Dragon Ball Updates Wiki
Dragon Ball: The Path to Power
Db movie 02.jpg
FUNimation's DVD cover of The Path To Power
Written by Aya Matsui (screenplay)
Akira Toriyama (story)
Release date(s) March 4, 1996 in Japan
April 29, 2003 in U.S.
Running time 80 minutes
Language Japanese / English

Dragon Ball: The Path to Power (ドラゴンボール 最強への道, Doragon Bōru Saikyō e no Michi; lit. "Dragon Ball: The Path to Ultimate Strength") is the seventeenth Japanese animated feature film based on the Dragon Ball manga, following the first three Dragon Ball films and thirteen Dragon Ball Z films. It is a re-telling of the original Dragon Ball anime series and is also the longest film in the franchise. It was produced by Toei Animation to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Dragon Ball franchise. It was originally released to theaters in Japan on March 4, 1996, between episodes 4 and 5. It was later dubbed into English by FUNimation Entertainment and released straight-to-video in the U.S. on April 29, 2003.


Goku and Bulma meet for the first time

Goku is a monkey-tailed boy living all alone on Mount Paozu. One day, after he catches a Giant Fish to eat, a girl in a car (being Bulma) almost hits him. He mistakes the car for a monster and throws it onto its side, but gets shot by Bulma in return. He thinks she is some kind of demon, but she ends up convincing him she's human, even though she does not have a tail. He invites her into his house since his dead grandpa always told him to be nice to girls. When they go in the house, Goku shows Bulma an orange glowing ball that he thinks is his grandpa. All of a sudden Bulma comes to life and asks if she can have the ball. When Goku protests, she brings out two more "grandpas", and explains to him the legend of the Dragon Balls and the Eternal Dragon. She offers to let him feel her up to get him to come along, but when that does not work, she tells him it will help him get stronger. He agrees, and they head off.

Later, in the forest, they are forced to stop because of a bull/ox in the road, who demands the girl. Goku ends up fighting the creature, which turns into a robot, and then a bat. Unfortunately, by then, his five minutes are up, and he turns back into Oolong, the pig. There is no time for apologies though, because Yamcha attacks. He demands all the capsules and money they have, but not before Puar recognizes Oolong and yells at him for his perverted antics at Shapeshifting School. Yamcha fights Goku, and appears to have the upper hand, until Bulma wakes up. This puts him into a state of shock and he is forced to retreat with the help of Puar.

The Muscle Tower

Bulma, Oolong, and Goku are driving northward towards the next Dragon Ball, only to discover a huge metal tower in the distance. (Yamcha and Puar, who have been following them, stay in a cave nearby to keep warm.) Soldiers come out and "welcome" them to Muscle Tower, and Goku takes them all head on. He manages to enter the tower, only to face Sergeant Metallic. He finishes him off quickly though, and discovers (to his shock) that Metallic was a robot. General White of the Red Ribbon Army orders the remaining forces toward Goku, but he plows through them all, up into White's room. White then activates the tower's deadliest creation, Android 8. The android nearly strangles Goku, but refuses to kill him when ordered. As a result, White threatens to detonate the android, but Goku intervenes and saves him. The two make quick friends, with Android 8 explaining that he does not believe in fighting or killing. Goku complains that his name is weird, so he nicknames him "Eighter" for short. This ends in a snowball fight between the two while the tied-up forces (including White) look on.

General Blue on one of the submarines's masts

Some time later, while driving in Oolong's house-wagon, they almost run over (and then almost fall off a cliff because of) Turtle. He explains that he is quite lost, and needs help getting back to the sea. After they bring him there, he says he has a reward which he will bring back with him the next day. So, Oolong, Goku, and Bulma spend the night on the beach. Goku wakes up early in the morning and tries to sleep in Bulma's lap, but freaks out when he removes her panties and discovers her lack of male genitalia. That morning, Turtle comes back bearing his "reward", the Turtle Hermit Master Roshi. Roshi first tries to summon the Immortal Phoenix for them, but when that fails (it apparently died from food poisoning, ironically), he calls forth the Nimbus Cloud. Goku is the only one of the bunch who can ride it, so it becomes his. Meanwhile, Yamcha and Puar watch the gang with interest.

Yamcha stops his attack when he sees Bulma

While Goku's off on the Nimbus, Bulma discovers that the old man has a Dragon Ball. He offers to let go of it only if she shows him her underwear. She agrees, not knowing she does not have any on, and both Roshi and Oolong are pleasantly surprised. She is horrified after she goes in to change and finds her underwear still inside. There is no time for an explanation though, because General Blue of the Red Ribbon Army attacks with a fleet of battleships. When the situation seems just about hopeless, Roshi decides to use his legendary Kamehameha. He decimates the entire fleet with it, but Blue then orders his army of submarines to attack. Goku however, manages to learn the Kamehameha himself and destroys a good deal of the subs with it. But just as their situation is looking up, Goku is knocked out by a missile, and Bulma, Oolong, and Roshi are all captured by a battered Blue and his soldiers. Yamcha attempts a rescue, but gets caught along with Puar due to his phobia of girls. The five are carted off to prison near the Red Ribbon Army Headquarters. The next morning, Goku awakens to the beeping of the Dragon Radar. Finding himself alone, he sets out in search of the other six Dragon Balls (Blue, having missed the one on Goku's person, is executed for his failure). Goku fights through legions upon legions of Red Ribbon soldiers, while in the meantime, the others try to make their escape from the prison.

