might as well keep trucking on, after this there are 11 more to go!
With the release of the sinister Dr. Willow from the icy depths of the mountains a new threat has emerged to threaten the peace of Earth. Can Goku and company beat this foe????
Dragon Ball Z is first and foremost an action cartoon, and an action cartoon has to have good action scenes in order to be compelling. Once again The World’s Strongest delivers the same great choreography and animation set up by the previous movie The Dead Zone. Goku’s fights between the Bio Warriors, Piccolo, and the Kaiju final form of Dr. Willow have a great deal of variety and the movie contains almost no reused animations (with some exceptions here and there). Goku’ beam war against Dr. Willow is also one of the best in the series, as it’s short, extremely intense, and has a great amount of scale and impact. The result is the movie can get by on its fights alone if it lacked a decent plot.
Thankfully it’s plot has also received and upgrade, with less contrivances and more interesting villains/situations supplying the reason for Goku to leave home and fight. The movie is also almost 20 minutes longer than The Dead Zone and uses the extra time for exposition, but also for a bit of a sub plot concerning Gohan’s hero worship of Piccolo. It adds just a bit more subtext, and a little more emotional punch to the proceedings that is certainly welcome (as well as another bizarre yet charming day dream sequence).
Despite the plot getting a better treatment here it by no means makes this stand alongside Tolotsy or Shakespeare. The inciting incident here in The World’s Strongest is almost the exact same as it is in The Dead Zone; in that it involves some megalomaniac using the Dragon Balls for nefarious means and kidnapping Goku’s friends forcing him to act. Although to the movie’s credit this plot’s details are far better utilised than in The Dead Zone.
This will also be the only time i whole heartedly recommend the Ocean Dub over Funimation’s work for Dragon Ball Z. The denser sound mixes, and better voice acting (from Piccolo and Dr. Kochin notably) make the fights far more frenetic and exciting than Funimation’s spartan sound design and restrained voice work respectively.
Overall Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest is better in every way when compared to what came before. There are more fights as well as more variety in them, and the story isn’t as haphazardly constructed as it was in The Dead Zone. So when all is said and done, The World’s Strongest is actually a pretty good movie, and certainly worth a look for fans or the curious.
OUT OF FIVE