All Dragon Ball movies were originally released in theaters in Japan, typically when the vast majority of Japanese school children are on spring and summer vacations in March and July, although it pairs up with a Dr. Slump movie, usually 60 minutes long. All of the movies have been released in the United States, and are usually released under a shorter title. Akira Toriyama, the artist who created the franchise, had little to do with the movies past some of the character designs, however, he is listed as the creator of the movies in the credit.
Dragon Ball films are all "retellings" of sagas with minor to significant changes, while Dragon Ball Z films are entirely new stories made to fit between sagas. Much like the rest of the filler, the motion pictures have many contradictions to the rest of the series, questionable character power interpretation, and makes it hard for them to fit anywhere in the timeline because of chronological errors. The typical chronological error is the group of main characters chosen for the film not matching the timeline, a particular character not being able to perform a Super Saiyan transformation (or not able to transform at his own will), Gohan having a tail while he should not, etc. These chronological inconsistencies have created an alternate timeline theory among fans.
It is believed by some fans that all the movies were originally animated in 16:9. However they were only premiered and released (in theaters, and on home VHS / LD) in 16:9. What many fans fail to realize is that these movies were never cropped to 16:9. For the Japanese release they just simply placed black bars at the top and bottom of screen, covering the footage making it look cropped. This was proven when FUNimation released all the movies in their original 4:3 format (something that even the Japanese did not have). So during this time only the Americans were getting the full picture, not the Japanese, up until they released 4:3 releases in Japan, which in reality was just a zoomed in version of the picture (title safe - 80% & action safe - 90%). Although there was never a true fullscreen original 4:3 release in Japan, but was more than made up for during its dragon box release, being the only dragon box that plays clearly on hd TV's without any blurs and the only one with stereo sound.
Movie 1: Curse of the Blood RubiesEdit
- A Retelling of The Emperor Pilaf Saga, but with a different villain, King Gurumes taking Pilaf's role as the central villain.
Movie 2: Sleeping Princess in Devil's CastleEdit
Japanese title: "Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle"
FUNimation title: "Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle"
- Takes place right after the Pilaf Saga, but with Master Roshi's request for a girl made more specific as a request for the eponymous Sleeping Princess, held by the evil Lucifer. The scene where Goku transforms into a Great Ape is taken almost directly from his first transformation in the Emperor Pilaf Saga.
Movie 3: Mystical AdventureEdit
- A combined retelling of the General Blue, Commander Red and 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai Sagas, but with Master Shen in control of the army, along with Mercenary Tao, Pilaf, Chiaotzu, and Tien Shinhan. Bora and Upa replace Krillin and Yamcha as Goku's allies competing in the tournament.
Movie 4: The Path to PowerEdit
Japanese title: "The Path to Ultimate Strength (10th Anniversary Special)"
FUNimation title: "Dragon Ball: The Path to Power"
Dragon Ball ZEdit
Movie 1: Dead ZoneEdit
- Garlic Jr. - A small Makyan, who wants to get revenge on Kami for imprisoning his father in the Dead Zone.
- Nicky, Ginger, and Sansho, Garlic Jr's henchmen.
This movie is a prequel to the filler Garlic Jr. Saga in Dragon Ball Z. It takes place before the Vegeta Saga (Saiyan Saga), with the minor contradiction that Krillin meets Gohan and knows he is the son of Goku, yet in the Vegeta Saga, Krillin does not know this.
Movie 2: The World's StrongestEdit
- Dr. Wheelo - An evil scientist, reduced to a brain in a jar and searching for a strong body to take over.
- Dr. Kochin - Dr. Wheelo's assistant, who wishes for the ice over Wheelo's tomb to melt.
- Misokatsun, Ebifurya, and Kishime, Dr. Kochin's menacing bio-warriors.
Movie 3: The Tree of MightEdit
- Turles - A Saiyan, strongly resembling Goku.
- Amond, Daiz, Cacao, Rasin, and Lakasei, all Turles's henchmen.
Movie 4: Lord SlugEdit
- Lord Slug - An evil Namekian who wishes on the Dragon Balls and gains eternal youth. He wants to turn earth into his very own space-ship.
- Angila, Wings, Medamatcha, and Zeeun, all Lord Slug's henchmen.
- This Movie was, for the most part, a retelling of the King Piccolo arc, with the main villain replaced by Slug.
Movie 5: Cooler's RevengeEdit
- Cooler - Frieza's older brother, seeking revenge for Frieza's death.
- Salza, Neiz, and Dore - Cooler's henchmen.
Movie 6: The Return of CoolerEdit
- Cooler - Cooler goes to New Namek, enslaving Namekians, prompting the Z Fighters to take on their old enemy from the previous movie.
- Metal Cooler - Mechanical doubles generated by the Big Gete Star.
Movie 7: Super Android 13!Edit
- Android 13 - A mechanical android created by one of Dr Gero's super computers. He has a super form after absorption of other androids.
- Android 14 - A mechanical android created by the same super computer.
- Android 15 - A mechanical android created by the same super computer.
Movie 8: Broly: The Legendary Super SaiyanEdit
Japanese title: "Burn Up!! Hot Fight! Fierce Fight! Super Violent Fight!"
FUNimation title: "Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan"
- Broly - The legendary Super Saiyan, born with a power level of 10,000.
- Paragus - Broly's evil father.
Movie 9: Bojack UnboundEdit
Japanese title: "The Galaxy at the Brink!! The Super Incredible Guy"
FUNimation title: "Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound"
UK Title: "Super Guy in the Galaxy"
Movie 10: Broly: Second ComingEdit
- Broly - The legendary Super Saiyan from Movie 8, now crash landed on Earth, and with Goku dead only Gohan can save the planet.
