Saturday, March 1, 2008

What is Dragonball: The Magic Begins?

I have been asked this question a gazillion times. What the heck is Dragonball: The Magic Begins?! Let us start with what you really want to know - is the new Dragonball movie (the one coming out this year) the first ever live action adaptation of the Dragonball animanga? The answer: officialy yes, unofficially no.

In fact, there may have been more than one unofficial adaptation but the most popular is the 1989 adaptation called Dragonball: The Magic Begins. Like the upcoming movie it is based on the first 16 manga volumes of Dragonball (17 to 41 are Dragonball Z). Actually it is somewhat based on the first Dragonball (anime) movie ever: Curse of the Blood Rubies. Magic Begins came out the same year that the Dragonball Z series started airing in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Next question - is it any good? Let's be honest here - it sucks a lot but I enjoyed watching it. It was fun watching Goku and all other characters being brought to life in this energetic but very lame live action adaptation. (er.. Dragon Pearls?) Ok ok, it is crap but let's just say that this Goku looks more of a martial arts expert than our Justin Chatwin.

If you are going to watch it, then I suggest you get the recently remastered version of Magic Begins with better special effects and stuff. It is called Dragonball: Ultimate Edition and it should look better (read 'less crapy'). Anyways, let's all pray that the 2008 adaptation beats the hell out of Magic Begins.


Ospell said...

At least the Chinese(I guese they're Chinese judging from the text) making that old movie tried to stay true to the manga theme, unlike Hollywood, who is outright ignoring the original script from the start.
Not only that, but the Chinese made this adaptation just for a laugh to be shared among a portion of their own people, while the Americans are trying to hard-sell the foolishness they exacted on the series all over the world so that their Hollywood movie can become the official 'Dragonball'.
I guess the special effects of the American adaptation may turn out more spectacular than the Chinese adaptation, but since the rottedness infesting the root of the Hollywood movie has sparked outrage worldwide, it will not take long before people of other countries follow suit with the Japanese who are setting up boycotts of this

Anonymous said...

How is the new DB film SO incredibly different from the manga's plot-line? It's got Goku, a supernatural 18 year old, going off on a quest (with friends he meets along the way: Bulma, Yamcha, ChiChi, etc.) to find the dragon balls; it has him training under Master Roshi; it has him fighting Piccolo, the villain towards the end of the DB manga; etc. etc. That sounds like a pretty faithful adaptation to me. And let's be honest here: the Chinese movie sucked. It was gimmicky and laughable and simply proved how many things that may work in a manga/anime don't translate well to the big screen. But I can forgive the Chinese version that, since, as you mentioned, it doesn't take itself too seriously; however, the Hollywood adaptation isn't a low-budget, made-for-shits-and-giggles adaptation: it's going to be a more serious, realistic version of Dragonball. And I for one am grateful.

Also: Oooh, those big bad Americans, trying to make a movie that others can enjoy, and also make some money off of their product! GASP. Geez, c'mon. Movies --- y'know, ACTUAL movies --- aren't made just for a few people to sit around, watch it, and have a laugh. They're made for money (it's a business, after all), and part of the business is creating a product that a large, vast audience can enjoy. Don't know about you, but I don't have a problem with that plan, as it gets me some awesome entertainment, again and again.

Btw, Dragonball is indeed quite popular (especially overseas), but . . . a boycott? Of one little movie? I sincerely doubt that would happen for movie based on a manga. And if it did, that would be a sad thing to see, because if people invested half the amount of that fervor into worthier, more relevant causes . . . the world would probably be a much better place. Also, if they don't like the movie, and don't want Fox to be successful, and don't want sequels to be spawned because they hated the movie THAT intensely . . . they could just ignore it and not buy a ticket. Simple as that.

ospell said...

I don't know what standards some take regarding a plot being a 'faithful adaptation' of the original, but an overwhelming majority of those who know Dragonball believe the movie script is nowhere near the original story.

Anyway, countless examples have arisen in the past where huge budgets and exhaustive efforts have came up with movies that sucked, and this movie is no exception. And besides, just as some have said, movies are supposed to be made so that people can enjoy it, and nobody who actually likes Dragonball as it is will enjoy this movie. Which justifies for them to spark actions like boycotts, since it would not be fair if only Hollywood companies like Fox get to make a mess of legends worldwide while those who are true to the original cannot defend what they believe in.

Kame said...

Hey anonymous, good job at putting a spin on how Hollywood is handling the movie to make it sound faithful to the source.

I think you forgot to mention that in the movie, Goku is a high school student unaware of his 'powers' and has a bully called Carey Fuller who fights Goku because he's jealous of Goku trying to get with his girlfriend, Chi-Chi. Chi-Chi is the popular girl at the high school who secretly likes the martial arts.

So why don't you tell us all how faithful that is to the source? Last time I checked Goku never went to school in the first place, neither did Chi-Chi. They both grew up on mountains.

Anonymous said...

After seeing the movie, i can honestly say it was the biggest load of crap going!

It was missing important characters, the ones they remembered to put in looked ridiculously nothing like the people they were portraying, Goku didn't say or act anything like he was supposed to, they messed up the Kamehameha wave...MAJORLY!!!

and master roshi was twittering on about airbending...THIS IS SUPOSED TO BE DRAGONBALL NOT FUCKING AVATAR!!!

It was a total joke...don't waste you money on it even if your not a fan...and if you are a fan then avoid it like the plague cus it takes everything you know about DB rips it in half and sets it on fire