11 user 8 critic

Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins (1991)

Xin qi long zhu (original title)
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.


Chun-Liang Chen


Ching Kang Yao (screenplay)




Cast overview:
Chi-Chiang Chen ... Monkey Boy (as Charles Chen Zi-Qiang)
Jeannie Hsieh ... Seetou
Tung-Chuan Cheng Tung-Chuan Cheng ... Westwood (as Tung-Chuen Cheng)
San Peng ... Piggy
Chung-Yu Huang Chung-Yu Huang ... Turtle Man
Tu Chin ... Sparkle
Yi-Juan Li Yi-Juan Li ... Jen Jen
Ruan-Feng Su Ruan-Feng Su ... King Horn
Long-Sheng Jiang Long-Sheng Jiang ... Zebrata
Eveline Oranje Eveline Oranje ... Malilia
Ying-Hung Chiu Ying-Hung Chiu ... Jen-Jen's father (as Yao Ying Hung)


The evil alien King Horn has attacked the planet Earth in search of the seven magic Dragon Pearls in order to to conquer mankind and rule the universe. He begins his plan by acquiring two of the Pearls, along with kidnapping Sparkle, a guardian of one of the Pearls. Sparkle's grandson, the Monkey Boy, now sets out on a quest to stop the King, picking up a ragtag band of comrades: the tech-savvy Y-Tou, a fat shape-shifter named Piggy, the rogue bandit Westfoot, and the aged but perverted Turtle Hermit. This gang is the only hope against the King... if they don't steal the Pearls for themselves. Written by Q. Leo Rahman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The ultimate battle for the universe!


Action | Fantasy | Sci-Fi


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The film was loosely inspired by Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies (1986). See more »


During one of the final shots, Lord Horn loses his power over the huge group of people. Everyone is supposed to fall, but there is a whole group of people still standing, looking quite confused. 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 »

Alternate Versions

In the Ultimate Edition version, a majority of the special effects have been redesigned by placing CGI over them. While the opening and close credits were both extended and redone with CGI. See more »


Featured in El Reviewer Random: Super Kid (2014) See more »


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

User Reviews

Wacky fantasy action movie
10 April 2005 | by Sentinel-15See all my reviews

Live action movie based on Akira Toriyama's well-known Dragon Ball manga and anime.

While it's overall appreciation by many doesn't seem anything to write home about, I would like to note that, while some changes were obviously made, it is actually very close to the spirit of the original Dragon Ball manga as well as the original TV series, which itself often got quite silly indeed.

Sure, things got a bit more serious in the DBZ follow-up series, but most of the film's main characters are close to their manga origins, and some of the events in the film are close to the original as well.

That said, this film will probably never win any movie awards, but it is a lot of fun, and a curiosity for all the Dragon Ball fans out there.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

November 1991 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

Dragon Pearl See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed