|“||So, Oogway, this was the one destined to stop me? I will have his chi, and then all of theirs! (*looks at Po*) And you.... you really thought you could send me back to the Spirit Realm? You are just a stupid mortal.||„|
|~ Kai gloating to Po and the pandas.|
Kai is the main antagonist of the 2016 computer animated DreamWorks feature film, Kung Fu Panda 3.
He is a supernatural bull and the former brother-in-arms of Oogway and (upon his return to the mortal realm) he becomes a Spirit Warrior. Thus, he can steal chi from Kung Fu warriors and turn them into Jade Zombies. His scheme is to defeat every Kung Fu master and take over China.
|“|| Shifu: I was an ambitious young warrior...|
Oogway: ... Leading a great army. Fighting by my side was Kai, my closest friend. One day, we were ambushed. I was badly wounded. My friend carried me for days, looking for help until we came to a secret village high in the mountains. An ancient place of healing. A village of pandas.
Oogway: Yes, Pandas. (*story resumes*) Pandas who used their chi to heal me. They taught me how to give chi. But Kai wanted the power all to himself. He saw that what could be given could also be taken. I had to stop him. Our battle shook the earth until finally I banished Kai to the spirit realm. Should he ever return to the mortal realm, he can only be stopped...
Shifu:... by a true master of Chi.
|~ Shifu, Po and the others read about Kai's story as told by Oogway.|
Many years ago, Kai and Oogway fought together as brothers-in-arms, and were close friends. During an ambush, Oogway was badly wounded, and Kai carried him for days, searching for help, until they came upon a secret panda village, where the pandas used their knowledge of chi to heal Oogway. Fascinated by the power, Oogway was taught by the pandas on how to utilize it. However, Kai was extremely jealous and wanted the power all to himself, using the panda's chi techniques to develop the power to take chi from others rather than give it. Seeing the damage Kai's plan would cause, Oogway confronted his former friend and the two fought fiercely, until finally Oogway triumphed, banishing Kai's body and soul to the Spirit realm.
Kung Fu Panda 3
Rematch with Oogway
|“|| Oogway: Kai. Old Friend. |
Kai: Master Oogway.
Oogway: Our battle ended 500 years ago.
Kai: Well now I'm ready for a rematch.
|~ Kai and Oogway in the spirit realm.|
500 years after his banishment to the Spirit realm, Kai is now a savage, ruthless, vengeful, manipulative, and power-hungry warrior. In the opening scene of the movie, In the spirit realm, he finds Oogway and challenges him to a rematch. The two of them fight and Oogway tells Kai he's grown stronger. Kai comments that it's because he has taken and absorbed the chi of all the kung fu masters there and now has them on his belt as amulets and says he will soon have Oogway's chi too. Though the two are nearly equal in skill and power, Oogway soon realizes he can't defeat Kai and willingly allows his chi to be taken. While Kai pulls Oogway over to him so he can steal his chi, the yak says he can finally return to the mortal and carry out his plans and this time Oogway will not able to stop him. Oogway tells Kai it was never his mission to stop him and that he has set another on that path. After Kai has stolen Oogway's chi and turned the turtle into an amulet, he vows to defeat this other warrior and take his chi too, then uses Oogway's chi to return to the mortal world.
The Return of Kai
|“||KAI HAS RETURNED!||„|
|~ Kai announces his return|
After re-emerging back in the mortal world, Kai encounters a rabbit and goose, who are scared by him. He asks them where he is, and the goose answers his brother's farm. Kai then asks them if they would die if he stepped on them. The answer yes. Kai knows he has returned to the mortal realm and shouts his return to the world. The two animals are confused by who he is. Kai tells them a lot of himself, and they are still confused. Then Kai mentions he used to work with Oogawy, which delights the two animals. Kai then orders them to stop talking and then sends out several of his jades minions to help him find Oogway's students and bring them to him.
|“||I see you. (*laughs*) Your chi will soon be mine.||„|
|~ Kai talking to Oogway's students through the Jombies|
The jade statues attack the Valley of Peace and fight against Po, Shifu and the Furious Five. Po notices that some of the jade statues resemble past Kung Fu masters before they retreat. The team then learn Oogway's history with Kai through research, and that in order to defeat Kai, Po must learn to channel chi himself, which Po's birth father Li offers to teach him in exchange for going to the secret panda village where Li came from.
