MBTI: Po the Panda- ENFP


While I’d like to type some ENFPs that weren’t cartoons, there’s just no denying the writer’s and animator’s ability to craft a story around the upbeat and unpredictable type that is the Champion.

Fitting name for Po’s type too, because as we see in the Kung-Fu Panda movies, it’s foreseen that he will be the people’s champion. So spake the PROPHECY! And just the like the ENFP, nobody saw Po coming- it just worked out that way.

Often times with strong Ne users, you’ll get a sense of optimism that won’t be contained, in almost nay situation. Seeing the possibilities everywhere, they’re like kids in a candy store running from container to container, trying all the goods. They don’t want to get sick from eating a whole box- just enough to try everything.

"Mommy my left arm is numb! Hee hee!"

“Mommy my left arm is numb! Hee hee!”

This is Po in a nutshell as his obsession with the Furious Five and his unbridled humility in their presence. He wants to be one of them without having any training or any way of even meeting them- it’s just the fun fantasy of being someone that matters.

But, as fate would have it, Po is chosen as the Dragon Warrior; the one chosen to destroy evil and accept the Dragon Scroll. It doesn’t seem right to anyone, even Po but hey, he was chosen. There’s just something about the combination of Ne and Fi that not only put ENFPs in ridiculous situations but it’s also what has them going with the flow to go even deeper down the rabbit hole.

Notice that Po was only meant to take his cart to the arena and was locked out? Yet through a combination of ingenuity and stupidity, he was able to get in, be chosen and be trained. It’s the ENFP’s life story in many ways as things just…happen for and to them. The way a lot of things work out involving the ENFP is by chance and happenstance. But it still happens in a way that wouldn’t have worked had it been any other type.


And once the training begins, we see even more Champion-like craziness as the members of the Furious Five are initially determined to get Po to quit. But like a true ENFP, Po’s wide-eyed determination hardly even allows him to see that the others want him to resign until it’s shoved in his face. ENFPs have a way of building up authority figures in their mind and are crushed when the pedestal collapses.

But unlike the Guardians, who place a certain amount of faith in their authority figures, the ENFP’s chosen idols are more randomly placed; it could be their boss, it could be a friend, or it could be a singer- either way, when the chips are down and the truth about this person comes out without denial that this figure isn’t without fault, the ENFP may be crushed beyond reconciliation.

"Katy Perry...how could you sell out? How could you DO THIS TO ME?"

“Katy Perry…how could you sell out? How could you GO MAINSTREAM?”

This is the case with Po and his desire to become one of the Furious Five. After realizing that they don’t want him on their team and why, is when that time of that movie comes. You know the one- it’s a child’s movie, sure, but you can’t help but be a little sad still that things just aren’t as funny anymore. All is lost, as it seems and there just doesn’t seem to be a way out from under the black cloud that is depression.

While the first Panda deals with Po learning the trade, becoming a member of the Furious Five and defeating Tai Lung, the second follows a similar pattern where Po attempts to master his art. But in either movie, Po’s techniques to fully utilize his gifts are still true to the ENFP way and the key word here is “unorthodox.” Say it with me- uhn-awr-thuh-doks.

As mentioned, the ENFP’s life is one that they see as full of fun things to do, jumping from one thing to the next. We’ve all read about how ENFPs need to finish what they start and heck yes it’s true (Experience with a particular ENFP can be a fun or frustrating experience, depending on their mood), but should they choose to follow through on a plan, don’t expect it to be the way you thought it should happen.

While their Rational cousin, the ENTP finishes their projects with a certain scientific accuracy, the ENFP is more focused on the people at hand and always have them in mind. Logic and an in-depth analysis of whatever the situation is doesn’t factor in as much as the feeling of the moment. And while it’s important for the ENFP to know what’s important and what to leave out, when they do figure it out, the finished result is going to be one of unexpected creativity.

And wackiness. Never forget the wackiness.

And wackiness. Never forget the wackiness.

Po’s ending fight scenes are good examples of this, as in both films, he becomes the successor of the battle but in neither movie is it in the traditional style of block when you should, punch and kick when you can. From using his own body fat as a shield and a weapon, to catching cannonballs and using its momentum against his projectors, Po’s final fights are both funny and cool.

A similar example of Po’s ENFP bravado and enthusiasm is Gurren Lagann’s Kamina whose actual catchphrase is the motivating (if not corny) saying of “Kick logic to the curb and do the impossible!” Feelers cheer at this and Thinkers groan.


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