DBZmovie1 Japan
Japanese poster art
Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone
• General information•
Release Date July 15, 1989
Language(s) Japanese
• Staff•
Directed by Daisuke Nishio
Produced by Kōzō Morishita
Written by Takao Koyama
Music by Shunsuke Kikuchi
Cinematography Motoaki Ikegami
Studio Toei Animation
Distributor Toei Company

Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone, originally released theatrically in Japan simply as Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Z: Return my Gohan!! (ドラゴンボールZ オラの悟飯をかえせッ!! Doragon Bōru Zetto Ora no Gohan o Kaese!!?) for its Japanese VHS and Laserdisc release, is the fourth film in the Dragon Ball franchise and the first one under the Dragon Ball Z moniker. It was originally released in Japan on July 15, 1989 at the "Toei Manga Matsuri" film festival along with the 1989 film version of Himitsu no Akko-chan, the first Akuma-kun movie, and the film version of Kidou Keiji Jiban.

Dead Zone was licensed in North America by Funimation Entertainment and the home video rights were sub-licensed to Pioneer Home Entertainment. Pioneer's dub used the same voice cast as the TV series did at the time, and was dubbed by Ocean Productions. For its television airings, it was retitled Dead Zone Vortex. AB Groupe, a French company that holds the license to the Dragon Ball franchise in most of Europe, licensed and dubbed the movie, which they re-titled In Pursuit of Garlic. This dub featured an entirely unknown voice cast and dialogue that did not fit the mouth flaps. "In Pursuit of Garlic" aired on TV in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, and was sold on DVD in the Netherlands by Bridge Entertainment Group. In North America, Pioneer's dub was released on VHS and DVD on December 9, 1997. Once their sub-license expired, Funimation re-released the film on DVD on November 14, 2006, with a completely new dub done by Funimation's voice cast; as part of a movie box set titled "First Strike", also containing The World's Strongest and The Tree of Might. It was later remastered and released in a Double Feature set with The World's Strongest on Blu-ray and DVD on May 27, 2008. The film was released to DVD again on November 1, 2011 in a remastered box set containing the first five Dragon Ball Z movies.[1]

Despite some timeline issues, Dead Zone acts as a prelude to the series, and is the only movie to get a complete follow up during Dragon Ball Z, with the Garlic Jr. saga. After the credits on the Pioneer DVD release, the original episodes 1 and 9 are shown in Japanese with English subtitles, as they were two episodes yet to be dubbed in full at the time.


The film opens with Piccolo being attacked and supposedly killed by a group of shadowed fighters. He couldn't have been killed, because Kami still was alive and fought Garlic. Chi-Chi along with her father, Ox King, and Gohan are attacked by an unknown group of warriors. Goku is out fishing during the attack and after sensing danger, he returns only to find his son has been kidnapped. The group responsible for the attack are Garlic Jr.'s henchmen, and it is later revealed that they were not so much holding Gohan ransom for any reason, but because they were after the four-star Dragon Ball that was attached to his hat. After retrieving the remaining Dragon Balls, Garlic Jr. summons Shenron and he immediately wishes for immortality. Shenron, never having to grant this type of demand before, grants Garlic Jr. his wish. A furious Goku arrives to try to take back his son, but soon discovers Garlic Jr.'s new power. Kami makes an appearance (which surprises Garlic Jr., who thought that his henchmen had killed Piccolo) and meets up with Goku, and describes a brief history of Garlic Jr. and his father Garlic. Goku then proceeds to try to find Gohan when he is attacked by the villain's gang, whilst Kami faces Garlic Jr.

After brief fighting, Krillin and Piccolo arrive to help. Piccolo gets revenge for being attacked earlier by defeating Garlic Jr.'s henchman Sansho, while Goku manages to defeat the other two henchmen Ginger and Nicky. Meanwhile, Kami is getting brutally outmatched by Garlic Jr., until Goku and Piccolo rescue him. And with Garlic Jr.'s newly obtained immortality and a new muscular second form, it seems not even Earth's warriors can take him down. But when Goku & Piccolo work together, two-against-one prevails, and Garlic Jr. is outclassed. Angry at his defeat, Garlic Jr. unleashes his ultimate attack, and bursting with anger, he opens up a portal known as the "Dead Zone". Intending to suck his enemies into the void, Garlic Jr. becomes frustrated with Goku's ability to avoid the Dead Zone, and he decides to handle Goku himself, and later force him into the Dead Zone. Things looking extremely difficult for Earth's hero, Goku's son, Gohan, becomes enraged witnessing his father and friends in danger and releases his latent energy, blasting Garlic Jr. into his own vortex to be trapped for an eternity. Remarkably, in the end of it all, Gohan doesn't remember a thing of what happened, instead believing that his father defeated Garlic Jr., and with amazement, Goku figures his son is no ordinary boy, but one with a great hidden potential. At the end of the film, Piccolo is seen from above, looking down on Goku and his friends and vows that one day, he will defeat Goku.


Character Name Voice Actor (Japanese) Voice Actor (English 1997 / Pioneer) Voice Actor (English 2006 / FUNimation)
Goku Masako Nozawa Peter Kelamis Sean Schemmel
Gohan Masako Nozawa Saffron Henderson Stephanie Nadolny
Piccolo Toshio Furukawa Scott McNeil Christopher Sabat
Bulma Hiromi Tsuru Lalainia Lindbjerg Tiffany Vollmer
Krillin Mayumi Tanaka Terry Klassen Sonny Strait
Ox King Daisuke Gōri Dave "Squatch" Ward Kyle Hebert
Chi-Chi Mayumi Shō Lisa Ann Beley Cynthia Cranz
Master Roshi Kōhei Miyauchi Don Brown Mike McFarland
Kami Takeshi Aono Dale Wilson Christopher Sabat
Shenron Kenji Utsumi Don Brown Christopher Sabat
Garlic Jr. Akira Kamiya Don Brown Chuck Huber
Ginger Kōji Totani Terry Klassen Troy Baker
Sansho Yukitoshi Hori Ward Perry Eric Dillow
Nicky Shigeru Chiba Don Brown Doug Burks
Narrator Jōji Yanami Doc Harris Kyle Hebert


  • OP (Opening Theme)
    1. "CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA" (Chara Hetchara) (OP animation 1)
      • Lyrics: Yukinojō Mori, Music: Chiho Kiyoka, Arrangement: Kenji Yamamoto, Vocals: Hironobu Kageyama
  • IN (Insertion Song)
    1. 天下一ゴハン (Tenkaichi Gohan World's Greatest Gohan?)
  • ED (Ending Theme)
    1. でてこいとびきりZENKAIパワー! (Detekoi Tobikiri ZENKAI Pawā! Come Out, Incredible ZENKAI Power!?)
      • Lyrics: Toshihisa Arakawa, Music: Takeshi Ike, Arrangement: Kenji Yamamoto, Vocals: Manna
      • Additional orchestral music composed by Shunsuke Kikuchi

The score for the English-language version was composed by Mark Menza, however the remastered release contains an alternate audio track containing the English dialogue and Japanese background music.


External linksEdit

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone.

The list of authors can be seen in the page history.