After spending all of Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2 thinking he was the last panda of his kind, Po (Jack Black) finally meets his father in the first three photos from the animated sequel Kung Fu Panda 3. These images give us our first look at Li, Po's long-lost father voiced by Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston, and Rebel Wilson as Mei Mei, an aspiring ribbon dancer. As it turns out, Li, Mei Mei and several others have been living in a secret village after a savage panda attack that was alluded to in Kung Fu Panda 2. Here's what franchise star Jack Black had to say about this reunion in an interview with USA Today.
"There is great joy. Lo and behold, there's a secret panda village. There's intense rejoicing as I am reunited with my people. There are even cute baby pandas. Those guys are going to be the life of the party, for sure."
Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who co-directs the sequel with Alessandro Carloni, visited the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan, China, to watch how these panda's behave in their natural environment, which inspired how these animals were animated.
"That is the most shockingly adorable place - there are nurseries filled with gaggles of baby pandas. A lot of how the pandas play was inspiration for the movie."
Since Po has discovered his real family, it causes some tension with his adopted father, noodle shop owner Mr. Ping (James Hong). Po must train his new panda friends in the art of kung fu when a new villain named Kai surfaces and threatens the village. Angelina Jolie (Tigress), Seth Rogen (Mantis), Lucy Liu (Viper) and David Cross (Crane) reprise their roles as the rest of the Furious Five, along with Dustin Hoffman as Shifu. Check out the first photos from Kung Fu Panda 3, arriving in theaters January 29, 2016, and stay tuned for the first trailer.