How to Watch Dragon ball Z Movies in Order (2024)

For fans of the beloved Dragon Ball Z series, navigating the vast array of movies can be a daunting task. To watch the Dragon Ball Z movies in order, one must start with the 1989 movie “Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone” and proceed through to the latest releases. Understanding the sequence not only enhances the viewing experience but also ensures that the storyline and character arcs remain cohesive and engaging.

The Dragon Ball Z movies span over decades, featuring thrilling battles, complex villains, and the evolution of cherished characters. From the early days with iconic movies like “The World’s Strongest” and “The Tree of Might,” to later additions such as “Battle of Gods” and “Resurrection ‘F,'” each film contributes uniquely to the Dragon Ball Z universe. Many of these films have introduced memorable antagonists like Cooler and Broly, expanding the rich lore of the series.

For those looking to dive deeper, knowing which films to watch and in what order is essential. This approach not only preserves the integrity of the overarching narrative but also provides a more immersive experience, allowing fans to appreciate the finer details and continuity with the anime series. By following the correct sequence, viewers can witness the evolution of Goku and his friends in a manner that aligns with the progression of the series.

Dragon Ball Z Movie Fundamentals

The world of Dragon Ball Z movies is intricate, with distinct timelines and peculiarities. Differentiating between canonical and non-canonical films is key for a full appreciation of the series.

Understanding the Timeline

The Dragon Ball Z movies are often outside the timeline of the series. Although entertaining, they may not fit perfectly into the series canon. These films usually involve secondary villains and alternate scenarios distinct from the main storyline.

For example, “Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone” is set before the events of the Dragon Ball Z series. In contrast, “Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest” takes place at a point where the Z Fighters face new enemies without direct ties to the main plot. Recognizing these placements helps fans understand character dynamics and developments.

Dragon Ball Z Movies in Order By Release Date

Movie Releases Movies Release Date
1 Dead Zone October 21, 1983
2 The World’s Strongest March 10, 1990
3 Tree of Might July 7, 1990
4 Lord Slug March 19, 1991
5 Cooler’s Revenge July 20, 1991
6 The Return of Cooler March 7, 1992
7 Super Android 13 July 11, 1992
8 Broly: The Legendary Broly Super Saiyan March 6, 1993
9 Bojack Unbound July 10, 1993
10 Broly: Second Coming March 12, 1994
11 Bio-Broly July 9, 1994
12 Fusion Reborn March 4, 1995
13 Wrath of the Dragon July 15, 1995
14 Battle of Gods August 5, 2014
15 Resurrection “F” August 4, 2015

Dragon Ball Z Movies in Order Chronologically

1. Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone

How to Watch Dragon ball Z Movies in Order (1)

Dead Zone introduces an evil entity named Garlic Jr., who kidnaps young Gohan to gather the Dragon Balls and wish for immortality. Garlic Jr.’s plan includes opening the Dead Zone, a dark void to trap his enemies. This film acts as a prelude to the series, setting the stage for the intense battles and powerful enemies that Goku and his friends will face. Notable for the brief but significant role of Kami, Earth’s guardian, this movie showcases the early struggles and camaraderie of the Z Fighters.

IMDb Rating 6.8/10


2. Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest

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In The World’s Strongest, an evil scientist named Dr. Wheelo wants to transfer his brain to the strongest body in the world. Believing it to be Goku’s, his henchmen kidnap Master Roshi and Bulma to lure Goku into a fight. The movie features epic battles including Goku, Piccolo, and Gohan against Dr. Wheelo’s bio-warriors. The fusion of martial arts and science fiction elements creates a unique storyline, highlighting the relentless determination of Goku to protect Earth from sinister plans.

IMDb Rating 6.6/10


3. Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might

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The Tree of Might centers on Turles, a Saiyan warrior who plants the Tree of Might on Earth. The tree saps energy from the planet to produce fruit that grants immense power. Turles aims to consume the fruit to become stronger. The Z Fighters, led by Goku, face Turles and his minions in a high-stakes battle to save Earth. The narrative emphasizes the themes of environmental destruction and the enduring spirit of the Z Fighters.

