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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)


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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)


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 <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The ultimate battle for the universe!


Action | Fantasy | Sci-Fi


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Parents Guide:

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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 »

Did You Know?


Seetou changes clothes at the start of almost every scene. This is an homage to Bulma's many outfits throughout the "Dragon Ball" series. 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 »


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


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

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User Reviews

For Kids??? Extremely Bad, But Made Me Laugh.
5 September 2001 | by winstonsmith_84See all my reviews

When you first sit down to watch this movie, keep in mind that you are about to see something you've probably never seen before. Keep in mind that this is a movie where they obviously spent INSANE amounts of cash on explosions and not enough on acting or anything else for that matter. The crazy thing I noticed is that every character is completely over-portrayed, and it seems (most of the time anyhow) that the film had been 'sped-up' to make the characters move faster! (I wonder if the Hong Kong version was dubbed too?) I understand the cartoon had this, but it doesn't work for live-action. It just looks odd... as if the camera crew decided to act because they couldn't afford real actors.

The English version is horribly dubbed, and the character's words do not match the mouths at all. I would have preffered subtitles, but since this is a kids movie, and since some kids cannot read well, I'll let it go. But there is something extremely odd about this movie. It's supposedly a kids movie, but there's a lot of material about SEX, RAPE, and STRIPPING which isn't exactly for young Western audiences. (In the Orient, they have different laws and sexuality in children's movies is much more accepted). But parents be warned! There is a scene where two characters talk about rape, multiple scenes where people say 'sex maniac' and a scene where this insanely young japanese girl does a sexy dance for one of the 'sex maniacs' and shows him her breasts! Who was this movie made for anyway?

Oh, and the special effects are laughable. You can tell the spaceship-like things that bomb the village are cardboard cutouts (or animation, I wasn't sure) that look unconvincing, even to a kid. The makers of this movie left out a lot of cool things from the cartoon, simply because they couldn't budget the kind of money they'd need. I didn't like how the names of all the characters were changed... it made me wonder if this movie was made by the same people as Dragon Ball Z.

I don't really recommed this movie to anyone. Kids, adults, or Dragon Ball Z fans. It's just a poor representation of the cartoon, and obviously, one will be able to tell that this movie was rushed and no care whatsoever was put into it. I won't even get into the camerawork... just wait until the end credits at the still picture that sits there for 2 minutes... most of the shots are not framed correctly AT ALL and the movie just seems made by amateurs. Grainy film quality too.

Just all around horrible!!!!

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