The Secret of the Magic Gourd

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
The Secret of the Magic Gourd Movie Poster Image
Magical tale teaches moral lesson.
  • G
  • 2007
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The gourd promises to grant Raymond everything his heart desires. Raymond, consequently, gets spoiled and behaves badly. But because this is a story with a moral, he learns his lesson in the end. Raymond's family exhibits traditional values, where Grandma cooks and cleans and cares for the children, though both parents work.

Violence & Scariness

Raymond throws rocks at the gourd. Some frightening scenes of a giant dinosaur and the magic gourd as a monster might be overwhelming for the youngest viewers.

Sexy Stuff
Language

Raymond is not polite to Bailey, demanding that he does something and that he must "do it now!"

Consumerism

Everything Raymond could want is given to him. This includes a recognizable box of McDonald's fries, cakes, cookies, hot dogs, and ramen noodles. An army of robots, dinosaurs, toy cars, and military toys marches into his life. Because he is taught a lesson about what is appropriate, these items are used as examples of a greedy lifestyle, but they do entice Raymond initially.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids might be interested in this movie because the English version features the voice of High School Musical star Corbin Bleu. There's no real questionable content to worry about. This is a moral tale from China, where gourds hold special mythological power. The main character cheats and lies, while the magic gourd helps him get ahead in sports, school, and home life. Lessons learned, however, prove that hard work is the highest path to success.

User Reviews

Parent of a 8 year old Written byscarlett1369 April 21, 2016

One thing I would have liked to know beforehand...

This was a very good aesop /fable like tale of a boy who is not doing his things he should do responsibly (study for school and clean his room, etc) and finds t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySadieDaisy138 August 9, 2013

Good movie!

Raymond is a kid who is teased by other students and is lucky when a magic gourd finds him and tells him that it will grant him all of the wishes in the world!... Continue reading

What's the story?

Raymond (voiced by Drake Johnston and played by Peisi Chen) is a quintessential dreamer. He wakes up late, nearly missing the opportunity to say goodbye to his parents as they embark on a business trip. He lags behind in school, bringing his classmates' grades down, and he's not athletic enough to be on the swim team. All of this changes when he goes fishing and meets a magic gourd named Bailey (voiced by Corbin Bleu.) Though he might be dreaming, Raymond discovers that the magic gourd grants everything his heart desires. This includes getting great grades in school, breaking swimming records, eating tantalizing meals, and having his room cleaned for him. Not everything goes as planned, though, and Raymond begins to behave like a spoiled brat. He soon learns a powerful lesson, which brings him back to earth and back to harmony with his family and friends.

Is it any good?

Traditional ways and the modern themes marry nicely in this enchanting tale. Based on the story "The Secret of the Magic Gourd," by Zhang Tian Yi, the film broaches a cultural subject that will appeal to young American viewers: what happens when a child is given everything he desires. In the telling, there are some interesting cultural markers not often seen in American films for kids. For example, Raymond's grandmother does all of the cooking and cleaning for the family. She cares for the children in a traditional way, telling them stories and clipping their toenails. Raymond's father rarely smiles, grinning only when Raymond wins the swimming championship.

Look closely and notice the advanced math and science that the kids are doing in class. See how they ride their bikes without helmets and hike in the forest with a fishing rod and a bucket. Moreover, a strange-looking gourd with mythological powers transforms a kid's life on a grand scale. Kids can discover a bit about what it means to grow up in China today, while learning a moral lesson about hard work and integrity.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what happiness means. If you were given everything your heart desires, as Raymond is in this film, would you be happy? 

  • What things do you wish for?

  • Would your life improve if you got them right now?

  • How can you work to get what you want?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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