Mr. Ping is one of the supporting protagonists in the Kung Fu Panda series. He is Po's adoptive father, who runs the most popular noodle shop in the Valley of Peace. He considers his work deeply fulfilling, and hoped that his son will continue to operate the shop before he was dubbed the Dragon Warrior.
Little is known about Mr. Ping's early life. What is known is that he was born to his father, the noodle-maker and owner of the Noodle Shop. It is assumed that as Mr. Ping grew older, he eventually received the "Noodle Dream" and told his father about it, who then knew it was time to tell him the "secret ingredient" of the noodle soup and have him take over the shop. He did so, and as time passed, Mr. Ping eventually inherited the noodle shop from his father (presumably from his passing).
One day, while gathering the new shipment of vegetables he had ordered, Mr. Ping found a baby panda in one of the shipment's radish crates. Surprised, he looked around and waited for someone to come find the infant. When no one came, he turned to bring in the cabbages, but hearing the child cry, he decided to keep the child until someone came looking for him. Quickly finding out that the infant was too big and heavy to carry in, he led him inside with a trail of dumplings. He bathed him, fed him, nurtured him, and grew to love him until he came to realize that no one was coming for the child. He then made two life-altering decisions: he would never use radishes in his noodle soup, and he would raise the child as his own son. Mr. Ping then named the baby panda "Xiao Po" (小宝).
Since then, Mr. Ping had raised Po in the noodle shop, teaching him all he knew as a noodle-maker and aspired that one day, his adopted son would take over the restaurant just as he did from his own father. It never bothered him when Po broke a plate or messed up an order, because to him, his son was a hero. Until the events in the second film, neither he nor Po ever brought up how different they were from each other, because despite their physical differences, both father and son share a deep mutual love and respect. This shows mainly in the first film in how Po cannot bear to disappoint his father about his differing ambitions, while Mr. Ping eventually comes to respect his son's decisions enough to neither protest nor interfere after the panda is dubbed the Dragon Warrior.
One morning, Po was late getting up for work and made a series of noises in his room. When he finally came downstairs, Mr. Ping asked his son as to what was happening. Po claimed that he was having a dream about noodles. This excited Mr. Ping, believing that Po finally had the "Noodle Dream", a clear sign that he would eventually take over the restaurant. Po unenthusiastically put it down as "no big deal" and asked his father if he ever wanted to do anything else besides make noodles. Mr. Ping admitted that when he was "young and crazy", he dreamed of running away to make tofu, but gave up on it because it was a "stupid dream".
That same day, a tournament was announced across the Valley of Peace to be held at the Jade Palace, where Grand Master Oogway would choose the Dragon Warrior. As Po urged all of the restaurant's patrons to go watch, Mr. Ping saw the event as a great opportunity to sell noodles. Knowing that everyone in the Valley would be there, he gave Po the noodle cart. But some time later, Mr. Ping discovered that Po had abandoned the noodle cart at the bottom of the stairs and found him seated in a chair with lit fireworks tied to it. He attempted to stop his son from performing such a dangerous stunt, but Po insisted that he wanted to see the Dragon Warrior. Mr. Ping was confused and reminded him that he just had the Noodle Dream, but Po confessed that he lied. As the rockets were about to ignite, Po exclaimed, "I love Kung Fu!" However, the rockets failed to go off and he fell down, depressed and miserable. Though sympathetic, Mr. Ping handed Po his apron and suggested that they get back to work. Then suddenly the rockets went off, launching Po high into the sky before he fell down into the arena. Mr. Ping managed to enter the arena just in time to see Oogway select Po as the Dragon Warrior, much to his astonishment.
A few days later, as the Valley was being evacuated in response to the return of Tai Lung, Mr. Ping packed up his restaurant to restart elsewhere, deciding that diced vegetables would be his new trend. To his joy, Po returned as well, with the Dragon Scroll in hand. Mr. Ping noticed how depressed his son was and tried comforting him with talk of noodles again. Po replied by saying that sometimes he couldn't believe he was actually his son. Surprised at this, Mr. Ping then decided to reveal the secret ingredient to his secret ingredient soup: "nothing". He didn't need to add anything to plain, ordinary noodle soup — he only needed people to believe that it was special. Po then opened the scroll, looked at its blank, reflective surface, and realized that there was no secret ingredient to the mastery of Kung Fu. His father's advice gave him the courage to go back to the Jade Palace and confront Tai Lung.
