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This article is about Po's biological father, previously known as Po's father. You may be looking for Po's adoptive father, Mr. Ping.
I'm Li Shan. I'm looking for my son.
  —Li, Kung Fu Panda 3  

Li Shan (known simply as Li; previously known as Po's father and Panda Dad) is a giant panda and the biological father of Po. He was separated from his wife and son during the massacre of his home village by Lord Shen and his wolves.[1] In Kung Fu Panda 3, he finds Po and takes him to his current residence in a hidden village with other pandas.[4]


In Kung Fu Panda 2


Li and his wife in the old panda village in Kung Fu Panda 2

Many years prior to the events of the film, Li lived happily with his wife and infant son in the panda village. But one day, an evil peacock by the name of Lord Shen and a pack of wolves invaded their home, bent on annihilating all of the pandas. In the chaos, Boss Wolf and another wolf attempted to kill the young Po, but his father defended him and swatted the wolves away with a rake, damaging Boss Wolf's left eye and scarring it for life. Li then told his wife to take their son and run, which she did. It is unknown what exactly happened to Li during and after the battle, but he managed to survive and presumably fled to the mountains with other surviving pandas, spending the following years in hiding.

In the film, Li was first seen in one of Po's nightmares, where he and his wife told Po how they replaced him with a radish that was better at kung fu than he was.


Li at the panda hideout learning of Po's existence

At the very end of the film, Li was seen living in a hidden village far away from the Valley of Peace with many other pandas. He suddenly became aware of Po's existence and proclaimed, "My son is alive" while overlooking the other pandas in his village.

In Kung Fu Panda 3

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Li finding Po at the noodle shop

the two travel to a secret panda paradise to meet other pandas.

In Kung Fu Panda 3, Li was shown in the noodle shop partaking in a dumpling-eating contest, receiving cheers from a crowd of customers after breaking his son's dumpling record. When Po questions who he is, Li introduces himself and says that he's looking for his son, who was lost many years ago.

Po reveals that he lost his father. The crowd watches them in suspense, but the two eventually depart, neither making the connection that they're father and son, much to the exasperation of the crowd. Soon, however, they realize their mistake and embrace. When Po asks how he found him, Li explains that other Pandas survive as well in a hidden village, and that he was informed of Po's survival by a message "from the universe." Mr. Ping is skeptical of this, however, having raised Po himself since he was a baby. Nevertheless, Po decides to spend some time with Li by giving him a tour of the Jade Palace, messing around with several kung fu artifacts in the process.

Shortly after being introduced to Shifu, however, Kai's warriors arrive to attack the valley, leaving Li concerned for his son's safety. After learning more about Kai and his history with Oogway and the Pandas, the heroes decide that Po must become a Master of Chi, and Li offers to train him. The two Pandas set out for the village and are joined by Mr. Ping, who is troubled by Li Shan's return and what it could mean for his and Po's relationship. Upon reaching the village, Po is overjoyed to meet so many other Pandas, and feels that he finally knows who he is.

Li teaches his son the ways of his people, but keeps postponing the lessons for Chi. After Li has a heartfelt conversation with Po about his mother, Tigress arrives at the village and informs the Pandas of Kai's approach, and Li then admits that he has lied to Po about knowing the ancient Chi techniques of the Pandas, having been lost to them over the centuries. Furious, Po determines to face Kai and destroy him using the Wuxi Finger Hold, but is informed by Tigress that it cannot be done alone.

After a pep talk from Mr. Ping, Li Shan offers himself and the other Pandas to Po's tutelage so that he will have an army to face Kai's Jade warriors. Following some rigorous-and highly unconventional-training, Li and the Pandas face Kai's assault, and manage to disorient him by attacking his army.

While Po confronts Kai in the spirit realm, Li and the others manage to employ the Chi technique, having been inspired by Po's leadership and sacrifice. Soon enough, Po returns to the mortal realm as a Master of Chi, to everyone's awe and chagrin. Proud of their son, Li and Ping embrace Po happily.

At the end of the film, with Shen and Kai both defeated, Li and the other pandas celebrate freely among the villagers in the Valley of Peace, using the Chi manipulation technique along with everyone in attendance.


Think about who Po would be if the discipline of Kung Fu had never entered his life, and that's Li. Po's old man is a loud, exuberant, party-loving panda always out for a good time, whether that's eating and napping or napping and eating.[5]
In Kung Fu Panda 2, Li appeared to be a happy farmer who cared about his family when Po saw him in his visions. He also showed bravery and a distinct sense of protectiveness, as shown when he defended his wife and infant son and fought back the wolves who attacked his village. Though in a nightmare, Po saw him and his mother disregarding him as their son, having replaced him with a radish.

