Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins (七龍球 神龍的傳説 Qi long qiu Shen long de chuan shuo, "New Dragon Ball: The Legend of Shenlong") is an unofficial 1991 Taiwanese movie about the Dragon Ball franchise, with a few differences.
Okay, make that a lot of differences. The movie actually is something of an adaptation of the Dragon Ball franchise, but using different names for the characters, but otherwise is at least somewhat faithful, even if the story is more based around one of the movies (Curse of the Blood Rubies).
An Ultimate Edition version was released in 2007, with remastered picture and sound, as well as new computer effects.
Compare with Dragon Ball: Fight for Victory, Son Goku!, a more faithful unofficial Korean live-action adaptation, and Dragon Ball Evolution, the 2009 American live-action adaptation which received massive negative reviews.
Tropes demonstrated in this movie:
- Adaptation Name Change: All over the place; Bulma becomes Seeto, Oolong becomes Piggy, Yamcha becomes La Ping/Westwood, and Grandpa Gohan is renamed, of all things, Sparkle. Oh, and despite what the title would have you believe, everyone's after the Dragon Pearls, not Balls.
- Adaptation Species Change: Piggy is a human described as a "pig-fairy", whereas Oolong is a pure pig. Likewise, Westwood's companion is not a cat, but a (non-shapeshifting) bird.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: King Horn is defeated by being fed all seven Dragon Pearls, prompting him to explode as Shenron appears.
- Dub Name Change:
- Sun Wukong and La Ping are renamed Monkeyboy and Westwood in the English dub.
- Averted somewhat in the Latin American Spanish dub, when Goku and Master Roshi retain their names, but anyone else still got their names from the original Chinese version.
- Expy: Most of the characters in the film, heck, Goku even becomes the character of legend he was based upon, Sun Wukong, the Monkey King!
- Let's Get Dangerous!: In the final battle against King Horn and his soldiers, the protagonists shows exactly how much asskicking they can deliver when they want to. But the prize goes to Piggy, who at first comes as a pervert shapeshifter, then develops to a Lovable Coward, to becoming a Shout-Out of Rambo more than capable to slaughter dozens of soldiers The Dragon of the movie with a machine gun and a few grenades.
- Related in the Adaptation: Apparently Monkey Boy and Sparkle are related. Also, Monkey Boy and Piggy are descendants of the Monkey King and Pigsy from the legends.
- Mooks: King Horn's soldiers.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Whereas Grandpa Gohan dies before the events of the story happen, here his counterpart Sparkle is merely captured and rescued at the end.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Whenever King Horn and his soldiers are present, expect the dreams of Michael Bay to be shown onscreen in all their volatile glory.
- Wire Fu: It happens a lot, usually when Monkeyboy is flying around, and it's almost always noticeable.