Pandas are on the verge of extinction and that is well-documented in “Kung Fu Panda”, as Po is believed to be the only panda left in its world.

However, the 3rd instalment of the franchise proves that all his bear kin still exists. A series of official stills were released by USA Today, showing us that we will be looking at not one, not two, but a plethora of new pandas in the upcoming threequel of “Kung Fu Panda”.

Kung Fu Panda 3 Official Still 1

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Jack Black, who will return to voice Po, said that “there is a great joy” in the 3rd film as Po will be reuniting with the family that he never knew existed.

He added:

Lo and behold, there’s a secret panda village. There’s intense rejoicing as I am reunited with my people.

But it seems like that wouldn’t be the only exciting part about the movie as he will be reuniting with his long-lost panda father, Li. “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston is on board to portray Li, who will bring his biological son “back to an enclave where the pandas have been living since a fierce panda attack”.

“There are even cute baby pandas,” Black said. “Those guys are going to be the life of the party, for sure.

Kung Fu Panda 3 Official Still 2

“Kung Fu Panda 3” continues to boast a star-studded cast as “Pitch Perfect” star Rebel Wilson will voice a young female panda known as Mei Mei.

Mei Mei is a wannabe ribbon dancer who is also “overeager” and “amorous”. One may think that Po will make a move on Mei Mei, but Black said:

Po’s a little freaked out, since he’s never been around a female of his own species, I don’t think he has game in that realm yet.

Wilson seemed eager to voice the role too, as directors Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni revealed that the actress “wrote a love poem dedicated to Po” and “pulled out pink nunchucks” during their first meeting. We were blown away, she does play a nunchuck-wielding panda,” Carloni said. “But I wanted to point out (to her) that this is an animated film”.

Kung Fu Panda 3 Official Still 3 - Rebel Wilson as Mei Mei

Prior to shooting the film, Nelson made a trip to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan, China, to familiarise herself with pandas and their playful behaviour that can be used in the film.

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She said:

That is the most shockingly adorable place – there are nurseries filled with gaggles of baby pandas. A lot of how the pandas play was inspiration for the movie.

Meanwhile, James Hong will return to voice Mr. Ping, Po’s adoptive father who owns a noodle shop. Black said that Po’s reunion with his biological father concerns Mr. Ping as “he feels very protective” over Po. At the same time, Po will need to train his bear kin in martial arts to confront Kai (not to be confused with EXO member and “The Vampire Diaries” character of the same name, of course), a new supernatural villain who poses a threat to the village and the world.

Kung Fu Panda Cast
Image source: hallels.com

The original cast members from the past “Kung Fu Panda” films will also return to voice their respective roles. Dustin Hoffman will voice warrior trainer Master Shifu while Angelina Jolie, Jackie ChanSeth RogenDavid Cross, and Lucy Liu will voice the “Furious Five” kung fu warriors.

“Kung Fu Panda 3” is scheduled for release on 29th January 2016.

For more information, visit the movie’s official website and Facebook page.

(Source: USA Today)

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Adrina was our former writer and now contributes to Hype. Find out what she's up to on her IG: @moonsglowslow.