At the end of the film, decades after he had presumably lost his wife and child, Li mysteriously found out that his son was alive, and seemed pleased after becoming aware of this.[1]

He is laid back, fun loving, easygoing and somewhat lazy. He enjoys eating, napping, having a good time, and bonding with his son. He seems to get along fairly well with the other villagers, as they all came to greet him when they returned with his son.

Li seems to share many similarities to Po. In the third film, Li was seen celebrating with the noodle shop patrons, who were cheering him on with his mouth full of dumplings, similar to how Po was seen with a mouth-full of bean buns in the second film. Like Po, Li is also shown to be quite oblivious in some cases. Upon meeting Po in the trailer, Li shares that he's looking for his son, and says he's sorry when Po in turn replies that he lost his father. Li wishes him luck and departs, apparently not discerning the many clues that point to Po being the long-lost son he's looking for. When he and his son went to the Hall of Warriors, he even touched and played with many of the weapons like toys similar to how Po would. Despite some of his childish traits, he does show a level of seriousness, particularly towards the loss of his wife and his protectiveness toward his son. He is also surprisingly deceptive, managing to come up with the lie he could teach Po how to use chi so he could take him to the village to safety and managed to calmly keep up the lie until Po confronted him about teaching him how to use chi.

He also loved his wife long after she died, having an altar with a small painting of her and their son and traveling so far way just to retrieve their son. He wants to protect Po, haunted by the events of the past that separated him from his family which was why he lied but Mr. Ping teaches him that no matter what Po would be his son and forgive him and what was important was that both of them be there for Po. He is very brave, having protected his family in the past and being the first alongside Mr. Ping to volunteer to help, persuading the village to as well. He even aided him against the fight with Kai and his jade zombies and was the first to mimic the chi technique he saw in the scroll and gathering the others to follow.

In an interview with USA Today for Kung Fu Panda 3, Po's voice actor Jack Black described Li as "the master of chilling, of having fun."[4] He also adds that "He's a really funny, jovial dude who loves to play. He's the dream dad." [6]

Li has also been described as having lost his confidence, as he blames himself for losing his family during the panda village raid many years ago.[7]

Fighting style


Li defending his son Po from Shen's wolves in Kung Fu Panda 2

Though Li was only seen using a farming tool as a weapon, it proved sufficient enough to injure his opponents. He was able to hold off the wolves and escape alive when they attacked his village.[1]


His wife


Li telling his wife to take their son and run away during the village raid in Kung Fu Panda 2

Take our son, and run away! Go!
—Li to his wife during the village raid, Kung Fu Panda 2

Li was seen happy and content as he stood with his wife in Po's final flashback, meaning he likely loved her. During the village raid, he told her to take their infant son and run away as he held off the wolves, and she did so.[1] It marked the last time Li was seen with his wife.

According to Li's voice actor Bryan Cranston, Li is looking for Po in Kung Fu Panda 3 to fulfill a promise he made to his wife before she died.[6] He keeps an altar with a picture of her and their son from twenty years ago, still deeply in love with her. He describes her as the total package: smart, beautiful, and a tremendous apetite. He still feels guilt over not being able to save her or their son.


Kung Fu Panda 3 01

Li posing with Po in Kung Fu Panda 3

My son is alive...
—Li, Kung Fu Panda 2

Li was shown to love his son. During the village raid, when Boss Wolf and another wolf attacked his son, Li furiously defended the child with nothing more than a farming rake, and told his wife to take their son and run away. After the raid, it is likely that Li believed Po was killed along with his mother, as he was seen surprised and hopeful after realizing that Po was alive at the end of Kung Fu Panda 2.[1]

In the third film's teaser trailer, Li was shown meeting Po, and shared that he was looking for his son, to which Po replied that he had lost his father. Li is sympathetic, but like Po, fails to realize the obvious, and wishes Po luck, saying he hopes he finds his father before departing.