Kai V.S Crane
|“||Your chi is strong like your friend, the bug.||„|
|~ Kai confronts Crane|
Shifu sends Crane and Mantis to find Kai but avoid engaging him. Crane and Mantis join with Master Bear, Master Croc and Master Chicken to confront Kai, but one by one Bear, Croc and Chicken are all easily defeated and have their chi stolen. When Mantis goes to help him, his chi is taken too. When Crane enters, he discovers Kai behind him and sees that he has captured Mantis. When Crane tries to fly away, Kai pulls him back and takes his chi.
Attack on the Jade Palace
|“||I fought by his side. I loved him like a brother. And he...betrayed me. Well, now I will destroy... (*starts yelling bloody mary*) EVERYTHING HE HAS CREATED!!!||„|
|~ Kai telling Shifu, Tigress, Viper and Monkey about Oogway betraying him.|
Kai then arrives at the Jade Palace where he and his two his minions - The Now Jombified Crane and Mantis - fight Shifu, Monkey, Viper and Tigress. When Tigress kicks Kai, a yellow light echoes out of him. Shifu is about to deliver a punch to Kai when he sees Oogway under his neck. Shifu, shocked seeing an amulet of his former teacher, gives up his defense and Kai knocks him to the ground. Kai then steals the chi of Monkey and Viper and destroys the Jade Palace with the giant Oogway statue near it. He then approaches a defeated Shifu who says that Po will stop him in his plans. However Kai says he doubt that and takes Shifu's chi while Tigress escapes to find Po and warn him about Kai.
Arrival at the Village
|“||Round them all up.||„|
|~ Kai commanding his minions to gather all the pandas|
Kai arrives at the panda village and sees Po, who had been waiting for him. Kai sends his minions to capture Po, but they are held off by the pandas, distracting Kai, so Po can get close enough to Kai and use the Wuxi finger hold on him and stand him back to the spirit realm. The plan works at first, but ultimately fails when Po tries to use the Wuxi finger hold on Kai and nothing happens (even though it worked when Po used it on Tai Lung in the first movie) Kai tells Po that the Wuxi finger hold can only work on mortals, which he is not. He is a spirit warrior. Kai gains the upper hand in their fight and fights Po and kicks up to the village. Then he arrives there and prepares to take the chi of Po and the other pandas. However Po jumps on Kai, grabs him around the neck and uses the Wuxi finger hold again, this time on himself, and sending them both to the spirit realm.
The Final Battle with Po and Death
|“|| Kai: You brought me back? |
Po: Don't be mad, I tried to finish this in the regular realm.
Kai: Then we'll finish it here!
|~ Kai begins his fight with Po|
Angered to have been returned to the Spirit Realm, Kai fought Po and gained the upper hand over him again. He was able to grab Po in his chains and began to steal his chi, but before the process could be completed, Li, Tigress, Mr. Ping, and all the pandas were able to use their own chi to save Po. Po then formed his own chi in the shape of a dragon and fought against Kai, gaining the upper hand and destroying one of his swords. Undaunted, Kai swore to take Po's chi even if it took him another 500 years. Po then willingly surrendered his chi to Kai who was ecstatic to receive the power, but quickly discovered that it was overloading him with chi. Unable to stop it, the abundance of energy became so great that Kai is obliterated into a bright light, being destroyed by the same power he sought to obtain. After Kai's death, all the masters he had absorbed over the years were finally released from his control and all the still living ones returned back to the mortal world.
Long ago, Kai is the fearsome, traitorous, destructive, temperamental, manipulative, egotistical, and power-hungry warrior who found a way to take chi from others, until he was banished to the Spirit Realm for all eternity. Now, Kai has returned to Earth, where his appetite for power and revenge leads to an incredible showdown and battle with Po. There is currently little known about Kai's personality, though he is described as being an "evil spirit". He does not like to be interrupted when he is talking, as seen when he got very annoyed when Po wasn't willing to listen and continuously butted in with "chit-chat".
