The film began with a prologue where the narrator explains to the viewers about how the Dragon Balls, seven orange balls with different number of red stars on each one, were forged and scattered throughout the Earth. The prophecy said that when all seven are gathered together, the Eternal Dragon named Shenron; the Dragon Balls’ guardian, will rise from his fiery lair and grant whoever summoned him any one wish. Afterwards, the Dragon Balls will again scatter all over the world while Shenron returns to his lair until another “brave or foolish soul” will find and reunite these magical balls.
In the present, the soldiers of King Gurumes are destroying the homes and lands of farmers within his kingdom to look for “Blood Rubies”. His two main enforcers are Pasta and Bongo (Raven and Major Domo in the 1995 dub), whom he has also tasked with finding the Dragon Balls. Since finding the Blood Rubies, Gurumes has fallen under a curse that turns him into a large, purple monster and makes his hunger insatiable. He hopes to wish the curse away with the Dragon Balls. A rebellious little girl named Pansy (Penny in the 1995 dub), after her father gets a brutal beating by Bongo in defending her, decides to go and find help.
Goku, a young monkey-tailed boy with special strength, is living alone in the wildness of Mount Pazou. There, he was found and raised as a baby by his late Grandpa Gohan, who trained his adopted grandson in martial arts. At this time, he had a magical staff called the Power Pole which will grow its length on his command, and unknowingly owns a four-star Dragon Ball which was thought to have his grandfather’s spirit inside. While Goku is catching a giant fish, a blue-haired teenage girl named Bulma is also searching for the Dragon Balls with the help of a device called a Dragon Radar. Before she can reach for the next ball after spotting the fighter jet of Pasta and Bongo heading the same direction toward its location, she runs into Goku. Thinking Bulma is a monster, Goku prepares to attack her to not let her steal his fish, but Bulma convinces him that she is a human. After learning that Bulma is a girl, Goku tells her that his grandpa gave him the Dragon Ball before he died. Pasta and Bongo arrive at Goku’s home and steal his Dragon Ball, just before he and Bulma arrive only to find a gold coin which Pasta put on as payment. They flee in their fighter jet, and Bulma and Goku give chase in Bulma’s jet. The duo is easily gaining the upper hand, but they are shot down by Pasta. As they both fell, Goku saves Bulma by sending her to a nearby cliff with his Power Pole while he plunges into the river.
Later that night, Goku and Bulma are looking for food in the forest when they find Pansy being accosted by a large monster named Oolong, who has the ability to shape-shift into any other forms. Oolong flees when Goku proves his strength by destroying a large tree, but he chases the shape-shifter and, knocking him down with his Power Pole, finds out that his true form is that of a pig. While snapping at the curious Goku, Oolong freaks out when he realizes they have landed in the territory of Yamcha the Desert Bandit. Then suddenly, Yamcha and his sidekick Puar, Oolong’s former classmate from the shape-shifting school where he was expelled for stealing the teacher’s panties, attacks the duo. Goku battles Yamcha through weapon fighting which later moves onto their special movies such as Yamcha’s Wolf Fang Fist and Goku’s Rock-Scissors-Paper, but their duel is cut short when Bulma arrives. Yamcha has a paralyzing fear of beautiful women upon seeing Bulma and, chipping off his tooth after crashing down from the cliff where he and Goku are standing on to fight, he and Puar retreat. In Oolong’s campout, Pansy tells Bulma and the others about her people’s plight and how she must find the great Master Roshi the Turtle Hermit to help her put a stop to King Gurumes’ cruelty. But little do the group know is that Yamcha and Puar have returned, overhearing everything about the Dragon Balls. The next day, Yamcha and Puar prepares for their trip to Master Roshi’s island in order to get rid of Goku and his friends while going after the Dragon Balls for themselves. As part of their scheme, Yamcha vows that he will wish away his shyness around girls so he could either get married or have a few dates, despite Puar’s protest over the unnecessary choice of needing all the treasures or ruling the world. Back at his palace, King Gurumes now possesses five of the Dragon Balls and ensures that the last two will go next.
The team arrives on Master Roshi’s island, but Yamcha has arrived first and tricked Roshi into thinking Goku is there to steal his shell. To find out who’s telling the truth, Roshi summons the Flying Nimbus Cloud, a magic cloud which only an honest person can ride. After Roshi’s failed attempt as a demonstration, Goku successfully rides it and clears his name; Yamcha flees again, vowing that he will be back. Master Roshi also says he will give Bulma his Dragon Ball, but only if she shows him her boobs. In order to avoid Roshi, Bulma uses Oolong to transform into her in order to trick the Turtle Hermit, and it works. But Pasta and Bongo arrive in a submarine and attack the island. One of Bulma’s two Dragon Balls is stolen, and Roshi’s house is destroyed. Angered by the destruction of his house, Roshi powers up to the max and uses the Kamehameha to destroy the submarine, while Pasta and Bongo flee in an escape jet. Pansy asks Roshi to help her defeat King Gurumes, but he declines, saying that he is an old man, and assures Pansy that Goku and Bulma will be all the help she needs. That night at King Gurumes’ palace, Pasta states her report about the arrival of the final Dragon Ball, much to her master’s delight.
The next day, the team journey to King Gurumes’ palace and are immediately attacked by the king’s air force. Bulma, Oolong and Pansy are shot down while Goku has an aerial duel with Bongo, in which the monkey-tailed fighter destroys Bongo’s hovercraft. Yamcha and Puar also arrive and infiltrate the palace, where they meet up with the group. Yamcha is attacked by Pasta, but is unable to fight back because of his phobia of beautiful women, so they flee with Pasta in hot pursuit. Goku defeats Bongo by knocking him through a wall with his Power Pole, and they all end up in King Gurumes’ throne room. Fueled by both his own curse and hunger, Gurumes grows to his gigantic size before the very eyes of the group, and after crushing Bongo flat, he attacks Goku to get the last Dragon Ball. Goku tries the Kamehameha on which he already learned from Master Roshi, despite the need to wait fifty years to learn the technique, but it fails to destroy him. Bulma realizes the other six Dragon Balls are inside Gurumes’ stomach, so she throws her Dragon Ball into his mouth. Shenron erupts from Gurumes’ body and offers to grant one wish. Pansy wishes for her land to be peaceful and beautiful again. Shenron then removes all the Blood Rubies and makes the land fertile again. After granting the wish, the dragon vanishes and the Dragon Balls are scattered across the Earth again. Gurumes’ curse is lifted, as he is reduced to a small, bald man, Yamcha and Bulma decide to date much to Puar’s joy and Oolong’s annoyance of happy endings, and Goku, after returning the gold coin to Pasta, heads off to Master Roshi’s island to train with the Turtle Hermit. After the film’s credits, the land is shown to be fertile and beautiful again, as above the picture is the Japanese word for “The End.”