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"The Princess and the Po" is the second episode from season one of Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. It was the second episode in the series to be previewed on Nickelodeon and online before the show's official launch in November.
Po is assigned to escort a princess on a peacemaking visit to the Qidan clan. Unfortunately for him, the princess is a royal pain in the neck and the leader of the Qidan is a war-like water buffalo who isn't interested in peace.
While walking through the village street, Master Shifu explained to Po, Tigress and Mantis the importance of making sure that Princess Mei Li gets to the Qidan Clan safely. Po became excited after hearing the princess was only a kid, commenting that the mission will be easy. However, when Princess Mei Li finally arrived, she was shown as stubborn and spoiled. When Po attempted to introduce himself to her, she prodded him with her staff and caused it to break. She immediately blamed Po, but when he claimed that she had broken it, she demanded that he be executed by beheading. The execution was called off after Shifu respectfully explained that he was the Dragon Warrior. Po placed a bet with Tigress and Mantis that he could get the princess to like him by the time they arrive at Qidan, wagering against a foot massage. Both masters happily agreed. Po immediately began his first attempt by making a puppet for the princess. But she instead used it as a temporary replacement for her staff, hitting Po and the others over the head with it. The gang soon left the Valley to head for Qidan, but not before secretly being spotted by a gang of crocodile bandits.
Mei Li complained throughout the entire journey. She eventually began throwing fire poppers at Tigress, Po and Mantis, much to her amusement and to their discomfort. Whilst taking a break to eat and rest, Po tried performing juggling tricks on stilts, to which the princess simply knocked him off. Po later dressed up as a clown in another attempt, but before he could perform, Tigress sensed something and commanded the group to stop. The princess was annoyed at Tigress for this, but her servants then noticed the crocodile bandits surrounding them.
Po, Tigress and Mantis worked together to fight off the bandits. Princess Mei Li, on the other hand, was oddly unaware of the danger they were in and constantly interfered with the Kung Fu trio's fighting by demanding rice balls stuffed with lots of bean paste. Though Po, Tigress and Mantis succeeded in protecting the princess and her servants, the bandits had escaped with the group's valuables, including the food. Selfishly, Mei Li used the last of the water to clean her dusty crown and started blaming Tigress and Mantis for the loss of her valuables. Though the two accepted this, Po, finally having enough of this, defend his friends and calls the princess mean, bossy, and selfish. He stated that no one liked her and that the bandits wouldn't have taken the valuables if she hadn't interfered during the fight in the first place. At that point, the princess's anger faded and soon ran off crying, and Po feels very guilty for saying such harsh words, though Mantis comforts him that he was being honest in general. Tigress then declares for the whole group to camp out for the night.
That night, Mei Li sat away from the group. Po, feeling guilty for his earlier actions, sat next to her and told her about a story of a panda who just wanted to make the princess happy. Afterwards, the princess went over to Po and handed him the fixed puppet she had broken earlier, apologizing for her previous behavior. She stated that she never had any real friends before. Po then offered to be her friend, to which she accepted and the two happily sat down to play a game of mahjong.
The next morning, the two were seen laughing together as Po carried Mei Li around, holding his ears and steering him as he ran aimlessly around. The travelers soon arrived at the Qidan clan's territory. As Mei Li went ahead to approach the Qidan king, one of her servants relayed to Po, Tigress, and Mantis that she is to become a sacrificial slave to the Qidan king in exchange for peace, as the king receives many princesses during the ages and none of them have lasted for long as they've endured too much painful labor working for him. Realizing that Mei Li will suffer the same fate, Po and the others quickly followed her inside.
The clan's king immediately demanded to see the princess. In a desperate attempt to spare Mei Li of what will come to her, Po pushed Tigress forward and stated that she was the princess. Though Tigress hesitantly went along with it, the king then demanded that she sing the "Ceremonial Princess Dancing Song". After Tigress gave a poor performance, the king became angry and once again demanded to be handed the princess. Po, Tigress and Mantis refuse and soon fought the warriors, but Mei Li gave herself up. In a bid to save her, Po then offered the king a deal: If he won a fight against any of the king's warriors, the princess would be free to go; but if he lost, the king would claim him, Tigress, Mantis, and the princess. The king initially refuses, but after learning that Po is the Dragon Warrior, he accepted and placed himself up for battle, proclaiming himself as the legendary warrior Temutai.
Po's kicks and punches had no effect on the buffalo and he was tossed around constantly. During a brief interval, Mantis stated that he couldn't beat him Panda Style, and after some encouragement from Mei Li, he claimed Princess Style. Getting on top of Temutai's head, Po grabbed the warrior king's ears and guided him into rocks and walls before running him into the clan's old stone podium where they would keep the princess servant chained. Temutai admitted defeat and kept to Po's deal: He let the princess go, vowed to keep his promise of peace, and as a bonus also catered to the group with fried rice balls.
The princess, Po, Tigress and Mantis left the Qidan clan's village and began their journey home. Along the way, they stumbled upon three of the Croc Bandits they encountered earlier who were arguing about the material they stole. The episode ended with the three warriors flying in to attack them. The crocs are then presumably beaten, arrested, and taken to prison.
- The episode title references the literary fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea".
- Scenes from this episode were first previewed at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con as storyboard stills while the series was still in production.
- “STOP IT! Do not touch the royal silks! Kiss my feet!”
- —Princess Mei Li