Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler (ドラゴンボールZ 激突!!100億パワーの戦士たち, Doragon Bōru Zetto: Gekitotsu!! Hyaku-Oku Pawā no Senshi-tachi; lit. "Dragon Ball Z: Clash!! 10,000,000,000 Powerful Warriors") is the sixth Dragon Ball Z movie, originally released in Japan on March 7, 1992 between episodes 129 and 130. It was released on VHS and DVD in the United States in August 2002, and it also had a special theater presentation (as part of a double-feature with the U.S. premier Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn) on March 17, 2006. These movies are the first Dragon Ball-related movies to receive a theatrical release in the United States.
This film is a direct sequel to the fifth movie, Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge, and the first appearance of Vegeta in a movie. In this film, Frieza's brother Cooler, who had been destroyed in the previous movie, returns. Cooler's remains merge with the Big Gete Star, which revives him. After his revival, Cooler takes control of the Big Gete Star and seeks to resume his consumption of the universe, one planet at a time.
The movie begins with the Big Gete Star. The liquid metal exterior of the star molds itself around New Namek, absorbing its energy. Dende, who is now the Earth's guardian, senses the plight of his people and calls Goku to ask for help.
Goku, Gohan, Oolong, Krillin, Yajirobe, Master Roshi, and Piccolo arrive and encounter an army of robots deployed on the planet to enslave the Namekians, whom they plan to use as biological fuel for the Big Gete Star. Goku demands that the robots leave peacefully, but their leader emerges and states himself to be "Cooler". Cooler admits that he was indeed burned critically in the fires of the Sun, but survived and is now back for revenge. As the others engage the robots, Goku prepares to battle Meta-Cooler alone.
Battle for New Namek
At first the Z Fighters have trouble penetrating the armor of Cooler's Cyclopian Guards, but Piccolo instructs them to concentrate their energy to one point, and doing so allows them to destroy a few of the robots. However, there are too many to handle and the warriors are captured along with the Namekians. However, Piccolo remains on the battlefield long enough to unleash a devastating attack which destroys the robots completely. He flies for the Big Gete Star to free his friends.
Goku battles the Meta-Cooler, but it is apparent that Goku, even in Super Saiyan form, is no match for Cooler's "new metallic form", which gives him the ability to regenerate himself. Meta-Cooler reveals that the Big Gete Star constantly monitors his body, and fixes any problems or glitches that may occur (like Cooler's arm getting torn off for example) while also strengthening him in such a way that it can't happen the same way twice. Goku goes in for a final attack, but Meta-Cooler grabs him and starts to strangle him. Vegeta suddenly appears and saves Goku, himself transforming into a Super Saiyan. However, they are both still no match for Meta-Cooler, and are only able to win by combining their power and unleashing a devastating attack which destroys the Meta-Cooler.
Cooler's final stand
However, a whole army of Meta-Coolers immediately shows up (FUNimation's dub has an explanation for this: to remedy the loss of one Meta-Cooler, the Big Gete Star has created a thousand). Outnumbered and drained of energy, Goku and Vegeta are captured and transported to create Metal Super Saiyans for Cooler's army (in FUNimation's dub, their energy is intended to power the machine planet). It is here that Goku and Vegeta finally learn the truth about Cooler's survival: following his defeat at Goku's hands, he was not destroyed completely, but his remains floated through space for a while, including pieces of his brain. Cooler's remains were assimilated into the Big Gete Star, allowing him to take control to the mechanical planet. Cooler begins draining Goku and Vegeta of their energy, but they flood the circuitry with too much power and overload it, causing it to collapse. All the Meta-Coolers are destroyed and the prisoners are freed.
As the others evacuate, Goku and Vegeta face Cooler alone. Cooler takes the form of a wired giant being and grabs Goku, squeezing him, until Vegeta slices Cooler's arm off. Goku fires a sphere of energy into Cooler and destroys his body. The Big Gete Star exits New Namek's atmosphere and explodes.
Goku and Vegeta fall from the sky near the rest of the Z Fighters, and everyone rejoices. They then realize that Vegeta is nowhere to be found, and Goku looks up at the sky, noting that without Vegeta, they wouldn't have won. Indeed, Vegeta is flying in space in his Space Pod (which he used to follow Goku to New Namek) with the computer chip from the Big Gete Star in his hands. He crushes it and heads back to Earth.
From Goku's mark-less gi, Dende being Earth's Guardian, and Vegeta transforming into a Super Saiyan, we can infer that this is an event from between when the Cell Games were announced and their opening.
The events of this movie are presumably set between the episodes "A New Guardian" and "The Games Begin" of Dragon Ball Z, during the wait for the start of the Cell Games. Additional proof is found in Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2, where the Z Fighters go to New Namek and confront Meta-Cooler right before the Cell Games. Daizenshuu 7 also states that the movie takes place in the wait for the Cell Games.
The film originally released in Japan on March 7, 1992 between episodes 130 and 131. It was released on VHS and DVD in the United States on August 13, 2002. It had a special theater presentation (as part of a double-feature with the U.S. premier Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn) nearly four years after its official release on March 17, 2006. These movies are the first Dragon Ball-related movies to receive a theatrical release in the United States. This film, alongside its predecessor, Cooler's Revenge, was re-released in November 2008 alongside the remastered Season 7 of the TV series.
FUNimation released this movie again along with Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!, Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan, and Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound on December 6, 2011. However, these are the same disks that are on the double features.
