Kung Fu Panda 4 (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Po is back for the 4th time in the latest installment of Kung Fu Panda. We have been on 3 adventures with the famed Dragon Warrior and this newest one sees Po having to find a replacement hero so that Po can become the newest spiritual leader in the Valley of Peace.  One must wonder if the film is running full steam ahead or if it’s running on fumes. Read more about Po and his newest adventure below and purchase a copy by clicking the linked cover art at the end of the review.


Jack Black (The Super Mario Bros. Movie, School of Rock) returns as Po, the world’s most unlikely kung fu master, in this butt-kicking new chapter from DreamWorks Animation’s beloved action-comedy franchise: KUNG FU PANDA 4. After learning he must find a new hero to take over as Dragon Warrior so that he may fulfill his destiny as the next spiritual leader of the Valley of Peace, Po decides to take one last adventurous mission. He teams up with a quick-witted thief named Zhen, voiced by Awkwafina (Migration, The Bad Guys), a corsac fox, to discover the truth about recent sightings of villains he’s defeated in the past. In a journey that puts both to the test, it will take a wicked, powerful sorceress, The Chameleon, voiced by Oscar® winner Viola Davis (Ender’s Game, The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes), to bring them together and remind Po that heroes can be found in the most unexpected places.

It had to happen sometime. Po has navigated so many misadventures over the last 20 years.  Now, Po must give up his post as the Dragon Warrior and find his successor.  After some unsuccessful trials from perspective warriors, Po is asked to investigate some villain sightings. They’re all his past adversaries and something is just not right.  Teaming up with the thief fox Zhen, Po is able to figure some things out with some backup against The Chameleon who lives up to the namesake and is the real villain of villains for the film.

The journey in Kung Fu Panda 4 is not necessarily one we are unfamiliar with.  In fact, the film is extremely like the other 3.  This should not be surprising because of the content and its target audience.  Animated films aren’t meant to be challenging.  Mostly, these films are to entertain and engage your hearing and vision.  The look of the film is of course gorgeous, colorful and full of sound.  The story is totally fine taken on its own.  Its sameness with its 3 predecessors is a non-issue in the end as well.  These adventures with Po are for the children, and for that I cannot critique too harshly.  As an adult, it’s safe to say that this 4thinstallment could possibly grate on the nerves a bit.


NOTE: Stills in review are provided for promotional purposes only and not from the actual 4K Disc.

  • Encoding: HEVC/H.265
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • HDR: Dolby Vision
  • Clarity/DetailKung Fu Panda 4 kicks onto 4K UHD Blu-ray with a rock-solid animated presentation. The film delivers the goods on all levels and makes for a very pleasant, eye-popping presentation
  • Depth: The animation is given a nearly 3D-Pop throughout with lots of good scale and fluid movement throughout.
  • Black Levels: Black levels are strong and crush free. There are no elements lost in the darkness.
  • Color Reproduction: Bright, eye-popping color permeates the pristine image with lots of variety for the eyes to feast on.
  • Flesh Tones: N/A
  • Noise/Artifacts: None


  • Audio Format(s):  English Dolby Atmos, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
  • Dynamics: Kung Fu Panda comes home with an excellent Dolby Atmos mix. The track which is surround heavy, bass aggressive and full bodied is a welcome addition to the visuals on display.  The surrounds are active a lot of the time and it’s safe to say this would be a good one to show off your setup with sound-wise.
  • Height: Height channels are active and at times they are moving through the sound space. Fight and chase type scenes usually bring the heft from the height speakers.
  • Low Frequency Extension: Music and action sequences set the sub on fire as bass pummels the listener in more active moments.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Carrying out the lower surrounds to make a uniform sound with the height speakers, you hear crowd atmospherics, sound effects and off camera voices in these channels.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Intelligible and spot-on throughout.


One thing this 4K edition of Kung Fu Panda 4 has is a lot of special features. Besides the bundled Blu-ray, glossy slipcover and digital code, there is an abundance of material on the 4K disc! These features will keep your kids or the kid in you busy for a while!

  • Dueling Dumplings– In this original short introduced by Jack Black and Awkwafina, Po and Zhen battle over whose dumplings reign supreme.
  • Mastering the Dumpling – Jack Black learns how to make dumplings with influencers Phil and Helen of WongFu Productions.
  • Bad Bunny Review – The Bad Bunnies give their unedited opinion on some scenes from the film. Set up as a “Screening Room” style piece, the Bad Bunnies add their own commentary.
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Dads on the Trail
    • Mahjong
  • Kung Fu Talking – Voicing an animated movie takes time, time spent in a small booth being spoken to through headphones as you try to inhibit a character that might not actually exist beyond a few simple sketches and under that pressure, crazy things often happen! And we’ve captured them, put them to music and serves them up for your pleasure in this hilarious montage of off mic moments!
  • Meet the Cast – From the Dragon Warrior himself to newcomer, Zhen, and a full cast of amazing characters in between, we get to know the voices behind some of our favorite roles in this series of short featurettes. Discover what attracted them to the role, what their motivation was and what parts of the character they took away with them after recording had finished.
    • Po
    • Zhen
    • The Chameleon
    • The Dads
  • Kung Fu Panda 4 All!!– Join us as we go behind the scenes to see how the fourth installment in the franchise was brought to life, what makes it different from the previous films and where we find Po and the gang in this new escapade. Featuring interviews with the filmmakers and cast as well as a plethora of concept art, storyboards, animation tests and ADR footage.
  • How to Draw – Enter our virtual dojo and join one of DreamWorks Animation’s talented artists as they show fans of the film “How to Draw” some of the characters in the film, and then watch in amazement as they come to life before your very eyes in a Shadow Puppet Theater.
    • Po
    • Zhen
    • The Chameleon 
    • The Bad Bunnies
  • Shadow Puppet Theater – Using the amazing illustrations from the “How to Draw,” we will teach fans of the film how to create their very own Shadow Puppet Theater so they can bring Po and the gang to life and continue their many adventures.
  • Feature Commentary with Director Mike Mitchell, Co-Director Stephanie Ma Stine, Production Designer Paul Duncan, Head of Story Calvin Tsang, and Head of Character Animation Sean Sexton


I can say in my humble opinion, I thought Kung Fu Panda 4 was cute. The film isn’t keen on breaking new ground, but the well-travelled road we’re on for the length of the film is comfortable.  I can’t see this being the final adventure for Po and Zhen, and I also can’t see anyone filling out the villain role as well as Viola Davis does here. She commands attention even if she’s not on the screen in reality. The voice is there! And who can say anything about Jack Black’s lovable Po.  His creation is fantastic as always, and the end-title Britney Spears cover was a welcome jolt too! So, in short, for fans of the other films, you will find much to enjoy in this one.  For others, see the other 3 and see if you find seeing a 4th worthwhile.


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