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Tai Lung

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I'm glad Shifu sent you. I was afraid I'd been forgotten. Fly back there and tell them...the real Dragon Warrior is coming home!
~ Tai Lung after escaping from prison sends Zeng back to the valley to alert his arrival.
He's a panda! You're a panda! What are you going to do, big guy? Sit on me? *chuckles*
~ Tai Lung confronting Po for the first time

Tai Lung is the main antagonist of the 2008 Dreamworks film Kung Fu Panda. He was Po's first enemy, Shifu's former student and adoptive son and Tigress's adoptive older brother. In the TV series, it was revealed Peng is Tai Lung's nephew who has been looking for him until he learned of what happened to Tai Lung from Po.

He was voiced by Ian McShane, who also played another Dreamworks villain: Captain Hook and well-known for portraying the Disney villain; Blackbeard.

Biography

Beginnings

Baby tai lung kung fu panda

Tai Lung found by Shifu outside the Jade Palace as a newborn

Tai Lung was found as an abandoned cub by Master Shifu. Shifu raised him as his own son, showered him with love, and trained him in the arts of Kung Fu. As Shifu trained him, he grew more and more confident in his abilities, due to Shifu's constant assurance that he was destined for greatness and he would be the Dragon Warrior.

Young-tai-lung

Tai Lung as a slightly older cub

Growing into a proud and formidable fighter, Tai Lung began to see the Dragon Scroll, and being the Dragon Warrior, as his destiny, and the final step in his life as a hero.

Tai-lung-rampages-through-valley

Tai Lung angrily destroying the Valley after being denied the scroll by Grand Master Oogway

The day arrived when Shifu felt that Tai Lung was ready for the Dragon Scroll, but Shifu's mentor, Grand Master Oogway, respectfully refused to let him have it due to seeing a dark potential in his heart. At that point, Tai Lung's pride dissolved into rage, and he rampaged through the Valley of Peace, laying it to waste. He then attempted to take the scroll by force, barrelling through the thick wooden doors into the Jade Palace's Hall of Warriors, where Master Oogway and Master Shifu were waiting for him.

Shifu attempted to stop Tai Lung from getting to the scroll, but was unwilling to harm the one he considered to be his son. However, Tai Lung had nothing but hatred for Shifu, due to the fact that Shifu was unable to stand up for him when Oogway denied him the Dragon Scroll, and violently struck Shifu aside, crippling him in the process. Just before Tai Lung was about to get the Dragon Scroll, he was stopped by Master Oogway, who blocked his chi, rendering him unconscious.

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Tai Lung imprisoned

He was then locked into a prison with thousands of guards, weapons, two boulders chained to his arms, and a jade shell on his back to immobilize him as punishment for his crimes against the Valley.

In Kung Fu Panda

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Tai Lung escaping prison

20 years later, Tai Lung escapes from Chorh-Gom Prison; meanwhile, in the Valley of Peace, the potential Dragon Warrior (Po) is being trained to fight Tai Lung. The Furious Five attempt to stop him, against Shifu's orders, and though managing to fight him for a time, he defeats them without serious effort, paralyzing all but Crane.

Though Tai Lung at first gives Shifu a chance at welcoming him home, in disregard of his earlier crimes, he shows no mercy to his surrogate father when he refuses and is challenged, beating him mercilessly and nearly killing him, despite Shifu attempting to reach out to him at one point. Enraged at the crimes that had he felt had been done to him, Tai Lung attacks his master and an intense fight breaks out, where Tai Lung eventually breaks his master.

Tai Lung Attack

Tai Lung attacking Shifu during their battle in the Jade Palace

During the final battle, he and Po came face-to-face and continuously fought over the Dragon Scroll. With Po managing to outmaneuver Tai Lung until the end, where Tai Lung finally gets the Dragon Scroll. Not understanding it, Tai Lung attacks out of frustration.

Kung Fu Panda Po Performs The Wuxi Finger Hold On Tai Lung

Tai Lung's last moments

Using the Wuxi Finger Hold, Po finishes Tai Lung, causing him to disappear in a rippling golden wave.

Kung Fu Panda 2

While not actually appearing in Kung Fu Panda's first sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2, Tai Lung was briefly mentioned when Po was put in eight-point acupressure cuffs, the panda pointing out they are the same type of cuffs had once held Tai Lung. He was also seen shortly in the memories of Po during his flashback.

Kung Fu Panda 3

He also appears in Kung Fu Panda's second sequel, Kung Fu Panda 3 as an action figure.

Personality

Tai Lung is best described as a warrior whose pride and ambition led him down a dark path. As a young cub he showed promise in the art of Kung Fu and had a close bond with his master, Shifu whom in his eyes were his true father however as he grew older and more skilled he became overconfident and arrogant until he believed that it was his destiny to recieve the Dragon Scroll and become the Dragon Warrior.

However when approached by Oogway, the old turtle saw darkness in his heart and did not see him as worthy enough to be the Dragon Warrior. After his master and adopted father, Shifu said nothing after hearing this Tai Lung considered this an act of a betrayal and his pride was replaced with rage. Tai Lung went on the warpath across the Valley of Peace, laying waste to everything in his path and decided to take the Dragon Scroll by force. He hated Shifu and even violently attacked his old master when he was in his way. Eventually Tai Lung was subdued by Oogway and sentenced to Chorm-Gom prison.

20 years in jail did not soothe his hatred however instead he became even more viciously determined that he was the Dragon Warrior, even telling to Zeng that he was "the real Dragon Warrior" and he was returning to the Valley of Peace. Tai Lung retained his arrogance and brutality, he could not believe that for one second that Po, who was an overweight panda could be the Dragon Warrior which ironically was a factor of his defeat. (Granted he was able to defeat the entire Furious Five himself so maybe his arrogance was justified).

Despite his cold-hearted, hard exterior, Tai Lung was naturally insecure, he did not believe in himself to begin with and needed the Dragon Scroll to believe so. While duelling with Shifu at the Jade Palace, he actually screams to his father that all he ever did was to make him proud, indicating that despite nearly two decades of alienation between the two Tai Lung still wants his old master's approval. Even after hearing Shifu's confession that he had always been proud of him and that his pride blinded him into seeing what he became and made an apology for it, Tai Lung finally saw that Shifu still did love him, but he hardened his heart as he still wanted the Dragon Scroll.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Tai Lung appeared in the first Kung Fu Panda video game, in which he was the primary villain again and, just like the movie, broke out of jail and went for the scroll; however, unlike the movie, the Furious Five get captured by the leopard and his army of wolves. So it is up to Po to go rescue them and stop Tai Lung.
  • He returns in the video game Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors, in which he's the main villain (again) and also the final boss. This time, he comes with a troop of enemies to aid him. He's once again stopped, defeated, and killed by Po and the others.
  • According to the creator's commentary, the colour gold was used to symbolise heroism in the movie, and that Tai Lung saw himself as the hero of the story, hence they gave him golden eyes.

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