7. Lord Shen’s Parents – Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
Glimpsed only in an expository flashback scene in Kung Fu Panda 2, the parents of Lord Shen actually shaped the entire Kung Fu Panda franchise through their inability to appropriately parent their son.
When young Lord Shen becomes fascinated with the destructive properties of fireworks, his parents become increasingly concerned. However, instead of simply talking to him and helping him channel his passion into less troubling pursuits, Shen’s parents sneak off to consult a soothsayer, who tells them that “a warrior of black and white” will be Shen’s downfall. Not only does she do nothing to help their situation, but Shen overhears the exchange. Unhinged and fearing his death, he sets off to commit panda genocide.
Now, without condoning Shen’s actions (because, y’know, genocide), his parents’ unwillingness to help their son work through his obsession led him to his actions. The same actions, in fact, that orphaned a young Po, which in turn led to him being adopted by Mr. Ping, and eventually, to him becoming the Dragon Warrior.
Maybe it’s an argument for determinism, or maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, but either way, the Kung Fu Panda franchise would have played out VERY differently if Shen’s parents had simply supported their son.