In 2015, The Return of Cooler will once again be re-released along with DBZ Movies 1-13 in the Dragon Ball Z: Complete Movie Collection in DVD and Blu-ray format. No release date has been made yet.
- Piccolo, Krillin & Gohan vs. Cyclopian Guards
- Goku (Base/Kaio-ken/Super Saiyan) vs. Meta-Cooler
- Goku (Super Saiyan) & Vegeta (Super Saiyan) vs. Meta-Cooler Corps.
- Piccolo vs. Meta-Cooler
- Goku (Super Saiyan) and Vegeta (Super Saiyan) vs. Meta-Cooler Core
- Masenko - Used by Gohan against a Cyclopian Guard, but it does no damage.
- Mystic Attack - Used by Piccolo to destroy several Cyclopian Guards.
- Kaio-ken - Used by Goku in an attempt to best Meta-Cooler, to no avail.
- Supernova - Used by a Meta-Cooler against Goku, who dodges the attack at the last second.
- Instant Transmission - Used by Goku to avoid Meta-Cooler's Supernova. It is also used by a Meta-Cooler in a brief struggle with Goku at instantaneous speeds.
- Hyper Explosive Demon Wave - Used by Piccolo to destroy an entire colony of Cyclopian Guards after their failed assault on him.
- You Are Stronger Than I Expected - Used by Meta-Cooler after briefly engaging in a hit struggle with Super Saiyan Goku.
- Kiai - Used by Meta-Cooler to end his "You Are Stronger Than I Expected" combo, knocking Super Saiyan Goku through a mountain.
- Rebirth - Used by Meta-Cooler to regenerate his arm which was punched off by Goku.
- Full-Metal Avalanche - Used by Meta-Cooler to attack Goku, catching him off guard.
- Finger Blitz Barrage - Used by Meta-Cooler, but Goku deflects the blasts.
- Big Bang Attack - Used by Vegeta point-blank, ignoring a nearby Goku, but both Meta-Cooler and Goku manage to avoid the attack.
- Lock-On Buster - Used by Meta-Cooler on Goku and Vegeta, creating a giant explosion which knocks the two Super Saiyans off their feet.
- Galick Beam - Used numerous times by Vegeta to finish off Meta-Cooler before it could finish regenerating.
- Nest Ice - Used by a Meta-Cooler when he encounters Piccolo in the Big Gete Star.
- Energy Absorption - Used by Meta-Cooler Coreon Goku and Vegeta, but the two Saiyans give too much energy, overloading and damaging Cooler himself.
- Energy Spirit Ball - A charged ki blast used by Goku to destroy Meta-Cooler Core.
The movie was released in theaters in Japan on March 7th 1992 as part of a double feature. It grossed a total of ¥1.6 billion (US $12.3 million) and was the 8th highest grossing movie of the year domestically. 
- This movie's premise is overall similar to the Trunks and Androids Sagas in the anime:
- Cooler returns in a mechanical form, like Frieza's Mecha form.
- Cooler claims to have been drifting in space until his remains were merged with the Big Gete Star's main computer, which revived him, similar to Frieza drifting in space until being found by King Cold.
- Goku battles Meta-Cooler as a Super Saiyan and seems evenly matched with him until Meta-Cooler begins to strangle him before Vegeta turns up and kicks Meta-Cooler aside, demonstrating his Super Saiyan form, similar to Goku's battle with Android 19.
- Goku and Vegeta defeat the first Meta-Cooler by smashing him to pieces and blasting him, like Future Trunks chopping Frieza up and blasting him.
- The core of the Big Gete Star forming the Meta-Coolers is similar to Dr. Gero's Super Computer creating Cell.
- This is the first theatrical film in which Vegeta appears.
- This is the first time where Goku does not transform into a Super Saiyan spontaneously due to rage.
- This is one of the few films to not feature Earth as the main setting. This is also the only film that takes place on New Namek and the first movie where the Z Fighters fight a villain on a planet that is not Earth.
- The scene which Piccolo enters the Big Gete Star resembles the star gate sequence from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- This is the first Dragon Ball Z material to hint that Dende would become the Guardian of the Earth, as the manga chapter revealing this, Cell vs. the Army, was not released until seven months after the film's release.
- The robot trying to cut up the captured Namekians and Z Fighters inside the Big Gete Star slightly resembles the medical droid from the Star Wars films.
- It is one of the first Dragon Ball-related movies to receive a theatrical release in the United States.
- One discrepancy is that Dende is Guardian of Earth at the beginning of the movie, by which time Gohan could turn Super Saiyan, which he appears incapable of doing in this film. Gohan is clearly younger than he was in the Cell Games, because his hair is still long and he is still shorter than Krillin. Also, Goku and Gohan did not power down from Super Saiyan form from when they left the Hyperbolic Time Chamber in the anime/manga until after Cell was destroyed, but they are seen in their base forms in this movie.
- In the original FUNimation dub, Meta-Cooler has a slight mechanical sound to his voice, but in the Remastered edition, the sound effect has been removed, making Meta-Cooler's voice sound exactly like the original Cooler's.
- This is the last movie where Goku is seen using the Kaio-ken technique.
- A poster for the film depicts Cooler in his fifth form, despite this form not appearing in the film (sans the flashback sequence).
- In Cooler's Revenge, Goku used a blue ki blast to push Cooler into the sun at the end of the movie. The subbed version of this movie changes that ki blast to a Kamehameha, thus changing the overall scene from the previous movie.
- The 15th Shunsuke Kikuchi music package for the franchise starts here. The cues were designated "M13XX" codes, and this package would make its series debut in The Reunion.