Dragon Ball: The Path to Power

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Dragon Ball: The Path to Power, released in Japan as Dragon Ball 最強 へ の 道 (ドラゴン ボール 最強 へ の 道, Doragon Bōru: Saikyō e no Michi; Literally meaning "Dragon Ball: Strongest to the Road"), is the seventeenth Japanese animated feature film in the Dragon Ball franchise, following the first three Dragon Ball films and thirteen Dragon Ball Z films. It is a re-telling of the original Dragon Ball anime series and is also the longest film in the franchise. It was produced by Toei to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Dragon Ball anime and was originally released to theaters in Japan on March 4, 1996 between "The Most Wanted List" and "Goku vs. Ledgic". It was later dubbed into English by FUNimation and released to VHS/DVD in North America on April 29, 2003.


Son Goku was a monkey-tailed boy who lived all alone on Mount Paozu. One day, after he had caught a Giant Fish to eat, a girl in a car (Bulma) almost hit him. He mistook the car for a monster and threw it onto its side, but was shot by Bulma in return. He thought she was some kind of Demon, but she ended up convincing him that she was Human, even though she did not have a tail. He invited her into his house since his dead grandpa had told him to be nice to girls, but once there she went straight for his only keepsake. Goku had shown Bulma an orange glowing ball that he thought was his grandfather. All of a sudden, Bulma got excited and asked if she could have the ball. When Goku protested, she brought out two more "grandpas" and explained to him the legend of the Dragon Balls and the Eternal Dragon. She offers to let him feel her up to get him to come along, but when that doesn't work, she tells him it'll help him get stronger. He agrees, and off they go.

Later, they were forced to stop because of a Bull in the road who demanded the girl. Goku ended up fighting the creature, which turned into a robot and then a Bat. Unfortunately, his five minutes were up and he turned back into a Pig. There was no time for apologies though because Yamucha soon attacked. He demands all the Capsules and money that they had, but not before Puar recognized Oolong and yelled at him for his perverted antics at Southern Transformation Kindergarten. Yamcha fights Goku, and appears to have the upper hand, until Bulma wakes up. This puts him into a state of shock and he is forced to retreat with the help of Puar.

Bulma, Oolong, and Goku are driving northward towards the next Dragon Ball, only to discover a huge metal tower in the distance. (Yamcha and Puar, who have been following them, stay in a cave nearby to keep warm.) Soldiers come out and "welcome" them to Muscle Tower, and Goku takes them all head on. He manages to enter the tower, only to face Sergeant Metallic. He finishes him off quickly though, and discovers (to his shock) that Metallic was a robot. White of the Red Ribbon Army orders the remaining forces toward Goku, but he plows through them all, up into White's room. White then activates the tower's deadliest creation - Artificial Human No. 8. The Artificial Human nearly strangled Goku, but refused to kill him when ordered. As a result, White threatened to detonate the Artificial Human, but Goku intervened and saved him. The two made quick friends, with No. 8 explaining that he did not believe in fighting or killing. Goku complained that his name was weird, so he nicknamed him "Eighter" for short. This ended in a snowball fight between the two while the tied-up forces (including White) looked on.

Some time later, while driving in Oolong's house-wagon, they almost run over (and then almost fall off a cliff because of) Turtle. He explains that he is quite lost, and needs help getting back to the sea. After they bring him there, he says he has a reward which he will bring back with him the next day. So, Oolong, Goku, and Bulma spend the night on the beach. Goku wakes up early in the morning and tries to sleep in Bulma's lap, but freaks out when he removes her panties and discovers her lack of the male genitalia. That morning, Turtle comes back bearing his "reward" -- Master Roshi, the Turtle Hermit. He first tries to summon the Immortal Phoenix for them, but when that fails (it apparently died), he calls forth the Nimbus Cloud. Goku is the only one of the bunch who can ride it, so it becomes his.

While Goku's off on the Nimbus, Bulma discovers that the old man has a Dragon Ball. He offers to let go of it only if she shows him her underwear. She agrees, not knowing she doesn't have any on, and both Roshi and Oolong are pleasantly surprised. She is horrified after she goes in to change and finds her underwear still inside. There is no time for an explanation though, because General Blue of the Red Ribbon Army attacks with a fleet of battleships. When the situation seems just about hopeless, Roshi decides to use his legendary Kamehameha Wave. He decimates the entire fleet with it, but Blue then orders his army of submarines to attack. Goku however, manages to learn the Kamehameha himself and destroys a good deal of the subs with it. But just as their situation is looking up, Goku is knocked out by a missile, and Bulma, Yamcha, Oolong, Puar, and Roshi are all captured by Blue's soldiers. The five are carted off to prison near Red Ribbon Headquarters. The next morning, Goku awakens to the beeping of the Dragon Radar. Finding himself alone, he sets out in search of the other six Dragon Balls (Blue, having missed the one on Goku's person, is executed for his failure). Goku fights through legions upon legions of Red Ribbon soldiers, while in the meantime, the others try to make their escape from the prison.

Eventually, they make it out, to discover Goku (carrying a pile of tanks) there to greet them. As Goku fights his way into Red Ribbon Army Headquarters, Red and Black retreat with their six Dragon Balls to their last refuge. But when Black hears about Red's true wish – to become taller, Black shoots him and swears to make the Black Ribbon Army ruler of the world. He brings out the Army's greatest weapon, a giant robot. The robot's beam weapon destroys a huge swath of territory in its path, and nearly kills Goku, until he manages to knock it on its stomach and detonate the cannon. Black and his robot aren't out yet though, and Goku is eventually knocked out. Luckily, Android 8 shows up. He puts everything he has into keeping the robot from killing the boy, but it's pretty clear that he's no match. Parts start to fly off of him, and he lands in a crumpled heap, next to Goku.

