Luong Lao Shi (Gramps) is a fictional character from Disney's animated television series American Dragon: Jake Long. He is the maternal grandfather of the main character Jake Long and is a Chinese dragon. He is voiced by Keone Young.
About Lao ShiEdit
Lao Shi is majorly portrayed as a wise elder and a disciplining master for Jake, as his official "Dragon Master". His personality is similar to the elderly masters portrayed in classic martial arts films. He's soft-spoken and intelligent, with a vast knowledge of magical creatures and items. While usually one to approach conflicts in a calm and rational manner, he is also prone to angry outbursts (filled with strings of rambling in Mandarin or Cantonese), usually brought on by the mistakes or misbehavior of Jake. He is also fluent in high-school Norwegian which he uses when his son-in-law insults him in that language.
As a teacher, Lao Shi usually utilizes the learning of lessons that have harsh consequences or unclear motives. "Old School Training" shows a good example of this, as his assignments of menial household chores turned out to be vital combat techniques (mimicking the methods of Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid movies). He also believes in strict disciplinary measures, keeping close tabs on Jake's arrival for his daily Dragon Training, as well as administering punishments for the many mistakes caused by his pupil. Despite the seemingly harsh results, he has still been shown to be a very caring and understanding elder for his grandson. Part of his frustration with Jake may be because he sees a lot of himself in Jake.
While having a more serious and cautious persona in his elder years, it has been shown that in his younger days, Lao Shi was oddly similar to his own grandson. While fit and very skilled as a dragon, he was very arrogant and egotistical, preferring to work in his duties alone and never accepting the help of others, as he was very overconfident of his abilities and underestimating of his opponents. As shown in "Hong Kong Nights", his defeat of the Dark Dragon caused him to shift into the personality that is seen in his present-day self. He admits he pushes Jake so hard because he knows what kind of enemies Jake will face. After Haley tells him off for it pointing out all of the pressure that Jake is under, he cuts back his training a bit saying that its a punishment but also making it clear that he's doing it so that Jake can spend some time as a normal teenager.
Lao Shi is an elderly Dragon Master, formerly classified as "The Chinese Dragon" in his youth until he resigned his title and moved to New York in his middle age. Much of his early life (childhood, teenage years) hasn't been explored in the series, and his age has never been revealed (some have estimated his age in the present-time of the series to be in his mid-60's to early-70's).
The earliest seen of Lao Shi's past was in "Hong Kong Nights", which showed his adult self in the 1960's/70's as a swinging bachelor and dragon protector in Hong Kong. It was at this time that he met up with his current animal guardian, Fu Dog, and formed their partnership that lasts to the present-day of the series. At this time, Lao Shi also achieved a legendary feat: becoming the first dragon to ever defeat the menacing Dark Dragon, who had never before had any surviving opponents.
Between then and the mid-80's, Lao Shi moved to the United States and settled in New York City with his daughter Susan (see "Hero of the Hourglass"). It is not known if his other daughter Cathy joined in. It was there he opened the Canal Street Electronics Shop which, while regularly devoid of customers, has managed to stay in business ever since. His daughter married a non-magical human (somewhat to his dismay) and they had two children, Jake and Haley, both of whom possessed dragon powers. Lao Shi and Fu Dog have since spent their time training Jake in the use of his powers and in the duties of being the first American Dragon. Lao Shi uses Canal Street Electronics as the main headquarters for all operations. After Chang's downfall and the time between "Hong Kong Knights" and "Being Human", he appears to have become a member of the Dragon Council himself as he went on a Dragon Council Retreat and was sitting on the Council when Jake's powers were suspended along with his duties. At the end of "The Hong Kong Longs", Jake, his entire family, Spud, Trixie, Fu, Rose and all of the dragons of the world finally defeat the Dark Dragon. He later admits to Jake that he's very proud to be his Dragon Master.
Talents, Interests, and AbilitiesEdit
Not much has been mentioned of Lao Shi's leisure activities, as he spends much of his time training Jake, dealing in magical world affairs, or running his shop.
He is a Dragon Master who teaches Jake the necessary skills in becoming a protector of magical creatures. Lao's attempts at training Jake can, at times, cause more damage than help. However, Jake learns and puts into use the skills that are essential in becoming the American Dragon.
The most prominent interests of Lao Shi have been expressed in his music preferences. In his youth (as well as in his dreams, as seen in "Dreamscape"), Lao Shi was shown as a very skilled dancer and a big fan of disco music. He used his dancing skills in "Hong Kong Nights" to gather information on the whereabouts of the Dark Dragon from a source who'd only relay it after being defeated in a dance-off. It's also been seen that Lao Shi also prefers the music of the (fictional) artist Elvis Kamehameha and his hula music, particularly his single, "The Hubba Hubba Hula" (see "Jake Takes the Cake"). In "Feeding Frenzy", it also seems that Lao has a fond interest of karaoke.