IMDb Rating 6.8/10


4. Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug

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Lord Slug reveals the arrival of a powerful Namekian warlord, Lord Slug, who seeks to conquer Earth after using the Dragon Balls to regain his youth. With his formidable strength, Lord Slug proves a challenging foe for Goku and his friends. This movie is notable for introducing the concept of Super Saiyan transformations in the series. It combines science fiction with traditional martial arts, focusing on the relentless pursuit of power and the unwavering resolve of the Z Fighters.

5. Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge

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In Cooler’s Revenge, Cooler, the brother of Frieza, arrives on Earth seeking vengeance against Goku for his brother’s defeat. Cooler and his armored squadron challenge the Z Fighters in a fierce confrontation. This movie explores themes of familial rivalry and revenge, showcasing Goku’s ability to surpass his limits, especially when transforming into a Super Saiyan. The battles are intense and vividly animated, providing a deeper look into the dynamics between Goku and his adversaries.

IMDb Rating 7.0/10


6. Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler

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The Return of Cooler sees Cooler resurrected as Meta-Cooler, thanks to the Big Gete Star. He invades New Namek, enslaving the population to harness the planet’s resources. Goku and Vegeta team up to face the new threat. The movie highlights the partnership of rivals Goku and Vegeta and introduces the concept of technological integration with biological entities. The action sequences are heightened by the unique challenges posed by Meta-Cooler’s near-unlimited regeneration abilities.

IMDb Rating 6.9/10


7. Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!

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Super Android 13! follows the story of three androids created by Dr. Gero’s computer to kill Goku. Android 13, the leader, absorbs parts of his fellow androids to become Super Android 13, posing a significant threat to the Z Fighters. The movie features intense battles and high-stakes combat. The presence of multiple androids adds layers to the narrative, showcasing the technological menace and Goku’s relentless spirit to overcome adversaries focused on his destruction.

IMDb Rating 7.0/10


8. Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan

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In Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan, Goku and friends are lured to a distant planet by Paragus, who seeks to control his son Broly, the Legendary Super Saiyan. Broly’s immense power and unrestraint present a formidable challenge. The film explores themes of jealousy, control, and raw power. The climactic battles underscore the sheer power disparity and the Z Fighters’ desperate struggle to contain Broly’s rampage.

IMDb Rating 7.4/10


9. Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound

Bojack Unbound follows Gohan’s fight against Bojack, an ancient space pirate released from imprisonment when King Kai’s planet is destroyed. Bojack and his crew crash a martial arts tournament, challenging the Z Fighters. The movie showcases Gohan’s growth and his ability to tap into his hidden strength, particularly the use of Super Saiyan 2. The narrative highlights overcoming oppression and the rise of new heroes.

IMDb Rating 7.1/10


10. Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Second Coming

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In Broly – Second Coming, Broly crashes on Earth and comes into conflict with Goten, Trunks, and Videl. The resurrected Saiyan menace wreaks havoc, leading to another epic showdown with the Z Fighters. The movie emphasizes the relentless nature of Broly and Goten’s and Trunks’ youthful bravery. It also highlights the recurring threat posed by powerful antagonists to Earth’s safety.

IMDb Rating 6.5/10


11. Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly

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Bio-Broly depicts the disastrous results when Broly’s DNA is used to create a clone. The bio-engineered warrior goes on a rampage, necessitating Goten, Trunks, and Android 18 to intervene. The movie shifts focus to the younger generation and their capability to handle crises. The concept of bio-engineering and uncontrolled experimentation adds another dimension to the threat landscape the Z Fighters face.

IMDb Rating 5.9/10


12. Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn

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Fusion Reborn introduces Janemba, a demon born from a disruption in Other World. Goku and Vegeta fuse to form Gogeta to defeat him. The unique setting and the concept of fusion add fresh excitement. The film emphasizes teamwork and the potential of combined strength. The creative enemy design and the spectacular visual effects of battle scenes make it a standout.

