First Dragonball Trailer = Fail

Published 7 years ago by , Updated October 7th, 2008 at 8:20 pm,

goku with dragon ball First Dragonball Trailer = FailFail.

That’s the quintessential word of choice describing what I think about this trailer, and even the movie for that matter. Today we get our first look at what the Dragonball movie is shaping up to be, with the release of the first teaser trailer.

The trailer does nothing right for me. I actually think it looks awful and terribly cheap. With that in mind, I do have to admit that I am not a fan of the anime cartoon shows so I guess I could be biased.

I know it’s just an early teaser trailer and that it may be kind of unfair to judge a movie based on that. However, a trailer does share with us a lot of information such as how its filmed, the style and tone, what the effects look like, how the characters look and act, etc.

Take a look and see what you think before I really tell you how I really feel:


From all of those aspects, I have very little faith in this film and from what I’m reading online, neither do most others (including fans of the tv shows). The scenes shown here really make it look like they’re trying to imitate so many other movies but none of it really works.

So if that’s the case, who is this film appealing to? I would imagine most movie-goers aren’t excited about this, and if actual dragonball fans are worried as well… then I can’t see this doing very well at the box-office.

I will keep an open mind and see what future trailers have to offer. Perhaps its too early to throw down the hammer on this. But from the start, I have had nothing but negative feelings toward the promotional material and this trailer just adds to my feelings about this.

Dragonball is based off a successful manga series that lasted from the mid-eighties to mid-nineties which evolved into several anime television series’ and multiple video games.

The live-action Dragonball film hits theaters April 10, 2009.

So what do you think? Am I being too harsh?


TAGS: Dragonball
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93 Comments - Comments are closed.

  1. While the trailer doesn’t look like it will be in the same field as the cartoon, I didn’t see anything drastic about it. The main actor has been a problem for me when I first heard he was playing Goku. BTW, I am a Dragonball Z fan.

  2. Well from what I saw in the trailer it looks like it will be on par with other such great action flicks as the Street Fighter movie and the D.O.A. flick. With that said I think it MIGHT draw in a cult following but it looks far from spectacular. I think one of the reasons the fanboys of this series are going rough on it is because this isn’t based on the mega popular Dragonball Z but looks like it goes with the precursor to that series Dragonball which means no super sayians, etc. All in all I might rent it at this point but I won’t be doling out money for theater seats considering there will be much more bang for my buck.

  3. Wow… I’m one of dragonball biggest fans and I know that everyone was criticizing this movie but with this trailer any support that I had for this movie are gone… It basically looks like a TV series.

  4. Reminds me of Mortal Kombat. All you’ve got to do now is just wait for the guy in the background to shout, “Mortal Kombat!”.

    I think this may be a perfect example of a studio trying to please the fans and a mass audience at the same time. Despite my low opinion of Iron Man, at least it honored the fans (as far as I’ve heard). I mean, they’ve even lopped of Piccolo’s antennas. Sheesh. I can’t believe the Dragon Ball fans allowed that.

    Unless there’s a *ton* missing, skip this and watch the Drunken Master again.

  5. People need to face it… Dragon Ball is just not the type of story that would ever work on live film… I am a huge anime/manga fan of all genres… and I have seen the asian versions of the live action film. The bottom line is nothing will translate well regardless of the special effects and talent you put in it. I am disappointed as a fan to see Chow Yun Fat actually take on the deal to star in this movie. The thing that made the series so popular in the first place was it’s rediculously exaggerated storyline and scenes. I am annoyed that people try over and over with this series only having it to come out as utter disappointment and ruin it’s name with live-action film with, if at all, absolutely minimal improvements from it’s previous attempt. Until someone can come out with a revolutionary script, and by the way this one just seems like a super-powered version of Fast and Furious, leave the monkey alone!

  6. It looks awful, they don’t know what there doing.
    doubt it could ever be done right maybe a remake of the vegita and namik saga in cgi would be better. at least in the film they cant drag out a conversation for 5 episodes lol.

  7. who knows, it might just be a fun ride.

  8. piccolo looks like crap

  9. you hear that sound? that’s the sound of my inner child’s heart breaking. this looks like the type cheesey kung-fu action flick that oughta go straight to DVD. dragonball is just not meant to be a live action movie.

  10. could be a decent rental down the road, I can’t see myself recommending this for anyone though.

    I think this is one of those properties that simply cannot be adapted to live-action. I mean look at the characters from the cartoon…let alone the action sequences, it makes no sense for real life, lol.

  11. DragonballZ is one of my favorite shows of all time. I love it and own all the animated movies and most of the episodes. With popular movies about transforming robots among others making huge dollars I don’t get how people can say this type of story could never work on screen. People said the same thing about Iron Man. All that’s necessary is a strong vision and good directing skill and actors to make it work.

  12. lets move on.. i want a remake …lol

  13. Question:
    “Fail” How?

    That (for a I am guessing an early, forced Trailer) seemed to be more of a plot line for how the film will play out (Heroes, Quest, etc.) Basically the point of the movie.

