For the technique used in the video games, please see Dead Zone (technique). For the void itself, please see Dead Zone (void).
Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone
Japanese box art
Directed by Daisuke Nishio
Produced by Hideki Goto
Kōzō Morishita
Hiroe Tsukamoto
Written by Story:
Akira Toriyama
Takao Koyama
Starring Masako Nozawa
Akira Kamiya
Hiromi Tsuru
Mayumi Tanaka
Daisuke Gōri
Mayumi Shō
Kouhei Miyauchi
Toshio Furukawa
Takeshi Aono
Kenji Utsumi
Joji Yanami
Music by Shunsuke Kikuchi
Editing by Pioneer, FUNimation Entertainment, Ocean Group
Distributed by Pioneer, FUNimation Entertainment
Release date(s) July 15, 1989
Running time 41 min.
Language Japanese, English

Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone, known in Japan as Dragon Ball Z: Ora no Gohan o Kaese!! (ドラゴンボールZ オラの悟飯を返せッ!!; lit. "Dragon Ball Z: Return my Gohan!!") and originally titled simply Dragon Ball Z the Movie during its theatrical release, was the first Dragon Ball Z movie. It is also the first to be in the anime to be under the Dragon Ball Z series before the Vegeta Saga. It was released between episodes 11 and 12.

Dead Zone was released in 1989 by Toei Animation under the Japanese title "Return My Gohan!". It was then dubbed in English by the Canadian company Ocean Group for the American company FUNimation Entertainment, the title being changed to "Dead Zone". It was then re-dubbed by FUNimation itself in 2005.


Shenron Granting Garlic Jr's Wish

Shenron granting Garlic Jr.'s Wish

The movie features the villain, Garlic Jr., who is on a vengeful quest to become Guardian of Earth. In order to have his wish fulfilled, his servants kidnap Goku's son Gohan to get the Dragon Ball he is carrying. Garlic Jr. then summons Shenron using the Dragon Balls and wishes for eternal life. Goku must combine forces with his archrival Piccolo Jr. in order to save the world. With Piccolo's, and later Krillin's, help, Goku is able to defeat Garlic Jr.'s evil servants and rescue Gohan.

Goku & Piccolo (Deadzone)

Goku and Piccolo teaming up

Kami, feeling responsible for Garlic Jr., arrives and confronts him. However, he is unable to defeat him, and in a last ditch effort Kami decides to sacrifice himself to kill Garlic Jr. However, Piccolo and Goku arrive in time to take on Garlic Jr., but after a long hard battle, they find themselves defeated and exhausted. Garlic Jr. opens a Dead Zone portal in order to trap everyone within.

Gohan Pissed (Deadzone)

Gohan about to attack Garlic Jr.

With time running out, and with the Earth moments away from being sucked into oblivion, Goku realizes that the massive dormant power that lies within his four year old son is Earth's last hope against Garlic Jr.'s Dead Zone. Gohan's hidden power appears, and he sends Garlic Jr. into the portal, trapping him inside, and saving the planet.




230px-Garlic Jr Transformed

Super Garlic Jr.


Major battlesEdit

  • Piccolo vs. Ginger, Nikki & Sansho
  • Chichi vs. Ginger
  • Goku vs. Ginger, Nikki & Sansho
  • Kami vs. Garlic Jr.
  • Piccolo vs. Sansho
  • Goku vs. Ginger & Nikki
  • Goku & Piccolo vs. Garlic Jr.
  • Goku vs. Piccolo
  • Gohan vs. Garlic Jr.


Dead Zone is the only film that takes place after the end of Dragon Ball and before the beginning of Dragon Ball Z. The events of this movie can be placed into the series timeline between episodes "The End, The Beginning" of the Piccolo Jr. Saga and "The New Threat" of the Vegeta Saga.

There are a few discrepancies, however. For example, Krillin was introduced to Gohan in the movie, yet he did not know who he was in the beginning of Dragon Ball Z. Additionally, in "Unlikely Alliance" ("The World's Strongest Team" in the original dub), Goku comments on his discovery that Piccolo trains with weighted clothes; however, he makes the same comments in Dead Zone.


The movie was originally released on both VHS and Laserdisc in Japan. They were in a 16:9 format, cropped from its original 4:3 format. It was then released later in Japan as part of the well-known Dragon Box sets, remastered from its original film masters and in a 16:9 anamorphic widescreen format. There was much controversy from fans over the decision to crop the movies from it's original 4:3 format. The controversy died down when Toei Animation announced that the films were originally animated for widescreen viewing. The boxed set was released (containing all four Dragon Ball and all thirteen Dragon Ball Z movies) with great critical and audience reception.


