Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might (ドラゴンボールZ 地球まるごと超決戦, Doragon Bōru Zetto: Chikyū Marugoto Chōkessen; lit. "Dragon Ball Z: Super Showdown for the Whole Earth") is the third Dragon Ball Z movie. It was originally released in Japan on July 7, 1990, between episodes 54 and 55 of Dragon Ball Z, with it premiering at the 1990 Toei Anime Fair which was additionally dubbed Akira Toriyama: The World (as the other two movies premiering at the fair were based on works by Akira Toriyama). It was first translated into English by FUNimation Entertainment in 1997.
In the movie, the Z Fighters face a new threat that starts with the burning of a forest, caused by the impact of a cosmic object, in which Gohan and Krillin rescue the forest animals and a small dragon named Icarus. Although they are able to restore the forest to its normal state with the Dragon Balls, Icarus does not return and stays with Gohan, much to Chi-Chi's fury. Goku then shows a nearby cave to let Gohan keep the dragon with him. Later, the cosmic object that crashed and caused the forest fire earlier reveals itself to be a probe, and shortly thereafter, the Earth is visited by an unfriendly group of aliens under the leadership of a Saiyan. Upon arriving, they plant a seed which grows the Tree of Might, a plant that sucks the life of the planet on which it was planted and leaves it a desert. At King Kai's request, Goku, Krillin, Yamcha, Tien Shinhan, and Chiaotzu investigate and try to destroy the Tree, but they are unsuccessful. They are then confronted by the aliens whilst their leader watches from inside the spaceship. Eventually, Krillin, Yamcha, Tien, and Chiaotzu are defeated by the aliens, with only Goku remaining as the one who can hold his own against them.
During the ensuing battle, Chiaotzu is rescued by Gohan, who had just arrived, and demonstrates his incredible fighting skills by easily taking out Lakasei. He is then encountered by the aliens' leader Turles, a Saiyan who bears a striking resemblance to Goku. Turles gives Gohan a choice to either join him or die. Gohan refuses to join Turles and is saved in time thanks to the arrival of Piccolo. However, Turles ambushes and blasts him from behind, having Gohan where he wants him. He notices Gohan's regrown tail and creates an artificial moon, forcibly turning Gohan into a Great Ape and sets him on Goku, who is almost crushed to death in Gohan's hand until Icarus arrives and calms Gohan down. But when Turles attacks Icarus, Gohan is angered and turns on Turles, who fires an attack at Gohan. Before the attack can make contact, Goku manages to cut his son's tail off and restore him to normal. Cradling the little one in his arms, Goku promises to defeat Turles. Turles's henchmen attack Goku, who uses the Kaio-ken and makes quick work of them while Piccolo unsuccessfully fights Turles again. Goku and Turles then fight, with Goku having the upper hand until Turles pushes his power further by eating a fruit from the Tree of Might. With his new power, Turles dominates Goku and beats him to the point that he is no longer able to fight, even with the use of the Kaio-ken x10 (x20 in the FUNimation dub).
Slowly recovering while Turles is distracted by the rest of the Z Fighters, whom he dispatches of, Goku decides to use the Spirit Bomb. Despite gaining energy from the living, he is not able to attack Turles as he counterattacks with the Calamity Blaster, neutralizing Goku's Spirit Bomb. Unable to gather more energy from living beings, Goku decides to steal energy from inside the Tree of Might itself. Eventually successful in creating the Spirit Bomb, Goku fires it at Turles, who tries to counter with his own ki wave. He is carried up the trunk of the Tree of Might and destroyed along with the Tree when the Spirit Bomb explodes. With the terror now over, the Z Fighters return to their normal lives once again.
The Daizenshuu places this film after Goku's arrival on Namek, before his battle with Frieza: "From the fact that Goku has not yet become a Super Saiyan, this story takes place before the final showdown with Frieza. However, at this time Goku should be in the midst of his battle on Planet Namek." The fact that the movie takes place on Earth while Goku should be on Namek is an inconsistency. In addition, Yamcha, Tien Shinhan, and Chiaotzu are alive, when they were supposed to be dead at that point in time.
In Japan, the film was first shown as part of a triple feature with two other adaptations of Akira Toriyama's manga, Pink and Kennosuke-sama, at the 1990 Toei Cartoon Festival. The film was released on VHS and Laserdisc in Japan. In 2006, Toei Animation released The Tree of Might 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.
The Tree of Might first aired in the U.S. as a three-part television episode between episodes 45 and 46 of the edited Namek Saga. It premiered during the show's first-run syndication in November 1997, as part of FUNimation and Saban's joint production run of the series. It was dubbed by the Ocean Group and was edited for content, concurrent with the production of Seasons 1 and 2 of the show. The Tree of Might premiered on Toonami on January 29, 1999, and would be shown on at least five other occasions between 1999 and 2001.
The Tree of Might was released on March 17, 1998 to VHS and DVD by Pioneer in conjunction with FUNimation. The DVD, which was presented in an unmatted 4:3 aspect ratio, included the original Japanese audio along with an uncut redub by the Ocean voice cast. Pioneer re-released The Tree of Might in a box set alongside Dead Zone and The World's Strongest on October 9, 2001.
FUNimation acquired the DVD rights for the first three movies from Pioneer in 2004. On November 14, 2006, FUNimation released The Tree of Might, along with Dead Zone and The World's Strongest, in a DVD boxset entitled "First Strike." The DVD featured a brand-new in-house dub with an original score done by Nathan M. Johnson and the original Japanese audio.
