"The Kung Fu Panda: The Exhibition" up in Raffles City North Bund is an interactive walk-through of the entire -- very excellent -- Kung Fu Panda trilogy of films. Ten themed rooms filled with activities and photo ops, where children can learn that, through self-discipline and belief in yourself, anyone can overcome a crippling dumpling addiction and become…
The Legendary Dragon Warrior.
Or at least a Dragon Warrior. Big part of the trilogy is kind of how it’s an inclusive thing. Say, if everyone is the Dragon Warrior, does that mean no one is the Dragon Warrior? Is there a limited amount of legendariness to go around or is this a non-zero sum sort of you know what we’re getting distracted.
We’re here to give you a preview of the exhibition so you can prepare your mind and your body (and also so you can know ahead of time if this is something those fickle, fickle kids are going to be into).
*Note, spoilers for… all of Kung Fu Panda. Duh.*
Master Ugui welcomes the crowds into a waiting area. His name just means turtle. Clever bit of wordplay probably snuck past most Western audiences back in 2008, but we’ve caught on since!
Next room is a massive, 270-degree video screen introducing you to the exhibit, and showing the legendary opening to the first movie.
You’re right, Monkey. We should hang out.
A door opens to the next room revealing… oh! It was all a dream! Most unlegendary, Po!
A day in Po’s village with all the villagers who still don’t know just how awesome -- and attractive -- Po is.
Crack wise in Mandarin with the crewmember live-voicing Mr. Ping, the duck noodle merchant and also Po’s dad. No spoilers for Kung Fu Panda 2, but there’s something fishy about this family connection.
The legendary Dragon Scroll, of legend!
Finally, training begins.
Master Shifu looking displeased back there. Another clever word play: his name just means Master. Master Master? Hoho what fun.
The tour dithers longer in this room with a bunch of games meant to hone your technique, agility and fighting skill.
Just kidding! It’s so people you love take photos of you looking very silly.
Now we’re trained up to fight Cobra Kai, even fire holds no fear for us.
We can begin the important process of fighting every major bad guy from the movie series
Our first opponent, Tai Lung, once Master Shifu’s worthiest student and future Dragon Warrior! As lights and screens flare around us, our button mashing is legendary.
For trained martial artists, any part of the body is a weapon.
Success! Next up, Lord Shen, the villainous peacock from Kung Fu Panda 2.
We have to use taiji to ping-pong cannonballs back at the iron-feathered despot.
It… mostly works. Call it a moral victory. The stuff of legend!
Next, an interlude as we take a rocket cart, where you strap in and feel the chairs buck and pivot. Can’t remember what this sort of ride is called. Fun though!
The panda village in the mountains! Plus, what the serious is really all about…
Finally, it’s time to face down the most legendary foe of all. Obesity – KIDDING, IT’S KAI.
Oh no, he has Po trapped!
Place your panda hands on Po (just place, no need to hit, the guide gently chides us).
By the legendary power of toebeans, Po is released, and Kai is defeated!
Master Ugui is pleased.
And, naturally… exit through the gift shop.
Glaring oversight in the merch store: not a single t-shirt that reads “skadoosh.”
So… Worth Going?
Yeah, sure! It’s not Disneyland, but a lot of work went into it, including custom animations and voice-work. That’s fun. I mean, if you liked Kung Fu Panda. If you hated the movie, I’m amazed you made it this far.
Definitely with kids, though. Kids 10 and below with some Chinese. The games and activities are fun in their own right but yeah, you’re missing out if you can’t take in Master Ugui’s sage advice first hand.
Cycling through all ten rooms takes a little over an hour. The cost is 188rmb adults or 138rmb for children under 1.4m. Each “tour group” is maximum 20 people.
It’s on daily until February 15. Tickets available here.