As a dragon, Lao Shi seemingly possesses the natural skills seen by dragons such as Jake (see Jake Long's Dragon Powers), but has not exhibited all of the abilities seen by Jake (most notably the "Eye of the Dragon" or "Ear of the Dragon"). For the abilities he has exhibited, he has naturally shown a more controlled or sometimes even more powerful use of them than his grandson, such as the doppelgänger technique. In addition to his powers, he also exhibits great skills in combat. In "Hero of the Hourglass", he was able to dispatch two Huntsclan masters with ease, and has also shown great skill in evasive maneuvers (most likely due to his long, slender physique normally exhibited by Asian dragons).
Like Jake, Lao Shi has had his own conflicts that have been showcased and elaborated throughout the events of the series.
Despite his lonely status, Lao Shi has had quite a few love interests and relationships with different women. Here are some shown in (and out of) the series:
- Councilor Chang: In "Hong Kong Nights", it was shown that Lao Shi was romantically interested in Chang back in the 1960s (an interest she reciprocated, for a while, evidenced through their rather humorous exchange of cheesy pick-up lines). Chang quickly was over any feelings she had for him, keeping it as basically a relationship restricted as members of the Dragon Council. Their relationship as "old friends" was soon dashed, though as she was revealed to be an associate of the Dark Dragon, and willingly tried to help in Lao Shi's defeat against him. That plan, however, failed.
- Dolores Derceto: In "Something Fishy This Way Comes", Lao Shi had a short romantic relationship with Jake's middle school principal, Principal Derceto. She happened upon him unexpectedly when attempting to discuss Jake's school issues with his parents, and their relationship bloomed from there. It was soon discovered that Derceto was actually an undercover mermaid detective from the East River underwater city, Mermopolis, sent to investigate the whereabouts of an escaped Kelpie. She believed Jake to be the Kelpie, explaining his problems in school. The beast was soon apprehended, and Derceto was forced to take a new, undisclosed undercover assignment, forcing her to end the relationship with Lao Shi.
- Mrs. Hasagawa: Another brief relationship for Lao Shi, occurred in the crossover episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series, "Morpholomew", where the two were involved in a romantic montage of various small events. This relationship soon ended as Lao Shi and the others had to go back home to New York at the episode's end.
The Dark DragonEdit
Mentioned as far back as "Dragon Summit", Lao Shi was the first dragon ever to defeat the Dark Dragon, the #1 Threat to the Magical World. These events were elaborated on in "Hong Kong Nights", showing how his fateful fight with the villain ultimately shaped him into the person he is today.
Years after his fight (and as his grandson began to develop his dragon powers), he believed that the Dark Dragon might return one day to seek vengeance upon him and his kin. In order to prepare Jake for any encounters he might have with him, he insisted to the Dragon Council that he train Jake himself--a method usually forbidden, as the Council has a specific rule forbidding the training of family members. Despite Jake's irresponsible behavior in the eyes of the Council, Lao Shi has been able to maintain his status as Jake's Dragon Master. His proposal even proved to be effective, as Jake was able to survive (and overcome) the two encounters he's had with the Dark Dragon.
In "Hero of the Hourglass" (taking place in 1986), it's shown that Lao Shi originally was displeased by the idea of his teenage daughter, Susan (who's dragon powers skipped her generation), dating a non-magical human, Jonathan (her future husband and father of Jake and Haley). It was unclear whether he simply disliked him because of his mortal status, or because of his clumsy, ridiculous nature (it's hinted that it was both), but either way he was very pleased when he heard news of Jonathan breaking up with Susan (due to the miscalculated actions of a time-traveling Jake). He eventually came to accept Susan's love of Jonathan (even helping to rescue him after being captured by the Huntsclan), and allowed them to continue dating.
In the current day of the series, not much interaction has been seen between Lao Shi and Jonathan. In "Feeding Frenzy", they do end up spending a long road trip to Key West, Florida together (in an attempt to delay Jonathan from getting to Susan's family reunion and finding out about the Dragon powers). He used the excuse that he was afraid to fly. After getting lost due to Lao Shi's deliberate misleading of the map (He was after all holding the map upside down --- Mobile, AL is not south of Key West) and several verbal confrontations and a karaoke duet, they seem to become rather good pals in the end. He shows some respect for him in "Bite Father Bite Son" calling him courageous and honest and convincing Jake that his father is a good man to look up to.
In "The Hunted", he seems very proud of Rose for setting Jake free. However, in "Half Baked", he is still sure that Rose's true loyalty is with the Huntsclan. In "The Love Cruise", he tells Rose to break-up with Jake because she is distracting him. Since the Huntsclan taught her that a distracted dragon is a slain dragon, she complies and breaks up with Jake.