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6 Top Giant Panda Movies, Documentaries, and Publications

This article lists some of the top media out there to learn about giant pandas, and even prepare you for a trip to China to see them: one movie series, three documentaries, a biography, and a magazine (all on YouTube/Amazon).

1. The Kung Fu Panda Series — Animated Movies

 Kung Fu Panda - the most popular Giant Panda Movie Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda is a series of three animations made by Dream Works Animation, describing the story of a panda who longs to learn kung fu. He is chosen by a master to be trained to become the Dragon Warrior to protect the Valley of Peace.

The stories are set in ancient China. With the strong Chinese characteristics in the panda habitat scenery, clothing, and even food, it is a great movie for beginners who want to learn more about pandas and Chinese culture.

2. Born in China — Documentary Movie

Born in China is a documentary movie that focuses more on storytelling. The three main protagonists of this movie are a giant panda, a snow leopard, and a golden snub-nosed monkey. All of them are on China’s national level animal protection list. In this movie, you have the chance to see videos that took 18 months to film.

In the panda part, Born in China tells the story of mother panda Yaya and baby panda Meimei.

Meimei is a panda cub of 6 months old. As she grows up, she is more and more curious about the world outside, but her mother Yaya doesn’t think she is ready. Yaya spoils Meimei so much that she can’t let her daughter take risks. But when meimei grows older, the day finally comes when Meimei leaves her mother for an independent life.

Panda cubs in the zooPanda cubs

3. Wild About Pandas — Edinburgh Zoo Documentary

This program is about two pandas, Tiantian and Yangguang, who were sent from China to Scotland in 2012.

You can find out about the efforts that staff in Scotland and China made to prepare for the "panda express", how people in the UK love pandas, and how the pandas enjoy their life in Edinburgh Zoo.

4. A Panda Is Born — Documentary About Taishan

Taishan is one of the most famous pandas in the world. He was born in the National Zoo, Washington D.C., and is their first panda cub to survive to maturity.

A Panda is Born records the whole process of Taishan’s birth. You have the chance to see Taishan in his cute childhood and gain some knowledge of pandas’ maternity.

5. The Lady and the Panda — Biographical Book

This book is a true story of how the first American female explorer brought back China's most exotic animal.

Ruth Harkness, the protagonist of the novel, was a Manhattan bohemian socialite. In 1936, in order to fulfill the last wish of her husband who passed away accidently in an exploration just after getting married, Ruth Harkness came to China all alone, getting over all the difficulties to bring back a giant panda to America.

Panda MuseumThe Panda Museum in Chengdu's Panda Breeding Base is another great place to learn about pandas.

6. Giant Panda — Magazine

Giant Panda is the first magazine named after giant pandas. The aim of this magazine is to popularize the importance of people joining in the conservation of wild animals, to propagandize the culture of pandas, and to praise the excellent aspects of giant panda conservation.

The magazine is divided into six parts, focusing on new research results, interesting stories of captive pandas, international panda programs, and literature about pandas.

See Pandas with China Highlights

If you are planning to see giant pandas in China for yourself, here we recommend our three top-selling giant panda itineraries for you to choose from:

Or, if you are looking for something different, you could use our expertise to tailor-make your own panda program trip.

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