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Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge (ドラゴンボールゼット とびっきりのさいきょうたいさいきょう Doragon Bōru Zetto Tobikkiri no Saikyō tai Saikyō, lit. Dragon Ball Z: The Incredible Strongest vs Strongest), also referred to as Dragon Ball Z: The Strongest Rivals,[1] is the eighth Dragon Ball film and the fifth under the Dragon Ball Z banner.

It was originally released in Japan on July 20, 1991. It was dubbed in English by Funimation in 2002, and released on VHS and DVD on January 22. The movie was re-released with its sequel, Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler, in November 2008.



In this movie, Frieza's older brother Cooler is introduced. The film begins with a flashback to when Frieza destroyed Planet Vegeta, and Cooler's ship picks up Goku's space pod escaping the system. Cooler calls off the order to have it destroyed and lets it go, wanting Frieza to "clean up his own mess".


Chi-Chi and Icarus

More than twenty-five years later, Goku is practicing the Kamehameha at Kame House, with Master Roshi noting that Goku had gotten stronger since defeating Frieza on Namek. Back on Mount Paozu, Goku tries to get Gohan to finish his homework, causing Chi-Chi to grow concerned due to Goku not generally caring if Gohan completing his homework.

However, soon, she discovers that Goku wanted him to finish his homework so he and Gohan (alongside Krillin, Oolong, and Icarus) could go on a camping trip. She then demands to know which of the two he felt was more important. Goku humorously responds that camping was more important, to Chi-Chi's dismay.

Salza bowing to Cooler

Meanwhile on a far away planet, Cooler discovers that his brother was killed by Goku. Disgusted that Frieza, who he already had a strained relationship with already, would tarnish his family's honor by losing to a primitive Saiyan, he orders Salza to plot a course for Earth, with the intention to kill Goku and destroy Earth.

Cooler's arrival

Upon arrival, Cooler's forces ambush Goku and his friends on their camping trip, and after battling Salza, Neiz, and Dore, Goku is wounded by an energy blast launched by Cooler that was meant to kill Gohan (but not before countering with his own ki blast at Cooler); Cooler effortlessly deflects the blast, contemplating that Goku may have in fact beaten Frieza, and even speculates that Goku may be a Super Saiyan. Undaunted, he tells the Armored Squadron to find and destroy them.

Cooler's henchmen

Icarus reawakens Krillin during the aftermath of the assault by the Armored Squadron, and Krillin then ponders Goku's whereabouts. Meanwhile, Goku and Gohan emerge near a bank, and Goku loses consciousness due to his injury sustained from Cooler's blast. Gohan takes his father to shelter within a cave, but they are sealed away within a cavern due to Dore, Neiz and Salza blasting the landscape in an attempt to kill them. They assume their efforts are enough to have killed both Saiyans, to which Cooler disagrees, stating that while he would prefer to just destroy the Earth, his pride won't allow it; he wants to personally ensure Goku's death since he smeared his family's name (Cooler also makes the point that he is not here to avenge Frieza in the Japanese dub). Meanwhile, Krillin, Oolong, and Icarus, while hiding from the Armored Squadron, search for Goku until they discover them trapped within. When Krillin uses a Ki Blast to destroy a rock that was about to crush Oolong; this is picked up on Neiz's scouter, but to their luck, a Pterodactyl passes Neiz and he supposes that is where the reading came from.

Krillin knocked out

After Krillin sets up shelter in a small cave with Goku, Gohan - riding Icarus to avoid alerting the Armored Squadron's scouters - flies off to obtain Senzu Beans from Korin on his tower. After obtaining the beans from Yajirobe (who was at Korin's Tower) and giving one to Icarus, he is ambushed by the squadron, but just as he is about to be killed by Dore, Piccolo arrives on the scene and saves him. Piccolo proceeds to battle the warriors and kills Dore with a homing energy blast. He continues to fight Salza and Neiz, but is trapped for a moment in Neiz Bind Wave, allowing Salza to chase down the fleeing Gohan. However, Piccolo proves far too powerful for the attack to work on him, and he transmits it on Neiz, frying and killing him. Piccolo then ambushes Salza in a forest, but Cooler arrives and blasts Piccolo through the chest. He orders Salza to continue chasing down Gohan.

Goku kicks Cooler

Gohan arrives at the cave with the Senzu Beans a short time later, but Salza arrives and destroys the bag just as he is about to give them to Krillin further weakening Goku. An outraged Krillin attacks Salza but proves no match for him; Gohan comes to his aid, but not before giving Goku the extra bean Yajirobe had thrown to him. Gohan is beaten and Salza walks toward the cave to finish Goku. However, Salza's scouter picks up on a rising ki, and Goku walks out of the cave.

