Increasing popularity of Dragon Ball in Japan convinced Toei to decide the transition to the big screen and the realization of three TV Specials. On the whole, they produced four Dragon Ball movies and thirteen Dragon Ball Z movies, in addition to two DBZ TV Specials and one DBGT TV Special and an only OAV. Let's try to explain the difference between movie and OAV. First of all, OAV (or OVA) stands for Original Anime Video; the difference is that movies has been showed also to cinema... OAV, instead, are sold only as VHS. There is only one OAV about Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z Gaiden and it is reviewed in another page!
The four Dragon Ball movies and thirteen DBZ movies do not take place in the main timeline when Goku & Co. adventures happen, but instead are rather "side-stories." This means that the stories they tell have no place in the plot of Toriyama's main work, although they use the main characters from certain time periods in the series (For instance, movie #5 takes place after the Freeza saga when Goku is still missing in the space, instead in the movie Goku is on Earth with his friends).
Unlike the movies, the specials have been realized only for TV. They are considered an integrant part of the main story, but take place far away or in a different time period. Of the specials, each roughly an hour in length, only one appears in the manga: The Trunks Special.
We also must inform you, just as a piece of news, that, during 1993 at Honk Kong, it was produced a Dragon Ball live-action movie, that is a movie with true actors, titled "The Magic Begins"... As far as we are concerned, we'll entirely ignore it because of is horrible manufacturing and because it has got nothing to do with Master Toriyama's work! Always because it's our duty, we inform you that, during spring of 2002, 20th Century F0X announced the acquisition of feature film rights to the "Dragon Ball" property, and is planning for its studio division, FOX 2000, to develop a live action movie based on the property. This movie could be released between the fall of 2003 and 2004. We'll see...

Dragon Ball Movies Dragon Ball Z Movies TV Specials



Dragon Ball Movies

DB Movie #1 - Curse of the Blood Rubies
Original Title:
Shenlong No Densetsu (The Legend of Shenlong)
Japanese Release Date: 12/20/1986

Synopsis: The story is about a little boy named Goku who meets a young woman named Bulma by accident when she is looking for the Dragon Balls. He has one given by his grandfather with four stars and Bulma has the two starred Dragon Ball. So they have got two of the seven Dragon Balls, but these are stolen by some evil guys... Immediately the adventure starts and soon Oolong, Yamcha and Puar join Bulma and Goku... Finally this movie ends with our friends asking a wish to Shenlong in order to help a little village.

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DB Movie #2 - Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle
Titolo originale:
Majinjo No Nemurihime (The Devil Castle's Sleeping Princess)
Data di rilascio in Giappone: 7/18/1987

Synopsis: Goku, after first movie's adventures, separates from his friends and decides to continue training martial arts. He goes to Kamesennin's (Muten Roshi) Island at Kame House, where he learns the KameHameHa, and meets Kurririn. Kamesennin gives them an assignment: they must rescue a princess from a castle that is owned by some guy called Lucifer.

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DB Movie #3 - Mystical Adventure
Original Title:
Makafushigi Daibouken (A Mystical, Grand Adventure)
Japanese Release Date: 7/9/1988

Synopsis: Our friends get together once again to find the seven Dragon Balls. Now we meet Jiaozi as the Emperor of Miifan, and his personal assistant Tenshinhan who works for Tsuru (Kamesennin's enemy). There is a martial arts tournament going on and everyone wants to be there but there is a problem with finding the Dragon Balls, and it seems to be related with Tsurusennin. As in the TV series, here Arale (from Akira Toriyama's Dr.Slump) appears at some point and meets Goku.

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DB Movie #4 - The Path to Power (10th Anniversary Special)
Original Title:
Saikyo e No Michi (The Path to the Strongest)
Japanese Release Date: 3/4/1996

Synopsis: Another remake of the first Dragon Ball series, but this time the character designs are completely new and are a mix of old design and DBGT style. This is a very 'deluxe' version because it's very recent and has a lot of cool effects and computer generated graphics for the Kame Hame Ha, and the overall animation is much better than in any other movie.

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Dragon Ball Z Movies

DBZ Movie #1 - Dead Zone
Original Title:
Ore no Gohan o Kaese! (Return my Gohan!!)
Japanese Release Date: 7/15/1989

Synopsis: In this movie we are introduced to Garlick Jr. that appears later on the TV series. This evil fellow is decided to takes Kamisama's place and for that he builds his fortress on Kamisama's temple and uses the Dragon Balls to make himself invincible. Gohan is kidnapped and Goku goes to the temple to bring him back.

