Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies (ドラゴンボール ・ 神龍の伝説 Doragon Bōru Shenron no Densetsu, lit. "Dragon Ball: The Legend of Shenlong"), also known as Dragon Ball: The Legend of Shenron, is the first Dragon Ball film, originally premiering on December 20, 1986 at the Toei Cartoon Festival (along with GeGeGe no Kitarō and Kinnikuman series).
In its original theatrical run, it was just titled Dragon Ball, but for subsequent video releases in Japan, it was renamed. In specific, this movie is a heavily modified retelling of the gathering of the Dragon Balls in the Emperor Pilaf Saga, but with King Gurumes taking Emperor Pilaf's role as the center villain.
Evil has spread throughout the land starting with a kingdom and its ruler, Gurumes. The king's men are scavenging for what lies beneath the land, Blood Rubies, but one girl stands up to the king and his men. Her name is Pansy. She shoots her slingshot at one of the king's troopers. The trooper retaliates, but Pansy's father steps in. The trooper backs off as the Major, Bongo, steps forward and crushes a rock revealing a Blood Ruby. Pansy's father tells the trooper his opinion on the excavation and how it's destroying the crops and the kingdom. The trooper likes his courage and attacks him with a fist to the face, knocking the man down. The trooper leaves in a jeep to go back to the palace. Pansy decides to teach them a lesson and leaves the kingdom in search of help.
At the king's palace, the king is eating and throwing food everywhere, and criticizing his men. The king has been transformed into a hideous beast by the Blood Rubies. The Blood Rubies make him hungry for more food, and more treasures. One of his soldiers, Pasta, enters his palace telling him she located another Dragon Ball. The king wants it which means he would then have five Dragon Balls, but there is a couple fortune hunters who are also after the balls too. The king doesn't care of this, he just wants the ball, and he'd pay anything for them, and tells Pasta he'll pay in Blood Rubies.
Far away from the kingdom lives a boy named Goku, who owns the Dragon Ball. He thinks the ball is his grandfather's and prays to it. The boy then goes to go catch a fish for lunch. A Giant Fish almost eats him, but in the end, Goku is the victor.
On the road nearby, a girl named Bulma is also after the magic balls. She spots the king's men in an airplane and tries to beat them to the ball. Goku spots the ship also and sees that it is landing near his house. The bike and Bulma in it collide into the boy and his fish. Goku thinks it is a monster who wants to steal his fish and so he attacks the bike and smashes the window. Bulma gets out and tells him she is a human. Goku stops and doesn't believe her because of the way she looks. She explains to him she is a girl. Goku explains that he never saw any other humans besides his grandfather, and doesn't know what a girl is. Goku sees a Dragon Ball in her pouch and thinks she stole his grandfather. Bulma finds out where the other ball is, the kid has it. The two of them start to run up to Goku's house to stop the king's men. Pasta and Bongo steal the Four-Star Dragon Ball from Goku's house and go back to their airplane.
Goku and Bulma run to the boy's house to stop the intruders. They reach the house only finding a gold coin where the Dragon Ball use to be. Pasta and Bongo take off in their ship from behind the house. The girl uses a capsule and an airship comes out. The two get into the ship and take off and go after the ship. Pasta gets into the gun turret and starts to fire at the ship. Bulma counters with their gun and hits the enemies wing. Pasta brings out a Rocket Launcher and blows Bulma's ship out of the sky. Bulma and Goku fall. Goku throws his Power Pole and saves Bulma from landing in the water. Bulma and Goku continues to search for the Dragon Balls. On the way Goku and Bulma find Pansy who is being stalked by a monster who can transform. Goku steps in and defends Pansy. The monster thinks Goku is weak and wants him to prove his strength, so he tells Goku to break a tree in half. Goku does very easily, and the monster chickens out, turns into a bat, and flies away. Goku follows the monster and they end up in a desert. The monster is actually a pig in his true form, named Oolong. Oolong is very scared of the area because of the Desert Bandit Yamcha.