Cooler arrives moments later with an injured Piccolo, Goku demands that Piccolo be released while calling Cooler "Frieza". However, he learns from Salza that Cooler is Frieza's brother, just before Cooler drops Piccolo. Goku runs to save him, only for Cooler to blast the wounded Namek away. Horrified by this, Goku is enraged as Salza attacks Goku, to absolutely no effect.

Goku condemns Cooler as being as evil as Frieza, and tells him that he will make him pay, as Cooler states he will destroy the Earth after killing Goku. However, the Saiyan powers up and Salza is sent hurdling into a rock face. An amused Cooler tells Goku to show him the power he used against his brother; with that, Goku charges at Cooler.

Goku vs. Cooler

Cooler in his final form

Goku continues to pound on Cooler, though Cooler seems to be not visibly affected by his attacks too much. The fight initially starts airborne, and then goes underwater. After they emerge from the water, Cooler understands how Goku gave Frieza trouble and decides to take things more seriously and reveals his ability to transform once more than Frieza to a shocked Goku (In FUNimation's dub, Cooler tells of his history with his younger brother Frieza, and how he always hated his "spoiled brat" of a brother, and that he was actually planning on killing him himself one day. Cooler reveals that Frieza always had the edge in strength until Cooler found a transformation beyond his brother's). The tyrant then reveals his final transformation and Goku ascertains that he has surpassed Frieza in strength. Even with the uses of Kaio-ken and a Kamehameha, Goku proves no match for the transformed power of Cooler and finds himself completely outclassed.

Goku transformed into a Super Saiyan

However, as Cooler threatens to destroy the planet, injuring a bird in the process, Goku once again channels his fury to become a Super Saiyan, and uses his aura to heal the bird. Cooler finds himself, like Frieza was, grossly outclassed, he laughs in amusement at how his brother was killed before he blasts Goku but he is unaffected. However, this was a diversion as Cooler summons a trump card in the form of a Supernova (the same attack Frieza used to blow up Planet Vegeta, and the one he used to attempt to kill Future Trunks) to destroy Goku and the Earth. However, after a stint of struggling, Goku eventually manages to send it back with a Super Kamehameha, sending Cooler hurtling into the sun. As Cooler curses Goku, he realizes that Goku is the Saiyan he let escape over two and a half decades ago, and that he could have prevented this fate by killing the Saiyan child when he had the opportunity. Cooler then disintegrates and seemingly dies in the Sun.

Goku, drained after his battle, is found by Krillin and Gohan. Salza reappears and attempts to attack them; however, he is run through and killed by a Special Beam Cannon from a distance. Gohan looks around and calls out Piccolo's name; the movie ends with Piccolo staring at the sun and drinking some water.

Timeline placement

This movie takes place after Future Trunks first appears but before the Androids arrive.[2]

The film's opening depicts the climax of Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku in Age 737 where Bardock attacks Frieza with his Final Spirit Cannon only for it to be consumed by Frieza's Supernova which destroys him and Planet Vegeta as Kakarot's Attack Ball heads towards Earth during which it is detected by Cooler's Spaceship though Cooler stops his men from destroying it, unaware that the Saiyan inside it would one day defeat Frieza.

This film and Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone are the only two Dragon Ball movies featured on the Dragon Ball timeline in Daizenshuu 7.

In Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II, it is shown that Cooler arrived on Earth in Age 764, during the time when Goku, Gohan and Piccolo had just begun training. However, Cooler is fought in his final form much later in the game on New Namek.


Cooler's Revenge was originally released on VHS and Laserdisc in Japan. In 2006, Toei Animation released Cooler's Revenge 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.

FUNimation released Cooler's Revenge for VHS and DVD on January 22, 2002[3] in both edited and uncut forms.[4] As was the case with all previous releases, the movie was released in an unmatted 4:3 aspect ratio. The DVD featured a new English dub with a soundtrack of American rock bands and was also the only movie to include a Latin American Spanish audio option. In 2002, FUNimation bundled Lord Slug with Cooler's Revenge and The Return of Cooler in a new DVD box set. It was released on October 15, 2002, available in both edited and uncut forms.[5][6]

FUNimation re-released Cooler's Revenge and The Return of Cooler on DVD and Blu-ray on November 11, 2008 as part of their "Double Feature" line.[7] This new set featured a brand-new widescreen transfer from Video Post & Transfer and a new audio mix for the English dub featuring the original Japanese score done by Shunsuke Kikuchi in addition to the old mix featuring the American rock bands. However, this remastered edition does not have its American score properly synced or edited to match the original VHS and DVD release - for instance, the music no longer decreases in volume when Cooler and Goku fight underwater. Furthermore, English language Piccolo no longer grunts “hmph” when the credits begin rolling (Japanese language Piccolo does grunt “hmph”, however).

