Quick Look: Dragon Ball Z – Movie Collection 1 (Dead Zone & World’s Strongest)

It has been a long wait but the original Dragon Ball Z movies are finally starting to make their way to the UK; and it all starts with Dragon Ball Z – Movie Collection 1. This collection, which was previously released in America more than nine years ago under the name Dragon Ball Z Double Feature, features the first two Dragon Ball Z movies, namely Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone The Movie and Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest, in both English & Japanese with remastered picture and audio quality.

With this being said what can one expect from this UK release of the collection? Well to be blunt it is ‘exactly’ the same as the set that was released in America all those years ago; except the only difference here being we receive both Blu-ray and DVD discs in a single set with some slightly better artwork.

This first movie collection, entitled Dragon Ball Z – Movie Collection 1, contains Dead Zone The Movie (Movie 1) & The World’s Strongest (Movie 2) on a single disc with each film telling a slightly different story but with a common agenda; resurrection and Dragon Balls.

In Dead Zone The Movie the evil Garlic Jnr kidnaps young Gohan in order to use the Dragon Balls for Immortality; to which upon discovering this fact Goku, Piccolo & Krillin team up to rescue Garlic Jnr and attempt to stop his plans for immortality. This film also acts as a prequel to the events of the Garlic Jnr Saga in the Dragon Ball Z timeline; a story which is not present in Dragon Ball Z Kai due to being filler content created solely for the anime.

In The World’s Strongest however Dr Kochin uses the Dragon Balls in order to rescue the mad scientist known as Dr Wheelo from a forzen prison so that the two doctors can team up to create the ultimate warrior. Disappointed by the results of these experiments Dr Wheelo sends genetically created minions to kidnap Master Roshi, the seemingly strongest warrior in the world, as well as Bulma for her scientific genius. Upon learning of this kidnapping, as well as Piccolo’s disappearance within the world, Goku, Gohan and Krillin begin a rescue attempt in order to foil Dr Wheelo’s insidious plans.

The similarities between these two stories is uncanny; but they are refreshingly different from the normal ‘save the world before the planet is destroyed’ story line that we have come to expect from the Dragon Ball franchise. Furthermore as these films most likely take place before the events of the Saiyan Saga we get to see only a small number of characters on screen; each of which play a vital role with Krillin often being refereed to as a punching bag. It’s the fun side of Dragon Ball Z with some serious old-school-combat.

When it comes to this UK Blu-Ray release of Dragon Ball Z – Movie Collection 1 however then just like how Anime Limited released Full Metal Panic on Blu-Ray using the same disc masters as America, Manga Entertainment UK have opted to do the same with this, and most likely future, Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection releases. As a result of this we receive a rather outdated disc with a rather ‘difficult’ menu design and trailers from extremely old releases. Fortunately, and as with Anime Limited’s release of Full Metal Panic, the High Definition transfer of the content is the only High Definition transfer available so we do ‘continually’ receive the best possible product when it comes to Dragon Ball Z in High Definition.

Quality aside for the moment the menu presentation of this disc is horrid and it is all due to the screen text (such as Play, Scenes, Setup & Trailers) being small and extremely difficult to read. The reason for this is (I assume) because early FUNimation authored titles were created using menu designs tailored to DVD standards which, on a 480p screen at least, would look big. As a result of this incorrect menu creation many FUNimation authored titles featured small menu designs with even smaller text and this Blu-ray release of Dragon Ball Z – Movie Collection 1 is no different. Of course complaints about the disc menu aside it is a ‘very clever’ menu and understandable menu when it is readable.

Firstly from the main menu each film is separated into their own menu with each film having their own sub-menu with Scene selection and audio setups options; with the Dead Zone Movie even featuring an audio commentary option. This menu works extremely well as you don’t even have to back out to the main menu (top menu) to access the other film and it can all be done through the Pop-Up Menus. Speaking of audio options the first film features English Dub cast commentary for the film while both films feature three different audio options to choose from; English 5.1 with Japanese audio, English 5.1 with US audio and Japanese Audio with English Subtitles.

This means Dragon Ball Z fans can watch each film three times and receive a different perspective each time; for instance the Original Japanese audio provides that authentic experience but English 5.1 with Japanese Audio retains the original BGM score with the English Voices we know and love. The English 5.1 with US Soundtrack meanwhile retains the English voices we know and love but remixes it with a more ‘westernised’ soundtrack which, at times, offers a slightly different experience to what was originally intended. Speaking of the English voices these films are dubbed using the same voice cast as Dragon Ball Z so while Christopher Sabat (Piccolo) and Sean Schemmel (Goku) are here some voices may differ to those found within Dragon Ball Z Kai.

The final selection of content on this UK Blu-Ray release is a selection of trailers and, as previously mentioned, they are for older FUNimation releases in america with titles such as Fullmetal Alchemist, Glass Fleet and Dragon Ball Z being promoted. The only useful trailer is for the next Dragon Ball Z Double Feature, known as Dragon Ball Z – Movie Collection 2 within the UK, as it shows High Definition footage of the next two films; namely Tree of Might & Lord Slug.

Overall it is surprising that Manga Entertainment UK have simply ‘reauthored’ the US Double Feature release for the UK release (the disc name is even BD_REAUTHOR) but we do receive the best version of the films, such as three audio options, commentary and High Definition picture quality, on a single disc. In short this release is Two entertaining films from a popular franchise on one disc and while the disc content may be outdated it still brings an ageing franchise to the next generation in the best possible quality that’s currently available.

Dragon Ball Z – Movie Collection 1 (Dead Zone The More & The World’s Strongest) will be available as a Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack from the 6th November 2017 within the UK.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has produced content for ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.

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