Taotie (pronounced "dow-DAI") is a character in the Nickelodeon television series Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. He is a warthog who is incredibly skilled in mechanics, having helped build the Training Hall when he was a student. He is an old enemy of Shifu's who turned down Kung Fu in favor of machines after he was dismissed from the Jade Palace. He made his first appearance in the episode "Sticky Situation", where he was tasked by Po to fix the Training Hall.
It is known that Taotie was once Master Shifu's friend and a student at the Jade Palace in his younger days. Unlike Shifu, however, he was not a good fighter and had a hard time trying to learn Kung Fu. To help him improve, he and Shifu constructed the Training Hall, making use of Taotie's skill in mechanics. But while the Training Hall was impressive, Taotie's Kung Fu skills still were not, and he remained a poor, clumsy student. Jealous of Shifu's growing abilities, Taotie decided he would use his mechanical mind to compensate for his failures in Kung Fu. Taking the sacred Jade Orb of Infinite Power, he made a giant weapon in the shape of a wooden warrior, fueled by the Orb, devised to make up for all of his weaknesses. He was proud of his creation, but Oogway and Shifu were instead appalled by it. They told him that his machines sullied the purity of Kung Fu. They took back the Orb and presumably destroyed Taotie's creation, and he was dismissed from the Jade Palace. Taotie left, abandoning Kung Fu, feeling resentful of it and of Shifu, and wanting to prove himself superior to both.
In the episode "Sticky Situation," after Po broke the equipment in the Training Hall with sticky dumplings by mistake, he called on Taotie after seeing the warthog's mark in the Hall along with Shifu's. Visiting his home, Po met the warthog as well as his unenthusiastic teenage son Bian Zao, and, after being confronted with a spinning metallic contraption, told him that Shifu had asked for his help. Suspiciously, Taotie agreed to come and repair the Training Hall, his son accompanying him. Po then sneaked him and Bian Zao inside the Hall, avoiding Shifu and the Furious Five, and Po secured the entrance, not wanting anyone to see it was wrecked. Meanwhile, Taotie was left to realize his long-awaited vengeance. He eventually emerged, and once again wielded another giant mechanical warrior, made from equipment in the Training Hall, with Bian Zao beside him at the controls. Taotie announced that Po had led him inside, and Shifu, alarmed to see Taotie, angrily revealed to Po that Taotie was no longer his friend but an enemy. He and the Five sought to fight Taotie's invention, and declared that Po not fight with them. Taotie's many dangerous functions proved a challenge for the Kung Fu warriors' attacks, and all were eventually stopped. Shifu was also overtaken, and Taotie gloated to the red panda that machines were more powerful than Kung Fu, and aimed to finish him off.
Po soon arrived armed with a bowl of sticky dumplings, surprising both Taotie and Shifu. He was able to hold off the machine and use the dumplings to glue its parts together, which resulted in it breaking down. With his invention destroyed, Taotie unleashed his spinning metallic contraption like an umbrella, took his son, and flew off in an effort to escape, still wanting revenge. After the contraption stopped working in midair, he and Bian Zao crashed not far from the Training Hall and fled.
In "Fluttering Finger Mindslip," the two are seen back at their home with Taotie as determined as ever to get revenge on Shifu. A messenger arrived and handed him a bill from the Palace, which infuriated Taotie. He and Bian Zao later flew to the Jade Palace in his bird-like flying machine to confront the Kung Fu warriors about the bill, only to discover the Furious Five standing before him with no memory of who they were, or who Taotie was.
The warthog used this to serve his purposes, telling them he was their Kung Fu master and that Shifu and Po were their sworn enemies. Though he was able to deceive them long enough to have them attack Shifu and Po, they eventually had their memories restored when Po used the clay from the Alabaster Pot of Remembrance on them during the battle. Cornered by Po and the others and unarmed, Taotie again fled from the scene with Bian Zao, and they escaped in Taotie's flying bird-like machine.
Taotie was seen as clumsy when he was a student, being unsuccessful in Kung Fu. When he and Shifu constructed the Training Hall, Taotie hoped he would improve, and was sourly disappointed to find the added training from the Hall did nothing but give him more injuries. Jealous of Shifu's exceeding skill and wanting to prove he wasn't powerless, Taotie resolved to make his gift work for him. To do this, he was willing steal the sacred Jade Orb of Infinite Power, which he used to build a gigantic machine, created to make up for his lacking Kung Fu skills. When his invention was rejected by Oogway and Shifu, Taotie was expelled from the Palace, and he grew to despise Shifu afterward, wanting revenge by taking the Jade Palace, and by proving that machines were more powerful than Kung Fu.
Years later, Taotie still is set on this plan. Though he is still resentful and willing to attack his enemies with his machines, alone his presence is less than intimidating, even as he tries to come off as a serious threat. He also seems to have a rather typical parental role to his teenage son, whose uncooperative behavior can at times disgruntle Taotie during his attempts to take the Jade Palace.
Taotie heavily relies on his inventions instead of fighting, and is known to be a mechanical genius. He renounced Kung Fu and now believes it to be outdated, with machines being the key to a superior, more efficient form of fighting. He is able to build things in a short length of time, as shown in "Sticky Situation" when the warthog made a gigantic fighting weapon made from parts of the Training Hall in less than a day.
