The beloved Dreamworks animated franchise is coming back to the big screen as Universal now sets Kung Fu Panda 4 for release on March 8, 2024. With the film in early production, no plot details of the fourth installment in the Kung Fu Panda franchise were given, but with a confirmed release date, fans can now officially anticipate the return of their favorite characters on the big screen.
No directors of the upcoming animated feature have been announced yet, but more announcements are likely to come as production for the Kung Fu Panda 4 begins to gear up. Jack Black, who plays Po in all the films and spin-off shows, will likely return for the role in the fourth installment as everyone’s favorite panda. Due to the film’s early stages of production, it remains unclear if any previous voice actors, such as Angelina Jolie and Dustin Hoffman, will be returning.
The first Kung Fu Panda released in theaters in the summer of 2008 to positive responses from critics and audiences with the film earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. Due to the critical and financial success of Kung Fu Panda, it eventually became one of Dreamworks‘ most lucrative franchises alongside Shrek, Madagascar, and How to Train Your Dragon.
Two theatrical sequels were released in 2011 and 2016 which expanded on Po’s backstory as he adjusts to his new role as the Dragon Warrior. The popularity of the films led to several short films and three spin-off shows: Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness on Nickelodeon, Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny on Amazon Prime Video, and Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight on Netflix.
Earlier this year, Dreamworks Animation released The Bad Guys which was well received and performed moderately well at the box office. Despite its success, the animation studio appears to also be returning to some of their older franchises. Alongside the announcement of a new Kung Fu Panda film, Dreamworks is also semi-returning to the Shrek franchise later this year with the release of another Puss in Boots spinoff film which will utilize the same 2D/3D hybrid animation popularized by Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Kung Fu Panda 4 will be released in theaters on March 8, 2024.