At Po's triumph over Tai Lung, all of Mr. Ping's doubts of his son's destiny vanished as he proclaimed his pride in Po to the entire Valley as they embraced. Furthermore, the end credit graphics indicate that Po kept close in touch with his father to the point of temporarily assuming the restaurant's cooking on occasion while Ping established a friendship with the panda's other father figure and master, Shifu. and was seen outwitting Shifu in a Chinese chess match.
The special opened up with Mr. Ping having his cherished "Noodle Dream", in which he and his son Po made an incredibly delicious noodle soup and served it to a rabbit customer. But suddenly, it turned into a "Noodle Nightmare" with the appearance of an incredibly large version of Tai Lung. Po defeated the snow leopard once again, but left his father, declaring that neither he, nor evil, takes a holiday. As he pleaded his son not to go, Mr. Ping's oven came alive and snatched at him like a frog. This moment of shock caused Mr. Ping to wake up, crying out in anguish. Po, bursting into his room, assured his dad that it was only a dream and that he wasn't going anywhere.
Afterwards, that same morning, Po and his father went downstairs, and Po came across the sun-lantern he made when he was a cub. Mr. Ping said that he opened the box the previous summer just to look at it. Then Master Shifu came into the restaurant to say good morning and assign Po to host the annual Winter Feast celebration at the Jade Palace, which is a highly ritualized formal occasion exclusively for the masters of Kung Fu. Mr. Ping became depressed when Po quickly forgot about their holiday traditions, before Po then rushed off to help the Furious Five defeat a group of boar bandits.
When Po learned that he couldn't invite his own father to the feast, he figured that he could hire him as the feast's chef, thus solving his dilemma. Even though Po presented his father the opportunity to cater the feast with the Golden Ladle, Mr. Ping was adamant that he must stay at his restaurant for the lonely people who have nowhere else to eat for the holiday (and who also pay extra).Mr. Ping had continued preparing for the Feast at the shop all by himself, struggling to do so with all the various things to accomplish. But later on the night of the feast, Po had returned to the shop to help his father. Once together, Mr. Ping apologized for being unfair to Po about his larger responsibilities and they prepared their food with polished skill to make the informal dinner a success from the start. Soon, the Furious Five and all the visiting masters, moved by Po's loyalty, arrived to participate in the festivities with the townsfolk.
During one busy day at the noodle shop, Mr. Ping is approached by an antelope named Kuo, who had just been hired by Po to work at the restaurant after expressing great interest in the job. While impressed by Kuo's skill in chopping vegetables, Mr. Ping refuses when the antelope inquires about one of his special recipes. While walking away, Mr. Ping does not notice Kuo glaring at his back.
Mr. Ping later finds Kuo searching the shop for the recipes, and again refuses when he demands to know their location. Angered, Kuo threatens Mr. Ping with a knife, and soon after Po returns to find his father bound and held hostage. It is revealed that Kuo blames Mr. Ping's successful business for his own failures, and believes that the goose's recipes are the key to his own success. Po attempts to reason with Kuo, but the enraged antelope attacks, only to be beaten by Po's newly-acquired balancing skills. Po unties his father while Shifu stops Kuo from escaping, and Mr. Ping thanks his son for saving him.
Mr. Ping makes frequent appearances in the series, and there are a few where he plays a significant role.
In "Master Ping", after a fight between Po and a trio of brutish pigs (Bao, Tsao and Lao) leads to the destruction of Mr. Ping's restaurant, Master Shifu allows the goose to take up residence in the Jade Palace. It isn't long until Mr. Ping's bossy, intrusive habits cause problems for the palace residents: the loud nasal sounds he makes when he sleeps keeps everyone else awake, he uses the jade tortoise as a giant noodle pan, and eventually transforms the hall of warriors into his own restaurant, with the Furious Five and temporarily Master Shifu as its waiters. While speaking with a customer, Mr. Ping actually proclaims that he 'runs the place'. Unfortunately, the pig trio from earlier happen to arrive at that very moment, having decided to find Shifu and make him teach them the secret kung fu moves. Hearing Mr. Ping's 'run the place' comment, they immediately assume that he is the master they are looking for.
