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Is Kung Fu Panda the Most Successful Panda Cartoon Ever?

Written by JessicaDavis


Posted on March 23 2024

 Pandas themselves have significant economic and cultural value. They are the national symbol of China and generate substantial financial advantages for local communities through ecotourism and other social activities. Many people also love pandas throughout the world. Kung Fu Panda is a dexterously animated, vibrant, and meticulously crafted sequel to 4 movies that children and adults will enjoy. It brings to life the lush landscapes of ancient China and the complex details of the characters' movements. The fight sequences are appealingly choreographed, showcasing the creative skills of kung fu in stunning detail. 

Although there are several cartoon-like fight sequences, the story may provoke valuable discussions about loyalty, dignity, and self-confidence. This article will explore why Kung Fu Panda is known as a cinematic masterpiece and whether it is the most successful Panda cartoon ever. Let's find out more details about the above subjects. 

Why is Kung Fu Panda the Star of the Most Appealing Panda Cartoon Ever? 

The 2008 Dreamworks movie Kung Fu Panda is the most excellent cartoon ever made. It maintains its appeal to adults and children with colorful visuals and exciting action scenes. It tells the story of Po, a fantasizer whose love of kung fu was greater than his athletic imperfections. He can go beyond his outward appearance, lack of sureness, and inner fears and become the hero he needs to be. With the right inspiration and a dedicated teacher, incredible things are possible.

This movie does an excellent job of representing Chinese culture, especially kung fu, the martial art practiced mainly by people in China. The film portrays kung fu in a positive light and shows how it can be utilized for self-defense and competition. Various characters in the movie are based on real-life kung fu masters, which adds to the correctness of the movie. 

It was so successful in China that it brought about a national debate on why foreigners made films about Chinese culture better than the Chinese themselves. In Sichuan province, its screening was delayed for one day due to protests over the movie's use of Chinese elements such as kung fu and giant Pandas, which have their origin in Sichuan.

However, the box office performance was the blockbuster success of an American animated movie that originated in ancient China. The film highlights Chinese culture, mythology, and architecture and stars a kung fu fighting panda. Movie makers and common Chinese are wondering: Why wasn't this hit Panda cartoon movie made in China?

Kung Fu Panda Sets New China Record for Animated Features

Paramount Pictures International's Kung Fu Panda has become mainland China's giant money-maker animation, gaining $14.6m (RMB100m) within ten days.

Kung Fu Panda is also the first animated feature film to earn an overall total of RMB100m, usually seen as a benchmark for blockbuster movies in China.

The best-selling animation film in China was "Garfield 2" in 2006, earning $7.25m (RMB 58m). And the second-biggest best-selling was "The Lion King" in 1995 with $5.13m (RMB 41m).

Kung Fu Panda was released in mainland China on June 20th, 2008, with 530 prints, including digital screens and IMAX screens. As against North America and other international markets, animation movies have not been big sellers in mainland China. 

Analysts think this is because most Chinese families have not developed the habit of watching animated movies as a bonding experience. In the last four years, most animated films have earned at most $5.8m, no matter how big the movies have been in the rest of the world.

Pixar's 2003 international hit "Finding Nemo" earned $4.35m (RMB 34.8m). "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" earned $5.02m (RMB 37m), "Ratatouille" earned only $2.85m (RMB 21m), and "Shrek 3" was only released in digital cinemas, where it earned $1.49m (RMB 11m).

Animation films and TV shows are also becoming more popular within China's production sector. Disney-China Film co-production "The Secret Of The Magic Gourd" earned $2.75m (RMB 20.65m). Three local animation creations have been released in China. Among these, the "Calabash Brothers" earned $1.17m (RMB 8m). It is the top local animation film so far.

Top 10 Animation Movies in mainland China market

Various animation movies have been released globally over time, but some have captured the mainland China market. Let's look at the top animation movies in the mainland China market and their total gross earnings. 

  Kung Fu Panda - $15.01m                                          Garfield 2 - $7.25m


   The Lion King - $5.13m                                               TMNT - $5.02m


      Ice Age 2 - $ 4.44m                                 Secret Of The Magic Gourd - $2.75


  Finding Nemo - $4.35m                                       Toy Story - 3.92m


          Cars - $2.86m                                               Ratatouille - $2.85m


Kung Fu Panda 2008 grossed $631.7 million on a budget of $130 million, which makes it the third highest-grossing film of 2008. It is the highest-grossing animated film of the year worldwide. Furthermore, it was nominated for many awards for the Best Animated Fim, including the Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award. The film's success created a multimedia franchise, which consists of the sequels Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) and Kung Fu Panda 4 (2024). This franchise made Kung Fu Panda the most successful Panda cartoon ever and enhanced immense craze among many global panda lovers.

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