Yamcha is there and shoots his Machine gun at their feet. Yamcha has a flying companion named Puar, who is a shapeshifting cat, that went to school with Oolong. Oolong asks Goku to beat Yamcha. Goku agrees and draws out his staff. Yamcha pulls out his sword and the two go into battle. Goku blocks all of the swings Yamcha makes, and then makes his move and hits Yamcha in the stomach with his extending pole. Yamcha uses the power of the Wolf Fang Fist on Goku, hitting him into a wall. Bulma arrives and Yamcha runs, revealing his shyness. Yamcha falls off of a cliff and lands head first in the ground, breaking his tooth. He runs away saying "I'll never get a date!!!" Bulma likes Yamcha and wants to find him. In a capsule motorhome, Pansy reveals to Goku and the others about her looking for Master Roshi, the Turtle Hermit. Pansy reveals to them the past of her kingdom and the Blood Rubies. Yamcha hears from the outside and decides to find Master Roshi first in the hopes that he can twist the story so that he can take of Goku and his friends while Yamcha goes looking for the Dragon Balls so he can wish away his shyness around women.
Agreeing to take Pansy to Master Roshi, the group reach the little island where Master Roshi lives. The master thinks they want to steal his shell. Pansy tells him that they need him to help her kingdom. Master Roshi yells to Yamcha, who was there before the others, and tells Yamcha that he lied to him. Bulma gets close to Yamcha and he blushes. Yamcha runs behind the house. Master Roshi calls for Flying Nimbus, a magic cloud and gives it to Goku. Only one with a pure heart can ride it which Goku can. Yamcha takes off on a boat. Bulma spots Master Roshi's Dragon Ball and he lets her have it on the condition that she show off her breasts which she agrees to but makes Oolong take her place using his shape-shifting abilities.
The king's men are in a sub and launch pick-pocket rockets to get the Dragon Balls. It gets one of the balls. The king's men decide to blow up the island and then get the last ball. Master Roshi powers up and shoots a Kamehameha and destroys the sub and all the missiles. The king's men escape in a jet. Goku tries out the attack Master Roshi did and succeeds in blowing up a rock. Master Roshi doesn't go with Pansy, but tells her Goku is a strong enough fighter.
The Dragon Team head towards Gurumes' castle to get the Dragon Balls. The king's army is waiting for them. They start to fire at their airship. Goku on his cloud, attacks Bongo, while Bulma tries to get the balls. Goku destroys the flying disk the major is on and Goku goes into the castle. Yamcha joins the battle and gets inside the castle as well. Yamcha grabs a bunch of Blood Rubies and runs. Yamcha runs into Bulma and the others. Pasta finds them and shoots Yamcha but he's saved by the Blood Rubies under his vest. Yamcha hits Pasta and finds out that Pasta is a girl. Pasta throws bombs down the corridor. Yamcha saves Bulma and the others from the bombs. Bulma and the gang get inside the king's room, where Goku meets up with them. The king gets up and mutates into a big monster stepping on and killing Bongo in the process. Goku battles the king and blasts him in the stomach with a Kamehameha to little effect. The king's stomach begins to glow. Bulma realizes the balls are in his stomach, and throws the last ball into his mouth.
Shenron, the dragon, emerges, destroying the castle. The Dragon tells someone to make a wish. Pansy wishes for the land to be peaceful and beautiful once again. The Dragon removes all the Blood Rubies from the soil and restores the land. The Dragon disappears and the balls split up in seven directions. Gurumes having now reverted to his normal human self comments on being hungry to which Pansy offers him an apple who likes it. When Pansy's father appears and tells him he had almost destroyed them all trying to find the Blood Rubies, the king expresses his shame. Goku gives Pasta her coin back, calls for Flying Nimbus, and flies off into the sky as Bulma and Yamcha celebrate getting together.
In 2006, Toei Animation released Curse of the Blood Rubies as part of the final Dragon Box DVD set, which included all four Dragon Ball films and thirteen Dragon Ball Z films. These were presented in a new widescreen transfer from the original negatives with a 16:9 aspect ratio that was matted from the original 4:3 aspect ratio.
The 1995 dub of Curse of the Blood Rubies was first released to VHS by KidMark Home Entertainment (a subsidiary of MGM-owned Trimark, who owned the home video rights at the time) on September 24, 1996, a year after the movie premiered on syndication. Then in October 2000, Trimark released the movie and the 13 episodes of the BLT dub aired in syndication on a DVD box set titled "Dragon Ball: The Saga of Goku".
