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Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins (1991)
"Xin qi long zhu" (original title)

 |  Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi  |  1991 (Taiwan)
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Ratings: 4.2/10 from 877 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 8 critic

An evil alien searches the Earth for seven "Dragon Pearls" which can grant him ultimate power. A gang of misfit adventurers band together to stop him.



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Cast overview:
Chi-chiang Chen ...
Monkey Boy (as Charles Chen Zi-Qiang)
Jeannie Tse ...
Tung-Chuen Cheng ...
San Peng ...
Zhong Yu Huang ...
Tu Chin ...
Yi-Juan Li ...
Ruan-Feng Su ...
Long-Sheng Jiang ...
Eveline Oranje ...
Ying Hung Chiu ...
Jen-Jen's father (as Yao Ying Hung)


This live-action version of the popular Japanese animated series Dragon Ball. A villainous king known as Emperor Horn has stolen the mystical power of the "Dragon Pearls" in an attempt to possess them all and rule the world! When all but one of the pearls has been stolen, the former rag-tag group of guardian heroes (led by Goku) of the mysterious magic jewels decides to band together and take some big action! Led by a pig-headed wizard and a half-turtle martial arts master, the team first takes on King Horn's army in a desperate bid to stop him from gaining control of the Dragon Pearls. Written by Anthony Pereyra <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

manga | based on comic | remake | See All (3) »


The ultimate battle for the universe!


Action | Fantasy | Sci-Fi


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1991 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

Dragon Pearl  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Since the rights to adapt "Dragon Ball" had not been acquired, some changes (mostly in name) had to be made:
  • Son Goku was renamed the Monkey Boy;

  • Grandpa Gohan was renamed Sparkle;

  • Bulma was renamed Seetou;

  • Oolong was renamed Piggy;

  • Yamcha was renamed Westwood;

  • Yamcha's companion Puar was replaced with a cockatoo;

  • Master Roshi was titled simply the Turtle Man;

  • Penny was renamed Jen Jen;

  • King Gourmeth was renamed King Horn, and his henchmen Bongo and Raven were renamed Zebrata and Malilia.

See more »


In nearly in every fight scene, a wire is visible., most notably when Monkey Boy is flying through the Forest, the camera follows him from afar, but that white wire is clearly visible. See more »


[first lines]
[a village meeting starts]
Monk: This Dragon Pearl is a treasure in our village. It has been with us for over one hundred years now. It was watched over us, and brought us peace and prosperity. And right now, I am going to hand it over to our new village chief!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Ultimate Edition version's end credits feature a shot of CGI animation of Monkey Boy fighting against Westwood. See more »


Remake of Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies (1986) See more »


Taiketsu no Toki
from Fight! Iczer-1 (1985)
Composed by Michiaki Watanabe
See more »

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User Reviews

Ok ok before anyone dismisses this...
6 March 2001 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

First of all leave your brain at the door for this low budget adaption of the original DragonBall animated series. The film is obviously a homage and isnt meant to be taken seriously. For those who would call the overacting (if you can call this acting) and insane gestures ludicrous, I remind you that these people are portraying cartoon characters and frequently (especially in the original DB cartoon) Japanese animation goes overboard with insane, silly nonsense. The story is basically pretty faithful, we have different heroes banding together to regain the Dragonballs and summon the Eternal Dragon. We meet various incarnations of Goku, Master Roshi (who is really quite faithful to his animated counterpart), Bulma, Yaumchau, and Oolong. The names are changed but this was probably because of copyrights. If youre a diehard DB fan and would like to see a live action effort then by all means here you go. I was surprised at the number of sexual innuendos and use of profanity tho. Of course Japanese cartoons are filled with such things as the standard is different. Not for young kids but the 12 and up set will be in hog heaven.

Ron Nanney

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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i just dont get this... g_1
So there are three versions of Dragonball live action films? sammytsang19861605
Seriously? ephyon-x
I Must Get the Dragon Pearls! casperdelrio123
Goku looked like a girl. agentdc7
SOO much better than Evolution soezr
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