Shifu eventually tires of the goose's behavior, and arranges for him to be sent to a community home. When Po reluctantly breaks the news to his father, Mr. Ping is outraged, but leaves anyway. He is swiftly abducted by the trio and brought to their home. When his attempts to convince them that he is not Master Shifu fails, Mr. Ping then tries to teach them the Chao Wa Punch Kick, accidentally succeeding. Luckily Po manages to track his father and the trio down, but too late to stop them from learning the powerful move and using it to battle the panda. As Po is about to be overwhelmed, Mr. Ping manages to defeat the trio with the very kung fu move he taught them. After apologizing to Po and the other kung fu masters for his behavior, Mr. Ping returns to his newly rebuilt noodle shop.
In "Love Stings", Mr. Ping is outraged when Po ditches their plans to cook mooncakes in order to play dizzy kung fu. In an attempt to gain more freedom, Po searches for potential girlfriends for his father. Mr. Ping rejects them all, and reveals to a surprised Po that he already has a girlfriend. Po's pleasant surprise turns to horror when he quickly discovers that said girlfriend is none other than Scorpion, Po's old enemy. Blinded by love, Mr. Ping refuses to listen to Po's warnings, and requests that the panda not reveal to the other masters that Scorpion is back in the valley. For his father's sake, Po puts up with their relationship, up until the mid-autumn festival. Having had helped Mr. Ping with the mooncakes, Scorpion allows Po to try one. Just as Po begins to believe that Scorpion may have reformed after all, Scorpion reveals her true intentions: to poison everyone in the valley with her mooncakes. Having just ate a mooncake, Po is immediately reduced to a dizzy, delirious state, and Scorpion locks the panda in the basement just before Mr. Ping arrives. After he asks where Po is, Scorpion lies that Po wants nothing more to do with his father, saddening the goose. At the festival, Mr. Ping is horrified when his mooncakes take effect, incapacitating everyone in the valley. Fortunately Po manages to escape from the basement, and uses his condition to defeat Scorpion with dizzy kung fu. As she lies incapacitated on the ground, Mr. Ping dumps her for deceiving him and endangering his village. The next day, father and son share quality bonding time as they administer antidote soup to everyone in the valley. Po takes note that his father has some lady admirers in their restaurant. Mr. Ping only nudges his son, saying that this may be a good dynasty.
After Po's success and fame as the Dragon Warrior, Mr. Ping continued to work at the noodle shop. But being proud of his son, he made a few changes to his business, marketing on Po's success by renaming the shop and creating a theme related to the Dragon Warrior, noodles, and tofu.
After Po had a flashback of his mother, he asked Mr. Ping where he came from. Trying to make an excuse, Mr. Ping said he came from an egg and insisted that Po "[not] ask [him] where the egg comes from." But once he noticed how Po saw through the excuse, he reluctantly admitted that Po was adopted. Mr. Ping continued to explain how he found him in an "empty" box of radishes outside the shop. After a while of waiting for someone to come, he eventually decided on two things: to make his soup without radishes, and to take him in as a son, commenting on how "both [his] soup and [his] life had been that much sweeter." However, Po was unsatisfied, wondering how he could've ended up in that box. Mr. Ping reminds him that though his story may not have such a happy beginning, he is currently living out a happy life now.
Mr. Ping later heard about Po's mission to travel with the Furious Five over to Gongmen City to stop Lord Shen's weapon, and had already packed Po's things by the time he arrived back at the shop. Mr. Ping made an effort to try and pack things that would remind him of their relationship; these included Po's favorite foods, his Furious Five action figures, and portrait paintings of moments he considered precious (much to Po's embarrassment and Monkey's amusement). This was all done out of Mr. Ping's own worries, hoping that if Po indeed found where he came from, he would still find it in his heart to return. Still feeling that sense of worry that this might be an adventure his son may never return from, he tried pleading Po not to leave, but Po insisted that he discover where he came from and fulfill his duty as the Dragon warrior. As Po takes his traveling pack, Tigress assures Mr. Ping that Po will return, and Mr. Ping stood in the middle of the village road and sadly watched as Po and the Five departed.