For many years, this film remained to be the only Dragon Ball property to have been neither released uncut in the US, nor dubbed by Funimation's in-house voice cast. That was until 2009, when Funimation was finally able to secure the rights from Lionsgate Entertainment, who bought Trimark in 2001. Funimation produced a brand new uncut English version and released it to Region 1 DVD on December 28, 2010. The new dub features voice actors pooled from the Dragon Ball Z Kai cast. The script, however, was mostly recycled from the 1995 script, which itself was based on the 1989 script, only reverting the characters' changed names back to their originals. On February 8, 2011, Funimation released a complete set of all four Dragon Ball films released in a new thinpak DVD collection.
The film's 1995 North American release removed a surprising amount of content. The earliest notable edit occurs early in the film, where Goku first encounters Bulma after being accidentally struck by Bulma's motorcycle. In the original version of the film, Goku responds by charging at Bulma, who panics and shoots Goku three times in the head with a handgun and is astonished to find Goku completely unharmed. In the Harmony Gold and BLT Productions dubs, this scene was entirely cut, making it appear that Goku's initial response is to charge at Bulma and thrust his Power Pole at the motorcycle, severely damaging it. In 2010 however, this scene was brought back in the FUNimation dub of the movie. In the AB Groupe dub, Bulma tells to Goku that the bullets aren't real and they just sting a little.
During Goku's fight with Yamcha, scenes in the original version that closely depict Goku's face being pummeled by Yamcha's Wolf Fang Fist were removed entirely, making the technique appear as though it were no more than a kick (as in the Japanese version, Yamcha closes the move by kicking Goku into a stone structure). Goku retaliates by performing a jan-ken-pon technique, meeting fists with Goku (rock), using his other hand to poke Yamcha's eyes, temporarily blinding him (scissors), then smacking him in the face (paper) hard enough to send him ricocheting off of a wall of stone. Yamcha recovers from this, exclaiming "You little s***..." before Bulma arrives. In the Harmony Gold and Ocean Studios dubs, the entire jan-ken-pon sequence was removed, making it appear that Bulma arrives immediately after Yamcha uses the Wolf Fang Fist on Goku. This scene was left intact when it was dubbed by FUNimation.
Upon noticing that Master Roshi possesses a Dragon Ball, rather than be obliged to simply give it to Bulma like he does in the first two dubs, the original version and FUNimation dub see Roshi requesting Bulma first show him her breasts. Bulma accepts, but instead has Oolong transform in her exact image (although he first comically transforms into a stocky Bulma roughly his original size). It is then Oolong who teases Roshi at Bulma's dismay, before exposing to him his breasts. To coincide with the removal of this sequence, the paper stuffed in his nostrils (due to nosebleeds which occurred after Oolong showed him his Bulma-breasts) when he is shown just moments before his home is destroyed by the submarine was edited out by BLT Productions.
The shuttle ride sequence after leaving Master Roshi's island was shortened in the dubbed version, though it is not clear why. The original scene features Pansy's flashback to an unseen conversation with Roshi that her friends will save her land, followed by Bulma reassuring her everything will be okay. This is where the scene ends in the dub, however, originally it went on to reveal what Bulma intends to wish Shenron for a boyfriend. In the dubbed version this is not revealed until the film's climax.
Another scene removed from the English release actually shows Yamcha's chest being riddled with bullets as Pasta shoots him, before being flung against a wall; the only scene remaining that depicts the attack (besides an earlier one closely showing the gun being fired). As Yamcha returns to his feet and begins fighting Pasta, rather than notice she is a woman only after her goggles are knocked loose, in the original film he first realizes this when punching her he accidentally fondles her breast.
The UK airing of the film on Toonami (which was titled "Dragon Ball: The Legend of Shenron") was shown uncut and also featured the original Japanese opening, "Makafushigi Adventure!".
Bulma's dialogue was also altered in the scene where she is pinned to a mountainside by Goku's Power Pole after her DynoCap shuttle is destroyed by Pasta and she and Goku plummet from the sky. While pinned in the Japanese version, she proclaims she has wet herself, while in the dub she screams that she is "having a crisis." It is still obvious what's happening because she is faintly seen peeing down her thighs.