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DBZ Movie #2 - The World's Strongest
Original Title:
Konoyo de Ichiban Tsuyoiyatsu (The World's Strongest Guy)
Japanese Release Date: 3/10/1990

Synopsis: The story tells that a doctor died on his lab, because of an accident, and now lies underground. Dr. Willow, in order to survive, saves his brain and with the help of another doctor is now trying to find the strongest man to put his cleverness in this man's strong body. But what he doesn't knows is that Kamesennin ain't the strongest man anymore, now Goku is and he is much more powerful than Kamesennin. So it turns to be more like a problem than good news for Dr. Willow.

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DBZ Movie #3 - The Tree of Might
Original Title:
Chikyu Marugoto Chokessen (The Ultimate Super Battle for Earth)
Japanese Release Date: 7/7/1990

Synopsis: A new enemy comes on Earth, another Saiya-jin named Turles with his henchmen, who wants to plant a seed that will consume all the life from the planet to produce a special fruit that gives infinite power to the one who eats it. But our friends are obviously not gonna let him do that.

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DBZ Movie #4 - Lord Slug
Original Title:
Super Saiyajin Da Son Goku! (The Super Saiya-jin, Son Goku)
Japanese Release Date: 3/19/1991

Synopsis: An old villain from Namek named Slug, with his henchmen, arrives to the Earth. This particular Super Namek has been brought up with evil, and though people from Namek are kind and nice, he is not, and wants to turn the Earth into his personal spaceship. He manages to return young thanks to the Dragon Balls and then has to face Goku and his friends.

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DBZ Movie #5 - Cooler's Revenge
Original Title:
Tobikkiri No Saikyo Tai Saikyo (The Strongest vs. the Strongest in Battle)
Japanese Release Date: 7/20/1991

Synopsis: This time we meet Freeza's brother, Cooler. This is the first movie where Goku appears as Super Saiyajin. Cooler comes on Earth with his henchmen to have revenge for his brother's death. He is very similar to Freeza but can get a fourth transformation so he's more powerful than him...

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DBZ Movie #6 - The Return Of Cooler
Original Title:
Gekitotsu!! 100 Oku Power no Senshitachi! (Clash!! 10,000,000,000 Powerful Warriors)
Japanese Release Date: 3/7/1992

Synopsis: Cooler returns, and now he's got a metal body because he was rebuilt by the high technology of the Giant Ghetti Star which is also able to produce hundred and hundred clones of him. Now Cooler is trying to destroy the new planet Namek and for that counts on a great army. Goku and our friends go to that planet and find out that now nothing is as before there! At the end Goku will need Vegeta's help to defeat Metal Cooler and the Giant Ghetti Star.

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DBZ Movie #7 - Super Android 13
Original Title:
Kyokugen Battle!! San dai Super Saiyajin (Utmost Limits of Battle!! The Three Great Super Saiya-jin)
Japanese Release Date: 7/11/1992

Synopsis: This movie tells the story of three new androids that were hidden and now awake to kill Goku. The Androids #13, #14 and #15 will have to fight the three Super Saiyajins Goku, Vegeta and Trunks, in order to accomplish their mission. When they are defeated, Android #13 absorbes the power packs and computer chips of #14 and #15 and becomes Super Android 13 who has an incredible power.

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DBZ Movie #8 - Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan
Original Title:
Moetsukiro!! Nessen Ressen Chogekisen (Burnout!! Fierce Fight, Violent Fight, Super-Exciting Fight)
Japanese Release Date: 3/6/1993

Synopsis: In this movie we meet Paragas (a surviving Saiyan from planet Vegeta) that plans to be the new king of a new planet Vegeta. For that he will use his son Broly, the legendary Super Saiyan, to eliminate the actual Prince Vegeta and all the Saiyajins left. Broly is awesome and fights against all the Z Warriors, knocking them out, so Goku will need all the energy from his friends...

See special guide!

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DBZ Movie #9 - Bojack Unbound
Original Title:
Ginga Giri Giri!!! Bucchigiri No Sugoi Yatsu (The Galaxy's in Danger!! The Super Awesome Guy)
Japanese Release Date: 7/10/1993

Synopsis: A new tournament takes place on Earth. The remaining four contestants have to fight four aliens, while Goku is watching everything from Heaven. In the final rounds the four aliens reveal to be Bojack's powerful servants and face their contenders: Gohan, Trunks, Kuririn and a sumo wrestler named Daisuke. Then also Vegeta, Tenshinhan, Yamcha and...Mr. Satan come to help our friends! But Bojack himself appears too and he's very awesome...

