Kung Fu Panda 4

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Short takes

Not suitable under 5; parental guidance to 7 (violence, scary scenes, themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Kung Fu Panda 4
  • a review of Kung Fu Panda 4 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 26 March 2024.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to scary scenes, themes and violence.
Children aged 5–7 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes, themes and violence.
Children aged 8 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Kung Fu Panda 4
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild fantasy themes, animated violence and occasional coarse language
Length: 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Po (voice of Jack Black) enjoys his status as the Dragon Warrior in the Valley of Peace and is, therefore, very concerned when Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) tells him that it is time to choose a successor, as Po must go on to become a spiritual leader. Po doesn’t think himself capable of being a spiritual leader and decides to continue in his familiar role. Po finds himself befriended by a fox named Zhen (Awkafina) who tells him of a villain taking over Juniper City and so Po decides he must go, in his role as Dragon Warrior, to defeat the enemy.

The villain is a shape-shifting, sorceress chameleon (Viola Davis) who has many talents but is unable to perform Kung Fu. She wants to take this power from Tai Lung (Ian McShane), Po’s previous enemy who now exists in the spirit world. Zhen provides Po with the knowledge of the Chameleon’s whereabouts and promises to take him there. Along the way, Po and Zhen meet many dangers and must fight off many enemies. When they arrive at Juniper City, Po finds himself betrayed by his friend and in the clutches of the Chameleon. Po has to find new strengths to enable him to meet this new challenge, and he grows in spiritual wisdom as a result.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Fantasy; Kung Fu; Animals in peril.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is a lot of violence in this movie, including many martial arts fighting scenes with kicking, hitting, throwing, punching, and knife-throwing. Other examples include:

  • Destruction of property and throwing of objects.
  • Po is seen fighting a giant manta ray to release three little pigs.
  • A cicada’s head gets bitten off and then put back on.
  • Zhen and Po are both seen tied up in chains.
  • Zhen spits at Po.
  • A fight breaks out in an inn when a rabbit crashes in through a window and starts throwing knives. The inn is sitting on top of a mountain and swings from side to side as the fighting continues. Eventually, it topples over the edge.
  • Po is seen hanging from a tree and eventually falls off into the water. He is saved by landing inside a boat.
  • Zhen and Po are chased by an army of bull guards rampaging through the streets.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are many scary-looking creatures, such as rhinos, boars, large elephants and wolves, that are all menacing.
  • Several scary-looking scenes, such as the goats forced to slave in a darkened forge that glows red from the fires. Goats are seen using pick-axes to break rocks, hammering at iron, hauling heavy barrows, etc.
  • The Chameleon is a particularly scary creature, with glowing eyes who can change into any shape and any animal, including, at the very end, a huge monstrous dragon.
  • Po walks through an area in ruins, carrying a lantern.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Po is trying to find his inner peace when several panda heads appear to talk to him.
  • At one point Zhen appears to be dead.
  • The Chameleon uses Po’s staff to unlock the portal to the spirit world. Several animals are called up from the dead and appear with a glow around them.
  • Some small rabbits change from being very sweet to very vicious in an instant.
  • Zhen was an orphan in Juniper City and survived by stealing food. She belonged to a den of thieves led by Han, a pangolin, and which included thieves, cheats and cutthroats.
  • A pair of monkeys are seen joined at the hip.
  • Po has two dads, Mr Ping, a goose (Po’s adoptive father) and Li, a panda (Po’s biological father, who first appeared in Kung Fu Panda 3). This might be confusing for young children.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • The captain of a boat is a pelican who pours drinks down his throat. He is said to ‘drink like a fish’.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Kicking butt
  • Screwed up
  • Some name calling such as:
  • Reptilian runt
  • Idiot
  • Stupid
  • Loser.

In a nutshell

Kung Fu Panda 4 is an animated, comedic movie in which Po tries to learn new ways of dealing with conflict. Unfortunately, he still has to use his martial arts skills to achieve his goals and, consequently, there is a lot of violence in this movie. There are also scenes of connecting to the spirit world and bringing dead characters back to life, which makes the movie unsuitable for under 5’s and parental guidance is recommended for 5 to 7 year olds.

The main messages from this movie are that every footprint leaves a mark, no matter how small; and that real change happens from within.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Bravery
  • Courage
  • Friendship
  • Trust
  • Learning from your mistakes
  • Forgiveness
  • Not to be afraid of change – it isn’t always bad.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Zhen was used to lying and stealing and leads Po into a trap. She says you can steal whatever you want. However, she does learn, from Po, that stealing is not a good thing and redeems herself in the end. Parents could discuss her unfortunate circumstances and the difficulties she would have faced as an orphan but also that breaking the law is never a good thing.