|“||Well, I have news for you! Kung fu is outdated and useless! With machinery comes power!||”|
|—Taotie, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness|
Taotie (pronounced "dow-DAI") is a character in the Nickelodeon television series Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. He is a villainous warthog who is incredibly skilled in mechanics, having helped build the Training Hall when he was a student. He is an old friend of Shifu's who turned down kung fu in favor of machines after he was dismissed from the Jade Palace. He made his first appearance in the episode "Sticky Situation", where he was tasked by Po to fix the Training Hall. He continues to frequently appear in the series with new inventions to fight against Po, Shifu, and the Furious Five.
It is known that Taotie was once Master Shifu's friend and a student at the Jade Palace in his younger days. Unlike Shifu, however, he 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 still were not, and he remained a poor, clumsy 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 left, abandoning kung fu, feeling resentful of it and of Shifu, and wanting to prove himself superior to both.
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In the episode "Sticky Situation", after Po broke the equipment in the Training Hall with sticky dumplings by mistake, he called on Taotie after seeing the warthog's mark in the Hall along with Shifu's. Visiting his home, Po met the warthog as well as his unenthusiastic teenage son Bian Zao, and, after being confronted with a spinning metallic contraption, told him that Shifu had asked for his help. Suspiciously, Taotie agreed to come and repair the Training Hall, his son accompanying him. Po then sneaked 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 announced 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 Five sought 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 gloated to him that machines were more powerful than kung fu, and aimed to finish him off.
Po soon arrived armed with a bowl of sticky dumplings, surprising both Taotie and Shifu. He was 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 unleashed his spinning metallic contraption like an umbrella, took his son, and flew off in an effort to escape, still wanting revenge. After the contraption stopped working in midair, he and Bian Zao crashed not far from the Training Hall and fled.
In "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.
The warthog used this to serve his purposes, telling them he was their kung fu master and that Shifu and Po were their sworn enemies. Though he was able to deceive them long enough to have them attack Shifu and Po, they eventually had their memories restored when Po used the clay from the Alabaster Pot of Remembrance on them during the battle. Cornered by Po and the others and unarmed, Taotie again fled from the scene with Bian Zao, and they escaped in Taotie's flying bird-like machine.
In "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 persuaded 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 reluctant to smuggle the last piece that would complete the Iron Claws. Out of kindness, Po unwittingly gave Taotie the cake himself.
With his machine re-assembled and greatly improved, Taotie broke 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.
In "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.
In "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' 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.
In "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 that people would buy figurines of his father, Taotie was 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 asked his father for some money so he could go and buy something that wasn't "lame." Bian Zao would eventually discover the paralyzed Mantis (who was accidentally paralyzed by Po using the Paralyzing Touch Point) and became intrigued when he spotted the "figure's" eyes moving (the only part of Mantis's body not paralyzed). Po and Master Shifu learned from Bian Zao about where they can find Taotie. Po and Master Shifu confronted 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 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 "Youth in Re-Volt", Bian Zao rebels against him after getting sick of taking his orders. The two ultimately reconcile since they miss doing destruction together. He even defended his son in prison when Tong Fo tried to start an argument.
Taotie was one of the many threats recalled by Po during "Daze of Thunder."
Taotie was seen as clumsy when he was a student, being unsuccessful in kung fu. When he and Shifu constructed the Training Hall, Taotie hoped 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 resolved to make his gift work for him. To do this, he was willing 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 Masters Oogway and Shifu, Taotie was expelled from the Palace, and he grew 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 has great faith and fondness upon his prized crafts. In fact, when Po accidentally destroyed the Training Hall, and had to smuggle both Taotie and his son into the Hall to repair it, Taotie wasted no time proudly presenting to his son his finest creation during his days there, only to be distraught after seeing the state it was reduced into by Po's antics, even going as far as caressing a a spiked club that fell 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 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 uncooperative behavior can at times disgruntle Taotie during his attempts to take the Jade Palace.
Fighting style and abilities
Taotie heavily relies on his inventions instead of fighting, and is known to be a mechanical genius. He renounced kung fu and now believes it to be outdated, with machines being the key to a superior, more efficient form of fighting. He is able to build things in a short length of time, as shown in "Sticky Situation", when the warthog made a gigantic fighting weapon made from parts of the Training Hall in less than a day.
