Pandas Movie: Life Beyond Cuteness

in movies •  5 months ago


Puppies. Otters. Lemurs. Meerkats. Donkeys. There are plenty of cute critters in the animal world. I’ve never really been a fan of giant pandas, perhaps because pure cuteness seems to be their main appeal. Pandas are beautiful and I’m sure they are wonderful animals, but (partly thanks to the Chinese government), I’ve always thought they are one of the most overhyped and oversold creatures on the planet.

There are plenty of other endangered/vulnerable species in the world that don’t get millions of dollars’ worth of love, including their own sanctuary and breeding/rehabilitation program in the bamboo forests. The one time I visited China and ended up in a souvenir shop trying to buy gifts for family, it seemed as if half of the merchandise was panda-related kitsch. What about the Iberian lynx, Vaquita, Matschie’s tree kangaroo, or even the red panda? And those are the endangered animals that are cute. Let’s not even start on uglier ones like the endangered blobfish. (No, don’t look it up. Once you’ve seen a photo of a blobfish, you can’t unsee it.)

Not those panda movies.
Nope, wrong one.
I don't think it was that one either.
That wasn't the one I watched.
Wrong one.
Definitely not.
Oh, my goodness. Not the right movie.
Not that!
No, these are all wrong. The movie I saw was titled simply "Pandas". By the way, all these other images are promotional material for their respective films, the rights to which are owned by their studios, distributors, or artists.

For a while, many scientists believed that giant pandas and red pandas were more closely related to raccoons than to bears (throwing into question their longer “panda bear” name). But more recently, DNA evidence has put pandas back in the bear group. If so, they must be the most tumbly and least self-sufficient member of the bear family. How exactly did pandas survive in the wild before people came along to baby them? Too cute.

Despite my preconceptions, my family and I ended up at an IMAX theater recently and the next show was a documentary film on pandas. My kids saw the trailer online and wanted to buy tickets. So we ended up watching a movie that was imaginatively titled Pandas. The kids noted that the narrator also had voiced the role of Princess Anna in Frozen. The cuteness factor further compounded as soon as the first pandas appeared. Get ready for a full feature of goofy black and white balls of cute tumbling around, I thought.


But the filmmakers called my bluff at the very beginning, announcing that “it takes a special person” to see pandas as more than just cute. Well, who doesn’t want to be a “special person”? Am I intelligent enough to leave my biases at the door or dumb enough to let them encumber my movie-going experience? Of course, I resolved to look beyond the cuteness and try to appreciate the story. I’m fairly sure that I would have tried to do so anyway, but their challenge left me with little choice. The early cute scenes and the strange choice of a ZZ Top song almost did me in, but I stuck with it and was glad I did.

Did ZZ Top know their music would be used in a movie about cute pandas? Creative Commons via by Brian Marks.

Pandas (the movie) begins at the Chengdu panda research facility, which specializes in breeding and supporting its resident pandas. The director there, Hou Rong, has devoted her whole life to studying and helping pandas (with great success), but she realized that that the facility’s breeding success has brought them to a new phase in panda rehabilitation. There have been hundreds of pandas born in captivity, but to improve the population in the wild, they need to be able to transition these creatures out into nature rather than keep them forever in a glorified zoo.

The trouble is that none of these captive pandas, or their mothers, have lived in the wild. And the facility staff does not have experience in transitioning animals back into the wild. But Hou Rong learns about a man in New Hampshire in the United States who rescues and returns black bear cubs to the wild, so she pays him a visit to see his work. Along with other alumni, we meet a mother bear who was cared for by this man, Ben Kilham. Twenty-two years and many wild cubs later, this bear still maintains a friendship with Kilham even while living successfully in the forests of New England.

A panda with Ben Kilham, the New England man whose experience helping orphaned black bear cubs provides the model for re-introducing pandas into the wild. From the movie "Pandas" by IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros.