According to summaries of the film, Li and Po are to travel together to the panda hideout, and Li is described as being ready "to teach Po what it means to be a panda".[5]

Additionally, Po will face a challenge in trying to please both Li and his adoptive father.[8] Meeting Po will also help Li to get over a sense of guilt he's felt over losing his family many years ago.[7]

Like Po, Li is shown to enjoy eating and having a good time. when they first meet, Li is shown stuffing dumplings in a siilar manner to Po and the two are both fairly oblivious the other is their family. They enjoy bonding and even played with the weapons of the Hall of Warriors. When Li learned he was the dragon warrior, he was worried for Po's safety as he fought with the Jade warriors and came with the lie he could teach Po how to use chi so he could take him to the village to safety and managed to calmly keep up the lie until Po confronted him about teaching him how to use chi. He continued the lie throughout the film, telling Po he wasn't ready yet and he needed to learn what it meant to be a panda, such as sleeping in til noon,rolling, eating relaxing, cannonballing, yawning, etc. He then took Po to the altar with his wife's picture, explaining the grief he felt over nt protecting his family. Po promised he wouldn't leave him but after learning his father lied about being able to teach him chi, he felt betrayed since his lie cost him his friends and Po couldn't protect them or the valley as he left to learn chi in the village. He then declared that Li lost him as his son and decides to stay in the village rather than evacuate to train and fight against Kai. Li just wants to protect Po, haunted by the events of the past that separated him from his family which was why he lied but Mr. Ping teaches him that no matter what Po would be his son and forgive him and what was important was that both of them be there for Po. He then becomes the first alongside Mr. Ping to volunteer to help, persuading the village to as well. He even aided him against the fight with Kai and his jade zombies. When Po sent himself and Kai to the spirit realm, he watched in horror and was the first to mimic the chi technique he saw in the scroll and gathering the others to follow so he could lend his chi to his son to fight Kai. He and Mr. Ping were overjoyed upon seeing Po alive and he began training under his son alongside the citizens of the valley of peace and the other pandas, proud of Po and the two reunited as family.


During his younger days, Li went without a shirt and simply wore a pair of patched-up beige pants. He also wore a striped belt that resembles Po's, which reached up over his stomach.

At the end of Kung Fu Panda 2, he was also seen wearing a well-spun green cloak with tree branch patterns and brown lining. This cloak seemed to set him apart from the other pandas in the hideout, and is similar in color and style to Shifu and Oogway's jade-colored wrappings.[1]

In Kung Fu Panda 3, Li is again seen in mainly green clothing, now consisting of a long green vest that has white, carpet-like tufts, and a pair of baggy green pants. He also has thin green strands across his chest, and a beige belt that holds a small pouch on his waist. He is also seen wearing a straw hat when he meets Po at the noodle shop.






Po: “Who are you?
Li: “I'm Li Shan. I'm looking for my son.
Mr. Ping and a crowd of customers gasp.]
Po: “You lost your son?
Li: “Yes. Many years ago.
Po: “I lost my father.
Li: “I'm very sorry.
Po: “Thank you.
[There's a long silence as the crowd looks from one to the other in anticipation.]
Li: “Well... good luck to you.
Po: “You too. I hope you find your son.
Li: “And I hope you find your father.
[The two quietly depart while the crowd sighs in disbelief.]
—Li meeting Po at the noodle shop, Kung Fu Panda 3

Disembodied voice: “I... am your father.
Po: “Uh, what?
[The disembodied voice is revealed to be Li's; he is crawling up the Jade Palace stairs, gasping for breath.]
Li: “I... am your father! [He turns over tiredly.] What's with all the stairs?
—Li in the second teaser trailer, Kung Fu Panda 3

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011). Written by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Charlie Kaufman & directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson. Distributed by Paramount Pictures.
  2. - "Kung Fu Panda 2"
  3. Toy World Magazine (January 2015) - "Living the Dream" (p. 65) by Nick Cooke (DreamWorks Animation UK Hardlines Director)
  4. 4.0 4.1 - "Sneak peek: 'Panda 3' amps up bear count" by Bryan Alexander. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Official Kung Fu Panda website - "Li"
  6. 6.0 6.1 " - SNEAK PEEK: Kung Fu Panda 3 sees Po meet his biological father...
  7. 7.0 7.1 Miller-Zarneke, Tracey. The Art of Kung Fu Panda 3, p. ??.[source?] ISBN: 9781608874941.
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named twm
  9. - "李山"
  10. - "li"
  11. - "《功夫熊猫3》2016年1月29日中国上映,成龙、杨幂、朱珠等众星献声新角色" ("'Kung Fu Panda 3' January 29, 2016 Chinese release, Jackie Chan, Yang Mi, Zhu Zhu and other stars vocals new role"). Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  12. Miller-Zarneke, Tracey. The Art of Kung Fu Panda 2, p. 63. ISBN: 1608870189.

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