As much as I love Disney movies, it’s hard for me to fathom why these two movies made it to the production level. I can safely say that Mr. Magoo and Flubber had more going for them than either of these kiddie films. And that’s saying something!
The Secret of the Magic Gourd comes to us from China. A film about friendship, magic, and imagination, its message teaches children to never give up on their dreams. Like many Disney films, The Secret of the Magic Gourd utilizes magical talking creatures as a means to entertain. In this case its, you guessed it, a magic talking gourd.
A gourd, you ask? Yes. A gourd that grants wishes to be exact. And with the help of this magic gourd (voiced by High School Musical’s Corbin Bleu), our hero goes on a mystical and exciting journey on his quest to become an astronaut. Does he succeed with the help of his vocal vegetable friend? You’ll have to tune in and find out.
Important to note about the film: its dubbed over in English from Chinese. This may annoy people who do not watch foreign films, but once you get used to it, it is tolerable.
This is solely a kid’s movie. There’s not much here for adults to hook onto and enjoy. I would recommend it for kids, but that’s as far as I would go with my recommendation.
Special features include a Blooper Reel (pretty lame), a behind-the-scenes featurette (prepare for subtitles), interactive games, and the Chinese version of the film’s music video “World of Wonder.”
Remember Air Bud (1997)? Well, the franchise has had numerous sequels, reincarnations, and spin-offs, and here’s the latest: Space Buddies. With B-list actors, children who can’t act, and talking CG puppies that are more lifelike than the child actors, Space Buddies still fails to entertain. In fact, it’s irritating to say the least.
Perhaps it’s irritating because all these good actors stooped to this level of kiddie film mediocrity. Maybe it’s the overly hard to believe even though it’s Disney and a fantasy premise. Whatever the reason, I just couldn’t get into this movie.
With it’s extremely SLOW pacing, Space Buddies does little to keep an adult’s attention, let alone the attention of a kid no matter how cute the space suit wearing puppies are.
It’s painful to watch, and I cannot even imagine what going to come next in the franchise. Maybe Soldier Buddies? They head to the Middle East and take a bit out of terrorism? Ha ha!
Special features include: Bloopers (disappointing), a music video “Dancin in the Moonlight” by Alyson Stoner, a making of featurette (actually a good intro to visual effects for kids), and a trivia track (why you’d want trivia for this film I couldn’t tell you).
The Secret of the Magic Gourd conjures up a C-. I’ll stick with It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for my produce-themed films.
Space Buddies barks its way to a D. I love dogs, but even this is too dopey for me.