To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Netflix is now streaming an all-new special episode, “Epic Lunar New Year,” of the hit DreamWorks Animation series, Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight. In the episode, to keep the gang’s spirits up on their difficult voyage, Jack Black’s Po tells them the tale of a hunter who helped protect a village from a dragon on the first Lunar New Year.
The 12-episode second season of the show, now available on Netflix, stars Black alongside Rita Ora as “Wandering Blade;” guest stars for the new season include Harvey Gullien as a frog named “Pelpel;” Richard Ayoade as a mole rat named “Kyle;” Shohreh Aghdashloo as pirate queen “Forouzan;” and Melissa Villasignor as an excitable scientist “Akna.”
Make a new year’s wish, then watch a trailer from the “Epic Lunar New Year” episode:
In the series, as he pursues the villainous weasels, Klaus and Veruca, and the powerful Tianshiang weapons, Po ventures outside of China for the first time with his motley crew of warriors, including the fierce Wandering Blade, the slippery Rukhmini, and loyal Mr. Ping. From a museum heist in India to a volcanic eruption in Central America, the heroes face danger at every turn on their journey to unravel the secrets surrounding Blade’s brother and his connection to some magical weapons.
Peter Hastings and Shaunt Nigoghossian serve as executive producers, and Chris Amick and Ben Mekler serve as co-executive producers.
Hastings shares insights on the new season’s production in an AWN interview, “Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight’: Averting ‘Baditude,’ Achieving ‘Awesomeness.’”
Inspired by traditional martial arts and set in ancient China, the 2008 Academy Award-nominated movie and inaugural chapter of the Kung Fu Panda franchise became DreamWorks’ highest-grossing original animated film and launched a trilogy that has earned more than $1.8 billion at the global box office.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.