Dragon Ball was released in 1990 and was produced originally in Japan. It was one of the first films regarding the Dragon Ball franchise which is popular worldwide, especially in Japan and the US. The movie required a large cast of voice actors for the scope of characters involved. The plot summary involves the evil Doctor Kochin who has been using Dragon Balls to try to resurrect his mentor, Doctor Wheelo. This is all a part of his plan to take over the whole world. Doctor Wheelo meanwhile is trying to find a replacement for his body which died over 50 years previous in an avalanche. Nothing but the strongest and greatest fighting body will do for him. Kochin goes on to kidnap the one believes is the world's greatest fighter, Roshi. Roshi is captured when Kochin takes Bulma and threatens her leaving Roshi with no choice but to surrender. When Goku learns of all these events he is left with no choice but to go and rescue Roshi and Bulma and to stop the evil duo of Kochin and Wheelo.
Dragon Ball was released on March 10, 1990 in Japan and eventually made its way to the US being released on VHS and later DVD. It is a part of the Dragon Ball anime franchise which includes comic books, TV series, and a wide variety of licensed products available for sale. It is strangely the only movie within the large franchise which does not feature the transformation of any of the characters. It also marked the final appearance of Power Pole within the franchise. Also, this is the only appearance where Master Roshi does any fighting.
The success of this movie in Japan and in the US spawned a great number of sequels which have all been released directly to video to DVD. It's incredible popularity among anime fans continues forward and many hope that someday a live action film will be produced on the basis of Dragon Ball.