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25 June 2020 by VegettoEX
|Premiered:||20 December 1986 (“Toei Cartoon Festival”)|
|Running Time:||Approx. 50 minutes|
|Box Office:||Total Gross: Unknown
Net Earnings: ¥800 million (approx. US $5 million)
Attendance: 2.4 million
|Opening Animation:||“Mystical Adventure!” (Dragon Ball Movie 1 Animation)|
|Ending Animation:||“I’ll Give You Romance” (Dragon Ball Movie 1 Animation)|
VHS (09 May 1987 – Original Print / 21 July 1996 – Re-issue)
Betamax and 8mm Film (09 May 1987)
Dragon Box The Movies; Disc #01 (14 April 2006)
Dragon Ball The Movies Individual DVD Volume #15 (13 March 2009)
Dragon Ball The Movies Blu-ray Volume #08 (09 January 2019)
The movie premiered as part of the Winter 1986 “Toei Cartoon Festival” (東映まんがまつり; Tōei Manga Matsuri) on 20 December 1986, along with two other movies from the GeGeGe no Kitarō and Kinnikuman series. The “Toei Cartoon Festival” was established by Toei in 1969 as a way to showcase their popular children’s series as theatrical films during seasonal breaks in the school year: spring vacation, summer vacation, and winter vacation. In Japan, almost all schools below the university level run a three-term school year (trimester system) with a vacation period of several weeks to a month at the end of each trimester. The movies were screened together back-to-back in various cities across Japan, with a typical total running time of roughly three hours. Most festivals would last roughly one month, or as long as the seasonal vacation allowed. Tickets could be purchased at the theater, or discount tickets could be purchased in advance which covered the cost of admission, as well as a bonus item such as a promotional pamphlet describing the featured movies, and various other special presents, such as posters, paper hats, cards, and toys. Additional items, including the official theatrical pamphlet and a variety of other commemorative goods, were available for purchase at cinemas or by mail during this period.
Up until the Dragon Box DVD sets began being released in the early 2000s, the only Dragon Ball properties released to home video in Japan were the original seventeen theatrical films, most of which were available on VHS, LaserDisc, and 8mm film reels. These home video releases were a luxury for most fans, as they came at a rather high price point for the time. They were later re-released in 1996 to replace the then out-of-print VHS tapes with a lower price point and slightly different covers.
After releasing the entirety of the three Dragon Ball TV series, Toei released their fifth and final “Dragon Box”, which was entitled “Dragon Box The Movies”. The Dragon Box contained all seventeen original Dragon Ball movies presented in their theatrical 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. As a special bonus for the movie’s first DVD release, Toei dug through their vaults and included some of the movie’s original promotional material.
|News Flash (特報)
Running Time: 30 seconds
Running Time: 6 minutes, 25 seconds
Following the “Dragon Box”, Toei began releasing each movie individually on DVD. To help promote the sale of movie individual discs, Shueisha handed out a free promotional DVD highlighting the releases at Jump Festa 2009. The DVD contained promotional trailers for each movie which were narrated by veteran Dragon Ball cast member Shigeru Chiba, the voice of such notable characters as Pilaf, Garlic Jr. (TV series), and Raditz. More information about the promotional DVD is available in our “Home Video Guide”.
In July 2018, the original seventeen theatrical films were released on Japanese Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming services. The addition of the movies themselves was heavily promoted throughout social media, however it was not announced or promoted at the time that they were actually new, high-definition remasters of the films scanned, and subsequently remastered, from the original film negatives. Shortly thereafter on 09 August 2018, Toei Animation formally announced the release of these newly-remastered versions of the movies across eight Blu-ray volumes. All non-credit versions of the opening and endings included with the release are up-converts of those originally included on the original LaserDisc releases and all bonus promotional materials (trailers, digests, etc.) are presented in their original standard definition format as included in the Dragon Box release.
