"The Tree of Might" is a three-part episode of the edited Namek Saga placed between episodes 45 and 46, "Immortality Denied" and "Big Trouble for Bulma". It originally aired on November 15, 1997 and November 22, 1997. It is a highly edited version of the original 1990 film Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might.
The Z Fighters face a new threat that starts with the burning of a forest, caused by the impact of a cosmic object, in which Gohan and Krillin rescue the forest animals and a small dragon named Icarus. Although they are able to restore the forest to its normal state with the Dragon Balls, Icarus does not return and stays with Gohan, much to Chi-Chi's fury. Goku then shows a nearby cave to let Gohan keep the dragon with him. Later, the cosmic object that crashed and caused the forest fire earlier reveals itself to be a probe, and shortly thereafter, the Earth is visited by an unfriendly group of aliens under the leadership of a Saiyan. Upon arriving, they plant a seed which grows the Tree of Might, a plant that sucks the life of the planet on which it was planted and leaves it a desert.
At King Kai's request, Goku, Krillin, Yamcha, Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu investigate and try to destroy the Tree, but they are unsuccessful. They are then confronted by the aliens whilst their leader watches from inside the spaceship. Eventually, Krillin, Yamcha, Tien and Chiaotzu are all defeated by the aliens, with only Goku being able to continue fending them off.
During the ensuing battle, Chiaotzu is rescued by Gohan, who had just arrived, and demonstrates his incredible fighting skills by easily taking out Lakasei. He is then encountered by the aliens' leader Turles, a Saiyan who bears a striking resemblance to Goku. Turles gives Gohan a choice to either join him or die. Gohan refuses to join Turles, and is saved in time thanks to the arrival of Piccolo. However, Turles ambushes and blasts him from behind, having Gohan where he wants him. He notices Gohan's regrown tail and creates an artificial moon, forcibly turning Gohan into a Great Ape and sets him on Goku, who is almost crushed to death in Gohan's hand until Icarus arrives and calms Gohan down. But when Turles attacks Icarus, Gohan is angered and turns on Turles, who fires an attack at Gohan. Before the attack can make contact, Goku manages to cut Gohan's tail off and restore him to normal. Cradling his son in his arms, Goku promises to defeat Turles.
Turles's henchmen attack Goku, who easily defeats them all with the Kaio-ken, while Piccolo unsuccessfully fights Turles again. Goku and Turles then fight, with Goku having the upper hand, until Turles pushes his power further by eating a fruit from the Tree of Might. With his new power, Turles dominates Goku and beats him to the point that he is no longer able to fight, even with the use of the Kaio-ken x10.
Slowly recovering while Turles is distracted by the rest of the Z Fighters, whom he dispatches of, Goku decides to use the Spirit Bomb. Despite gaining energy from the living, he is not able to attack Turles as he counterattacks with the Calamity Blaster, neutralizing Goku's Spirit Bomb. Unable to gather more energy from living beings, Goku decides to steal energy from inside the Tree of Might itself. Eventually successful in creating the Spirit Bomb, Goku fires it at Turles, who tries to counter with his own ki wave. He is carried up the trunk of the Tree of Might and destroyed along with the Tree when the Spirit Bomb explodes. With the terror now over, the Z Fighters return to their normal lives once again.
The episodes were aired in first-run syndication on November 15 and 22, 1997 during the initial Funimation/Saban dub of Dragon Ball Z. They later aired packaged as a movie on Toonami, premiering on January 29, 1999. Unlike Pioneer's 1998 uncut dub of The Tree of Might, this edited version was initially never released on any Home Video format until Funimation included all three Ocean dubbed movies as seen on Toonami in the 2013 DVD box set "Dragon Ball Z: Rock the Dragon Edition". On this release, it was not presented in the episodic format in which it originally aired, but rather as the stand-alone movie version that aired on Toonami.
- Blood has been removed from all characters.
- There is an infamous censorship edit to Gohan's face while it is being held by Turles, in which digital paint is used to cover Turles' fingers.
- The scene where Gohan is falling nude after Goku cuts off his tail is edited using digital light to cover Gohan up. The scene where Icarus wakes up a nude Gohan is edited using a digital bush, also covering Gohan.