    The trailer your looking for (The one that shows way to much, spoils the best bits and basically tells you the ending.)
    will come out just before the movie does.

    btw… Piccolo looks awesome.

  14. This teaser is 5 months old for expos crowd. Piccolo looks creepy as hell.
    For some who writes FAIL at top of article, this staement does not mean
    “I will keep an open mind and see what future trailers have to offer”
    you already made up your mind.

  15. I think you’re being a bit harsh. Some trailers look amazing, and then the film itself turns out to be crap (did you see *any* of the X-Men films? Huge let downs, in my humble opinion). Anyway, I don’t think it would be fair to judge a film until you’ve actually *seen* it–bottom line. How can you possibly review a film based on a one minute clip show? When I first saw the trailers for “Wanted,” I thought that was going to be lame. I saw a free preview of it…and it was much better than expected. Not my favorite of the summer by far, but better than what the trailer showed.

    Someone saw a rough cut preview, and was not only pleasantly surprised, but enjoyed it, and cannot wait to see it again. This person was not an original DB fan, so my guess is is that it has mass appeal potential.

  16. I’d say Mr. Keyes nailed this one in his review – there were so many moments of deja-vu watching that trailer that I could have sworn in a few places that I was just watching stock footage. One of the things that a trailer can do a very good job of demonstrating is the visual motif of a film: is it gritty? Cartoonish? Colorful? Somber? Something altogether new? This one, unfortunately, looked for the most part to be just plain boring. I’m not a fan of the originals by any means (or, for that matter, someone who even likes them that much) but you do have to give them credit for their commitment to the over-the-top presentation they used. None of that seems to have translated to the screen here. Maybe the movie is different, but if that’s the case then the trailer has done it a great disservice.

  17. He&l, if most of the hardcore fans here were given the money and told they had `to make a live action “Dragon Ball” they probably would CGI 1/2 the characters and dub the thing in Japanese. If their was anyone in it that didn’t already speak Japanese! What you would have is an imprint of the anime into actor/CGI
    with no added value in the story telling. What has it been five years since the last original episode aired in Japan? Face it this is as much of an effort to keep other people from taking the story premise and making a independent film as anything else. The more you widen the scope and expand the versions of the property the harder it is to capture the core entertainment/attraction that the original had for an independent story.
    Besides all the basic story elements are intact. You might hate this version of “Dragon Ball” but it just might be instrumental in keeping the property from being watered down by others trying to cash in on a similar but different somehow story.

  18. Liam: “People need to face it… Dragon Ball is just not the type of story that would ever work on live film…”

    I think I now agree 100% with that statement.

    The dragonball cartoon seemed very different in style than other cartoons at least I had seen. To make the movie look like “stock footage”, as someone put it, is a complete 180 from the TV show. The show stood out, the teaser blends in. But again, this is only a teaser… If this is indeed already five months old, then most of the special effects are still being rendered and better things may be yet to come.

  19. Here’s a better idea. Rather than make this, make a movie about Monkey and Pigsy and Sandy and Tripitaka, which Dragonball was just another version of.
    That is much easier to put into live action.

    People who aren’t Dragonball fans might give this a go, something fun and dumb to watch, and fans might well turn up just in hope.
    However I can’t see this wowing either. I’m not excited by it. Don’t even see the need for it.

    Anime is perfect as it is to me.

  20. “I don’t even see the need for it.”

    The market has changed big time to focusing on hero flicks–DB is just one of many, many to come. Prepare yourself for a bunch of lame comic book heroes in late ’09 and ’10…DB might end up being a breath of fresh air after what’s in store for us…

  21. well this was a trailer that was an ok thing. they did say that the story line was gonna be changed and not many things were gonna be like in the anime…i am a dragon ball fan and to me it doesnt look that bad.

  22. i agree with lara 100%
    u can’t rate a movie until u have watched it.
    i’m gonna watch it and then give my verdict, but right now it looks a lot like another speedracer

  23. I love the Saiyuki books. Not seen the anime though.
    You also have One Piece that is influenced by DBZ – the creator admitting what a fan he was.

    If these movies could make more people turn to anime then great. Somehow I doubt they will though. We’ll see.
    I really hope there is better to come though. :(

  24. Woah woah woah, is that suppose to be Piccolo?! Sheesh, god help em

  25. Don’t mean to double post, but doesnt Piccolo look like a character from Hellraiser?

  26. You guys…they haven’t finished editing. That isn’t finished product Piccolo. That’s all I have to say about that…


  28. Yep this movie will be crap. The only people this appeals to is people who think crap movies like PG-13 horror movies are awesome. If you are a true fan you will admit this movie is crap and boycott it. Live Action StreetFighter, DOA and Mortal Kombat Annihilation ALL SUCKED, and this movie will be about as good and exciting as a turd that won’t flush. My week was already bad when I found out May Payne was rated PG-13, but this makes me want to start drinking.