful dress and some kind of hat that looks very beautiful and very detailed. I don’t know what she is exactly wearing or if it has some kind of Chinese meaning but this might be some kind of traditional Chinese wedding outfit. She already looks wonderful as a toy so I can’t wait how she will look in the film.
The second design that was leaked is the design of Mads Mikkelsen’s Collector. The Collector will be one of Kung Fu Panda 3‘s villains and according to Guillermo del Toro, this bad guy is possibly the most formidable villain in the series which really excites me. The Collector looks great and I’m sure he’ll be a fantastic addition to this franchise.
Finally they also leaked the design of a character named Bao. We have no official word from DreamWorks yet on who this character is but he could be one of the children in the panda village. His design personally reminds me a lot of a younger version of Po, so this could definitely also be a younger version of Po in a flashback scene or possibly a sibling.
Last but not least we have probably the most exciting news of the day. According to some Kung Fu Panda fans on Tumblr who went to an early screening of DreamWorks’ Home, a new Kung Fu Panda 3 teaser trailer/short will play in front of Home later this month. One of the fans was kind enough to write a little piece about the short that was shown in front of Home that you can read below. Please keep in mind that this news comes from an unofficial source, so there’s always the possibility this isn’t true but since several people have mentioned a teaser/short, I think we can pretty much assume this is real.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead!
According to some fans who saw the teaser/short in front of Home, the teaser/short starts off with Rebel Wilson’s character, Mei Mei, who fights a little boy (Bao?) who has to perform for a special guest at the spring festival. We don’t exactly know what happens and who this special guest is. The teaser/short ends with Po sailing to the panda village and finding the panda village. Unfortunately we don’t have a more detailed description of the teaser/short, but if you want to see it yourself, you have to check out Home in theaters later this month on March 27.
There you have all the Kung Fu Panda 3 news that has been revealed or leaked over the past few weeks. We’ll keep you guys updated with all the latest news about this film and any official teaser trailer and voice-cast announcements.
Kung Fu Panda 3 comes to theaters on March 18, 2016.
Are you excited for Kung Fu Panda 3? What do you think of all this news?
Max is an animation addict from The Netherlands. His favorite animated movies are Beauty and the Beast and Ratatouille, and he is a big fan of everything Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks related. He loves reading and collecting art books and one day he hopes to work for a major animation studio. Follow his art blog: http://maxdenhartog.tumblr.com