The first theatrical DragonBall film – finally uncut!
“Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies” (Japanese title “Doragon Boru Shenron no Densetsu” or “Dragon Ball: The Legend of Shenlong”) was the first theatrical release in the popular “Dragon Ball” series by Toriyama Akira.
The film essentially repackages the first story arc in the “Dragon Ball” series, substituting out Emperor Pilaf for the much larger King Gurumes (King Gourmet). In “Curse of the Blood Rubies,” King Gurumes is a gross monster who has devastated his kingdom in order to appease his colossal appetite. Once human, his desire for the Blood Rubies caused him to dig up the farms and houses of his people, and cursed him to be continually hungry but never satisfied. He learns of a legend that might give some relief, when he hears of the legend of the dragon Shen Long who will grant a wish to anyone who can gather all of the Dragon Balls. King Gurumes sends out his minions Pasta and Major Bongo to get the DragonBalls, which brings him into conflict with Dragon Ball holders Goku and Bulma, and their companions Yamcha, Oolong, Puer and Master Roshi.
If you are a Dragon Ball super-fan, then “Curse of the Blood Rubies” might be a little too familiar. The purpose of the theatrical release film was to give kids a chance to catch up to the Dragon Ball story that they might have missed on TV. If you are new to Dragon Ball and want to check out what all the fuss is about, then this is perfect. All of the main characters are introduced here for the first time in a self-contained story that gives a feel for the series.
Like all of the “Dragon Ball” series, “Curse of the Blood Rubies” took quite a butchering at the hands of editors trying to make it “kid-friendly” for American audiences (even thought it was originally produced for young Japanese children). On top of that, rights issues between Lions Gate and Funimation meant that an uncut bilingual release of the film was prohibited for many years. Now, Funimation has finally aquired the full rights to the film and the full movie can be released for the first time in the US.
Aside from the full release, Funimation has gone back and re-dubbed “Curse of the Blood Rubies” with their Dragon Ball cast including Colleen Clinkenbeard as Goku. This is good news to fans who like the dubbed version.
“Curse of the Blood Rubies” will also be available as part of the Dragon Ball: 4 Movie Pack that contains all of the DragonBall theatrical releases.