Hou Rong sees how well Kilham’s method works with bears that are living wild, yet still maintaining a connection to him so that he can monitor their wellbeing. She decides to invite him to China so that his method can be implemented with the transitioning pandas. Soon, they hire and train two young biologists, one from the United States and another from Inner Mongolia, who will run this program and interface with the soon-to-be-wild pandas.

Then we meet the true star of the movie, Qian Qian. She is the first captive-bred giant panda who they have chosen to move into the wild. Over a period of two years, the two young biologists raise and train Qian Qian, moving her through stages from a panda research center to a large enclosed area and ultimately beyond the fences into the mountains inhabited by wild pandas. Her journey is at times cute and adorable, but she becomes a panda who must rely on her own skills to live successfully in the mountains.

Qian Qian with the two biologists who help her handle the transition to the wild. From the movie "Pandas" by IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros.

It is a struggle for survival and there are setbacks, but the movie ends with the audience believing that this formula and hard work can be replicated with more of Qian Qian’s successors.

Pandas are magnificent, living creatures that need to make their own way in the world. With a population of under 3,000, they have a daunting struggle to maintain their existence on this planet. They are fortunate to have a helping hand from humans, even if that assistance is more than other species get. I came away from this movie with a new appreciation for the people who dedicate themselves to this life’s work of helping these pandas. The animals themselves are much more than just furry balls of cuteness, but perhaps they are fortunate also that cuteness sells. It’s probably funding their rehabilitation.


Top image: Poster for the movie "Pandas" by IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros. Bottom image: Hou Rong, known as the Panda mom, has dedicated her life to helping these animals. From the movie "Pandas" by IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros.

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Based on the behaviour of the pandas, I would say these little guys are in serious need of some kind of enrichment in their enclosure- especially when a basket (with or without leaves) is that much fun, a broom is that fascinating and one of them just wanted to be left alone to play with a dustpan! Is there a reason why the pandas can't have some toys to play with?


It looks like a lot of human objects, but that's not unusual in zoos and sanctuaries. When you see the movie, they appear to have enough space and stimulation.

I love expensive pandas! They are soooooo adorable.......and expensive! Really, really, really wanna hug a panda........! they give em toys to keep em busy....but hey...... part of the fun is waching them interact with their keeper!


They really get along well with their keepers.

I fully agree with you, my friend, Pandas are much more important to us than just fluffy balls and we must take care of them and monitor their population. You are right, now many on the Pandas earn money, from films to advertising, but I wanted more attention to be paid to the animals themselves! Thank you @donkeypong


At least they bring in a lot of money and some of that can be spent helping them.

Panda the movie
Is an extremely interesting movie and since then I couldn't help but love and appreciate pandas🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓

I call them a bundle of cuteness



They're cute when they're small, but they do get fairly large as they grow. In this movie, they compared wrestling with the two-year-old panda to the martial art jiu jitsu.

There are plenty of other endangered/vulnerable species in the world that don’t get millions of dollars’ worth of love,...

That’s completely true! At the end for these people it’s mostly about business. Not always but business is business. Panda 🐼 seems to be trending now. That’s how they look at it as a business. I love these perhaps cutest animals of all, but as you mentioned, there is soo many others that need help.

How exactly did pandas survive in the wild before people came along to baby them? Too cute.

That’s what I’ve always wondered. They are cute, but they are very aggressive as well and they certainly can take care of themselves at some point. However, this takes us back to business side. There are smugglers hunting and selling these animals for profits.

With a population of under 3,000, they have a daunting struggle to maintain their existence on this planet.

That is really shocking! I wish Qian Qian and many others the best. They deserve it more than humans.


Thanks for your comments. Yes, I wish some other threatened species would get even a fraction of the same love, but that does not make it wrong that pandas are adored.

🐼 Pandas have a lot going for them.For one their cuteness factor draws a lot of tourists to China that is apart from the Great Wall of China. Pandas contributes to China's economy in its own small way so it's not surprising that the government is invested in their rehabilitation plus the movies about Pandas like the one you watched with your children was specially written to encourage donations towards panda related projects. The endangered animals you mentioned along with some others could use a campaign like the one being employed by the panda preservationist.

