Kung Fu Masters of the Zodiac: Origins of the Twelve
Rooted in Chinese folkloric tradition, it features the exploits of twelve heroic contenders for the celestial assignment of “Keepers of the Earthly Realm,” winning them a place in the Chinese Zodiac.
A moose, tigers, and bears, oh my! The animals are alive and kicking (literally) in this animated martial arts feature that is a fast-paced episode in the Kung Fu-Masters of the Zodiac series.
Dudley Nightshade, a moose all in splendor with ginormous antlers, laughs at a character who trips, namely Wizard, an old goat who is, funny enough, an old goat. When he trips Dudley chuckles heartily. A battle ensues in a tournament in which the moose throws mystical colorful bolts at Wizard, who stops the bolts with his own powers. “Is that the best you can do, old friend?” asks the old goat. What is interesting to note is that these two were, in fact, friends some time before this encounter as contestants.
Wizard believes that Dudley now has a heart of hatred. Can it be softened? More questions soon need to be answered when Dudley seems to have been struck with toxic poisoning. Although Wizard wins the fight, he reminds Dudley that they used to save people with their medicines. “Let me fix you up now,” says Wizard, who has the soul of a doctor.
In another round of the Amazing Round Tournament, Shadow (a female snake) battles Voyager, a monkey. Voyager uses a four-pronged spear and Shadow whips darts at Voyager, who manages to elude them. In a funny moment, Voyager says, “Nice and crazy,” to Shadow, who replies, “That is my favorite band!” The two combatants are neck and neck in their ensuing battle, and the spectators must decide who has won the fight. The vote goes 50-50 and for the title of Keeper. The Keeper must bring peace and prosperity, as well as equality to the dominion of Earth. In a highlight moment of the story, it is Voyager that realizes they have been literally trying to destroy one another, and the ending, without giving it away, features an unexpected and nice conclusion.
This terrific, animated short episode (it runs 14 minutes) focuses on the possibility of diverse characters living in harmony and unity. What a nice theme! It has merited our Dove seal for All Ages, though it is not intended for very young children.
The Dove Take:
The wonderful theme in this colorful animated episode is that everybody can change for the better!