FUNimation repackaged the Double Feature DVDs into three new thinpak sets, the first of which was released on November 1, 2011 and included Dead Zone, The World's Strongest, The Tree of Might, Lord Slug, and Cooler's Revenge. These three sets were also released together in the Canada-only Dragon Ball Z: Complete Movie Collection featuring reversioned artwork of Goten and Trunks from Bio-Broly on the cover.


Character name Japanese voice actor English voice actor
(Creative Products Corp., 1996)
English voice actor
(Funimation, 2002)
English voice actor
(AB Groupe, c. 2003)[8]
Goku Masako Nozawa Nesty Calvo Ramirez Sean Schemmel David Gasman
Gohan Masako Nozawa E.J. Galang Stephanie Nadolny Jodie Forrest
Piccolo Toshio Furukawa Raymond Buyco Christopher R. Sabat Paul Bandey
Krillin Mayumi Tanaka Apollo Abraham Sonny Strait Sharon Mann
Oolong Naoki Tatsuta Apollo Abraham Brad Jackson David Gasman
Chi-Chi Naoko Watanabe Mitch Frankenberger Pellicer Cynthia Cranz Sharon Mann
Icarus Naoki Tatsuta Christopher R. Sabat Jodie Forrest
Korin Ichirō Nagai Raymond Buyco Christopher R. Sabat

Eric Vale (Remastered, one line only)

Paul Bandey
Yajirobe Mayumi Tanaka Ethel Lizano Mike McFarland Ed Marcus
Master Roshi Kouhei Miyauchi Nesty Calvo Ramirez Mike McFarland Ed Marcus
Cooler Ryūsei Nakao Apollo Abraham Andrew Chandler Doug Rand
Salza Shō Hayami R.J. Celdran Michael Marco David Gasman
Neiz Masato Hirano David Soon Bill Townsley Paul Bandey
Dore Masaharu Satō Mano Abello Mike McFarland Ed Marcus
Bardock Masako Nozawa Nesty Calvo Ramirez Sonny Strait Doug Rand
Frieza Ryūsei Nakao Apollo Abraham Linda Chambers Paul Bandey
Narrator Jōji Yanami Bob Karry Kyle Hebert Ed Marcus

A fourth English version released exclusively in Malaysia by Speedy Video features an unknown voice cast.



  • Krillin vs. Neiz
  • Gohan vs. Dore
  • Goku vs. Salza, Dore, and Neiz
  • Goku vs. Cooler (Final Form)
  • Gohan vs. Salza, Neiz, and Dore
  • Piccolo vs. Dore, Neiz, and Salza
  • Piccolo vs. Cooler (Final Form)
  • Krillin and Gohan vs. Salza
  • Goku (Base/Super Saiyan) vs. Cooler (Final Form/Fourth Transformation)


Anime News Network rates the DVD with a B for both the Dub and the Sub but said the movie overall is a pretty mediocre release with the story itself being rather weak and using the standard villain of the week feature with no real impact on the lives of the heroes. The movie was released in theatres in Japan on July 20, 1991 and was part of a double feature alongside Dragon Quest: Great Adventure of Dai. It grossed a total of ¥2.38 billion (US $17.5 million)[9]