Yes, pandas are beautiful creatures and in my opinion their colour combination makes them more beautiful and more attractive and for sure their cute faces can win anyone's heart for sure and there are many movies of pandas and most of the movies showcase pandas as Tree Hangers.

And movies most of the time takes trained pandas and in my opinion natural pandas or wild pandas are more interesting because they hold the free essence and they can make us laugh through their actions.

And yes, it's difficult to control the wild animals because they don't adjust with housing environment easily and inturn it becomes tough to control and in same way some people decide to leave animals after some period of time in wild places and that also not good because animals holds the housing essence and when they enter into wild environment then it's difficult for them to survive.

It's good to know your thoughts about the panda and literally you deep dived and this post is really appreciable and literally speaking as soon as i read panda then first thing which comes in my mind is panda hanging on a tree. 🙂

Thanks for sharing this post with us and wishing you an great day. Stay blessed. 🙂


Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your thoughts.


Welcome and thank you so much. 🙂

A very detailed review about Pandas...
Very informative and entertaining to be read...

But one of the most shocking informations is that:
"Pandas are magnificent, living creatures that need to make their own way in the world. With a population of under 3,000, they have a daunting struggle to maintain their existence on this planet. They are fortunate to have a helping hand from humans, even if that assistance is more than other species get."

I think humans that cause this, so humans also who have to be responsible in saving Pandas existence...:)

Thanks for this wonderful post & have a lovely day, dear friend @donkeypong...☕❤


Declining habitat and greater pollution are generally the fault of humans. Wild pandas once had a much wider range, but have been forced up into the mountains. So yes, that does give us some responsibility for helping. I understand that the Chinese government is working on creating a full-scale national park for pandas that combines some of the existing protected areas into a corridor.

I'm all about the animals... sometimes we need to get back to the basics and animals offer the perfect escape.

Great post! Interesting and educational. I love pandas! so cute! But as commented in your post, they are so much more than that. It's so important to raise awareness through movies and other educational means to help them. Thank you for sharing this post.

What a unique prologue! I think you have the different way to tell the another movie about Panda and your style is so entertain.

Thanks for your review.

Im one of the million fans of kung fu panda, its just hilariously funny, lol

Pandas were huggable and their fur were so tender to touch but when they are in the beast mode just be careful, lol

Maybe they are in captivity, the problem in my opinion is not the pandas, but the people who victimize them to make them a marketplace (toys, movies, clothes and everything that can be sold), the tenderness and survival of these animals is used to manipulate the masses to buy these objects.

@donkeypong, Absolutely brilliant considering post sharing today. But unfortunately I couldn't read it long time coz steem blockchain was down since 8 hours. Now I totally read it and guess idea.

I’ve always thought they are one of the most overhyped and oversold creatures on the planet.

Yep..That's true. For me, I think same with your thought Tom. Panda is very innocent animal and Panda movie would be awesome around the world. How I love it? Panda living most in China background and they are respect and try to protect them. Panda best for film or advertisements promoting. Because they given attractive to citizens.

its really an amazing movie

how are you friend? i hope that,you are good.again welcome to steemit.i am waiting your post.i like your pandas movies.specially i like animal i watched only six movies pandas.its just excellent and today you showing this inteligent movies thought and wonderfull photography of pandas.its very impressive and your writing skills always better any other person.because you write every tropic step to step very properly.i am always learning alots if new thing of your post.because your knowledge quality very powerfull. Really nice movie and I really motivated from that movie. now many on the Pandas earn money, from films to advertising, but I wanted more attention to be paid to the animals themselves!i like your amazing video and every photos.this pandas obviously very important for people. thanks to sharing for your great post.very well done.take care yourself and best of luck of your great work.may god bless dear friend. @donkeypong

Beautifully looking this pandas photography,
i like this animals. thanks a lot for this post
sharing.....keep it up my dear friend.....
upvote and resteemit done.