Kai's voice actor, J.K. Simmons, has said that Kai will be "not happy about life in general", but will have a sense of humor, "even if it is a little bit dark". He added that Kai is also vengeful and traitorous, and a "bitter, bitter guy".
Kai holds great hatred for his former friend, Oogway, stating that he "loved him like a brother", and believes that Oogway betrayed him. It is implied that he holds the Pandas responsible for turning Oogway against him from teaching him the ways of chi.
Kai is a light gray anthropomorphic bull with glowing green eyes, long black hair, a helmet, two enormous horns shaped like flames and very thick, a green pendant of collected chi, a brown loincloth made of leather, and muscular arms with brown bracers.
Fighting Styles and Abilities
Kai fights primarily with a set of jade swords attached to long chains. He has also been seen wielding axe-like blades, indicating that he is extremely competent and skillful with multiple weapons. Kai is ancient, thus is one of the oldest veterans of Kung Fu, thus having skills that are far greater than the likes of almost every Kung Fu master in history. The use of one of his chain blade swords takes an average warrior decades to fully master, whereas he has mastered the use of two blades without any flaws, thus providing proof of his superior combat abilities.
Kai is described as a "supernatural villain", which indicates that he possesses supernatural powers. It was later revealed that Kai possesses the ability to "steal the powers from every kung fu master he defeats", particularly their chi. After absorbing the chi of someone, the victim in question is transformed into a small, jade ornament that Kai wears on his belt, and when needed, he can summon these figures, turning them into jade, statue-like creatures, and see through their eyes. Since he is a "Spirit Warrior", he cannot die by natural means nor by most Kung Fu Techniques, because he is not alive, in essence at least. However, this does not mean he cannot be destroyed. He also has an advanced amount of supernatural strength, speed, stamina, and durability as well as enhanced healing powers.
Despite Kai being a seemingly unstoppable force, he is not completely invincible nor fully immortal. Kai is completely invulnerable to age, illness, and even Shen's super-cannons. However, as a supernatural being, a supernatural force must be utilized to harm him. An example would be how Tigress's chi-infused kick broke through his invulnerability and momentarily stunned him. Another example is how Oogway used Chi to harm Kai, even though Oogway willingly lost the fight. Po utilized a chi-constructed dragon to cause major damage to Kai. Even though Kai is not alive in essence, he is not beneficial. When Po gave Kai all the Chi Kai ever wanted, Kai became seemingly all powerful for a few seconds, before "dying" due to an excessive amount of Chi injected into his body.
|“|| Kai: With your chi, I will finally be able to return to the mortal world, and this time...you won't be there to stop me. |
Oogway: Ah, it was never my destiny to stop you. I have set another on that path.
(Oogway petrifies into a green disc which Kai catches)
Kai: Then I will find him and take his chi too.
|~ Kai defeats Oogway in the spirit relam.|
|“||Look at you pathetic fools. Groveling at the feet of Oogway the Magnificent!||„|
|~ Kai to Shifu, Tigress, Monkey, and Viper.|
|“|| Shifu: Oogway, forgive me. |
Kai: (*laughs*) What do you say, Oogway? Do you forgive him?
Shifu: You have destroyed the Jade Palace, but you will NEVER succeed! There will always be someone to stop you!
Kai: Who? The panda? His chi is strong, but it won't be enough. He will meet the same fate as you.
Kai: And so will every panda in that village.
|~ Kai mocks Shifu and takes his chi.|
|“|| Kai: You must be the Dragon Warrior! |
Po: And you must be Kai...Beast of Vengeance, Maker of Widows!
Kai: YES!! FINALLY!! Thank you! Almost makes me wanna spare your life!
Po: Oh, you wanna spare me. How about you spare the Chit-Chat. Let's do this.
Kai: I'm going to take your chi and then the chi of every panda in the-
Po: Oh, Chit Chat!