  • In some versions of the movie, the scenes with Cooler and his Armored Squadron in the prologue before fleeing the destruction of Planet Vegeta (as well as Cooler's flashback to these events right before meeting his own end) were given in sepia tone, while in others, the flashbacks were given in full color.
  • At the beginning of the movie, the events of the end of the Bardock - The Father of Goku special are shown, and dialogue from the special was also used.
    • The destruction of Planet Vegeta was shown later in the opening, as well as Frieza's happiness over the planet's destruction. However, all these are shown in sepia on Cooler's ship.
    • Although the Creative Products Corporation dub did not dub the first TV Special, this scene was also included in Dragon Ball Z: The Greatest Rivals, a movie compilation of both this movie and its sequel.
  • Gohan appears in his bowl-cut Namek Saga design in this movie, but has a tail; it is possible that is grew back and was removed again between when Frieza came to Earth and the arrival of the androids. This is the only movie besides Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone in which Gohan has a tail but does not transform into his Great Ape form.
  • Icarus, who first appeared in The Tree of Might, Lord Slug, and the Garlic Jr. Saga, is seen multiple times in the film. This movie marks the final appearance of Icarus in the Dragon Ball series.
  • All three of Cooler's henchmen are killed by Piccolo. This parallels all members of the Ginyu Force, who Cooler's Armored Squad is based on, being killed by Vegeta.
  • The movie contains several peculiarities that are not fully explained. To begin with, in spite of Future Trunks killing both King Cold and the revitalized Mecha Frieza only hours prior to Goku's return to Earth, Cooler seems intent only on seeking vengeance for the shame thrust upon his family by Frieza's display of inferiority on Namek, as though he were completely unaware of not only his father's recent death, but also of the second defeat (and actual death) of his brother, as well. However, it is entirely possible that news of these recent events never reached him, since Future Trunks, along with killing Frieza and King Cold, blew up their spaceship and killed all of King Cold's men. However, the video game Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2 does mention King Cold's death as well, though this has no bearing on the film itself.
    • The lack of any mention of the events of the Trunks Saga is likely due to the fact that the film was released before the episode "Frieza's Counterattack", which first aired on Japanese television in November 27, 1991 - four months after Cooler's Revenge. However, the film was released after Mecha Frieza and King Cold first appearance in the manga chapter "Where is Goku?", which was released July 1, 1991. The chapter "The Second Super Saiyan", which features King Cold's death at the hands of Future Trunks, was not released until July 22, 1991, two days after the film's release.
    • The film was released in Japan when the Frieza Saga was still ongoing in the anime as it was released in between "Approaching Destruction" and "Gohan Returns", thus Frieza had not yet been defeated in the anime.
  • Goku was shown to easily transform into a Super Saiyan upon his return to Earth, but in this movie, he only transformed right at the end of the battle. However, it is shown that Goku did not really need it throughout the battle, and at this point in time, he only used the Super Saiyan transformation as a last resort. In this film, the Super Saiyan transformation happens as a result of anger, similar to when Goku transformed for the first time on Namek.
    • Additionally, at the time of the film' release, Goku had not yet returned to Earth in the manga, so his ease with using the Super Saiyan form had not been shown. The film makers presumably decided to have Goku transform after becoming angered by Cooler's disregard for innocent inhabitants of Earth to match its depictions in the series up to that point.
  • The 14th Shunsuke Kikuchi music package for the franchise starts here. The cues were designated "M12XX" codes, and this package would make its series debut in Extreme Measures.
  • In the Re-mastered DVD release, Cooler's voice is slightly deeper in his final form and a different vocal effect was used for his Super Evolution.
  • Mark Britten is credited as Korin despite it clearly being Christopher Sabat voicing him here. Britten had already left by the time this film was dubbed.
    • In the remastered version, Korin's question "Good kid. Hey, what's a bean daddy?" is changed to "There he goes. Nice kid. Goku's lucky to have him!" Said line was performed by Eric Vale instead of Sabat; the only time someone other than the latter since 2001.
  • This is the first Dragon Ball Z movie in which Shenron does not make an appearance.
  • In the first English versions in this movie until it combines with the sequel of the Return of Cooler, the title of the movie is changed into Dragon Ball Z: The Greatest Rivals in the Philippines.
  • The voice dubbers from Creation Corp of 1996 were known for dubbing English voices in the Philippines prior to the characters being voiced by actual English dubbers in the United States.
    • Interestingly, Goku's original Philippine-English voice actor in both movies and the RPN-9 version of the anime series' run is Nesty Calvo Ramirez prior to be voiced by Jefferson Utanes, who currently voices him in their native language, which is the Filipino Dub.
  • There was a reference to Goku's name origin at one point in the film. When Chi-Chi, out of concern when Goku tells Gohan to finish up his homework (something he is not known to do) checks up on him, she briefly speculates that all the fighting has reduced him to a vegetable, which is a reference to how his Saiyan name, Kakarot, was named after the vegetable Carrot.
  • Gohan cutting the logs into firewood was taken from the first episode of Dragon Ball (and to an extent, the first manga chapter), where Goku did the same thing. This would later be reused in "A Girl Named Lime", the only difference being that Gohan comically failed due to Lime distracting him.
  • In the original Japanese version when Cooler unleashes his Supernova Death Ball onto Goku to devour him into the ground and he reflects it with a Kamehameha, Goku says the move, while in other dubs such as the AB Groupe dub (albeit early) and Creative Products Corporation dub, he also said the move. However, in the Funimation dub, Goku just grunts while performing the Kamehameha against Cooler.
  • The 2008 remastered edition does not have its American score properly synced or edited to match the original VHS and DVD release - for instance, the music no longer decreases in volume when Cooler and Goku fight underwater. Furthermore, English language Piccolo no longer grunts “hmph” when the credits begin rolling (Japanese language Piccolo does grunt “hmph”, however).
  • Unusually, at least in the English dub, none of the characters ever chant the Kamehameha when utilizing the attack.



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