What a thrilling stories...

I think their is a lesson for us all to strive in protecting all the endanger species, beautiful panda included.

I will try and see this movie too, the storyline looks tantalizing... Lol

I remember kung fu panda when I saw the post, it was like a semi movie review here, it seems Animals make amazing movies, I think if I be a movie maker I will follow the trend of anime panda streak as well.

Panda are beautiful creatures because of their softness and tenderness. I've always likened them to teddy bears.

I've watched alot of Panda Animation movies and I've yearned to feel their tenderness in my arms but I'm so unfortunate to be in a continent/country (Nigeria) where Panda don't exist. Another creature I love so much is Penguin.

Great Content @donkeypong

Wow ,i love Panda so much, I've two kids they also love Panda but i had no idea about this movie,now I'm so happy to know this and interested to watch this movie ,thank you very much for your post and nice Panda photographs ,really love this.

Excellent post Each documentary of this beautiful animal teaches us more of this kind

This was such a great movie and props to Dreamworks for coming up with this. It's a really good series. I actually don't hate any of them, even though people say they hate the third. I actually thought it was pretty cool.

Why Are all pandas getting so much attention like the World only cares about pandas not all the other endangered animals. Wake up world It's not only pandas we should Care about.

wonderful movie Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful movie with us. I like panda very beautiful and very beautiful thanks and thank you very much for sharing such a nice content panda great animals i love it very much i saw movie very good Thank you so much for writing your articles and pictures, Sir All the Best. @donkeypong

This panda does this all day! What is he going to do when he gets out of the pen? Nothing! It's boring out there! Hahaha! Go play with your friends, little panda! Help them push that box! Don't cause trouble like this! Soooo cute!

Panda has made many movies in Hollywood, which are very beautiful. There are also many cartoons with Panda that kids like Rishon. I like the Kung Fu Panda cartoon. And like all your posts, I love writing about Panda, especially the pictures you are using that inspired me.

I felt like putting a bullet between the eyes of every Panda that wouldn't screw to save its species.

Kinda surprised to not having seen a WoW related poster. They gave Pandas quite the limelight a while back as well.

I like Pandas for their cuteness just as much as the next man, but I never appreciated them for more than that now that your post made me think about it.

Fascinating how fast these things can become imprinted into our minds.

I love pandas so much, here there is a national channel that broadcasts documentaries every day, one of them was a captivity of pandas where they were taken care of and took to the mountain with trackers and I really liked it, I'm going to look for this to see how is it.

tipuvote! :)

This post received 0.66 SBD upvote from @tipU funded by @cardboard | @donkeypong now has a chance to win free @steembasicincome share :) | Voting service | For investors.

Cuteness and love-able pandas are great to watch. It brings the inward childlike behavior of humans out. You can watch them sleep and jog around and somehow feel intense calmness all of a sudden. Such a gentle animal.

Yes there are so much movies made by pandas, different tittles and always fun but children likes it most and they makes me watch it too when i find them watching it at living room

These pandas all series just very nice and enjoyable..
Actually I watched kumfu panda 3 movie..
Just very motivational movie..
Really nice movie and I really motivated from that movie..
Thanks for sharing this it ..
Really happy now that see this post..

Dear @donkeypong upvote and resteemit done your post..

very good documentary is fun when you say you imagined a black hair ball with white turning and being tender.
I will not deny that the pandas are very kind and more when they are puppies, but as you say, I do not think that a panda survives in freedom on its own, since the pandas are clumsy to go out for food.

Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful anime movie among us. This movie is very nice. I love Pandya very much. I have seen this picture. Panda is a creature whose intellect is really beautiful and they can live in any heart. To share.

First and foremost, when I'm told not to do something, I feel the necessity to do the exact opposite. I've now got a blobfish burned into my memory. Seeing them is a bit like driving by a bad accident, not wanting to look, but finally caving and taking a peak.