- Various digitally painted "stars" are used to cover blows to the head. A white fog-like substance was also added for the same reason.
- Turles' henchman Cacao can be heard breathing heavily after being defeated by Goku. This could have been an attempt to imply that he hadn't actually been killed by Goku, just knocked out.
- The violence in the fight between Goku and Turles is toned down. For example, two kicks to Goku by Turles from when he uses Kaio-ken x10 are cut.
- Other edits include the addition of footage from the TV series; including when the Eternal Dragon is summoned, a shot of outer space, and some of Piccolo and King Kai's scenes.
|Character Name||Voice actor||Notes|
|Goku||Ian James Corlett||Appears in all episodes|
|Turles||Ward Perry||Appears in all episodes|
|Gohan||Saffron Henderson||Appears in all episodes|
|Krillin||Terry Klassen||Appears in all episodes|
|Piccolo||Scott McNeil||Appears in all episodes|
|Yamcha||Ted Cole||Appears in all episodes; has no dialogue in part three|
|Tien||Matt Smith||Absent from part one|
|Chiaotzu||Cathy Weseluck||Absent from part one|
|Amond||Paul Dobson||Appears in all episodes|
|Daiz||Scott McNeil||Appears in all episodes|
|Cacao||Alvin Sanders||Appears in all episodes; has no dialogue in part one and part three; his voice was electronically altered|
|Lakasei||Alec Willows||Appears in all episodes|
|Rasin||Don Brown||Appears in all episodes|
|Chi-Chi||Laara Sadiq||Absent from part three|
|Bulma||Lalainia Lindbjerg||Appears in all episodes|
|King Kai||Don Brown||Appears in all episodes|
|Bubbles||Doug Parker||Appears in all episodes; only makes noises in part one|
|Gregory||Doug Parker||Appears in all episodes; has no dialogue in part two and part three|
|Master Roshi||Ian James Corlett||Absent from part one|
|Oolong||Alec Willows||Appears in all episodes|
|Icarus||Doug Parker||Appears in all episodes|
|Puar||Cathy Weseluck||Appears in all episodes; has no dialogue in part two and part three|
|Shenron||Don Brown||Only appears in part one; his voice was electronically altered|
|Little Girl||Cathy Weseluck||Only appears off-screen in part three; her only line of dialogue is "it's snowing gold!"|
|Narrator||Doc Harris||Only appears in episode recaps and previews; not featured when the dub was packaged as a movie|
- This is the only Dragon Ball Z movie dubbed in association with Saban Entertainment, although the Ocean Group voice actors who appear in this dub would later re-dub this film along with the first two Dragon Ball Z movies in association with Pioneer (now Geneon).
- This is the only Dragon Ball Z movie to feature Shuki Levy's score.
- This was the last Dragon Ball-related production to feature Ian James Corlett as the voice of Goku and Master Roshi, as the actor quit after it was dubbed due to a pay dispute.
- It is unknown exactly why The Tree of Might was made part of the television series, although it could be due to the film being similar to the Saiyan Saga, which had already been dubbed at this point.
- It aired in the middle of the Namek Saga. It did not fit in the timeline, as the prior episode "Immortality Denied" had Goku in space, Gohan, Krillin, and Bulma on Namek, and Piccolo, Yamcha, Tien, and Chiaotzu at King Kai's planet in the Other World.
- This dub of the movie is also the only English version in which Goku shouts "Kaio-ken" as he uses the technique on Turles' henchmen. In the uncut Ocean dub, the AB Groupe dub and the Funimation dub, Goku simply does a power-up shout as he is engulfed in the Kaio-ken's red aura, while in the Malaysian-English dub he shouts "you die".
- King Kai refers to the Tree of Might as the "Tree of Death" and later states that Goku had "destroyed the mighty Turles". In most other episodes produced with Saban, usage of the word "death" (or any similar euphemism) was strictly forbidden.
- The script for Funimation's 2006 re-dub of The Tree of Might was based on this version's script, instead of the more accurate 1998 Pioneer script.
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