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DBZ Movie #10 - Broly Second Coming
Original Title:
Kikenna Futari!! Super Senshi Wa Nemurenai (The Dangerous Pair!! Super-Warriors Never Rest)
Japanese Release Date: 3/12/1994

Synopsis: Broly is back and this time will have to fight on Earth with the new generation of the Z warriors. Trunks and Goten are searching for the Dragon Balls, chaperoned by Videl and accidentaly meet Broly who has inexplicably survived Movie #8. Now he, with all his fury released, will fight to death with Gohan, Trunks and Goten. But also Goku makes his brief appearance...

See special guide!

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DBZ Movie #11 - Bio-Broly
Original Title:
Super Senshi Gekiha!! Katsuno Wa Oreda (A Super-Warrior Defeat!! I am the Winner)
Japanese Release Date: 7/3/1994

Synopsis: in this movie we have the third and last appearance of Broly. He is genetically reconstructed as a clone by an old enemy of Mr. Satan together with several mutant creatures. Mr.Satan, Android #18, Goten and Trunks arrive to Jagas Castle and meet the bio-warriors. Then they have to face Broly's clone with the help of Kuririn...

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DBZ Movie #12 - Fusion Reborn
Original Title:
Fukkatsu No Fusion!! Goku to Vegeta (The Rebirth of Fusion!! Goku and Vegeta)
Japanese Release Date: 3/4/1995

Synopsis: Something happens in the reign of Afterlife when, due to the negligence of a young Oni, the Spirit's Laundering machine explodes and turns him in a giant evil creature named Yanenba. The laws of Afterlife change and Goku, helped by Pai Ku Han, tries to free King Enma, while, on Earth, Gohan, Videl, Goten and Trunks have to face many evil guys come back to life. But Yanenba is stronger than Goku SSJ3 so there is need of a new super warrior... Suddenly Vegeta appears next to Goku and the fusion takes place...

See special guide!

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DBZ Movie #13 - Wrath of the Dragon
Original Title:
Ryuken Bakuhatsu!! Goku ga Yareneba Darega Yaru (Dragon Fist Explosion! If Goku Can't, Who Can?)
Japanese Release Date: 7/15/1995

Synopsis: A long time ago, Tapion and his brother gave their lifes to split a monster into two and contain each one a half of the demon being in their body. Then the brothers were locked in magical boxes forever. But now, an old man convinces Goku and his friends to use the Dragon Balls to open the box that contains Tapion, so he's released but walks off. Anyway Trunks wanna be his friend and tries to be close to him. But the half of Hildegarn appears to recall his top half contained in Tapion's body. The hero plays his ocarina and manages to keep it inside of him but later he will need help from the Z Warriors and Goku will have to turn Super Saiyan III...

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TV Specials

DBZ Special #1 - Bardock: The Father of Goku
Original Title:
Tatta Hitori No Saishu Kessen (A Final Solitary Battle)
Japanese Release Date: 10/17/1990

Synopsis: Every Dragon Ball fan has to watch this very emotional film telling about Goku's father, Bardock, and the end of Planet Vegeta. Bardock and his team of planet conquerors are Saiyan warriors that work for Freeza. Bardock's son, Kakaroth has just been born on Planet Vegeta but he has a low fighting power and soon will be send somewhere to conquer a weak planet. Bardock and his companions are betrayed by Freeza and killed by his henchmen except the father of Goku who, by himself, will try to take his revenge...

See special guide!

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DBZ Special #2 - The History of Trunks
Original Title:
Zetsubo e no Hanko!! Nokosareta Chosenshi Gohan to Trunks (Defiance in the Face of Despair! The Remaining Super Warriors - Gohan and Trunks)
Japanese Release Date: 2/24/1993

Synopsis: The Trunks Special opens with the scene of Goku dying for a heart disease. Thirteen years later, Androids #17 and #18, after having wiped out all of the Z Warriors, have killed the majority of Earth's Population. The only remaining warriors are Mirai (adult) Gohan and Trunks who is now only 13. Trunks trains with Gohan for five years and sometimes is close to turn Super Saiyan but he fails every time. When Gohan is killed by the androids, Trunks develops the rage necessary to finally reach Super Saiyan level. Now he remains the only super warrior and attempts to fight the androids by himself but is defeated! He manages to survive the battle and...

See special guide!

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DBGT Special - Goku's Supplement! Proof of Courage is the Four-Star Dragon Ball
Original Title:
Gokuu Gaiden! Yuuki no Akashi wa Suushinchuu! (Goku's Supplement! Proof of Courage is the Four-Star Dragon Ball)
Japanese Release Date: 3/6/1997

Synopsis: The story in this special takes place about 100 years after the ending of Dragon ball GT. Goku's granddaughter, Pan, is now a gray hair granny and has a granchild named Goku Jr. who has a weak character and is unaware of his true power. But something persuades him to go and search the Dragon Balls and... finally he will meet the great Son Goku!

See special guide!

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