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Kung Fu Panda-monium!

By Marie Morreale | null null , null
Photo courtesy DreamWorks Animation
Photo courtesy DreamWorks Animation

Scholastic News Online traveled to the Valley of Peace and had an exclusive one-on-one sit-down with the hero of the day, Po, the absolute star of Kung Fu Panda. In between a delicious steaming bowl of noodles from his family's noodle shop and a demonstration of some advanced kung fu moves, Po answers all our questions.

On November 9, Kung Fu Panda arrives on DVD. But before you discover the secrets of the legendary kung fu master, read on!

Scholastic News Online: Who are your martial arts idols?
Po: Shifu—he taught me everything, the Furious Five—they're awesome. Grand master Oogway—he started the whole thing. Master Flying Rhino—he's cool; then there is Master Iron Eagle, Master Crazy Axolotl, Master Coughing Wallaby . . . er, it's a long list.

SNO: Explain what kung fu is and how it started?
Po: Kung fu is the pursuit of excellence of self through hard work, dedication and self-discipline. It is not necessarily about fighting. You can have great kung fu in many things: cooking, calligraphy, flower arranging, anything that requires skill. Speaking for myself, my dumpling eating kung fu is mighty.

Where did it start? It all began with Grand Master Oogway, who came to China from the Galapagos Islands. He saw that the soft and weak were preyed on by the hard and strong. He meditated on their plight for 1,000 days and wept as he did so. He wept enough tears to form a small lake. At the end of that time, Oogway had formed the basis of a self-defense system. He spent the next 10,000 days refining the system, working out every day by the lake. His system became the martial art part of kung fu, and the lake is called the Pool of Heavenly Tears, in his honor. Cool, huh?

SNO: What is your signature move?
Po: I have got a million of them. Well, at least two or three. There is the Greasy Noodle Defense, the Falling Downstairs attack, and the Iron Belly Blast. Currently, I am working on a little thing I like to call the Golden Emperor's Foo Dog Frenzy.

SNO: What was the hardest move for you to learn?
Po: It's gotta be the Wuxi Finger Hold. Shifu told me after I beat Tai Lung that there actually is no such move. It is just a story Masters made up to scare their students. I don't even remember how I did it now. I really must practice. Touching your toes is also pretty hard.

SNO: What was your most embarrassing moment when you were working with your kung fu master?
Po: I don't think I have got just one. How much time do you have?

SNO: What is your favorite kind of noodle?
Po: My Dad's Secret Ingredient Soup noodles. Even though there is no secret ingredient, they still taste really good.

SNO: What is your secret guilty habit?
Po: Well, I don't think any of my habits are secret. And Shifu and the Furious Five usually make me feel guilty about something. So I guess I don't have any secret habits. But I am guilty of something . . . .Probably.

SNO: Who is your best friend—and why?
Po: My Dad. Shifu and the Furious Five are the greatest and totally have my back, but my Dad is ace. Why is he my best friend? Well before I became the magnificent Dragon Warrior you see before you, I was just Po the waiter. And I wasn't a very good waiter. I broke a lot of plates. I screwed up a lot of orders. But my Dad, he always thought I was a hero.

SNO: What is your favorite midnight snack?
Po: Bamboo dumplings a la mode.

still from kung fu panda
Photo courtesy DreamWorks Animation

SNO: How are Pandas misunderstood?
Po: Lots of ways. Am I a white bear with black bits or a black bear with white bits? I find it confusing myself. Crane says pandas are called the "large bear cat" here in China. I don't think I'm a cat, I mean I look like a bear and I feel like a bear and I smell like a bear so . . . .But Crane is smart. He wouldn't lie to me. I think.

SNO: If you ruled the world, what would be your first act?
Po: I would decree that everyone should learn kung fu and become the best version of themselves that they could be. Also free noodles all round.

SNO: Pick one: Bamboo or ice cream?
Po: Have you tried bamboo and ice cream? Mmmmmm . . . .

SNO: Chinese New Year or Mardi Gras?
Po: What's Mardi Gras?

SNO: Fireworks or fire sale?
Po: Eh, I have fireworks issues, so it usually comes to the same thing.

SNO: Boxers or briefs?
Po: I don't wear underwear.

SNO: Viper or Tigress?
Po: What is the matter with you? Are you trying to get me beaten up? I think we are done here . . . .

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