Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Secret of the Magic Gourd|
Actor: Corbin Bleu
Director: Zhu Jiaxin;Zhong Zhihang
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Kids & Family
Experience a magical story about the boundless limits of imagination and the strength we each have inside us with Disney's heartwarming film The Secret Of The Magic Gourd. Based on the beloved children's novel and featurin... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Reviewed on 5/5/2010...
My daughter (7 yrs) loved this movie. She is especially excited that it has a Mandarin language track but we haven't yet listened to it in Mandarin.
"Don't forget to clip your nails!"
iansomniak | USA, Planet Earth | 03/06/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the story of a Chinese boy by the name of Raymond (a.k.a. Wang Bao) who has a creative imagination, but is chronically lazy and forgetful. Ray has a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, and he stubbornly refuses to trim his toenails on a regular basis (which, of course, can eventually wreak havoc on one's socks and shoes). The flaw that gets young Raymond into the most trouble, however, is his habitual failure to study for the rigorous math exams, administered daily by his demanding teacher, Miss Lee. It seems that in China, students work in groups, so one slacker will negatively affect the whole team's grade. Thus, Raymond's carelessness infuriates not only his instructor, but his classmates as well. One fateful afternoon, a dejected Raymond flees the jeers of his peers and heads for the lake to do some fishing. There he makes a wish, a wish to succeed in school and life without having to do any work or spend any time studying. Enter Bailey (or Bao Hulu), a diminutive genie in the form of a Chinese bottle gourd.
Bailey seems like an odd name for a gourd (Gordon would be better), but this little fellow is no ordinary gourd. Looking a bit like a dollop of soft-serve ice-cream, this anthropomorphic calabash has widely spaced button-like eyes on the upper half of his body, a hollow mouth in the middle of his belly, and no nose whatsoever. He appears to be made of plastic, like a Mr. Potato Head toy, and his rubbery limbs stretch and expand like Mr. Fantastic's. The Magic Gourd is also a shape-shifter, like the Shmoo, who can morph into anything from a speedboat engine to an alarm clock. He can melt into a puddle or grow into a giant monster...he can even burst into flames at will, without being consumed in the inferno. What's more, Bailey is an infinitely powerful sorcerer who can fly jet planes and make cheeseburgers and snack cakes materialize out of thin air. He can build robots...calculate complex mathematical problems...and YES, he can clip toenails like nobody's business! Can the gourd really free Raymond from life's day-to-day drudgeries...or will he only cause more trouble?
The Magic Gourd DVD boasts a beautifully clear and colorful widescreen transfer with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Bonus features consist of Bailey's computer-animated bloopers; a DVD game; a behind-the-scenes featurette; and a music video of the Chinese version of the movie's theme song. In addition to the English dub, the Mandarin and Cantonese vocal tracks are included, but the only subtitle choice available for them is the closed captioning of the English version. Since Bailey the Gourd is trying to do for nail care what Smokey the Bear did for forest fire prevention, it would have been nice if Disney had included a free pair of clippers in the DVD case. Well, maybe they're saving that for the platinum edition.
The tale of the Magic Gourd is apparently a well known story in China, but Americans will probably find the whole concept of a gourd-shaped wizard to be kind of bizarre. The folks at Disney have tried to Americanize this production by casting High School Musical's Corbin Bleu, changing all the Chinese names and having the characters say the word "awesome" a lot...but I doubt that the Magic Gourd will become the next Hannah Montana. Nevertheless, this is a pretty entertaining family film with a positive message."
Cute film but weak compare to others................
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 09/17/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The plot is almost silly: A magic gourd which talks and grants whatever wishes you have? Hmm...I don't know kids nowadays are more intelligent to buy this load of make-believe. But there is also something idealistically engaging about thick Mainland Chinese production which will appeal to the kid in you. The cutesy picture brings live action and animation together quite decently to appeal to the younger viewers. There are some imaginative and adorable sequences which involve fishes, chess pieces, a ferocious dinosaur and an army of toys. Just don't expect Pixar standards.
The magic gourd is a somewhat awkward creation but Chinese voice actor Chen Pei Si (who also voiced Edna Mode and Mushu in China's version of "The Incredibles" and "Mulan") brings life to the delightful character with enough zest.
Also, watch out for Gigi Leung's otherwise bland performance as a Mathematics teacher who manages to make us giggle in amusement whenever she recites lines which are oh-so-righteous. Child actor Zhu Qi Long (whose biggest screen credit is in Jet Li's Fearless) gives an earnest performance as a kid who, well, just wants to be happy.
There are certain sequences which will remind you of other Disney flicks like "Toy Story" and "Dinosaur," but of course, not as excitingly rendered and played out as the American versions. This wholesome family movie is obviously targeted at the younger audience but that doesn't diminish its whimsical charm, stylish production values, or family-friendly moral.
My Family Enjoyed this Movie
S William Shaw | The Nether | 03/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My family enjoyed this movie. While it was not the nest children's movie we have seen this month, it was fresh and entertaining.
My only beef with the flick is that Disney tried in nearly every way to mask that this was a Chinese film with overdubbed voices. When started to weatch the movie, we thought something was wriong with the audio because the words didn't match the actor's mouths. Of course we quickly realized why...they were speaking Chinese.
Despite being enjoyable, some of the overdubbed voices were over the top, and didn't feel authentic.
In any case, this film is worth watching if you have children 10 and under."