At the end of the film, Mr. Ping was seen dealing with a pig mother and her son, who insisted that they see the Dragon Warrior for the child's birthday. Mr. Ping politely apologized as he told them Po wasn't present because of the mission that he and the Furious Five were given to save Gongmen City and China, but the pig's son is still not happy. The mother unwillingly suggested they returned some other time to see him, but a worried Mr. Ping, terrified and upset for the well-being of his only son, finally broke down in tears and answered that he doesn't know if Po will be returning or not. But just a moment later, Po appeared at the shop's entrance with a crate of radishes under each arm, much to the delight of Mr. Ping and the customers. He then asked him if he saved China, to which Po confirmed and additionally added how he also discovered where he came from.
Mr. Ping, worried that Po might consider leaving again, stared at his son in terror, until Po then declared that he was his son. Relieved that Po still accepted him as a father, both father and son share a hug in acceptance of one another. Mr. Ping then offered to cook for Po, but Po offered to cook as well as his way of thanking his father for raising him. But Mr. Ping insisted on cooking and he happily walked into the kitchen with his son.
There are three things in his life that Mr. Ping loves over anything else: his son, noodles, and tofu. He is usually happy, humble, and takes pride in his business running the Noodle Shop. In the first film, he is delighted by the prospect of Po being next in the family tradition to own the restaurant after him, though fails to notice Po's obvious lack of enthusiasm to do so. Even though Po chooses to pursue Kung Fu, Mr. Ping is still very proud of him and comes to accept his son's destiny as the Dragon Warrior.
He enjoys the Winter Festival holiday in Kung Fu Panda Holiday, celebrating by cooking and hanging decorations, being particularly fond of a sun-lantern Po made when he was a cub. Even though Po continues to work at the Noodle Shop, Mr. Ping may worry about Po leaving him some day, as seen in his nightmare. In the special, he also shows compassion for others when he turns down the high honor of preparing a feast at the Jade Palace so that he can cook for the neighborhood and give any lonely people a place to stay. It is also partly because of his sympathy that Po was inspired to believe in himself and understand the symbolic meaning of the Dragon Scroll, as Mr. Ping offered him the secret ingredient to the restaurant's soup, which was nothing but one's own belief in it being special.
Since the events of the first film, Mr. Ping may have lost his best (and only) employee to Kung Fu greatness, but he couldn't be more proud of his panda son. In fact, Mr. Ping has decked out the noodle shop in honor of Po's epic exploits. But like any parent left at home, Mr. Ping worries about being forgotten. Therefore he makes sure to always have extra helpings of bean buns ready to feed the Dragon Warrior whenever he stops by.
Po has pointed out that his father is "a little hard to live with", as Mr. Ping has displayed signs of being unwittingly bossy and intrusive, likely stemming from his experiences in managing his restaurant. This was seen in the episode "Master Ping" from Legends of Awesomeness while the goose was staying at the Jade Palace as a guest, and had turned the place into his temporary noodle shop, ordering Shifu and the Furious Five around and making them into servers. When he was kidnapped by a trio of pigs and called out on his behavior by Po, Mr. Ping realised the error of his ways and became more humble.
In the same episode, Mr. Ping also showed a mild disdain for Kung Fu, considering it boring and pointless compared to noodles. This was most evident when Shifu demonstrated the powerful Chao Wa Punch Kick on the training dummy. Rather than being impressed, Mr. Ping disrespected the move by calling it a lot of work and suggested simply hitting the opponent with a stick, much to Po's dismay. Mr. Ping would later be proven wrong when he discovered that the technique results in the opponent being completely frozen, something a stick would never be capable of. After using the same move to protect his son from Bao, Mr. Ping admitted that Kung Fu was actually very useful (though still not as good as noodles).
Mr. Ping has also been known to be a canny, if a bit opportunistic, business owner since the events of the first film. This was shown in Kung Fu Panda Holiday when Mr. Ping explains to Po that he can't leave the restaurant because the lonely people need a place to call home for the holidays (and also charge them extra for it). Similarly, in Kung Fu Panda 2, he offers "free" tofu dessert for his customers, but only with purchases.
