The Secret of the Magic Gourd

2007 [CHINESE]

Drama / Family

IMDb Rating 5.1 10 743

Plot summary

October 15, 2022 at 07:20 PM


Frankie Chung

Top cast

Corbin Bleu as The Magic Gourd
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
767.27 MB
Chinese 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 23 min
P/S ...
1.54 GB
Chinese 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 23 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dbborroughs 7 / 10

Despite being a film aimed at small kids, this film has a great animated lead and several moments of real movie magic

(This review is based upon seeing the film in Chinese without benefit of English subtitles)

A young boy who dreams too much is often the laughing stock of his class. One day while fishing he reels in a magic gourd that talks and is granted what ever he wants.

A good Disney film from China, that I'm betting won't be seen in the US which is a shame. Though the story is aimed for young kids, the film still scores high points because the acting of the kid and the character animation of the gourd and the frog are excellent. The animated characters are real characters and I for one completely bought that gourd was wandering around. It helps that the actor doing the voice seems to be playing it straight, which is great. To be honest the animation here is some of the best character animation that Disney has released. I'd love to see this in English since I think this could really work for English speaking audiences. I saw this in Chinese sans English subtitles and it worked for me.(Apparently there is a subtitled version out there but I haven't found it yet) Here's a film that with a good translation or rewriting could be nice hit on DVD (I'm trying to think what writer could do the film justice). There is a genuine sense of wonder and magic in many sequences in ways that Disney US hasn't managed to manufacture in quite sometime. Sue me I loved the room full of toys, the gourd on a bird, and the out takes. To be certain the film is a bit too innocent for some audiences, and the denouncement could be seen at the start, but if you take this film for what it is I think you'll have a good time. I really liked this a great deal.

7 out of 10

(Addendum:This comes out in the US on DVD in January 2009)

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 5 / 10

Lacks magic and a secret not worth caring about enough

Saw the whole film on Youtube, both in Chinese and the English dub, after seeing its trailer watching Disney's 'Mulan' on DVD yesterday. 'The Secret of the Magic Gourd' is not a terrible film, there are hundreds of far worse films out there and it's watchable, but it isn't magical or exciting enough to warrant repeat viewings.

As to which version is better between the Chinese and the English, the Chinese version, while still less than great, has a more natural feel and isn't hurt by as much awkward and odd translations, stilted synchronisation and voices that sound mismatched. Of the voices, Corbin Bleu is a good fit for the titular character Gourd, bringing to the role mischievous sass. Elsewhere it's too mismatched, with characters voiced by people who sound like they should be voicing other characters than the ones they are voicing. For example, Drake Johnston tries but sounds too mature and near-adolescent for a character that looks younger and one expects to sound cuter.

The story has moments of wonder and excitement, but these are moments in a film with a fairly short running time albeit with a story that's far too slight (being more suited for a 20 minute TV episode) and comes over as too derivative ('Aladdin' was an obvious influence here), predictable and repetitive. The dialogue in the dubbing can sound awkward.

Didn't see the point of the frog character, a character that brings little contribution to the story and has next to nothing to do. The acting generally in the Chinese version is less than stellar, Gigi Leung in particular is very bland. While 'The Secret of the Magic Gourd' mostly looks good, it at times looks a little over-saturated colour-wise and some of the transitions from one scene to another are choppy. The message is a good one and is very well-intended, but the film does rely heavily on it and hammers it home a little too much.

However, Gourd is a fun character and Bleu brings him to life well. Peisi Chen is an earnest human lead and the two characters work very charmingly together in a film heavily revolved around them. There are moments of genuine charm and fun, and there are a few exciting, if lacking in magic, set pieces that will leaves younger audiences entranced.

It, as aforementioned, is a very well-intentioned film, while the music score has the right amount of sparkle and whimsy. The best thing about 'The Secret of the Magic Gourd' is the special effects, if there is an asset of the film that actually has a sense of wonder it's the effects which are aesthetically colourful and imaginative in scale and how they're used. Visually, while with short-comings, it looks vibrant and it's dazzlingly photographed with beautiful scenery (some of it reminiscent of fantasy).

On the whole, watchable but uneven in both language versions. 5/10 Bethany Cox

Reviewed by fwomp 2 / 10

Nothing Challenging For Kids...

If there was ever any doubt that China couldn't make ...something (anything!), then this film should put that to rest.

A Disney feature shot entirely in China and dubbed for American audiences (in this version), THE SECRET OF THE MAGIC GOURD is a mixture of Disneyesque proportions with heavy Chinese influences. Although not troubling in terms of entertainment, it is if you're in the entertainment industry. How far will we go to save an extra buck? The story itself does battle with inconsistencies and an incredibly simple — if not downright ridiculous — premise. It is the story of a boy and his ...well ...gourd. A magic gourd rumored to live not far from Bau Hu Lu (Chinese child star Peisi Chen) and spoken of in fable form by Bau's grandmother. The gourd, it is rumored, will grant any wish to whomever is its master. For Bau, who is lazy and wants nothing to do with his school work, it seems like a dream come true when he meets up with the Magic Gourd. But having all your wishes granted can turn to nightmares, as Bau learns. And the lesson is easily transparent for adults and kids alike. Perhaps too transparent.

Bau learns a few life basics by doing his own work and becoming a better person for it. No surprise.

One of the bigger story issues I had was the occasional incorporation of a frog-friend to the gourd who seemed to have no other purpose than to hop around and croak at us a few times. What gives? Nothing remotely challenging can be found in this hybrid Chinese/American fantasy. Move along.

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