IMDb Rating 7.6/10


13. Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon

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Wrath of the Dragon features the story of Tapion, a hero summoned to Earth to help defeat the demon Hirudegarn. The movie intertwines mythology with the typical Dragon Ball Z narrative. It focuses on Trunks’ bond with Tapion and his role in the fight against Hirudegarn. The film highlights themes of heroism, sacrifice, and the passing of the torch to the younger generation of Z Fighters.

IMDb Rating 7.4/10


14. Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods

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“Battle of Gods” revived the Dragon Ball Z franchise in 2013. The film introduces Beerus, the God of Destruction, who awakens from a long slumber seeking a worthy opponent. Beerus eventually faces Goku, who reaches the Super Saiyan God form, a new transformation highlighting the movie’s key innovation. Bulma’s birthday party serves as the main setting, providing comic relief amid intense battles. The movie blends action with humor and showcases Saiyan heritage and divine powers. It sets a new bar for animation quality and fight choreography, offering fans a visually impressive experience.

IMDb Rating 7.1/10


15. Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’

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“Resurrection ‘F'” continues the revival trend by bringing back a classic villain, Frieza, in 2015. Frieza returns stronger than ever after training, seeking revenge on Goku and the Z Fighters. The film introduces Golden Frieza, a new transformation that matches Goku’s Super Saiyan Blue form. Key battles take place on Earth, emphasizing the stakes with familiar locations and characters. Vegeta plays a significant role, with both Goku and Vegeta showing newfound cooperation and rivalry. The movie features intense combat, high stakes, and striking animation, solidifying its place as a milestone in the series.

These films not only redefined the Dragon Ball Z universe but also set the stage for new arcs and character developments, maintaining the series’ relevance and popularity.

IMDb Rating 7.2/10


Movie Characters and Transformations

Goku is one of the primary protagonists in the Dragon Ball Z movies. He starts as a Saiyan warrior with various transformations. His notable transformations include Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, and Super Saiyan 3. In later movies, he also achieves Super Saiyan God and Super Saiyan Blue forms.

Vegeta, another key character, is Goku’s rival. He also undergoes significant transformations. Vegeta’s transformations mirror Goku’s to an extent, including Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, and later, Super Saiyan Blue.

Brolly, a powerful Saiyan antagonist, appears in several movies. Brolly is known for his unique transformation, the Legendary Super Saiyan. This form is characterized by his immense size and uncontrollable power.

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Frieza, a recurring villain, has an array of forms. In the movies, he transforms from his base form into higher levels, including Golden Frieza, which debuts in “Resurrection ‘F'”.

Cell and Majin Buu are also key villains. Cell can transform into Perfect Cell after absorbing Androids 17 and 18. Majin Buu has multiple forms, including Fat Buu, Super Buu, and Kid Buu, each more powerful than the last.

Gohan, Goku’s son, showcases his potential through transformations like Super Saiyan 2 during pivotal battles against Cell and Bojack.

In addition to these characters, multiple movies introduce unique villains such as Cooler and Turles, who also undergo their transformations. The transformations add layers to the characters, making battles intense and dynamic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Dragon Ball Z movie should be watched first for newcomers?

For newcomers, it’s recommended to start with Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone. This movie serves as a prequel to the Dragon Ball Z series and provides essential context for the events and characters.

How does the timeline of Dragon Ball Super movies fit with the Dragon Ball Z series?

The Dragon Ball Super movies, such as Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2018) and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (2022), take place after the events of Dragon Ball Z. They further expand the story and introduce new characters and challenges, fitting into the timeline post-Dragon Ball Z.

What are the Dragon Ball Z movies released after 2020?

After 2020, the Dragon Ball franchise continued with releases such as Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (2022). These movies carry on the legacy and introduce new arcs within the Dragon Ball universe.

Can the Dragon Ball Z movies be watched standalone or should they be watched within the series’ continuity?

Most Dragon Ball Z movies can be enjoyed as standalone entities. However, watching them within the series’ continuity provides a better understanding of character development and plot progression.

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How to Watch Dragon ball Z Movies in Order (2024)


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