Movie 11: Bio-BrolyEdit
- Lord Jaguar - Also known as Jaga Bada. Challenges Mr. Satan to a match against the bio-warriors.
- Men-Men - Jaga's partner in crime and all around crony.
- Bio-Broly - A clone of the "Legendary Super Saiyan", created by Jaga Bada.
Movie 12: Fusion RebornEdit
- Janemba - An evil demon who escapes from Hell and takes over the spirit world.
- Gogeta - A fusion of Goku and Vegeta, using the Fusion Dance.
Movie 13: Wrath of the DragonEdit
Japanese title: "Dragon Fist Explosion!! If Goku Won't Do It, Who Will?"
FUNimation title: "Wrath of the Dragon"
- Tapion - A warrior trapped inside an oracle, holding the top half of Hirudegarn's body inside him.
- Hirudegarn - A monster, split in half and trapped inside the same oracle.
Movie 14: Battle of GodsEdit
- Bills - A God of Destruction whose administrative zone includes planet Earth. He is purple cat-like humanoid donning Egyptian-looking garb.
- Whis - A mysterious character who is Bills' ally and attendant. He has teal skin and white hair, and he owns a long scepter he usually holds in his right hand.
Dragon Ball Z SpecialsEdit
Dragon Ball Z Special 1: Bardock- The Father of GokuEdit
Japanese title: "Dragon Ball Z: Tatta Hitori no Saishū Kessen ～Freeza ni Idonda Zetto Senshi Son Gokū no Chichi"
FUNimation title: "Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku"
UK title "The Father of Goku"
Dragon Ball Z Special 2: Movie Overview SpecialEdit
Japanese title: "Kyokugen Batoru! ! San Dai Chō Saiyahito Supesharu"
Description: A rare special from 1992, set after the conclusion of Super Android 13! Goku and Gohan meet in West city, dressed up in Tuxedos, and discuss the events of the nine then-released movies. (The first three Dragonball Films, and the first six Dragonball Z films). This special has never been released in english, nor on any form of home media.
Dragon Ball Z Special 3: The History of TrunksEdit
Japanese title: "Dragon Ball Z: Zetsubō e no Hankō!! Nokosareta Chō-Senshi Gohan to Trunks"
FUNimation title: "Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks"
UK title "Gohan & Trunks"
Dragon Ball Z Special 4: Looking Back at it All: The Dragon Ball Z Year-End Show!Edit
Japanese title: "Zenbu Misemasu Toshi Wasure Doragon Boru Zetto!"
Description: A rare special from late 1993, where Goku seemingly teleports back from the otherworld to chat with his sons, and talks about the fight they had with Cell. At the end the family all dress nicely and look forward to the coming World Tournament. Like the Movie Overview Special, this special has never been released in english, nor on any form of home media.
Crossover Special: Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z Super CollaborationEdit
Japanese title: "Dori-mu 9 Toriko & Wan Pi-su & Doragonbo-ru Z chō Korabo Supesharu!!"
Description: A crossover between Dragon Ball Z, One Piece and Toriko, set to air on April 7, 2013, on Fuji TV.
Dragon Ball GT SpecialEdit
Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's LegacyEdit
Description: Throughout the years Goku's life burned as a beacon of truth, a prime example of a life well lived. His journey was a triumph of commitment and resolve. But the torch must pass. Now Goku, decades after departing this world, watches as his descendant undertakes his own journey of discovery, a journey where veiled dangers lurk at every turn, to uncover the amazing truth behind the Dragon Balls.
OVA (Original Video Animation)Edit
Plan to Eradicate the SaiyansEdit
Japanese title: "Dragon Ball Z Gaiden: Saiyajin Zetsumetsu Keikaku"
English translation: "Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans"
2010 Remake Title: "Dragon Ball: Plan To Eradicate the Super Saiyans"
- Dr. Raichi - A Ghost Warrior of the original Dr. Raichi, a member of the Tuffle race that was eradicated by the Saiyans.
- Hatchiyack - The fighting form of the machine Dr. Raichi used to create Ghost Warriors.
Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!Edit
Japanese title: "Doragon Bōru Ossu! Kaette Kita Son Gokū to Nakama-tachi!!"
English translation: "Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!"
Episode of BardockEdit
Japanese title: "Doragon Bōru: Episōdo o Bādokku"
English translation: "Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock"
Public Service VideosEdit
Goku's Traffic SafetyEdit
Japanese title: "Gokuu no Koutsuu Anzen".
English translation: "Goku's Traffic Safety"
Goku's Fire BrigadeEdit
Japanese title: "Gokuu no Shoubou-tai".
English translation: "Goku's Fire Brigade"
Live Action FilmsEdit
- Dragon Ball: Son Goku Fight, Son Goku Win! - Live action adaption from Korea released in 1990 adapting the events of the Emperor Pilaf Saga and a little of the Vegeta Saga as Nappa makes an appearance in this film.
- Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins - a Chinese adaption from 1991 that adapts the events of Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies, changing the names of all the characters and replacing King Gurumes, Bongo and Raven with three extraterrestrials named King Horn, Zebrata and Malilia. Penny's character was combined with Chi-Chi's character under the name of Jade.
- Dragonball Evolution - An American film made in 2009, combining elements of the Emperor Pilaf Saga with the King Piccolo Saga, and putting the story in a more real world perspective.
- In the video game Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, the levels taken from the movies have their original Japanese titles.
- The box of the video game Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai says that the story mode is based on Fusion Reborn but developers titled it "Fusion Rebirth" on the main menu.