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Since the debut of the anime adaptation of Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball manga in 1986, Toei Animation has produced eighteen theatrical films based on the franchise: four based on the original Dragon Ball anime and fourteen based on the sequel series Dragon Ball Z. The films are self-contained stories that do not follow the series' continuity, with the exception of the eighteenth, Battle of Gods, which is set between chapters 517 and 518 of the manga with Toriyama deeply involved in its creation.
There are also three television specials that were broadcast on Fuji TV and two short films, which were shown at the 2008 Jump Super Anime Tour and Jump Festa 2012 respectively. Additionally, there is a two-part original video animation created as strategy guides for the 1993 video game Dragon Ball Z Side Story: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans, which was remade in 2010 and included with the Raging Blast 2 video game. A two-part hour-long crossover TV special between Dragon Ball Z, One Piece and Toriko aired on Fuji TV in 2013, referred to as Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z Super Collaboration Special!!
As with the franchise's TV anime series, the first seventeen films and the first three TV specials were all licensed in North America by Funimation. Only Dragon Ball Z movies six and twelve received select theatrical presentations in the United States, as part of a double-feature on March 17, 2006. In Europe, AB Groupe licensed the second and third Dragon Ball movies, the first nine "Z" movies and the first two TV specials.
|Japanese title/English translation||English title||Japanese release||American release|
|Shenlong no Densetsu (神龍の伝説?) The Legend of Shenlong[a]||Curse of the Blood Rubies||December 20, 1986||September 24, 1996|
|Majinjō no Nemuri Hime (魔神城のねむり姫?) Sleeping Princess in the Devil's Castle||Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle[b]||July 18, 1987||January 18, 2000|
|Makafushigi Daibōken (魔訶不思議大冒険?) Great Mystical Adventure||Mystical Adventure||July 9, 1988||February 27, 2001|
|Ora no Gohan o Kaese!! (オラの悟飯をかえせッ!!?) Return My Gohan!![c]||Dead Zone[d]||July 15, 1989||December 17, 1997|
|Kono Yo de Ichiban Tsuyoi Yatsu (この世で一番強いヤツ?) The World's Strongest||The World's Strongest[e]||March 10, 1990||May 27, 1998|
|Chikyū Marugoto Chōkessen (地球まるごと超決戦?) The Decisive Battle for the Entire Earth||The Tree of Might[f]||July 7, 1990||March 17, 1998|
|Sūpā Saiya-jin da Son Gokū (超サイヤ人だ孫悟空?) Super Saiyan Son Goku||Lord Slug[g]||March 19, 1991||August 7, 2001|
|Tobikkiri no Saikyō tai Saikyō (とびっきりの最強対最強?) The Incredible Strongest vs. Strongest||Cooler's Revenge[h]||July 21, 1991||January 22, 2002|
|Gekitotsu!! Hyaku-Oku Pawā no Senshi-tachi (激突!!100億パワーの戦士たち?) Clash!! The Power of 10 Billion Warriors||The Return of Cooler[i]||March 7, 1992||August 13, 2002|
|Kyokugen Batoru!! San Dai Sūpā Saiyajin (極限バトル!!三大超サイヤ人?) Extreme Battle! The Three Great Super Saiyans||Super Android 13![j]||July 11, 1992||February 4, 2003|
|Moetsukiro!! Nessen Ressen Chō-Gekisen (燃えつきろ!!熱戦・烈戦・超激戦?) Burn Up!! A Close Fight - A Violent Fight - A Super Fierce Fight||Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan[k]||March 6, 1993||August 26, 2003|
|Ginga Giri-Giri!! Butchigiri no Sugoi Yatsu (銀河ギリギリ!!ぶっちぎりの凄い奴?) The Galaxy's at the Brink!! The Super Incredible Guy||Bojack Unbound[l]||July 10, 1993||August 17, 2004|
|Kiken na Futari! Sūpā Senshi wa Nemurenai (危険なふたり!超戦士はねむれない?) The Dangerous Duo! Super Warriors Never Rest||Broly – Second Coming||March 12, 1994||April 5, 2005|
|Sūpā Senshi Gekiha!! Katsu no wa Ore da (超戦士撃破!!勝つのはオレだ?) Super Warrior Defeat!! I'll Be The Winner||Bio-Broly||July 9, 1994||September 13, 2005|
|Fukkatsu no Fusion!! Goku to Vegeta (復活のフュージョン!!悟空とベジータ?) The Rebirth of Fusion!! Goku and Vegeta||Fusion Reborn||March 4, 1995||March 28, 2006|
|Ryū-Ken Bakuhatsu!! Gokū ga Yaraneba Dare ga Yaru (龍拳爆発!!悟空がやらねば誰がやる?) Dragon Fist Explosion!! If Goku Can't Do It, Who Will?||Wrath of the Dragon||July 15, 1995||September 12, 2006|
|Saikyō e no Michi (最強への道?) The Path to Ultimate Power||The Path to Power||March 4, 1996||April 29, 2003|
|Kami to Kami (神と神?) God and God||Battle of Gods||March 30, 2013||－|
The Dragon Ball franchise has spawned three one-hour long television specials that aired on Fuji TV, the first two based on the "Z" portion of the series and the third based on the "GT" portion. Of these specials, all are original stories created by the anime staff with the exception of the second special, which is based on a special chapter of the manga.
