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Taotie

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Enough of your petty humiliation, Shifu and friends! I'll make you rue the day you were ever born! Rue, do you hear me?! RUE!
~ Taotie

Taotie is one of the principal antagonists in the computer-animated series, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. He is a greedy, villainous, manipulative, and deceitful warthog who is incredibly skilled in mechanics, having helped build the Training Hall when he was a student. He is Shifu's old friend who turned down kung fu in favor of machines after he was dismissed from the Jade Palace. He makes his first appearance in the episode "Sticky Situation", where he was tasked by Po to fix the Training Hall. He frequently continues to appear in the series with new inventions to fight against Po, Shifu, and the Furious Five. He also has his teenage son named Bian Zao. He is Shifu's arch-nemesis.

He was voiced by Wallace Shawn who also played Vizzini and Dr. Elliot Coleye.

Biography

Earlier years

It is known that Taotie was once Master Shifu's friend and the student at the Jade Palace in his younger days. However, unlike Shifu, Taotie was not a good fighter and had a hard time trying to learn kung fu. To help him improve, he and Shifu constructed the Training Hall, making use of Taotie's skill in mechanics. But while the Training Hall was impressive, Taotie's kung fu skills were still not, and he remained a poor, clumsy, and inadequate student.

Jealous of Shifu's growing abilities, Taotie decided he would use his mechanical mind to compensate for his failures in kung fu. Taking the sacred Jade Orb of Infinite Power, he made a giant weapon in the shape of a wooden warrior, fueled by the Orb, devised to make up for all of his weaknesses. He was proud of his creation, but Oogway and Shifu were instead appalled by it. They told him that his machines sullied the purity of kung fu. They took back the Orb and presumably destroyed Taotie's creation, and he was dismissed from the Jade Palace. Taotie is (abandoning kung fu) feeling extremely resentful and dissatisfied of it and of Shifu, and wanting to prove himself superior to both.

In Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness

Sticky Situation

After Po broke the equipment in the Training Hall with sticky dumplings by mistake, he calls on Taotie after seeing the warthog's mark in the Hall along with Shifu's. Visiting his home, Po meets Taotie as well as his unenthusiastic teenage son named Bian Zao, and, after being confronted with a spinning metallic contraption, told him that Shifu had asked for his help. Suspiciously, Taotie agrees to come and repair the Training Hall, his son accompanying him. Po then sneaks him and Bian Zao inside the Hall, avoiding Shifu and the Furious Five, and Po secured the entrance, not wanting anyone to see it was wrecked. Meanwhile, Taotie was left to realize his long-awaited vengeance.

He eventually emerged, and once again wielded another giant mechanical warrior, made from equipment in the Training Hall, with Bian Zao beside him at the controls. Taotie announces that Po had led him inside, and Shifu, alarmed to see Taotie, angrily revealed to Po that Taotie was no longer his friend but an enemy. He and the Furious Five seek to fight Taotie's invention, and declared that Po not fight with them. Taotie's many dangerous functions proved a challenge for the kung fu warriors' attacks, and all were eventually stopped. Shifu was also overtaken, and Taotie gloats to him that machines were more powerful than kung fu, and aimed to finish him off.

Po soon arrives armed with a bowl of sticky dumplings, surprising both Taotie and Shifu. He is able to hold off the machine and use the dumplings to glue its parts together, which resulted in it breaking down. With his invention destroyed, Taotie unleashes his spinning metallic contraption like an umbrella, takes his son, and flies off in an effort to escape, still wanting revenge. After the contraption stopped working in midair, he and Bian Zao crashes not far from the Training Hall and flees.

Fluttering Finger Mindslip

The two are seen back at their home with Taotie as determined as ever to get revenge on Shifu. A messenger arrived and handed him a bill from the Palace, which infuriated Taotie. He and Bian Zao later flew to the Jade Palace in his bird-like flying machine to confront the kung fu warriors about the bill, only to discover the Furious Five standing before him with no memory of who they were, or who Taotie was.

Taotie uses this to serve his purposes, telling them he was their kung fu master and that Shifu and Po were their sworn enemies. Though he is able to deceive them long enough to have them attack Shifu and Po, they eventually have their memories restored when Po uses the clay from the Alabaster Pot of Remembrance on them during the battle. Cornered by Po and the others and unarmed, Taotie flees again from the scene with Bian Zao, and they escaped in Taotie's flying bird-like machine.

The Kung Fu Ki

Taotie reappears as a cameo in Po's nightmare. Here, he tried to defeat the Furious Five with Scorpion, Hundun, and Fung; they were defeated by Peng instead by Po.

Big Bro Po

Taotie's latest attempt to take over the palace using his Iron Claws of Doom ended in disaster due to Bian Zao neglecting to lubricate the invention. He was swiftly defeated and sent to Chorh-Gom Prison and because of this, Po was left to look after Bian Zao. When Bian Zao came to visit him in prison, Taotie persuades him to smuggle parts of his invention inside the cakes he brought to him, and his son complied when Taotie promised to spend some quality time that didn't involve trying to destroy Shifu and his students. Bian Zao smuggled in every piece, but during his time at the palace he developed a friendship with Po, and became so reluctant to smuggle the last piece that would complete the Iron Claws. Out of kindness, Po unwittingly gives Taotie the cake himself.

