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"Panda Power Up!" is the 2nd episode of the fourth season of Wild Kratts, originally airing on PBS Kids on July 19, 2016. Overall, it is the 94th episode of the series. The episode was written and directed by Chris Kratt. On April 11, 2017, "Panda Power Up!" was first released on DVD as part of Wild Kratts: Panda-Monium.
In the episode, Aviva is in high spirits after finding out that she and her teammates are heading to China to conduct a census of giant pandas. However, while preparing to land, Jimmy accidentally opens the Tortuga's doors, causing one of Aviva's most cherished possessions, a stuffed panda named Stuffo, to unknowingly fall out of the Tortuga and onto Zach Varmitech's plane. Zach, who is plotting to create a line of stuffed toys out of roboticized animals, gets the idea to start with pandas after seeing Stuffo. When he finds out the Wild Kratts are in China, he drains the Tortuga, and later the Kratt brothers' and Aviva's Buzz Bikes, of their power. To save the pandas and to recharge their vehicles, the Wild Kratts set out to learn how pandas get their energy from bamboo.
The episode begins with a live action segment. The Kratt brothers are in a bamboo forest collecting bamboo for giant pandas. Afterwards, they ask their "What if?" question, and the show transitions into the animated segment.
Koki brings Aviva, who is blindfolded, into the Tortuga's main room. Using a few hints, the Kratt brothers reveal to Aviva that they are heading to China to conduct a census of giant pandas. Aviva, who has always wanted to see pandas, takes off her blindfold and jubilantly hugs her stuffed panda, Stuffo, one of her most cherished possessions. However, while preparing to land, Jimmy accidentally opens the Tortuga's doors, causing Stuffo to unknowingly fall out of the Tortuga and onto Zach Varmitech's plane. Zach, who is plotting to create a line of stuffed toys out of roboticized animals, gets the idea to start with pandas after seeing Stuffo.
The Tortuga lands in a clearing in a bamboo forest. The Kratt brothers take off on their Buzz Bikes but are stopped short by Koki, who tells them to wait for Aviva, who is frantically searching for Stuffo. Aviva finally agrees to go with the Kratt brothers after Jimmy promises to her that he and Koki will find Stuffo. Later, Zach finds the Tortuga while riding on his Zachbots. Although he never planned on seeing the Wild Kratts in China, he nevertheless chooses to cause some trouble for them. He begins by ordering one of his Zachbots to drain the Tortuga's power. He then enters the Tortuga, where he finds Koki and Jimmy searching for Stuffo. Zach smugly asks Koki, "Are you looking for your lost power?" Koki responds, "No. Our power works just fine." But when she presses some buttons, the Tortuga's lights flicker off. Before leaving, Zach reveals to them his plan to capture pandas.
After traveling across a cleared path, the Kratt brothers and Aviva stop and peer through stalks of bamboo, where they find a panda mother and her cub. Martin names the cub Stuffo from the fact that it reminds Aviva of her stuffed panda. Aviva is then inspired to make a Panda Creature Power Suit. After finishing the disc, she gives it to Martin, who activates Giant Panda Power. Martin feels hungry and sits down to eat bamboo. Chris then explains to Aviva that pandas eat a lot of bamboo and, unlike most animals, are able to digest bamboo. To find out how, he uses his Creature Pod to scan the insides of Stuffo's mom and is surprised to find out that pandas have short digestive tracts, which stands in contrast to those of most herbivores. However, out of nowhere a Zachbot takes his Creature Pod and hands it to Zach, who orders his Zachbots to drain the Buzz Bikes of their power. Zach then reveals to them his plan to capture pandas. Chris explains to Zach that pandas are endangered and tells Zach that he should start collecting stickers or something, not animals. Zach says he will think about it while he gets more pandas. His Zachbots capture Stuffo's mom and, by mistake, Martin, and tosses Chris's Creature Pod back. Afterwards, Zach leaves them behind and captures more pandas before taking off in his plane, where he cages Martin and the pandas.
From seeing Stuffo attempting to stuff a bamboo stalk into his Buzz Bike's charge port, Chris gets the idea of using bamboo as fuel. Aviva turns on Chris's Creature Pod and zooms in on the intestinal scan, where they find microbes that can digest bamboo. With this discovery, Aviva and Chris get to work on powering up Chris's Buzz Bike. Using bamboo stalks, Stuffo's digestive juices, and a generator, the two successfully restart Chris's Buzz Bike and head back to the Tortuga with Stuffo. Later, using a larger generator that uses bamboo as fuel, the Wild Kratts' Tortuga approaches Zach's plane. Chris, with Giant Panda Power, leaps into Zach's plane and tosses Martin a new Panda Power Disc. After reactivating Martin breaks open the cage, and he and his brother fight off Zach's Zachbots. Aviva then uses a robot arm to bring the pandas into the Tortuga, and the Kratt brothers even find Stuffo the panda toy before returning to the Tortuga with him. At the end, the Wild Kratts reunite Stuffo the panda with his mother, and having rescued several pandas, made much progress on their census.
The episode transitions into the concluding live action segment. The Kratt brothers are at a panda research and breeding facility in China, where they feed pandas. Afterwards, they conclude the episode by saying "Keep on creature adventuring; we'll see you on the creature trail!"
Note: Featured animals are in bold.
- A hint of an upcoming giant panda episode was given by the Kratts during the concluding live action segment of the special "Back in Creature Time".
Key Facts and Creature Moments
- A panda has a special thumb called a panda's thumbs, which is a special wrist bone.
- Pandas have a short digestive tract unlike other herbivores, which have longer ones.
- Special microbes that helps digest super tough plants for an animal to eat.