The Walt Disney Company’s first non-Hollywood movie made more than $1 million at Chinese box offices in its first week. “The Secret of the Magic Gourd”, a mix of live action and CGI animation, is based on a famous Chinese children’s story by the late Chinese children’s writer Zhang Tianyi. It is about a boy who’s troubled by his magical vegetable, which steals from others to please him. Hong Kong special-effects studio Centro Digital Pictures, which worked on “Kill Bill,” made the movie.
You can visit the official website (in Chinese) at www.disney.com.cn/hulumimi. Click on one of these two links to view the trailer:
IMDB doesn’t have much information about this movie; release dates are only listed for China and Hong Kong. I wonder if it will ever be released outside China. It would make a nice collector’s item on DVD.
Disney’s overarching approach to cracking the Chinese market has been to flood the country with its content. It has opened more than 4,200 “Disney Corner” merchandise outlets in stores around China. A TV show launched in 1994 that promotes Disney cartoons is now shown on more than 40 channels. Disney also publishes cartoon books, and the stage productions “Winnie the Pooh,” “The Lion King” and “Disney on Ice” have all been performed in China. And of course it opened Hong Kong Disneyland in September 2005.