Blu-ray release, with The World's Strongest

In the United States, it was released in March 17, 1997, shortly before the release of the second movie, Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest, and the third movie, Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might, by FUNimation Entertainment and Pioneer, in VHS, Laserdisc, and DVD. The three movies were uncut, and contained both the Ocean Group dub and the original Japanese dub. They were also released for the first time in a 4:3 format.[1] The three movies were re-released together by Pioneer on October 9, 2001, in a three-movie boxset, called "Dragon Ball Z - Movie Boxed Set".[2]

After FUNimation acquired the exclusive DVD rights for the first three movies from Pioneer in 2004, they released Dead Zone again in May 31, 2005, containing a brand-new in-house dub and the original Japanese dub.[3] However, it was later re-released in November 14, 2006, along with the The World's Strongest and The Tree of Might movies, in a "First Strike" DVD boxset.[4]

Dragonball Z Movie 5 Pack

Five movie pack

FUNimation re-released this film in May 27, 2008, alongside The World's Strongest, digitally remastered and in a 16:9 format, as a "Double Feature" DVD and Blu-Ray.[5]

The movie has been re-released again by FUNimation on November 1, 2011, in a five movie pack, along with The World's Strongest, The Tree of Might, Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug, and Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge. However, these are the same disks that are in the double features.


Character Name Voice Actor (Japanese / Toei Animation Dub) Voice Actor (English / Ocean Dub) Voice Actor (English / FUNimation Dub)
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 Ward Christopher Sabat
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
Evil Warrior Chris Cason
Narrator Jōji Yanami Doc Harris Kyle Hebert


  • Opening Theme (OP)
    1. "Cha-La Head-Cha-La" (Chara Hetchara) (OP animation 1)
      • Lyrics: Yukinojō Mori, Music: Chiho Kiyooka, Arrangement: Kenji Yamamoto, Vocals: Hironobu Kageyama
  • Insertion Song (IN)
    1. "Tenka-ichi Gohan"; 天下一ゴハン (The World's Greatest Gohan)
      • Lyrics: Sakiko Iwamuro, Music: Takeshi Ike, Arrangement: Kenji Yamamoto, Vocals: Masako Nozawa (Son Gohan)
  • Ending Theme (ED)
    1. "Detekoi Tobikiri Zenkai Pawā!"; でてこいとびきりZENKAIパワー! (Come On Out, Incredible ZENKAI Power!)
      • Lyrics: Toshihisa Arakawa, Music: Takeshi Ike, Arrangement: Kenji Yamamoto, Vocals: MANNA
  • Additional orchestral music composed by Shunsuke Kikuchi


  • This is the only movie where Kami not only appears, but actually fights (not counting Piccolo in Movies 6, 7, 8, 9, and 14).
  • Flashbacks in the Dragon Ball Z episodes "The Heavens Tremble", "Black Fog of Terror" and "Fight with Piccolo" feature animated footage from Dead Zone.
  • This is the only movie to feature the ending theme song from the TV series ("Detekoi Tobikiri Zenkai Pawā!"). All other movies feature original songs as the ending themes.
  • This is one of the only post Dragon Ball entries in the series where Goku uses the Power Pole in combat, along with The World's Strongest.
  • Despite being released under the Ultimate Uncut Special Edition line, the FUNimation version is actually more edited than the original Pioneer Entertainment release.
    • While the movie itself was fully uncut, the Special Edition version used the wrong opening animation. This was corrected in the double feature release.
    • This is the only version ever to be shown in 4:3, in both the United States and Japan. Every other release, including Japanese releases were cropped to 16:9
  • In the Remastered Uncut edition of this movie, the insert song was replaced in the English audio while in earlier FUNimation releases of this movie had kept it in. This also goes for The World's Strongest which also had its insert song replaced in the remastered uncut English dub. Though if using the audio for English with Japanese score, then the songs are there.


External LinksEdit

Dragon Ball films
Dragon Ball adaptations
Theatrical films Curse of the Blood RubiesSleeping Princess in Devil's CastleMystical AdventureThe Path to Power
Public Service Videos Goku's Traffic SafetyGoku's Fire Brigade
Live-action films Dragon Ball: The Magic BeginsDragon Ball: Ssawora Son Goku, Igyeora Son GokuDragonball Evolution
Dragon Ball Z adaptations
Theatrical films Dead ZoneThe World's StrongestThe Tree of MightLord SlugCooler's RevengeThe Return of CoolerSuper Android 13!Broly - The Legendary Super SaiyanBojack UnboundBroly - Second ComingBio-BrolyFusion RebornWrath of the DragonDragon Ball Z (2013 movie)
Television specials Bardock - The Father of GokuThe History of TrunksMovie Overview SpecialLooking Back at it All: The Dragon Ball Z Year-End Show!
OVAs Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Super SaiyansThe World of Dragon Ball ZYo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!Episode of Bardock
Dragon Ball GT adaptations
Television specials A Hero's Legacy

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