The Kung Fu Panda franchise from DreamWorks Animation, consists of two films: Kung Fu Panda (2008) and Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011). The first two were distributed by Paramount Pictures, while the third movie will be distributed by 20th Century Fox. Three shorts, Secrets of the Furious Five (2008), Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special (2010) and Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters (2011), were also released. A television series for Nickelodeon television network, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, premiered in the fall of 2011.
The franchise, set in a fantasy wuxia genre version of ancient China populated by humanoid animals, features the adventures of Po Ping, a bumbling giant panda, who was improbably chosen as the prophesied Dragon Warrior. Although his status is initially doubted, Po proves himself worthy as he strives to fulfill his destiny and learn about his past with his new friends.
The film series has been highly acclaimed with both features being nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature as well as numerous Annie Awards while the television series has won 7 Emmy Awards. Furthermore, this acclaim is particularly enthusiastic in China, where the series is hailed as not only an excellent contribution to the wuxia genre, but for it for having an impressively knowledgeable understanding of Chinese culture and heritage for an American movie production. In addition, both films were the most successful animated feature film for their years and the second is currently the biggest worldwide box office success for a movie directed by a woman (Jennifer Yuh Nelson). A third film, Kung Fu Panda 3, is set to be released in 2015.