Disney's 'Gourd' springs up in China

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HONG KONG -- Promotional efforts for the Walt Disney Co.'s first Chinese-language film, the live-action/animated "The Secret of the Magic Gourd," kicked off Wednesday as the adaptation of the celebrated children's story prepares to make its way to cinemas across mainland China in time for school holidays.

The story, from acclaimed children's author Zhang Tianyi, is about a boy who finds a magic gourd that grants him any wish he wants. It represents the first co-production of Disney in China, made in collaboration with Centro Digital Pictures (Hong Kong) and the China Film Group Corp.

The marketing campaign kicked off Wednesday with the release of the theme song, and music video, sung by local pop sensation Baby Zhang, with the song hitting the airwaves in Beijing for the first time. Also released was an extended trailer of the film.

Disney became the third Hollywood studio -- following Warner Bros. and Sony's Columbia -- to produce a film in partnership with players from China's rapidly expanding industry.

Principal photography on the film began in Hangzhou, China in October 2005.
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