Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku is the first Dragon Ball Z TV Special, which is an addition to the popular manga and anime series. It is a prequel to Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. It first aired on October 17, 1990, between Dragon Ball Z episodes 63 and 64 (during the fight against the Ginyu Force). FUNimation Entertainment dubbed it into English in 2000 and it was the first Dragon Ball Z feature to be dubbed with FUNimation's in house voice cast. The special was re-released in a remastered box set bundled with Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks in May 2008. FUNimation released a remastered single version on September 15, 2009.
The movie premiered on Cartoon Network's Toonami block on September 5, 2003 as part of DBZ Movies. The movie also aired on Toonami on two other occasions: January 16, 2004 and May 8, 2004.
The special tells the story of Bardock, a low-class Saiyan warrior. At the outset of the story, his son Kakarot is born on Planet Vegeta, and prepared to be sent to Earth in order to destroy all life on the planet. Meanwhile, Bardock and his crew are on an assignment to exterminate all the life forms of Planet Kanassa. After the planet is seemingly devoid of all other life, Bardock and crew rest up and celebrate their victory... Until one remaining warrior catches him off guard and decides to give him the "gift" of seeing the future. This gives him the ability to see the destruction of Planet Vegeta, and almost the entire Saiyan race along with it, at the hands of their master, Frieza. Also, he sees the salvation of the planet Earth through his son, Kakarot.
Meanwhile, this prediction becomes reality when Frieza decides to destroy the entire Saiyan race. Within Frieza's spaceship, Frieza is being briefed by his top two henchmen, Zarbon and Dodoria, in regards to the occurrences in their routine interplanetary galactic trade and conquering. Recent news reveals that the Saiyans' strength constantly grows after each battle. Zarbon informs Frieza that a band of low-class Saiyans had taken over Kanassa in just a few days. Dodoria states that the job to take Kanassa had been in the pool for months, and that not even Frieza's elite squadrons could take Kanassa so easily. Frieza, Zarbon, and Dodoria contemplate the fate of the Saiyans due to the growing power of the species and decide to take action in order to avoid further repercussions, as the Saiyans might pose a great threat to them in the future. Zarbon advises Frieza to eliminate the growing threat before it poses a greater problem. Dodoria and his elite fighters are ordered to eradicate Bardock and his teammates.
Bardock dismisses the visions he had, and goes to join his team on Planet Meat, but soon discovers his friends are all dead. Bardock's team was massacred by Frieza's henchman Dodoria and his elites. He battles the ones responsible, and defeats them all, but is easily overwhelmed by a single mouth blast from Dodoria. He is left severely injured, but manages to make it back to Planet Vegeta. Though Bardock attempts to convey the danger that they are all in to the other Saiyans, since he has now realized that Frieza is going to destroy them all, everyone laughs at his claim and Bardock alone begins one final assault against Frieza.
Killing many of his minor soldiers and sending the Final Spirit Cannon to Frieza himself, Bardock seems about to change the future. However, Frieza counters this with his Supernova, which kills Bardock, many of his own soldiers, and destroys Planet Vegeta itself, all while uttering a maniacal laugh. As he is dying, Bardock sees one more vision of the future: his son Kakarot facing Frieza. Being assured that Kakarot would be the one to kill Frieza; Bardock gives a small smile as he disintegrates along with the planet. As the planet is on the verge of blowing up, Frieza continues laughing at its destruction, as well as telling Dodoria and Zarbon to watch the "beautiful fireworks" (in the English version, he reacts as though he were watching a spectacular performance from a play, though this is corrected in future dubs of this scene). After his demise, Bardock wishes his son, Kakarot, to take care. At the same moment, Kakarot, who is still in the space pod, wakes up.
Elsewhere, having just completed an assignment on a far-off world, Vegeta is informed by Nappa (in the English version it is one of Frieza's minor soldiers who tells him) of his homeworld's destruction. His pride keeps him from expressing his shock, and he remains outwardly emotionless. Soon afterward, Kakarot's space pod touches down on Earth, where he is found by an elderly man named Gohan, and giggles happily in the old man's arms. Gohan then decides to care of the boy as his own grandson, and renames him Goku. The film ends with a montage of Goku's many heroic deeds on Earth, leading to his battle with Frieza.
|Character||English Voice Actor||Japanese Voice Actor|
|Bardock||Sonny Strait||Masako Nozawa|
|Tora||Mike McFarland||Kazuyuki Sogabe|
|Fasha||Linda Young||Yuko Mita|
|Borgos||Christopher R. Sabat||Kôzô Shioya|
|Shugesh||Chris Rager||Takeshi Watabe|
|Frieza||Linda Young||Ryūsei Nakao|
|Dodoria||Chris Forbis||Yukitoshi Hori|
|Zarbon||Christopher R. Sabat||Sho Hayami|
|Vegeta||Christopher R. Sabat||Ryo Horikawa|
|Nappa||Christopher R. Sabat
Phil Parsons (revised dub)
|Goku||Sean Schemmel (adult)
Stephanie Nadolny (baby)
|Grandpa Gohan||Christopher R. Sabat||Jinpei Azusa|
Chris Cason (revised dub)
|Toolo||Mike McFarland||Banjō Ginga|
|Narrator||Dale D. Kelly
Kyle Hebert (revised dub)
Toonami Broadcast History
- September 5, 2003 at 6:00 PM (DBZ Movies)
- January 16, 2004 at 5:30 PM
- May 8, 2004 at 7:30 PM
- Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone
- Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest
- Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might
- Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge
- Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler
- Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks
- Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug
- Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn
- Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon
- Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan
- "Movie Schedule ". cartoonnetwork.com. September 4, 2003. http://web.archive.org/web/20030904024530/http://schedule.cartoonnetwork.com/servlet/ScheduleServlet?action=viewAll&showID=327186&show=MOVIE:&filter=tm. Retrieved on November 23, 2015.
- "Movie Schedule ". cartoonnetwork.com. January 10, 2004. http://web.archive.org/web/20040110023622/http://schedule.cartoonnetwork.com/servlet/ScheduleServlet?action=viewAll&showID=324534&show=SPECIAL:&filter=tm. Retrieved on October 18, 2016.
- "Toonami to re-air DBZ movies in January ". toonzone.net. December 12, 2003. http://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/toonami-to-re-air-dbz-movies-in-january.3511001/#post-51561181. Retrieved on October 18, 2016.
- "Toonami's Symphony - 5/8/04 ". toonzone.net. May 8, 2004. http://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/toonamis-symphony-5-8-04.3622131/. Retrieved on October 13, 2016.
|Toonami Movies & Specials|
|Cartoon Network (1997-2008)|
|Adult Swim (2012-Present)|