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Released in 2011 by DreamWorks Animation, Kung Fu Panda 2 is well one of many studio’s most beloved motion pictures. From the sleek animation and unbelievable kung fu sequences to the lovable characters and touching tales, the Kung Fu Panda franchise has all of it, together with a constant coloration scheme.

Part of what makes the flicks so stunning is the truth that the colour schemes stay so constant. Certain colours are usually related to sure characters, so every time the animation switches between 3D and the extra stylized 2D segments, the result’s clean and immersive as an alternative of jarring. This is due to Kung Fu Panda‘s coloration concept, which impacts each scene within the franchise — together with the ultimate battle with Lord Shen, the principle antagonist of Kung Fu Panda 2.

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Explaining Kung Fu Panda‘s coloration concept requires explaining Chinese coloration concept. The franchise delves deep into Chinese tradition and symbolism, to the purpose the place even the smallest factor has added symbolism, and the colour selections are not any completely different. Yellow is related to royalty and energy and is the middle of the Chinese coloration wheel — within the franchise, it is the colour most related to Po, the protagonist and middle of the collection.

The villainous Lord Shen’s important colours are pink, black and white. Black could also be thought of the colour of demise in Western tradition — which he does deliver — however it’s thought of dangerous luck in Eastern tradition — which he additionally brings. Black can be related to water in Chinese tradition, which is a continuing presence in Kung Fu Panda 2, from the wet skies to the waterways and the harbor the solid travels. White, in Chinese tradition, is the colour related to demise — which is why Shen is a white peacock. White additionally represents metallic, which his cannons and industrialization use. His ultimate defining coloration, pink, is related to fireplace — as is Shen.


The entirety of Kung Fu Panda 2 leans closely into this coloration scheme. After the calming inexperienced within the scene the place Shifu teaches Po about inside peace, a lot of the movie’s lighting is in shades of pink, yellow, white or black. Constantly, Po’s yellow is competing in opposition to Shen’s pink in opposition to a black, watery backdrop, shifting someway relying upon who beneficial properties the higher hand; whereas the primary half of the film steadily has vibrant yellow scenes, after the halfway level, it typically favors black and pink.

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And but nowhere within the movie is that this coloration concept so delicate but efficient as within the ultimate combat between Po and Shen: the Zen Ball Master scene. After preventing to forestall Shen’s fleet from coming into the harbor and failing to take action, Po makes one ultimate stand on a chunk of flotsam within the black harbor. As the pink gentle of daybreak begins to stain the clouds pink and Shen’s fiery fleet emerges, Shen offers the order to fireplace, and a burning pink cannonball careens straight for Po. But Po, having lastly achieved inside peace, makes use of the method that Shifu taught him to redirect the cannonball, dousing the fiery metallic within the bay. And in doing so, the cannonball modifications coloration from pink to yellow. This occurs with each cannonball that Po touches — those he dodges stay pink throughout their whole flight. Even the explosions, when he redirects the cannonballs again to the fleet and begins sinking the ships, are golden yellow in comparison with the fiery pink of after they’re fired.


The daybreak turns golden because the battle suggestions in Po’s favor, and with the flinging of the ultimate cannonball after a yellow and black yin-yang spin, the lighting turns into absolutely yellow for the primary time since Shen bested him within the tower, symbolizing the white peacock’s defeat. The cannonballs altering coloration are delicate in comparison with the remainder of the scene and never one thing one notices on the primary viewing, however it exhibits simply how a lot care was put into the making of Kung Fu Panda 2.

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