The great King Gurumes is searching for the Dragon Balls in order to put a stop to his endless hunger. While his two minions are claiming to be loyal in their search for the Dragon Balls, they are actually using much of the power of Gurumes’ army to purge the land of precious “Rich Stones” for their own personal wealth. A young girl named Pansy, who lives in the village surrounding Gurumes’ castle, has had enough of the treachery and decides to seek Muten Rōshi for assistance.
Elsewhere, a young boy named Goku runs into a girl in search of the Dragon Balls. The girl, Bulma, explains that his grandfather’s keepsake is really the Four-Star Ball. The two head back to his home on Mount Pao-tzu, only to discover that the Four-Star Ball has been stolen by Vongo and Pasta. Goku and Bulma pursue them in a capsule plane, but are shot down. The two start heading back, but run into Pansy, who is being attacked by a red oni. The oni transforms into a robot, but freaks out when Goku knocks down a tree with a single punch. The robot transforms and flees, but Goku soon catches him, discovering his true identity is the pig Oolong.
The desert bandit Yamcha suddenly appears and demands they hand over any money or capsules. Realizing how strong Goku is, Oolong has him fight Yamcha. The two clash, but Goku’s hunger soon sets in, and he is hit by Yamcha’s Rōga Fū-Fū Ken. Bulma appears on the scene, and Yamcha flees, as he’s weak against women. Later, Yamcha overhears Pansy mention that Gurumes’ target is the Dragon Balls, and he vows to obtain the Dragon Balls for himself in order to overcome his weakness against women.
Our heroes head to Kame House. There, Kame-Sen’nin uses the Kinto-Un to test Goku’s purity and is surprised to find that he is able to ride the cloud. Using Oolong’s transformation abilities, Bulma obtains the Three-Star Ball, but it is soon stolen by Vongo. He further aims for the Two-Star Ball, but Kame-Sen’nin repels the army with his special attack, the Kamehameha. Following by example, Goku fires a Kamehameha, and everyone is shocked. Pansy asks Kame-Sen’nin for his help, but he refuses, and our heroes depart without him to Gurumes’ castle.
Goku faces off against Vongo in an aerial battle, while Yamcha and the others infiltrate the castle. Yamcha fights back against the soldiers’ onslaught, but is defeated when he realizes that his opponent is Pasta, a female. As the battle enters Gurumes’ quarters, hunger overtakes the monarch, and he turns into a giant. Bulma realizes that the Dragon Balls are inside his stomach, so she throws the Two-Star Ball into his mouth and calls forth Shenlong. Pansy yells for “the country to be restored to the way it was”, and her wish is granted. Having returned to human size, Gurumes is surprised at how tasty an ordinary apple is. Goku then sets out on a journey to find the Four-Star Ball again.
The following original character profiles were translated from Daizenshuu 6, with additional character design comments from the movie’s character designer, Minoru Maeda, as published in the “Design Lab” section of the “Dragon Box The Movies” Dragon Book.
I gave him this form based on the idea of gluttony. I think there was probably some influence from the gourmet boom at the time. The reptilian texture of his skin and such, I worked in consciously as “something Toriyama-sensei would be likely to draw”.
— Minoru Maeda
During this time, I did the mecha designs along with the characters. I got a grasp of the nuances of Toriyama mecha by using not only Dragon Ball, but also the mecha and inventions that appear in Dr. Slump — Arale-chan, as a reference.
— Minoru Maeda
It’s about the same as it was on TV, up until Goku and Bulma meet. However, with the confrontation with the Gurumes Army, who are seeking the Four-Star Ball and so on, it’s probably appropriate to consider this the events of a completely different world from the TV show.
— “Dragon Ball Daizenshuu 6: Movies & TV Specials” (p. 16)
All credits listed below are as originally presented in the theatrical film. All original credit errors have been corrected to maintain accurate spellings throughout the site. For more information and a complete listing of the series staff, visit the Production Guide.
The cast credits are listed in order of character importance within the series. For more detailed information about the series cast, visit the Cast Guide.