Oogway Ascends

The clip I decided to write about was from the very popular childrens movie Kong Fu Panda. The scene from this movie that I felt fits this promt was the death of Master Oogway. In this movie, Master Oogway is the seemingly ancient teacher who is as wise as he is old and maybe just as crazy. In this specific scene, the mater takes his student to the tree of knowledge where he explains to him that he can no longer help his student at his greatest time of need. The student looks scared and confused about what his master is telling him but before his questions can be answered Master Oogway’s body seems to drift away in the wind of leaves, the glow of the stars and moon, and a kind loving smile. Combined with dramatic music, this is a very powerful scene especially for a children’s movie. However, I think the creators did one of the best ways to explain death to children of young ages. I say this because although a beautiful scene it is still hard to watch such a lovable character leave.

This is especially useful for children because Master Oogway is an elderly character and for most children their first experience with death will probably be a lost grandparent. This is the first lesson a child can learn from this scene is that age and death are connected very closely related. The second lesson that a child can learn from this scene is that death can be a very beautiful peaceful passing as if drifting away into the wind when dealing with old age. Lastly, although a death can be confusing and sad, it is important to remember that you will always have your loved ones by the lessons they taught you or by looking up to the stars.

I felt this portrayal was a very useful tool to explain the death of a grandparent to a child without being too misleading or unclear. In a way, this scene influences our understanding of death to believe that death can beautiful if the person lived a very fulfilling life and to portray the values taught by those who passed on before us. The language of this scene does support the idea that America is “death denying culture”; however, this is suited towards a child audience.


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