It's interesting how marketing can literally create 'cuteness' isn't it? A bit like dolphins with the show Flipper. Speaking of marketing, I love your comment:

But the filmmakers called my bluff at the very beginning, announcing that “it takes a special person” to see pandas as more than just cute. Well, who doesn’t want to be a “special person”?

And I'd love to know what ZZ Top thought of all of this :)

I love even more people who dedicate their lives to animals in need. These folks are in the same league as Dian Fossey and her work with gorillas or Birutė Galdikas and her work with orangutans (perhaps less known thanks to Hollywood, but well worth a look at).

Thanks for another interesting post @donkeypong :)

Like it or not, but the pandas are cute, they do not take away this quality)) I want to take care of them, they want to stroke and hug. It is the way a person is arranged that he takes more pleasure in caring for the Panda than for the fish that you are advised not to look ( I still looked and this is really the personification of a nightmare. So it looks like a man. It seems that some kind of mutant). And yet, when I looked for a picture of this endangered fish, I saw that there are plush toys in the form of this creature. But Panda toys more, no doubt.

Without a doubt the pandas you have to take care of them I love them they are beautiful excellent animals it's a pity that they are in danger of extinction but they can still be saved if we all help greetings excelnete post congratulations

Ohhh.. i love Panda!!
I saw panda whenever we travel we always include themepark in our itinerary..themepark we could be able watch them .. so cute and adorable..
nice post.. thank you for sharing ..

Seeing a panda reminds me of the movie titled" Kung-fu Panda"

I brought my youngest son from a business trip to China, a small Panda toy. He was very happy. He ate, slept, walked with the panda. But one day my son forgot it in some hotel. Oh my God, it was a world tragedy))))

Pandas are so cute, especially when they are still young. Is no wonder they belong to the bear family, with those hair and looks.

I think Pandas will be okay since the Chinese government are taking care of them although with much difficulty because these creatures are so sensitive and not that too prolific. Maybe Good made it that way because they might deplete their food source which is mainly bamboo leaves. I wonder how their poop smells like though? LOL @donkeypong

I found the photo blobfish....I never saw or knew about this fish....Indeed, pandas are lucky that they look cute and get support.

Pandas are cuties, I love their colour combination. @donkeypong pls upvote me imma newbie

@donkeypong the cuteness of panda attract everyone weather its elder or kids .. their cuteness level is just to next level.. ..

O my word are there any better words than cute, cute, cute. But I do think they can be a handful to look after

Panda's are my favorite too.
So cute and so chubby, I wish I have a pet one.
Kung Fu Panda is my favorite animated movie.
Can you suggest me a movie?

Pandas are really awesome. I like them and espicially like their color. Their color impressed me very much and their behaviour also impressed me. They like to eat bamboo. They are awesome guys.💜💜💜

Hello, excellent publication, I will not deny that thanks to all that film and television publication about the life of these wonderful creatures have awakened not only in me but also in many people in the world the interest of wanting to know and learn from these beautiful animals. It must be very interesting and pleasant to share with them even though the time of the day I think it's just sleeping and eating, but they are undoubtedly tender and very nice. I invite you to know a little more about my latest publications, in my blog. You will find interesting publications about my work waiting for you to like it. Greetings, blessings for all readers.

They give priority to a single animal species when in fact there are many who need our support to survive, clearly do not focus on that because they do not produce the same profit margin and only turn a blind eye to do nothing about it

Too too CUTE overloading system @donkeypong. I love pandas and I think there are one of the most beautiful animal species of the universe.

Congratulations for your article @donkeypong. I love pandas, they are beautiful! I would like to have one.


The panda cuteness sells no doubt... I love the selfless tasks of humans helping animals, saving them from extinction. That's so great a task to dedicate ones life to, amazing and cute!

Pandas are really awesome.
I like them and espicially like their color.

Really they are cute animals, I love baby pandas :D