Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure (ドラゴンボール 魔訶不思議大冒険, Doragon Bōru: Makafushigi Dai-Bōken; lit. "Dragon Ball: Mystical Great Adventure") is the third Dragon Ball movie.
Originally premiering on July 9 at the 1988 Toei Cartoon Festival (along with movies from the Tatakae!! Ramenman, Bikkuriman, and Kamen Rider Black series).
Goku and Krillin are training for a World Martial Arts Tournament to be held in the country of Mifan. The Emperor of Mifan, Chiaotzu, is trying to find his lost "Ran Ran." The minister, Master Shen, has Pilaf and his gang work on a Global Dragon Radar, takes it from him, and is using it to locate the Dragon Balls. Minister Master Shen and General Tao claim that they will use the wish from Shenron to locate Ran Ran, but are actually planning, with Tien Shinhan's help, to kill Chiaotzu and take over the country. Blue announces that Ran Ran is being held in Master Shen's room, and is killed by General Tao for it. Bora and Upa have located the final Dragon Ball and they take it to Mifan to use it to demand that Mifan's soldiers be forced to leave the Sacred Land of Korin.
Bora is tricked into entering the tournament (the winner of the tournament will be granted one wish by Chiaotzu), and is then killed by General Tao. The story of Blue and Goku entering Penguin Village is included, but this time it is General Tao and Goku that meet Arale Norimaki, and Goku defeats General Tao with Arale's help.
Bulma, Oolong, Launch and Puar are looking for the other six Dragon Balls, so Bulma can make a wish. However, when the Dragon Balls are located in the palace, they are ambushed by Shen and his guards. Bulma barely makes it out with Yamcha's help and they jump into the moat surrounding Chiaotzu's castle, but accidentally drop their Dragon Balls into a deep fissure.
Tien Shinhan realizes that he likes Chiaotzu too much, and does not kill his friend; instead, he blows away Master Shen. Goku throws the final ball into the moat, and asks Shenron to resurrect Bora who is reunited with his son.
In 2006, Toei Animation released Mystical Adventure as part of the final Dragon Box DVD set, which included all four Dragon Ball films and thirteen Dragon Ball Z films. These were presented in a new widescreen transfer from the original negatives with a 16:9 aspect ratio that was matted from the original 4:3 aspect ratio.
Harmony Gold USA broadcast their dub of this film and Curse of the Blood Rubies as a double feature on WPSG Philly 57 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and on other channels and cable systems in a select few test markets. It was also likely to have been released on home video in the early 90s. It was not widely noticed and went under the radar. Their dub changed the names of some of the characters and had parts of it censored, and the opening and ending sequence changed with; instead of the first Japanese sequence they used the second Japanese sequence, with the Japanese katakana removed from the Dragon Balls, the Japanese credits removed and replaced with the Harmony Gold credits, and they changed some of the dialog from the Japanese intro. The ending was changed from the Japanese ending to show a still picture of Goku flying away from Shenron (known as Dragon God in the Harmony Gold dub) taken from the intro, and using the intro theme song instead of the Japanese ending theme with the Harmony Gold credits. The script was more faithful to the Japanese script and all the background music was kept the same.
In 2000, FUNimation released the movie with a new dub to VHS and bilingual DVD. However, the opening and ending sequences were replaced with the TV series opening and ending. Funimation quietly reissued a new version of the movie with the original Japanese opening and ending, but this time some of the frames froze where Japanese text was originally displayed. On December 6, 2005, the movie was re-released on DVD both individually and in a box set with Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle and The Path to Power. This 3-disc box set was re-released in a thinpak variety on February 12, 2008. On February 8, 2011, FUNimation re-released all four Dragon Ball movies in a new thinpak DVD collection with the opening and ending sequences restored to the original Japanese footage, but this version featured no apparent English credits.
In the summer of 2005, Toonami UK aired another dub of the movie done by AB Groupe in France. It retained the title Mystical Adventure since it was still the literal translation. Some European releases of the movie include this English dub as an alternate audio track, although it is nearly impossible to tell without any known copies in circulation. As with other dubs released by AB Groupe, the entire voice cast is unknown.
There was also another English dub released exclusively to Video CD in Malaysia by Speedy Video Distributors Sdn. Bhd.. This version is very obscure, although recently a clip from this dub has turned up on YouTube.
Madman Entertainment released the film on DVD in Australia and New Zealand on March 17, 2004 with Funimation's 2000 English dub and optional Japanese dub audio.
Unlike the first two retellings, it features most of the FUNimation voice cast of the anime with the exception of Stephanie Nadolny (Goku).
- While the movie seems to be a retelling of events from the series, FUNimation refers to Chiaotzu as an emperor (episode "Goku's Alive!!") and Tao as a general (episode "Double Trouble for Goku"), positions they apparently hold only in this movie.
- The 8th Shunsuke Kikuchi music package for the franchise starts here. The cues were designated "M6XX" codes, and this package would make its series debut in Changes.