Kung Fu Panda 4 was almost partially… live-action?

By admin Mar12,2024

A recent Q&A with the co-director of Kung Fu Panda 4 has revealed that, for some reason, an early version of the film was planned to be a live action, animation hybrid.

It’s really hard to pull off live action and animation hybrid films – Who Framed Roger Rabbit is probably the only one to truly do it successfully to this day. You have to put the work in to make it convincing, which is why I’m really glad to hear that Kung Fu Panda 4 isn’t such a hybrid like originally planned. Stephanie Stine, co-director of the recently released sequel, recently took part in the Kung Fu Panda Reddit community’s Discord server, where she answered a whole range of questions about the film. And one of the weirdest revelations is easily the fact that, before she was brought on, the film would have featured live action humans in a mostly animated film.

Got to talk to the Co-director of KFP 4 and probably got the most information we’ll ever get about a KFP films production. I have made a transcript, it is 48 questions, 8200 words long.
byu/Object-195 inkungfupanda

“The original story… actually had Zhen and The Chameleon be human (she was actually known as The Collector before we ditched the humans idea). They came from a city called… Hu-man city,” explains Stine. “The original story was supposed to be hybrid live action/animation, that’s why there were humans. For some reason before I came on, the leadership team scrapped the hybrid live action idea. They kept the humans on for a while though, up until our 2nd animatic screening if I remember correctly.”

That would obviously be quite radically different from the final result, and an absolutely baffling creative choice. Donald Glover looked weird enough in his Across the Spider-Verse cameo, and that was literally just for a few seconds, so I can’t imagine it for a whole film.

The whole interview was actually conveniently transcribed, with Stine offering a lot of behind the scenes details, like the fact that (again, bafflingly) Po was planned to be stuck in a box for 20 minutes, and why the Furious Five didn’t make much of an appearance, so it’s worth a read if you’re a Kung Fu Panda fan.

By admin

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