When Oolong confronts Pansy, he demands the girl marry him to which Pansy responds by shooting him in the face with her slingshot; Oolong then threatens to eat her if she does not comply. In the dub this dialogue was altered to Oolong sarcastically asking "Well, what have we here?" before being shot by Pansy, followed by a more assertive threat by Oolong to eat her. When Bulma pulls over and notices Pansy and the monster, originally Oolong turns his sights to Bulma and demands now that she marry him, however in the English release his statement after Bulma and Goku arrive was altered to "I can't believe it – a full course meal!"
When Goku and Oolong are ambushed by Yamcha, Puar provides a different explanation for Oolong's shapeshifting inferiority in the original film. In this version, she claims that Oolong was kicked out of "transformation kindergarten" for stealing the teacher's panties; this was altered to Oolong having attended "shapeshifting academy [until] he flunked out," drastically altering its meaning.
During the climax of the original film, Pansy wishes the blood rubies would disappear from the land, leading Shenron to simultaneously unearth them all. For the dub, her dialogue was altered so that Pansy simply wishes for her land to "be peaceful and beautiful again," which Shenron asserts will not be possible with the blood rubies buried underneath it, ensuing in the unearthing sequence.
The Harmony Gold version still has Mao-Mao (Oolong) demand girls marry him. In this dub, Roshi instead asks Lena (Bulma) for a kiss in exchange for his Dragon Ball, dialogue afterwards indicates she punched him in response and this is the reason for his bloody nose.
Also, the Harmony Gold dub has the name of the blood rubies changed to "earth rubies", whereas they were called "ritch stones" in the original Japanese version.
The 1995 dub featured a synthesized replacement score by Canadian musician Peter Berring.
- Pansy's father vs. Bongo
- Goku vs. Giant Fish
- Bulma vs. Pasta
- Goku vs. Oolong
- Goku vs. Yamcha
- Master Roshi (Max Power) vs. Bongo, Pasta, and Gurumes Army soldiers
- Goku vs. Bongo
- Yamcha vs. Gurumes Army soldiers
- Yamcha vs. Pasta
- Goku vs. King Gurumes (Transformed State)
- In terms of the dates of original Japanese publication, this is actually the first time in the entire Dragon Ball franchise where it is shown that summoning the Eternal Dragon turns the sky dark (which is no small contribution to the mythos, seeing as this will be turned into a major plot point during the Battle on Planet Namek, where Krillin deduces that the Dragon Balls had not yet been used because of that). When Emperor Pilaf summoned the dragon, it was already night, and this movie was released in Japan a few weeks before Goku, in the manga, would summon Shenron to revive Bora. It has never been confirmed whether Akira Toriyama suggested this to the movie producers, whether Toriyama was inspired by this movie to include this in the main continuity, or if Toriyama already had this planned and it was freak coincidence that the movie also had the same idea.
- This movie was used as the basis for the live-action Chinese film Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins.
- In the 1995 English dub, Bulma was played by two voice actresses. This film was dubbed prior to dubbing the 13 episodes of the BLT dub. Maggie Blue O'Hara (credited as Maggie O'Hara) was Funimation's first choice to play Bulma, but she was let go just after dubbing for the movie was completed, and the character was recast with Lalainia Lindbjerg for the series, and since adding in footage from episode 2 was an afterthought, Lindbjerg played Bulma in those scenes. Afterwards, however, O'Hara did return to play Bulma in Westwood Media/AB Groupe's dub of episodes 123-258 of Dragon Ball Z before being replaced by France Perras.
- The 2010 English dub marked the first time Colleen Clinkenbeard voiced Goku in a full-time speaking role, replacing Stephanie Nadolny (she first voiced Kid Goku in flashback scenes from episode 1 of Dragon Ball Z Kai).
- The 4th Shunsuke Kikuchi music package for the franchise starts here. The cues were designated "M2XX" codes, and this package would makes its series debut in "Blue, Black and Blue". They were recorded on November 27, 1986.
- Movie Guide Dragon Ball Movie 01. kanzenshuu.
- Dragon Ball Movie Jap Title. toei-animation-usa.
- Daizenshuu 6
- Complete set of all four Dragon Ball films. rightstuf.
- Dragon Ball Z: Big Green Dub Cast - Behind The Voice Actors (April 10, 2016).