DESCRIPTION: 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 featuring the voice talent of High School Musical s Corbin Bleu, this wondrous fantasy is sure to delight the entire family. It s a truly inspiring story that captures the wonder and awe of childhood, raves Carey Bryson of KidsTVMovies.About.com.
When an inquisitive 11-year-old discovers a mythical, magical gourd while fishing, he has no idea of the trouble that lies at the end of his hook. With the ability to grant any and every wish, The Magic Gourd attempts to make all of the boy s dreams come true, but instead succeeds in turning his world upside down. Enjoy every moment of this enchanting adventure as a curious child discovers that the best things in life are those he earns himself
Disney's first Chinese co-production, The Secret of the Magic Gourd
is based on a traditional Chinese story by Zhang Tiun Yi about the value of hard work. Eleven-year-old Raymond Bao struggles against the high expectations of his parents, teachers, and fellow students while craving the freedom to pursue his interests and dreams at his own pace. Scoffing at his Grandmother's favorite tale about a magic gourd, Raymond goes fishing and catches a strange talking gourd that begins making his every wish come true. Initially ecstatic at his good fortune, Raymond quickly discovers that the gourd's literal interpretations of his wishes, without regard to consequences, can cause serious problems. While Raymond begins to excel in academics, swimming, and the estimation of his teacher and peers, his instant successes inspire doubt regarding his honesty and morality. Raymond soon realizes that bad thoughts lead to becoming bad, and begins to understand that he must rely on his own inner strength in order to become a better, more successful person. The film's combination of real-life footage and animation is an effective way of portraying a world at once real and imaginary and the cross-cultural message about the value of working hard speaks to every audience. In this English adaptation, the magic gourd is voiced by High School Musical's
Corbin Bleu; while the lack of synchronization between voices and mouths in the film is disturbing to some kids and adults, it's a whole lot more accessible than subtitles. Additional voice tracks include Mandarin and Cantonese, and there are also English subtitles for the hearing impaired. The 28-minute "Backstage Disney" feature is an interesting interview (in Chinese with English subtitles) with director and producer John Chu that delves into the story, individual characters, and the innovative collaboration between China Film Group, Hong Kong Centro Digital Pictures, and Disney International. An interactive sorting game and Chinese music video "World of Wonder" round out the bonus features. (Ages 5 and older) --Tami Horiuchi