Based on the classic children's novel comes
a magical story about the boundless limits of imagination and
the power of believing in yourself from the production team
of Kungfu Hustle.
When 11-year-old Wang Bao discovers a mythical, magical gourd
while fishing, he has no idea of the trouble that lies at the
end of his hook. Experience all the laughs and adventure of
The Magic Gourd as it attempts to make all of Wang Bao's dreams
comes true but succeeds in turning the young boy's world upside
You don’t need to be a genius to figure out
that the Disney Company is already aiming at the lucrative
China’s market given its huge population. It’s
a cash cow waiting to be milk. And what better way to win
the hearts of the citizens other than infusing local cultures
into Disney productions and to take a step further, customize
one for the market.
Magic Gourd” was born under such circumstances. The
basis of the story came from a children book by the late Zhang
Tianyi almost 50 years ago and production was undertaken by
HK based effects house, Centro Digital which did the CGI for
“Storm Riders” and “Kungfu Hustle”
since the story revolves mainly around a boy and a magical
gourd which came to life.
Zhu Qilong plays Wang Bao, a schoolboy who rather dreams of
flying into space than concentrate on his academics. A fishing
trip at the lake yields him a magical gourd which could assist
to make any of his wishes come true. The other actor who got
credited on the DVD cover is none other than HK actress Gigi
Leung who plays Bao’s teacher, a minor role which our
local actress Chen Liping can play with her eyes closed and
perhaps even better than Leung.
on which angle you are coming from, Disney and Centro Digital
plays it safe and predictable here. There are enough boisterous
CGI sequences liked soaring over the clouds, a wild dinosaur
chase to overwhelm the kiddos. You can’t forget the
usual motivating theme and educational message either. Some
of the sequences reminiscent of Pixar’s “Toy Story”
and “Meet the Robinsons” but don’t place
your bets on the CGI though, it’s a notch above the
usual crops of Asian movies, however still lacking behind
the Western counterparts.
Magic Gourd” plays it so safe that it actually lacks
a certain surprise to the whole children genre. It’s
so safe that parents didn’t even bother to bring their
children to the theaters when it was released last summer
in the Mainland. You know what? The filmmakers and Disney
should take a cue from the adventurous Magic Gourd or Hulu
(in Mandarin) instead of taking the usual trampled route.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Sorry this reviewer does not know who is Baby Zhang.
But she did possess a ‘baby’ angelic look and
she has a cutesy voice and that’s explained why she
gets to sing the theme song of “The Magic Gourd”.
28 minutes making-of-feature covers interviews with directors
John Chu, Frankie Chung, Zhu Qilong, Composer Peter Kam and
snippets of behind-the-scenes on how they shot some of the
sequences. That’s basically wrapped up the extra features
of this Code 3 DVD.
This DVD comes only in Mandarin but subtitles include English/Thai/Chinese/Bahasa/Malay.
There are no apparent flaws with the visual and audio 5.1,
in fact the transfer is very much of high standards perhaps
due to its higher production values.
by Linus Tee