• Important Dates -->
  • 5/17: Rocky awards
  • 5/20: All School Awards (virtual)
  • 5/22: Region Track Champs
  • 5/23: Band Concert
  • 5/28: Orchestra Concert
  • 5/29: Chorus Concert
  • 6/4: Miscast Caberet
  • 6/6: Capstone Gala
The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


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Kung Fu Panda Kicks Back Into Theaters

“Kung Fu Panda 4” takes fans on a rollercoaster ride of emotions while keeping things classic with Dragon Warrior Po’s humor.
Photo courtesy of Collider
Po must choose a worthy candidate of being the Dragon Warrior as he advances to a higher position in the kung fu hierarchy. The most unexpected candidate ends up being the one that strikes Po’s eyes the most and is trusted to ensure the peace of the people.

Released on March 8, “Kung Fu Panda 4” became the fourth film of the “Kung Fu Panda” franchise, continuing the story of Po as the Dragon Warrior. It has been a well-known fact that forced sequels of beloved animated movies are usually pretty average, and this movie is no exception. 

The first movie focuses on Po’s journey to discovering kung fu and joining the Furious Five. The main antagonist was Tai Lung, a fighter who was promised the density of Dragon Warrior. The sequel describes Po’s journey into discovering that he’s the Dragon Warrior and embracing his new role as a leader in the community. The main antagonist was Lord Shen, a peacock who wanted to take over all lands. The third movie focuses on Po’s position as a leader and goes into finding Po’s secret society of pandas. The main antagonist is Kai, who is an ancient warrior who fought Po’s predecessors and was back to take the title of the most powerful fighter. 

 “Kung Fu Panda 4” is set eight years after its prequel, where Po is learning how to become the spiritual head of the Valley of Peace and needs someone to take over as the Dragon Warrior. Po must find a worthy successor to be the Dragon Warrior and teach them to follow in his footsteps.  

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Later on in the film, the main villain, The Chameleon, is introduced. The Chameleon has the ability to conjure past villains that Po had fought by stealing their chi, a form of energy unique to every character in the story. The movie introduces many new and old characters, keeping the film interesting while throwing the audience into a spiral of nostalgia when fan-favorite characters appear on screen. 

Despite this seemingly interesting storyline, there were many flaws with the storytelling: word choice and overall tone of the movie. The story was hurt by the last-minute changes to the plot, the most obvious being the addition of the Furious Five’s role in the movie. The Furious Five are the original five protagonists in the 2008 film “Kung Fu Panda.” While it made for a satisfying nostalgic high, it didn’t seem as though they had any significant contribution to the story, which was not set up to be centered around the original cast or Po. The addition of the Five greatly hurt the movie as they were such an integral part of the past films, and their minimal impact in this movie was disappointing. 

However, the shining moments really came to fruition when it came to dramatic reveals, action scenes, music, and nostalgia. The directing crew did not disappoint with the artistic choice of keeping Po’s contagious humor present throughout the film. As most fans would agree, Po’s ridiculous and, sometimes, unfunny jokes are what make the “Kung Fu Panda” franchise so enjoyable.  

Overall, the film did provide the audience with an enjoyable, classic experience. The animations and spontaneous jokes reminded the audience of what makes the “Kung Fu Panda” film franchise original: the unforgettable humor. The directing crew ensured that Po kicked back into action and the hearts of their fans. 

“Kung Fu Panda 4” is available to watch in all theaters.

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About the Contributors
Sruthi Vivek
Sruthi Vivek, Sports Editor
Sruthi Vivek is a sophomore and this is her second year on “The Blaze” staff. She is the Sports Editor, and she’s looking forward to all of the amazing things that the staff will accomplish this year. Sruthi plays for the Rock Ridge varsity basketball team, and she loves sports in general. She loves going to football games and hanging out with her friends at tailgates. When she’s not out socializing, you can usually find Sruthi in her room stressing about school work or watching TV shows. She’s also very passionate about art and loves to paint in her free time as well. Sruthi is a huge music fan, and you’ll usually find her listening to R&B and rap artists like Bryson Tiller, Drake, Travis Scott, and Tory Lanez. She originally joined Newspaper her freshman year because she loves to write and take pictures.
Bhargav Kuniki
Bhargav Kuniki, Photo Editor
Bhargav is a junior and the Photo Editor on The Blaze. When he's not mountain biking, he's doing homework, playing basketball, or hanging out with his friends. His favorite food is homemade mashed potatoes with gravy. He joined the newspaper to be more involved in the inner workings of Rock Ridge. He's looking forward to the year and the exciting new stories to write.

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