Yamcha, Bulma, Master Roshi

Eventually, they make it out, to discover Goku (carrying a pile of tanks) there to greet them. As Goku fights his way into Red Ribbon Headquarters, Commander Red and Staff Officer Black retreat with their six Dragon Balls to their last refuge. But when Black hears about Red's true wish to become taller, Black shoots him and swears to make the Black Ribbon Army ruler of the world. He brings out the Army's greatest weapon, a giant robotic suit called "Battle Jacket". The robot's Laser Blast destroys a huge swath of territory in its path, and nearly kills Goku, until he manages to knock it on its stomach and detonate the cannon. Black in his Battle Jacket is not out yet though, and Goku is eventually knocked out.

Android 8 destroyed by Staff officer Black

Luckily, Android 8 shows up. He puts everything he has into keeping the robot from killing the boy, but it is pretty clear that he is no match. Parts start to fly off of him, and he lands in a crumpled heap, next to Goku. Goku comes to, only to see the android die.

Staff Officer Black in his Battle Jacket

Saddened and enraged by Android 8's sacrifice, a new world of power suddenly awakens within Goku, as the ground shakes with his tortured screams. Black makes the mistake of egging him on, and Goku finishes him off with a gigantic Kamehameha. After the dust settles, the Eternal Dragon Shenron is summoned forth, but Bulma and Yamcha realize they do not need their wishes anymore. Goku then offers his own wish instead: to revive Android 8 and remove the bomb inside of him.




  • Colonel Violet
  • Commander Red
  • General Blue
  • General White
  • Major Metallitron
  • Staff Officer Black


Character Name Voice Actor (Japanese - Toei) Voice Actor (English - FUNimation)
Goku Masako Nozawa Stephanie Nadolny
Bulma Hiromi Tsuru Tiffany Vollmer
Oolong Naoki Tatsuta Brad Jackson
Yamcha Tōru Furuya Christopher Sabat
Puar Naoko Watanabe Monika Antonelli
Master Roshi Kin'ya Aikawa Mike McFarland
Shenron Kenji Utsumi Christopher Sabat
Turtle Daisuke Gōri Christopher Sabat
Commander Red Kenji Utsumi Kyle Hebert
Officer Black Masaharu Satō Christopher Sabat
General Blue Bin Shimada Sonny Strait
General White Hirohiko Kakegawa Kyle Hebert
Sergeant Metallic Hisao Egawa Chris Rager
Android 8 Shōzō Iizuka Mike McFarland
Colonel Violet Kazuko Sugiyama Kasey Buckle
Narrator Jōji Yanami Brice Armstrong


Ending Theme
"Dan Dan Kokoro Hikareteku"
Lyrics: Izumi Sakai
Music: Tetsurō Oda
Arrangement: Takeshi Hayama
Performance: Field of View

Comparison to the anime

  • Goku does not wear his all-blue gi or the traditional orange one. Instead, he wears one identical to the one he wears in Dragon Ball GT (blue top, yellow pants, pink wristbands). However he does wear an all-blue gi during the beginning of the film, only to change into his GT outfit before departing with Bulma.
  • Bulma, like her manga counterpart, has purple hair instead of turquoise. However, her hair is somewhat using Trunks' hair color.
  • Oolong is first encountered by Goku and Bulma in the desert, rather than terrorizing a village with his shape shifting abilities.
  • Emperor Pilaf and his minions are not featured at all.
  • When Goku first uses the Kamehameha in the anime, it was only big enough to destroy Bulma's car. In the movie it was large enough to completely destroy all of the Red Ribbon's ships.
  • General Blue is not killed by Mercenary Tao (as Tao was not in the movie).
  • The Muscle Tower is bigger and more futuristic. Also, Ninja Murasaki does not appear.
  • Android 8 makes his debut in the movie by pummeling Goku. Whereas in the anime he never even thought of it.
  • The Red Ribbon Army has some cosmetic changes: General White is a young Italian rather than an older Russian man, Major Metallitron is black and a little smaller, Commander Red has a smooth hairstyle, and Staff Officer Black appears to be Native American and actually has hair (similar to Commander Red's).
  • The Red Ribbon Army base is by the seaside, rather than in the middle of the forest.
  • Goku raids the army base to rescue his friends (Bulma, Yamcha, Puar, Oolong, Master Roshi, and Turtle) in the movie. In the anime, Goku does it to get the Dragon Balls that the army has.
  • In the movie, Commander Red is shot in the side and falls over to his doom. In the anime, he is shot in the head.
  • The first wish to Shenron was to bring Android 8 back to life. In the anime, Oolong used the first wish for a pair of ladies' underwear (thwarting Pilaf's attempt to use it during the Emperor Pilaf Saga). The wish made after the Red Ribbon Army Saga in the anime was to bring Bora back to life.
  • Goku, Yamcha, and Android 8 have slightly darker skin tones in this movie.


  • The Super Kamehameha GT Goku performs in Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World is similar to the gigantic Kamehameha Goku uses in this movie.
  • When Yamcha falls on top of Bulma, they accidentally kiss. However in the English dub, Yamcha was given speaking lines during the moment.
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)The Origins of Majin Buu
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