With his machine reassembled and greatly improved, Taotie breaks out of prison and attacked the kung fu warriors once again, this time nearly succeeding. He was only defeated when Bian Zao (unwilling to betray either Po or his father) took a third option and secretly pulled out the lubrication hose, immobilizing the Iron Claws and forcing him and his father to once again make a swift getaway, much to Taotie's disappointment.

The Most Dangerous Po

Taotie is among the villains that were hunted by General Tsin and subjected to stiffening Zu Chao Powder. He is later rescued by Po, but escapes upon being repelled by Po.

Bosom Enemies

Taotie uses a knife stand machine to attack Po which ends up failed. Taotie ends up in a nervous breakdown following his defeat and Po accidentally ripping off his pants. Bian Zao later turns to Po to get Taotie back to normal. Taotie ends up seeing the light and Po plans to make Taotie a good guy by having him make crime-fighting gadgets while having some special nunchucks made for Po. When the Furious Five arrive, Taotie ends up showing off the special nunchucks as Po states that Taotie has changed. Taotie commented that his old friend Goatie, his parents (including the uncle that never like), and the Cart Wash Manager turned against him. When the Furious Five leave vowing to come after Taotie if he hasn't changed, Po states to Taotie that he can have Taotie make weapons for the Furious Five with Po secretly taking measurements of the Furious Fiver. Po comments that Taotie can make the best crime-fighting assistant to the Furious Five. After Po leaves upon handing him the measurements of the Furious Five for the weapons needed to fit the Furious Five's talents, Taotie ends up snapping out of his good side as the measurements to make a machine. The next day, Taotie attacks Po and the Furious Five with the Adapto-Bot (which can copy the movies of Po, Master Tigress's claws, Master Monkey's tail, Master Mantis's pointed claws, Master Crane's flight, and Master Viper's constructions) stating that Taotie plays assistant to nobody. Taotie's Adapto-Bot receives a magnifying glass from Po through Bian-Zao and ends up using it to distract the Adapto-Bot while Po uses his nunchucks to throw the Adapto-Bot off balance and then destroys it. Po thanks Taotie for helping him out as he quotes "What are friends for?". Yet Taotie and Bian Zao end up remanded to Chorh-Gom Prison as Taotie works on the designs of his next invention to use on Po.

The Maltese Mantis

Taotie and Bian Zao were attending the Festival of Figurines where they are unpacking the figurines of Taotie's inventions. Though Bian Zao was very doubtful and uncertain that people would buy figurines of his father, Taotie was extremely confident that he would make a fortune once the fans saw the power of his figurines (demonstrated when one of them punched a hole through the table). Bian Zao eventually asks his father for some money so he could go and buy something that wasn't "lame". Bian Zao eventually discovers Mantis (who was accidentally paralyzed by Po using the Paralyzing Touch Point) and becomes intrigued when he spotted the eyes of the "figure" moving (the only part of Mantis's body that wasn't paralyzed). Po and Master Shifu learn from Bian Zao about where they can find Taotie. Po and Master Shifu aggressively confront Taotie, who refused to give Mantis up, especially after Po unwisely revealed that Mantis would become permanently paralyzed in a matter of minutes. Taotie then attempts to make a break for it only for the destructive skirmish between him, Po, and Master Shifu to make it onto the nearest stage. With help from the festival attendees, Po and Master Shifu cornered Taotie, who ended up being beaten up by the attendees while Bian Zao gives Master Mantis back to Po and Master Shifu. While Master Shifu undoes the paralysis on Master Mantis, Bian Zao carried his beaten-up father away.

In Kung Fu Panda Vol 2

Taotie was one of the many threats recalled by Po during "Daze of Thunder".

Personality

Taotie is seen as clumsy, graceless, and inconsiderate when he was a student, being unsuccessful in kung fu. When he and Shifu constructed the Training Hall, Taotie hopes he would improve, and was sourly disappointed to find the added training from the Hall did nothing but give him more injuries. Jealous of Shifu's exceeding skill and wanting to prove he wasn't powerless, Taotie resolves to make his gift work for him. To do this, he is willing to steal the sacred Jade Orb of Infinite Power, which he used to build a gigantic machine, created to make up for his lacking kung fu skills. When his invention was rejected by Master Oogway and Master Shifu, Taotie was expelled from the Palace, and he grows to despise Shifu afterward, wanting revenge by taking the Jade Palace, and by proving that machines were more powerful than kung fu.

A true blue innovator, Taotie is also extremely faithful, dependable, conscientious, straightforward, compassionate, and trustworthy, so he has great faith and fondness upon his prized crafts. In fact, when Po accidentally destroys the Training Hall, and has to smuggle both Taotie and his son into the Hall to repair it, Taotie wastes no time proudly presenting to his son his finest creation during his days there, only to be distraught and pessimistic after seeing the state it was reduced into by Po's antics, even going as far as caressing a a spiked club that falls off who knows where as though it was an injured child.

Years later, Taotie is still set on this plan. Though he is still resentful and willing to attack his enemies with his machines, alone with his presence is less than intimidating, even as he tries to come off as a serious threat. He also seems to have a rather typical parental role to his teenage son, whose obstreperous and uncooperative behavior can (at times) disgruntle Taotie during his attempts to take the Jade Palace.

Gallery

Trivia

  • "Taotie" is the name of the design motif commonly found on Chinese ritual bronze vessels from the Shang and Zhou dynasties. Its appearance is that of an animalistic, ogre-like face.

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