Goku comes to, only to see the android die. Saddened and enraged by Android 8's sacrifice, a new world of power suddenly awakens within Goku, as the ground shakes with his tortured screams. Black makes the mistake of egging him on, and Goku finishes him off with a gigantic Kamehameha. After the dust settles, the Eternal Dragon, Shen Long, is summoned forth, but Bulma and Yamcha realize they don't need their wishes anymore. Goku then offers his own wish instead: to revive Android 8 and remove the bomb inside of him.



Character name Voice actor (Japanese dub) Voice actor (FUNimation dub)
Son Goku Masako Nozawa Stephanie Nadolny
Bulma Brief Hiromi Tsuru Tiffany Vollmer
Yamucha Tōru Furuya Christopher Sabat
Oolong Naoki Tatsuta Brad Jackson
Puar Naoko Watanabe Monika Antonelli
Muten Roshi Kinya Aikawa Mike McFarland
Kame Daisuke Gōri Christopher Sabat
Commander Red Kenji Utsumi Kyle Hebert
Staff Officer Black Masaharu Satō Christopher Sabat
General Blue Bin Shimada Sonny Strait
General White Hirohiko Kakegawa Kyle Hebert
Colonel Violet Kazuko Sugiyama Kasey Buckle
Sergeant Metallic Hisao Egawa Chris Rager
Artificial Human No. 8 Shōzō Iizuka Mike McFarland
Shen Long Kenji Utsumi Christopher Sabat
Narrator Jōji Yanami Brice Armstrong


ED (Ending theme)

""Dan Dan Kokoro Hikareteku"
Lyrics: Izumi Sakai, Music: Tetsurō Oda, Arrangement: Takeshi Hayama, Performance: Field of View

Comparison to the anime

  • Goku does not wear his original all-blue uniform or even the traditional red/orange one in the film. Instead, he is featured wearing the exact same outfit he wears in Dragon Ball GT (blue top, yellow pants, pink wristbands). He is seen wearing an all-blue uniform at the beginning of the film, however, only to change into his Dragon Ball GT outfit before departing with Bulma.
  • Bulma, like her manga counterpart, has purple hair instead of turquoise.
  • Oolong is first encountered by Goku and Bulma in the desert rather than terrorizing a village with his shape shifting abilities.
  • Pilaf and his minions are not featured at all.
  • When Goku first uses the Kamehameha in the anime, it is only big enough to destroy Bulma's car. In the movie, it is large enough to completely destroy all of the Red Ribbon Army's ships.
  • Blue is not killed by Tao (as Tao was not in the movie).
  • Muscle Tower is bigger and more futuristic. Also, Murasaki does not appear.
  • No. 8 makes his debut in the movie by pummeling Goku. Whereas in the anime he never even thought of it.
  • Members of the Red Ribbon Army have some cosmetic changes: White is a young Italian rather than an older Russian man, Metallic is black and a little smaller, Red has a smooth hairstyle, and Black appears to be Native American and actually has hair (similar to Red's).
  • The Red Ribbon Army Headquarters is by the seaside rather than in the middle of the forest.
  • Goku raids the Red Ribbon Army Headquarters to rescue his friends (Bulma, Yamucha, Puar, Oolong, Roshi, and Kame) in the movie. In the anime, Goku does it to get the Dragon Balls that the Red Ribbon Army Headquarters has.
  • In the movie, Red is shot in the side and falls over to his doom. In the anime, he is shot in the head.
  • The first wish to Shen Long was to bring No. 8 back to life. In the anime, Oolong used the first wish (back during the Emperor Pilaf Saga) for a pair of ladies' underwear (thwarting Pilaf's attempt to use it). The wish made after the Red Ribbon Army Saga in the anime was to bring Bora back to life.
  • Kuririn does not appear in the movie at all. In the anime, he assisted in the fight against Blue.
Dragon Ball
Theatrical films Curse of the Blood RubiesSleeping Princess in Devil's CastleMystical AdventureThe Path to Power
Public Service Videos Gokū no Kōtsū AnzenGokū no Shōbōtai
Live action films Dragon Ball: The Magic BeginsDeuraegon BolDragonball: Evolution
Festival Episode of BardockOssu! Kaette Kita Son Gokū to Nakama-tachi!!
Dragon Ball Z
Theatrical films Dead ZoneThe World's StrongestTree of MightLord SlugCooler's RevengeThe Return of CoolerSuper Android 13!Broly: The Legendary Super SaiyanBojack UnboundBroly: Second ComingBio BrolyFusion RebornWrath of the DragonBattle of Gods
TV Specials Bardock: The Father of GokuThe History of Trunks
Other TV Specials Kyokugen Batoru!! San Daichō Saiya-jin SupesharuZenbu Misemasu Toshi Wasure Dragon Ball Z
OVAs Gaiden: Saiya-jin Zetsumetsu KeikakuPlan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans
Dragon Ball Kai
Live action theater shows Chō Batoru Sutēji
Dragon Ball GT
TV Specials A Hero's Legacy