Although Mr. Ping doesn't fight, he makes a mean noodle soup. He comes from a long line of noodle makers; Po and noodles are all that he cares about. Although, once Po became the Dragon Warrior and Mr. Ping changed the name of his restaurant to capitalize on Po's fame, he also began fulfilling his own dreams. Mr. Ping mentioned in the first film that he thought of running away when he was younger to learn how to make tofu, but didn't because it was "just a stupid dream." Because of Po's success in his dream, he has now begun selling tofu in his shop, thus fulfilling a dream he always had.
It is unknown how close they were, but he did teach him how to make the famous noodle soup and gave him the restaurant.
As his adoptive father, Mr. Ping loves Po more than he loves his noodles. Even though he is a little old-fashioned and maybe a bit naive to his son's wishes and adult responsibilities, he does love his son dearly and would do anything to make him happy. He gave Po his posters, swinging stars and action figures out of love and encouragement that his son could lead a normal and happy life.
Mr. Ping's biggest fear is that, someday, Po will no longer need him and leave. However, Po is a loving son who treasures his dad too dearly to leave him. This led to some friction with Po being pointed Host of the Winter Festival and Mr. Ping declined his son's offer to have him cater it in favor of his own profitable event at the Noddle Shop on the same night. As it turns out, both found their separate commitments dispiriting struggles, but Po returned to the shop mid-through the feast with the Masters out of loyalty to his father where Mr. Ping apologizes for being unfair to his son and his obligations as the Dragon Warrior. With his son's help, the shop's event is a rousing success that draws all the Masters to join them. Afterward, Po moves to the Jade Palace barracks satisfied that his father is at peace with his calling.
This relationship was tested in the second film, when Po finally found out the truth about his origins. However, as he remembered the good times he had with Mr. Ping, he realized how much his dad loves him despite their differences and a difficult undertaking. Upon his return to the Valley, Po returns to his dad's noodle shop and lovingly acknowledges his importance and love to him.
OthersEditson's responsibilities as Dragon Warrior, Mr. Ping has developed a friendship with Master Shifu. However, the relationship does have occasional friction such as with Shifu's habit of imperiously calling away Po for his own matters.
The Furious FiveEdit
Their relationship is unspecified, but they do enjoy his soup.
Mr. Ping wears a simple red robe with light yellow lining, and a gold-colored belt with wave designs on it (though this was replaced by white lining and a black belt in Kung Fu Panda Holiday to create a Santa Claus-esque image). He is usually seen donning a hat made to look like a bowl of noodles, seemingly made of fabric and balls of yarn, with a pair of chopsticks attached. He also wears bead-like rings on his ankles.
In Kung Fu Panda 2, when Mr. Ping explains to Po about his adoption and flashes back to approximately thirty years ago, Mr. Ping is shown wearing a shiny purple overcoat paired with a long braid tied behind his head, all rather than his customary noodle shop robe and hat seen in the first film. Character designer Nicolas Marlet explained this look as a representation of Mr. Ping's "young and crazy days" when he discovered baby Po.
- Mr. Ping has been the only character so far with the same voice actor (James Hong) throughout the entire Kung Fu Panda franchise.
- According to the filmmakers' commentary on the Kung Fu Panda DVD, Mr. Ping was originally going to be Po's strict boss. This was later changed.
- From a behind-the-scenes featurette on the Kung Fu Panda DVD, the filmmakers reveal that, after hearing about James Hong's father owning a noodle shop, they brought this to his character.
- In an interview, James Hong compared Mr. Ping's personality to that of a Jewish mother and a Chinese father, and declared that Mr. Ping was like a mix between the two.[source?]
- ↑ James Hong on IMDb.com
- ↑ Used as an adjective that means "little" (traditional and simplified Chinese: 小; pinyin: xiǎo)
- ↑ Scholastic.com - "Kung Fu Panda-monium!" by Marie Morreale
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Kung Fu Panda Official Site - Mr. Ping
- ↑ Miller-Zarneke, Tracey. The Art of Kung Fu Panda II, p. 35. ISBN: 1608870189
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