A live-action Disney film that incorporates CG characters. It was co-produced with a Chinese movie company in 2007 and was released widely in China. It was released as a made-for-television movie in Disney Channel in the United States and Southeast Asia in early 2009.
The Secret Of The Magic Gourd is about a boy named Wang Bao who usually has his head off in the clouds. He's a bit of a slacker and although he has high expectations, generally doesn't want to put in the effort to work towards them.
One day while fishing at a lake, he catches the Magic Gourd, who calls himself Bao Hulu. Bao Hulu has the power to make any wishes come true, and unlike a genie, is not limited to just 3. The Magic Gourd makes himself Wang Bao's constant servant, using his magic to fulfill all of Wang Bao's needs and wants (and even anticipate what he believes to be some of them). This generally has disastrous results, but it teaches Wang Bao the value of honesty and hard work.
''The Secret of the Magic Gourd provides examples of the following tropes:
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Bao Hulu...◊
- Also the dinosaur that chases Wang Bao when he gets skidooed in the movie.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: While well-meaning, Bao Hulu is extremely stupid (possibly on purpose) and often misinterprets Wang Bao's wishes, or anticipates his needs incorrectly and ends up getting Wang Bao in trouble more often than he helps.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Bao Hulu reflects the feelings and intent of his master. When you get violent and angry towards him... Dear lord◊.
- Bittersweet Ending: Wang Bao wins an award in a swimming contest after training so hard on it but the moment he presents his trophy to Bao Hulu, the latter is already preparing to leave his master. Wang Bao bids his wish-granting genie farewell as Bao Hulu ascents to the cloud.
- Conspicuous CG: Many of the objects in the film standout as obvious CGI.
- Dream Sequence: Wang Bao dreams he's an astronaut at the beginning of the film.
- Dub Name Change: In the English Dub, Wang Bao is Raymond Bao and Bao Hulu is named Bailey.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Wang Bao learns to study harder and train more on swimming. The latter causes him to win first place in a swimming tournament.
- Equivalent Exchange: A relatively benign example of this trope. Rather than a life for a life, the Magic Gourd uses magic to swap Wang Bao's blank failure of a test paper with the high-scoring test of a fellow classmate. Being his typically dumb self, Bao Hulu doesn't even bother to change the name at the top of the test, which gets Wang Bao in trouble for cheating.
- Everything Is Better With Dinosaurs: With toy dinosaurs, yes. Does not apply if you are warped into a dinosaur film.
- Fantastic Aesop: If you have a terminally stupid wish-granting genie, you should do everything yourself and without the aid of magic, because your genie is going to screw everything up.
- Genre Blindness: Anyone with even the smallest iota of common sense knows that when a wish granting being asks you how you want your wish granted, you should never ever respond with, "I don't care, just do it!". Especially after the wish granting being in question demonstrates repeatedly that it can and will fudge up even direct and simple requests.
- It also never helps to threaten a possibly omnipotent magical being with violence, no matter how benevolent and obedient it seems.
- Happiness in Slavery: Despite being mistreated, yelled at, called names and threatened with violence, Bao Hulu remains loyal and subservient to Wang Bao.
- Idiot Ball: Wang Bao's complete lack of genre-savviness when it comes to making wishes and making sure they're carried out properly.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Bao Hulu levitates hundreds of fish from a lake at Wang Bao's request. Many of them are brightly-coloured goldfish. Later on this is lampshaded by one of Wang Bao's classmates, when Wang Bao claims to have caught them.
- Mundane Utility: Wang Bao uses Bao Hulu's infinite magical wish granting ability to... catch fish, get into a full movie theatre, cheat on tests and do his homework.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: While he claims to have no brains, Bao Hulu also implies that he does the whole Be Careful What You Wish For thing a lot in order to teach children the value of working towards their own goals rather than looking for a quick fix.
- Show Within a Show: The Swamp Dino Strikes Back a B-Movie within the film itself. Wang Bao gets transported into it. See also Shout-Out below.
- Shout-Out: The title of the B-Movie Wang Bao is transported in is called The Swamp Dino Strikes Back which is a nod to the name of The Empire Strikes Back, however only in name.
- Stripped to the Bone: Bao Hulu uses his powers to burn the flesh away from the dinosaur, leaving only its skeleton.
- Tempting Fate: Wang Bao states the teacher will never call him to answer a problem on the board as he did not study the night before. You can guess what happens next.
- Trapped in TV Land: When Wang Bao wishes to get into a full movie theatre, Bao Hulu puts him inside the movie.
- Unwanted Assistance: Wang Bao exclaims "Stop helping me!" to Bao Hulu after being put in a pile of trouble by all his magic.
- Visual Pun: Bao Hulu often uses his Reality Warper powers to pull it off.