Home Film & TV Kung Fu Panda 4: Meet Directors Mike Mitchell & Stephanie Ma Stine

Kung Fu Panda 4: Meet Directors Mike Mitchell & Stephanie Ma Stine

by Neil Bui

With the release of Kung Fu Panda 4 next week, Dorkaholics was invited to speak with the directors of the latest animated feature, Mike Mitchell and Stephanie Ma Stine.

Neil Bui: What was it like coming to Kung Fu Panda 4 as directors and working with a new ensemble cast of voices like Awkwafina, Ronnie Chieng, Ke Huy Quan, Lori Tan, and Viola Davis?

Mike Mitchell: It was the greatest, are you kidding? This is the best franchise ever made at DreamWorks. It’s the best. And it was weird, I worked on some of those other Kung Fu Pandas, but Stephanie was a bigger fan and knew more about this franchise than I did.

Stephanie Ma Stine: So, I lucked out when I got the phone call from Kristen Lowe and she asked me, “Would you be interested in working on Kung Fu Panda 4?” I had to be like, “No.” I said no. And then I hung up, and then I thought about it for 10 minutes, and I called her back, and I was like, “No, okay, I’ll work on it.” Because the first thing that came to my mind was like the weight of responsibility because this franchise is literally like the best. And I was like, what if I screw up, you know? I didn’t want to feel that. So, I just felt like, oh my gosh, this is going to be the hardest, most challenging job I’ll probably ever have. And it was. It was. And that’s why I said no, first thing. But then I was like, oh, but this is an opportunity to work on one of my favorite franchises with some of my favorite characters ever. So yeah, just echoing what Mike said, it’s been awesome to work with all these actors, with all these characters, and within this world. And we had that. We had James Hong who’s been in all of these, Dustin Hoffman who’s incredible, Ian McShane has been from the first one, and then all these new characters like Lori Tan, Ronnie Chang, and Awkwafina.

Catch Kung Fu Panda 4 in theaters March 8, 2024.

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