This post is about one of my favorite movies: Kung Fu Panda. Before you laugh, I have legitimate, adult(ish) reasons that this has become one of my recent faves.
Apart from the beautiful art and the fun music, apart from the good story and engaging characters (Broth runs deep through our veins!), I love the message in it.
The message that our self-worth isn't based off of some object we possess (be it a magical scroll or a wad of cash). It isn't based off of our personal hygiene or the years we've spent in training. It's not based on anything. It just is.
We, as people, have an intrinsic value that isn't based upon deeds or possessions--Just being us is what makes us valuable.
Oftentimes in hero stories, there will be the "hero-in-training" who really isn't that good, and is just your average Joe. Then, there will some momentous turning point, some bestowing of a gift upon them, that turns the ordinary, into extraordinary. And only once they get the magical staff or the nifty pendant, are they able to fulfill their hero-ish destiny.
But in Kung Fu Panda, he isn't given an external source of power to draw from. He is given assurance that he, Po, has worth, just for being Po. He learns that "there is no secret ingredient." No magical fairy dust that makes someone special or able to fulfill their destiny. From that point on, he has the confidence in himself--not kung fu or his master, but himself, that he is sufficient for his destiny. When he faces his nemesis, he defeats him, using his unique skills and talents.
(I especially love the part where he is dancing around on the stilts jumbling all the pots together to hide which pot contains the scroll.)