Though the specials aired on TV in Japan, Funimation's North American releases of the episodes are on home video, each one labeled "Feature" the same as their theatrical films. This, doubled with the inclusion of the "Z" specials in Funimation's remastered "Movie Double Features" has caused fans to continue to erroneously believe these to be theatrical films, when they are not.
On April 7, 2013, a two-part hour-long crossover TV special, between Dragon Ball Z, One Piece and Toriko, referred to as Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z Super Collaboration Special!! aired on Fuji TV at 9:00 am. The first part is named "Run, Strongest Team! Toriko, Luffy, Goku!" (走れ最強軍団！トリコとルフィと悟空！ Hashire Saikyō Gundan! Toriko to Luffy to Goku!?) and the second is titled "History's Strongest Collaboration vs. Glutton of the Sea" (史上最強コラボVS海の大食漢 Shijō Saikyō Collaboration vs. Umi no Taishokukan?). The plot has the International Gourmet Organization (from Toriko) sponsoring the Tenka'ichi Shokuōkai, a race with no rules that characters from all three series compete in.
|Japanese title/English Translation||English title||Japanese air date||American release|
|Tatta Hitori no Saishū Kessen ~Furīza ni Idonda Zetto-senshi Son Gokū no Chichi~ (たったひとりの最終決戦〜フリーザに挑んだZ戦士 孫悟空の父〜?) A Lonesome, Final Battle - The Father of Z Warrior Son Goku, who Challenged Freeza||Bardock – The Father of Goku[m]||October 17, 1990||January 10, 2001|
|Zetsubō e no Hankō!! Nokosareta Chō-Senshi•Gohan to Torankusu ( 絶望への反抗!!残された超戦士・悟飯とトランクス?) Defiance in the Face of Despair!! The Remaining Super-Warriors: Gohan and Trunks||The History of Trunks[n]||February 23, 1993||October 25, 2000|
|Gokū Gaiden! Yūki no Akashi wa Sūshinchū ( 悟空外伝! 勇気の証しは四星球?) Goku Sidestory! The Proof of his Courage is the Four-Star Ball||A Hero's Legacy||March 26, 1997||November 16, 2004|
|Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z Chō Collaboration Special!! (ドリーム9 トリコ&ワンピース&ドラゴンボールZ 超コラボスペシャル!!?) Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z Super Collaboration Special!!||Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z Super Collaboration Special!!||April 7, 2013||－|
Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! is a 35-minute short film that was shown at the 2008 Jump Super Anime Tour, which visited ten Japanese cities to celebrate Weekly Shōnen Jump's 40th anniversary. It was later released as a triple feature DVD with One Piece: Romance Dawn Story and Tegami Bachi: Light and Blue Night Fantasy in 2009, that was available only though a mail-in offer exclusive to Japanese residents. In 2013, it was included in the limited edition home video release of Battle of Gods.
Another short film, titled Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock, was shown at the Jump Festa 2012 event on December 17, 2011. It is based on the three part spin-off manga by Naho Ōishi that ran in V Jump from August to October 2011 and is a spin-off sequel to the Bardock – The Father of Goku TV special. It was later released on DVD in the February 3, 2012 issue of Saikyō Jump together with Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans.
In 1993, Toei Animation, in cooperation with Weekly Shōnen Jump and V Jump, produced a two-part original video animation (OVA) that serves as a video strategy guide to the Family Computer game titled Dragon Ball Z Side Story: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans. The first volume was released on VHS on July 23, while the second was released on August 25. The animation was also used in the 1994 two part video games, True Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans, released for the Playdia. The complete OVA was included in the second Dragon Ball Z Dragon Box DVD set released in Japan in 2003.
The OVA was remade for the 2010 PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 under the title Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans. It was included in Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 as a bonus feature, unlocked at the start of gameplay without any necessary cheat code or in-game achievement, presented in its original Japanese-language audio with subtitles appropriate for each region. It was later released on DVD in the February 3, 2012 issue of Saikyō Jump together with Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock.
Two educational shorts based on the original Dragon Ball anime were produced in 1988. The first was a traffic safety special titled Goku's Traffic Safety (悟空の交通安全 Gokū no Kōtsū Ansen?), while the second was a fire safety special titled Goku's Fire Brigade (悟空の消防隊 Gokū no Shōbōtai?). The two educational films were included in the Dragon Box DVD set released in Japan in 2004.