The Secret of the Magic Gourd Movie Poster Image

The Secret of the Magic Gourd

Magical tale teaches moral lesson.
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
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
Not applicable

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.

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:January 27, 2007
DVD/Streaming release date:January 27, 2009
Cast:Corbin Bleu, Gigi Leung, Peisi Chen
Director:Frankie Chung
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:85 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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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! The power goes to Raymond's head, though, and he gets mad at the gourd when his wishes go wrong. In the end, Raymond learns the value of work and learns that to get something like good grades, you have to work for it yourself. This movie would be fine for younger kids and would probably keep the interest of those 11 and under. The animation is great for normal Disney stuff! The violence isn't too bad- Two toys fight and one falls on the floor and breaks, Raymond is sucked into a movie and is thrown against a tree by a dinosaur, Raymond chokes on Chess pieces and spits them out, the Magic Gourd turns into a tree that may scare younger kids, the Magic Gourd lights on fire but is not hurt or scared, and the Magic Gourd accidentally burns Raymond which leaves red marks on his hand. There is also an intense moment when the Magic Gourd puts a book Raymond wants in Raymond's backpack and the students at the library thinks someone stole it. In consumerism, the dad is seen with in front of a car which clearly says, "Jeep" in large letters on the front. Also, when the Magic Gourd gives Raymond all the food he could want, McDonald's fries float by. The movie is well written, filmed, and animated, and I think kids of all ages and maybe even parents would enjoy!
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Educator and 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 that those things being done for him (so that he doesn't have to lift a finger) is not necessarily better. The moral of the story being nothing falls from heaven and you must work hard to achieve your goals. Its a feel good film and I'm a bit of a sap so a few tears formed at the end of this "feel good" movie. If I had known that the version I watched would be in Mandarin with subtitles I may have never seen it. Glad I did because between me reading them aloud and my son's reading and the very cute special effects he enjoyed it as well.
What other families should know
Great messages