Jack Black's ursine hero Po is very much his father's son in the first trailer for "Kung Fu Panda 3."
The latest installment of the DreamWorks Animation franchise about a furry martial artist finds him in a chance meeting with his long-lost biological dad, Li (Bryan Cranston), and the resemblence is uncanny — the only problem is that neither is bright enough to recognize it.
"You lost your son?" a wide-eyed Po asks. "Yes, many years ago," Li replies.
"I lost my father," says Po. And then … a polite goodbye and a collective face-palm from the crowd of onlookers.
Smarts were never Po's strong suit — he's more the bumbling, big-hearted type — but eventually he reconnects with his father, meets more fellow pandas and battles a supernatural villain.
Joining him once again are his various kung fu colleagues, including Angelina Jolie's Tigress, Jackie Chan's Monkey and Dustin Hoffman's Master Shifu, all of whom get some screen time in the teaser's opening.
Po's friends and family aren't the only ones counting on him, however. DreamWorks, which has recently endured box-office misfires ("Mr. Peabody and Sherman," "Turbo"), layoffs and restructuring changes, is betting big on "Kung Fu Panda 3," particularly in China.
The film, which cost an estimated $140 million to make, represents the first production from Oriental DreamWorks, a Shanghai-based joint venture with partners including China Media Capital and Shanghai Media Group. The movie's status as an official Chinese co-production entitles DreamWorks to a larger share of the foreign revenue than Hollywood movies usually receive.
If "Panda 3" can tap into the booming Chinese box office the way "Furious 7" ($390 million) and "Avengers: Age of Ultron" ($240 million) have, Po will be a hero in more ways than one.
"Kung Fu Panda 3" hits theaters Jan. 29.