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Panda-La, City Beyond the Last Horizon

The "City Beyond the Last Horizon," the mysterious civilization known as Panda-La is perhaps the grandest legend known to explorers. An ancient city somewhere in the mountains of the far east, magnificent Panda-La was supposedly filled with wonders beyond imagining — giant pagodas that reached up to the sky, gold and silver treasures rivaling those of the world's richest empires, and much more.

Panda-La, City Beyond the Last Horizon.

Though the story of Panda-La had existed for untold centuries, no one could prove whether or not the city really existed. Many explorers tried desperately to locate the legendary civilization, but could never reach it. As they explained, Panda-La would be right in front of them, a glimpse just over the next mist-shrouded hill — but after a mad rush to reach the spot, the explorers would find nothing. Countless searches for the elusive city all ended the same. If it ever did exist, Panda-La truly was "beyond the last horizon," always too far away to grasp.

The one person with the best chance of finding Panda-La was Baloo, who had a similar encounter with the lost city several years ago. Determined to prove himself as worthy of public praise as celebrated explorer Monty Mangrove, Baloo left Kit, Rebecca, and his other companions behind in a quest to find the City Beyond the Last Horizon. Days passed before a violent sandstorm stranded the Sea Duck in a desolate mountainous region; but here, Baloo finally discovered what he'd travelled the globe to find — the city of Panda-La.

Nestled in a fertile valley on a huge rock perched high atop a mountain peak, Panda-La indeed had all the splendor of the legends. Giant pagodas filled the mountaintop countryside, and the Pandas themselves were friendly and prosperous, just as the legends claimed. Warmly greeted by the city's leader Wun-Lo, Baloo was quickly accepted into the Panda-La culture and shown all the wonders of the city, including Wun-Lo's palace and his massive treasure room.

Left: Baloo is shown the splendor of Panda-La by its leader, Wun-Lo.

Eager to please their "honored guest," Wun-Lo and his people offered Baloo every courtesy imaginable. But despite their generosity, the Pandas acted somehow cautious and reserved, as if they were harboring some secret. When Baloo returned to Cape Suzette, that dark secret was revealed. Transformed into a monstrous airborne armada, the entire city of Panda-La had followed Baloo home, with the sole intention of conquering Cape Suzette.

The Pandas of Panda-La proved themselves an exceptionally duplicitous people, pleasant on the outside but treacherous and warlike underneath. In their floating cities, the Pandas had been able to conquer ancient cities (at least those foolish enough to send ambassadors to them) by means of powerful weapons. Not all Pandas were ruthless as those of Panda-La — these lived to conquer, and where they conquered, they lived. This peculiar trend also explained the aforementioned elusiveness of the city. With inflatable balloons stored in each building, the entire city could move to a different location in a matter of hours.

The might of Panda-La invades Cape Suzette

Armed with cannons and special heat-seeking missiles designed to chase aircraft, the Pandas laid waste to Cape Suzette's cliff guns and defense squadron. Most of Cape Suzette evacuated before Baloo, vowing to make up for his terrible mistake, flew off on a virtual suicide mission to destroy the flying city. Aided by his friends, Baloo heroically managed to wipe out the entire Panda-La fleet — sending the City Beyond the Last Horizon to its final resting place, beneath the waves of Cape Suzette's harbor.

TaleSpin, Copyright 1990/1991 Walt Disney Company. Material used without permission for non-profit purposes only.