In "Big Bro Po," Taotie constructed a pair of mechanical arms he called the Iron Claws of Doom, which turned out to be among his more successful inventions, as he was able to use it to overwhelm and subdue Shifu and the Furious Five, as well as fight Po evenly-matched when focusing only on physical melee, displaying Kung Fu skills he might have remembered from his training in his youth. The weakness of these claws is they require to be constantly lubricated. They carry a set of surprises — such as launchable chains to tie up his opponents, spike projectiles, and they allow the warthog to lift things beyond his own physical limits, like boulders.
- Training Hall - Taotie and Shifu designed the current Training Hall during their youth in order to further and refine their Kung Fu skills. Shifu was able to progress while Taotie wasn't so lucky and was injured many times by his own creation. He has claimed the Training Hall's machinations and equipment are designed to last centuries.
- Kung Fu Invention - To compensate for his lack of Kung Fu skills, Taotie constructed this invention and stole the Jade Orb of Infinite Power to power it, and proudly presented it to Oogway and Shifu. Seeing it as dishonoring Kung Fu, they dismissed him from the Jade Palace and the invention was disassembled. Years later, Taotie would re-construct a new version of this invention, but it was destroyed by Po.
- Various Traps - Seen around his home as methods of security.
- Spinning-Blade Staff - Seen in his debut, this invention can be used as a melee weapon and features retractable spinning blades, making it a more effective weapon. Finally, it is able to spin and lift its wielder and a passenger like a helicopter but the blades need to be oiled for use.
- Bamboo Bird Flying Machine - As its names states, it is a flying machine made from bamboo and constructed in the likeness of a bird. It is pedal-powered, but not an entirely reliable invention.
- Iron Claws of Doom - One of Taotie's more recent, yet successful inventions.
It is known that Taotie was once Shifu's friend when they were both students at the Jade Palace. Never as graceful as Shifu, Taotie took part in building the Training Hall to help him improve in Kung Fu. Taotie was proud of the hall, but he remained a weak fighter, while Shifu's skills greatly progressed and received praise from Oogway. Envious, Taotie became determined to show his strength in mechanics and to apply them in combat. His creation of a giant warrior machine (as well as his taking of the sacred Jade Orb of Infinite Power) caused his dismissal from the palace. Taotie and Shifu ceased to be friends afterward, as Taotie abandoned Kung Fu, bitter and resentful of Shifu, and aimed to seek out revenge against him. Years later, he's still bitterly working toward his goal to defeat Shifu and take over the Jade Palace.
Taotie met Po, greeting the panda with a spinning metallic weapon, when Po asked for his help in fixing the Training Hall. Discovering that Po was unaware of his past rivalry with Shifu, Taotie took advantage of this and accepted, devising his own plan for revenge by constructing the equipment in the Training Hall into a giant machine. As soon as his project was complete, Taotie immediately turned on Po and used his fighting contraption to defeat Shifu and the Furious Five, but the panda eventually stopped him by using sticky dumplings to eventually break down the warthog's machine.
Taotie's dreams of vengeance and victory seem to bore Bian Zao. His son also seems unwilling to help his father and even occasionally mocks him and his efforts, such as his comment about wanting to not remember Taotie as the Furious Five did in "Fluttering Finger Mindslip". Though Bian Zao's slacker teenage attitude tends to clash with Taotie's, the two nevertheless stick together and Bian Zao goes along with his father's schemes.
The Furious Five
In Fluttering Finger Mindslip, Taotie found the Furious Five when they were clueless as to who they were, or who he was, thanks to a Kung Fu technique that tampered with their memories. Taotie used this to his advantage, telling them he was their master and giving them names such as "Whiskers Kitty-poo", "Little Britches", and "El Storko". Taotie convinced them that Shifu and Po were their enemies, and when ordered, the Five attacked them, believing all of Taotie's lies. The battle ended as Po applied clay from the Alabaster Pot of Remembrance, restoring their memories. With the Five no longer his pawns, Taotie quickly fled the scene in a panic.
Role in the series
Taotie will appear in the Spongebob series as a member of either the Villain League or Fang Empire, or better yet Team nefarious, cause the Leage and the Fang imperiols already have their own macanical geniuses (advanced ones at that), also, let's remember that Taotie's abit of an idiot. During the second Cartoonian War, it was revealed that Taotie actually WAS good at kung-fu! In reality, he was a very powerful warrior, and defeated many a darkspawn warrior. Hexxus caught wind of this warrior, and figured that he would be a too powerful threat to Mang Cobra, or even to Malefor if Taotie was kept unchecked. With help from Joe the fish, who was just at that point newly recruited to the darkspawn, a trap was set for Taotie where some darkspawn warriors were to let Taotie chase them to a marked location, feeding the warrior's ego that the infamous demons of darkness fear this warrior of light. Too late Taotie realised that as he was about to finish off the cowardly darkspawn warriors, he was overwhelmed by Joe's Shark minion. Hexxus appeared, stating he had "apologies" for doing this, but that Taotie is too much of a threat to leave alone. So, Hexxus cursed Taotie to forever stink at Kung-fu, then ordered the darkspawn warriors to kill Taotie, believing the high councel might find a use for him yet in this weak state. Of course, that didn't happen thanks to the sudden appearence of Shifu and Merlin, who killed off the warriors and caused Joe the Fish, his shark, and even Hexxus to make a hasty retreat. Oogway was in a sad state that Taotie lost his kung-fu, and intended to restoring it, leading to the tale set in motion in the tv series.