FUNimation re-released Tree of Might and Lord Slug on DVD and Blu-ray on September 16, 2008 as part of their "Double Feature" line. This new set featured a brand-new widescreen transfer from Video Post & Transfer and a new audio mix for the English dub featuring the original Japanese score done by Shunsuke Kikuchi in addition to the replacement score done by Johnson.
FUNimation repackaged the Double Feature DVDs into three new thinpak sets, the first of which was released on November 1, 2011 and included Dead Zone, The World's Strongest, The Tree of Might, Lord Slug,, and Cooler's Revenge. These three sets were also released together in the Canada-only Dragon Ball Z: Complete Movie Collection featuring reversioned artwork of Goten and Trunks from Bio-Broly on the cover.
FUNimation released The Tree of Might, along with Dead Zone and The World's Strongest, in its edited format as it aired in syndication and on Toonami, on August 13th, 2013 as a part of the Dragon Ball Z: Rock the Dragon Edition. The movie was presented uninterrupted rather than as a three-part episode, as it did in syndication.
- Turles is referred to as Turles and Tallis in the AB Groupe dub.
- Icarus is called Hire Dragon in the original Japanese version and the uncut Pioneer English version.
- Rasin and Lakasei are called the Twilight Twins in the AB Groupe dub.
- Piccolo is known as Big Green in the AB Groupe dub.
- Bulma is known as Bloomer in the AB Groupe dub.
- Opening Theme (OP)
- Ending Theme (ED)
- "Marugoto"; まるごと (The Whole World)
- Lyrics: Dai Satō, Music: Chiho Kiyooka, Arrangement: Kenji Yamamoto, Vocals: Hironobu Kageyama & Ammy
- "Marugoto"; まるごと (The Whole World)
The original 1997 Ocean/Saban dub featured a replacement score by Saban composers Shuki Levy and Ron Wasserman, who were also composing for the show at the time. The music was not created specifically for the movie, but rather was recycled from their score for the Saiyan and Namek Sagas. Ocean's uncut 1998 redub kept the original Japanese score by Shunsuke Kikuchi. The 2006 FUNimation in-house dub featured a new score by Nathan Johnson, although most releases also include the Kikuchi score.
- Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu vs. Rasin and Lakasei
- Krillin vs. Amond
- Yamcha vs. Cacao
- Goku vs. Daiz and Cacao
- Gohan vs. Lakasei
- Great Ape Gohan vs. Goku
- Great Ape Gohan vs. Turles
- Goku vs. Amond, Daiz, Cacao, Rasin, and Lakasei
- Piccolo vs. Turles
- Goku vs. Turles
- Piccolo, Krillin, Yamcha, Tien Shinhan, and Chiaotzu vs. Turles
- Goku vs. Turles
- The power levels reported by Turles' scouter are: Gohan - 10,000, Piccolo - 18,000, Goku - 30,000. They are a lot higher than the power levels reported by Vegeta's scouter in the Vegeta Saga; but far lower than they should be after the return from Namek, since Goku's power level must be at least 3 million and Piccolo's over 1 million (see list of Power Levels).
- Goku is shown holding his Power Pole on the film poster, even though he does not use it in the film.
- The "Rock the Dragon" and Westwood dub openings use footage mostly from this movie.
- This is the first theatrical appearance of King Kai in a movie, though his techniques (Kaio-ken and Spirit Bomb) debuted in the previous movie. This is also the first appearance of Yamcha, Tien, and Chiaotzu in a Dragon Ball Z movie; though Yamcha had appeared in all three Dragon Ball movies, and Tien and Chiaotzu also had first appeared in the third Dragon Ball movie.
- Goku uses Kaio-ken x10 in this movie long before it was actually shown in the manga (in chapter 312 released more than eight months later).
- This is the only movie (and only time in the entire series, for that matter) in which Yamcha wears a gi with the Turtle School symbol on the front and the King Kai symbol on the back. His gi of choice after being resurrected in the series is the opposite (King Kai front, Turtle back).
- In one scene of the movie, there is a Ferris Wheel that says D.B.Z.
- In the uncut Ocean dub and the Japanese version, first mentions of Frieza are made precluding to later fights with Frieza in the television series.
- In the edited dub of this movie, Turles' hands holding Gohan's eyes open are moved to Gohan's shoulders, despite the fact that his hands were clearly visible on Gohan's face in "Rock the Dragon".
- In the edited Ocean dub, the scene where Gohan is falling nude is edited using digital light covering him up. The scene where Icarus wakes up a nude Gohan is edited using a digital bush, also covering Gohan.
- If this film does indeed take place during the three-year wait for the androids as some fans speculate, it is inconsistent that Gohan first meets and names Icarus in this film, whereas he already knew the young dragon in the Garlic Jr. saga.
- The 12th Shunsuke Kikuchi music package for the franchise starts here. The cues were designated "M10XX" codes, and this package would make its "first" debut in Bardock: The Father of Goku, followed by its "official" debut in Goku's New Power.
- This film has had the most English dubs out of any Dragon Ball-related media (The 1997 Ocean/Saban TV dub, the uncut 1998 Ocean/Pioneer dub, the 2006 FUNimation in-house dub, the AB Group dub and the Malaysian-English Speedy Video dub).
- Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might at IMDB.com
- Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might (three-part television episode) at IMDB.com
- Summary of Saban's censorship at movie-censorship.com