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Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins (originally released in America as “Dragon’s Pearl”) is an unofficial live-action movie remake of the first Dragon Ball animated film, “The Legend of Shenlong” (known as Curse of the Blood Rubies here), made in 1991. The plot revolves around a group of heroes loosely based on characters from the anime, led by Son Goku (“Monkey Boy” in the English dubbed version) attempting to stop the antagonist King Horn (who wasn’t in the anime but is based off the character Pilaf) from using the wish-granting Dragon Balls to rule the world. It was produced by Taiwan and shot in Nantou forests, with some scenes shot in Thailand.

Plot
In order to conquer mankind and rule the universe, King Horn (based on the anime villain Pilaf) sets out to find all seven of the Dragon Pearls (known as Dragon Balls in the original anime). With two of the seven already in the evil king’s possession, it’s now up to the remaining five owners of the pearls—Son Goku, Piggy (Oolaf in the anime), La Ping (Yamcha in the anime), Turtle Man (Master Roshi in the anime) and Seetoe (Bulma in the anime)—to destroy King Horn and his two powerful warriors, Zebrata and Maria, before it’s too late.

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Release dates: 1991 (Original Edition), 2007 (Ultimate Edition)
Running time: 85 min (Original Edition), 100 min (Ultimate Edition)

Home Video Release(s)
In 2007, an “Ultimate Edition” re-release of the DVD was released in North America. Its biggest new feature was improved special effects (which were still horrendously cheap and cheesy) which it touted on the box.

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Buy the “Ultimate Edition” DVD on Amazon.com!