In "Big Bro Po", Taotie constructed a pair of mechanical arms he called the Iron Claws of Doom, which turned out to be among his more successful inventions, as he was able to use it to overwhelm and subdue Shifu and the Furious Five, as well as fight Po evenly-matched when focusing only on physical melee, displaying kung fu skills he might have remembered from his training in his youth. The weakness of these claws is they require to be constantly lubricated. They carry a set of surprises — such as launchable chains to tie up his opponents, spike projectiles, and they allow the warthog to lift things beyond his own physical limits, like boulders.
- Training Hall - Taotie and Shifu designed the current Training Hall during their youth in order to further and refine their kung fu skills. Shifu was able to progress while Taotie wasn't so lucky and was injured many times by his own creation. He has claimed the Training Hall's machinations and equipment are designed to last centuries.
- Kung fu invention - To compensate for his lack of kung fu skills, Taotie constructed this invention and stole the Jade Orb of Infinite Power to power it, and proudly presented it to Masters Oogway and Shifu. Seeing it as dishonoring kung fu, they dismissed him from the Jade Palace and the invention was disassembled. Years later, Taotie would re-construct a new version of this invention, but it was destroyed by Po.
- Various traps - Seen around his home as methods of security.
- Spinning-Blade Staff - Seen in his debut, this invention can be used as a melee weapon and features retractable spinning blades, making it a more effective weapon. Finally, it is able to spin and lift its wielder and a passenger like a helicopter but the blades need to be oiled for use.
- Flying Bamboo Bird of Incalculable Retribution - As its names states, it's a flying machine made from bamboo and constructed in the likeness of a bird. It's pedal-powered, but not an entirely reliable invention.
- Iron Claws of Doom - One of Taotie's more recent, yet successful, inventions.
- Whirling Thing of Unimaginable Retaliation - Invention, chopping and cutting everything in its path.
- Auto-ambulated Adapto-bot - A robot that is capable of mimicking specific traits from each of the Furious Five in order to take advantage of their fighting styles.
- Sphere of Unerringly Accurate Acupressure - A massive machine that can deliver blows to key pressure points.
- Battle Elephant of Unreckonable Malevolence -
It is known that Taotie was once Shifu's friend when they were both students at the Jade Palace. Never as graceful as Shifu, Taotie took part in building the Training Hall to help him improve in kung fu. Taotie was proud of the hall, but he remained a weak fighter, while Shifu's skills greatly progressed and received praise from Oogway. Envious, Taotie became determined to show his strength in mechanics and to apply them in combat. His creation of a giant warrior machine (as well as his taking of the sacred Jade Orb of Infinite Power) caused his dismissal from the palace. Taotie and Shifu ceased to be friends afterward, as Taotie abandoned kung fu, bitter and resentful of Shifu, and aimed to seek out revenge against him. Years later, he's still bitterly working toward his goal to defeat Shifu and take over the Jade Palace.
Taotie met Po, greeting the panda with a spinning metallic weapon, when Po asked for his help in fixing the Training Hall. Discovering that Po was unaware of his past rivalry with Shifu, Taotie took advantage of this and accepted, devising his own plan for revenge by constructing the equipment in the Training Hall into a giant machine. As soon as his project was complete, Taotie immediately turned on Po and used his fighting contraption to defeat Shifu and the Furious Five, but the panda eventually stopped him by using sticky dumplings to eventually break down the warthog's machine.Furious Five did in "Fluttering Finger Mindslip." Though Bian Zao's slacker teenage attitude tends to clash with Taotie's, the two nevertheless stick together, even though Bian Zao goes along with, but also secretly undermines his father's schemes.
The Furious Five
In Fluttering Finger Mindslip, Taotie found the Furious Five when they were clueless as to who they were, or who he was, thanks to a kung fu technique that tampered with their memories. Taotie used this to his advantage, telling them he was their master and giving them childish names such as "Whiskers Kitty-poo", "Little Britches", and "El Storko". Taotie convinced them that Shifu and Po were their enemies, and when ordered, the Five attacked them, believing all of Taotie's lies. The battle ended as Po applied clay from the Alabaster Pot of Remembrance, restoring their memories. With the Five no longer his pawns, Taotie quickly fled the scene in a panic.
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- "Taotie" is the name of a design motif commonly found on ritual bronze vessels from the Shang and Zhou dynasties. Its appearance is that of an animalistic, ogre-like face. The term was also used to refer to a mythological creature described as resembling a dog or wolf but with a human-like face and eyes in the armpit that greedily devoured everything, even its own body when there was nothing around to eat. The taotie has been most prominently been featured in the 2017 Legendary film The Great Wall. "Taotie" also means "glutton", fitting the common notion of pigs having big appetites.