This is the third and final Dragon Ball movie released during the series' run on Japanese TV. Like the first two Dragon Ball movies, this movie re-tells pivotal moments that took place during the TV series. This movie re-tells Goku and Krillin's first trip to the World Martial Arts Tournament. In the movie, however, Goku, Krillin, Master Roshi, Turtle, and Launch are off to a small country known as Mifan, where the tournament is held and the winner recieves not only prize money, but is granted an audience with Mifan's emperor, whom is Chiaotzu. However, the heroes discover that the Chiaotzu's right-hand men, Master Shen, General Tao, and Tien, are conspiring to get the Dragon Balls to abdicate Chiaotzu from the throne and rule the kingdom themselves. In this DB movie, the villains and much of the supporting characters are characters from the TV series rather than original one-shots. This DB movie is by far the most martial-arts oriented as the series was beginning to lean towards that more over adventure and comedy. But this DB movie has the best combination of martial arts and comedy and is always filled with high-energy fighting scenes and hilarious comedy re-created from pivotal moments in the TV series. This movie first appeared in the U.S. on syndicated TV in 1989 when it was combined with the first movie into a single TV-movie pilot, which was done by Harmony Gold (creators of Robotech) in the first of two attempts made to get the DB TV series released in America. In this Harmony Gold TV pilot version, the characters had radically different names. When the series finally became a success in the US when aired on Cartoon Network, FUNimation re-dubbed it, making it more faithful to the original Japanese counterpart.
GRADE: 4 out of 5 stars
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