Kai: In the-
Po: Chitty, Chitty, Chat, Chat, Chat, Chat, Chat.
Kai: In The-
Po: Chit Chat.
|~ Kai meeting Po.|
|“||Oh no! It's working! No, no! (gags, but later chuckles) No, it's not. Did Oogway teach you that little trick? Too bad, it only works on mortals, and I...am a spirit warrior.||„|
|~ Kai mocking Po when the latter tried to use the Wuxi Finger Hold on him.|
|“|| Kai: It took me 500 years too take Oogway's chi. I will have yours if it takes me 500 MORE! |
Po: Chitty, Chitty, Chat Chat. Chit, Chat.
*Kai jumps at Po*
Po: You want my chi so bad? Then TAKE IT!
*Po infuses his chi directly into Kai*
Kai: YES!!! The power.... is MINE!! (*notices something wrong*) Wait! No! It's too much! It's TOO MUCH!! NO! UGH!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
|~ Kai's last words as Po's powerful chi overwhelmes and kills him.|
- Kai shares at least two similarities with Tai Lung and Lord Shen, the main antagonists of the first two Kung Fu Panda films: they are all traitorous, manipulative, calculating, heartless, vengeful, greedy, and evil from the past, so they don't see Po as a threat until the end of the film which make them mocking and underestimating Po, which led to their final deaths. However, Kai is more powerful and dangerous than Tai Lung and Shen combined, due to his immortality and chi-stealing powers. Plus Both Tai Lung and Kai don't meet Po till the climax of the movie, and both Shen and Kai threatened Po's kind.
- Coincidentally, Kai has Tai Lung as an amulet.
- In Chinese, the name "Kai" most often translates to "victory" (traditional Chinese: 凱 simplified Chinese: 凯; pinyin: kǎi) or "open" (traditional Chinese: 開; simplified Chinese: 开; pinyin: kāi).
- Kai was previously going to be voiced by Mads Mikkelsen. However, he dropped from the film due to unknown scheduling issues.
- His design is similar to Drago Bludvist from the 2014 DreamWorks film How to Train Your Dragon 2. Coincidentally Drago played Kai in the parody Dragons video on the Lung Fu Panda 3 trailer.
- He is one of the few demonic villains who appeared in the Kung Fu Panda franchise, alongside Ke-Pa and his demon army, Jiang Shi and the Mongolian Fist Demon.
- Kai uses swords on chains like Kratos (the anti-hero from the God of War series).
- When Kai says that after "500 years in the spirit realm, you pick up a thing of two", The line "A thing of two" is the reference to the farmers commercials that his voice actor appeared in.
- Kai is currently the bigger bad true main antagonist of the Kung Fu Panda film series since Po's adventures in the first two movies lead up to his battle with him.
- Kai's leitmotif incorporates a Chinese remix of the Imagine Dragons song "I'm So Sorry".
- He shares the same goal with Tirek from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, as they both steal power from enemies they encounter (Tirek stealing magic from ponies around the world of Equestria (including Discord's magic) to try to be ever powerful and to rule Equestria. And Kai defeats many Kung Fu masters and steals their chi and to use them to attack more Kung Fu masters across China to steal more chi to try to destroy Po and all other pandas and to conquer all of China).
- Both were also banished to an afterlife area many years before the story's beginning, though on opposite sides (Kai was imprisoned in the spirit realm, which appears to be heaven, and Tirek was imprisoned in Tartarus, which appears to be hell).
- Kai is quite similar to Lots-O' Huggin' Bear from the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story 3.
- Both first appeared in the third film of a film series, excluding Lotso's cameo in Up, the last film released before Toy Story 3.
- Both are the main antagonist.
- Both were once heroes later turned evil and became villains.
- Both were once a friend to a hero (Kai; Oogway, Lotso; Chuckles).
- Both have a odd gang of henchman (Kai has his Jombies, Lotso has his Gang).
- Both brainwashed the protagonist's friends and became the masters of those heroes (Kai turned Po's friends into Jombies; Lotso reset Buzz lightyear).