Is Disney making a Dragon ball movie ? Has Disney Bought the Rights to Dragon Ball?

Is disney making a dragon ball movie ? A Dragon Ball Disney Plus series is happening! Apart from the fact that it’s not. The Internet kind of lost its mind this week when there was a supposed image of Disney’s Dragon Ball animated series that was being made for Disney Plus was making the rounds on social media. Well, we are here to tell you all to calm down, because it’s not happening – at least, not yet.

This series, it was reported, was going to be called Dragon Ball New Journey, and I only found out about it when I saw people on TikTok losing their minds at this news. There was a lot of hate aimed at this idea, mainly because fans did not like the supposed art style of this reportedly upcoming series. They were claiming that it looked like Pixar had gotten its hands on the iconic Japanese anime and they did not like it.


So, when this rumour was making the rounds, people took to TikTok, Twitter, YouTube… all the social media platforms, to complain about it. One person on Twitter wrote: “We don’t want this ugly ass Goku.” Another added: “Disney Has Officially Fucked Dragon Ball.” A third user then added: “I don’t know if any of you know about this but Disney is making a Disney version of dragon ball and it’s very hideous looking I don’t like it at all.” There’s a lot of stuff like this on Twitter. People were getting really upset by the image.

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Thankfully, there were some people on hand to explain that this wasn’t happening. The first reason why it can’t happen is that Disney doesn’t actually own the rights. However, it’s actually a bit complicated, because Disney does own some rights in relation to the Dragon Ball property. Following the acquisition of Fox, Disney obtained all the assets previously owned by the studio. This means that the House Of Mouse ended up owning the rights to a small portion of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball franchise, specifically Dragon Ball Z. However, they can only make and distribute live-action movies. Everything else is still owned by Toriyama and his Japanese publishers.

is disney making a dragon ball movie

Has Disney bought the rights to Dragon Ball?

In December 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced its intention to purchase a majority of the assets of 21st Century Fox. The transaction was completed on March 20, 2019 with the dissolution of 21st Century Fox, the acquisition of several assets by Disney and the creation of a new company, Fox Corporation as well as several sales to other companies to obtain the agreement of the various international anticompetitive commissions.

The amount of the transaction is 71.3 billion USD for Disney from which must be deducted the sums recovered from the constrained sales. The main assets purchased by Disney are 20th Century Fox, FX, Fox Networks Group, the 73% stake in National Geographic Partners, Star India and 30% of Hulu.

Fox Corporation includes Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Television Stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Deportes, and Big Ten Network. The main assets sold are Sky to Comcast, Fox Sports Net to Sinclair Broadcast Group.

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If you remember, this was one of the biggest industry things several years ago. We all know that Disney finally obtained the rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, which was a potentially amazing thing for the MCU, as well as some other major projects like The Simpsons. But, there was also something for anime fans in this merger, something that most people missed but could be potentially important.

Namely, at the time of the merger, Fox owned the rights to the original live-action Dragon Ball movie, as well as the rights to produce and distribute live-action Dragon Ball movies. The anime was, of course, off limits even to Fox. With Disney buying off all of Fox’s assets, the Mouse’s company also obtained the rights to the live-action production and distribution of live-action Dragon Ball movies.

Now, this could, potentially, be a big thing for the future of the franchise, as Disney might decide to focus on Toriyama’s series, but there’s a catch. Namely, when the original live-action Dragon Ball movie was released, it became such a big failure that even Akira Toriyama thought that the fans needed an apology. This is when he decided to revive the series with a feature-length anime movie.

Now that you know the main story, let us talk a bit about the future of the franchise.

is disney making a dragon ball movie

Will Disney make new Dragon Ball movies?

As of June 2022, Disney hasn’t really released any information on the future of the Dragon Ball franchise in the scope of its ownership rights. Namely, as we have explained, Disney has access to a very limited portion of Toriyama’s franchise, so they cannot do much at this moment save produce live-action movies. But, are they going to?

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This actual rumor first appeared on the Instagram profile of a user named ultraraw26. If his insights are correct, Disney is planning to launch a live-action Dragon Ball cinematic universe which would, as it seems, be following Goku from his childhood to his adulthood. People speculate that Toriyama would agree to this, but after the failure of the first Dragon Ball live-action film, we’re not sure (he probably will, but not easily). There’s also the fact that anime series are rarely good in live-action formats, and Dragon Ball is one of those majestic franchises that need either a proper treatment, or no treatment at all.

This is why we are not really certain that Disney will be as successful as it has been with the MCU. Dragon Ball is a very specific world of its own, much like Tolkien’s Middle Earth, but in a different format. It is much more rigid than Marvel’s comics and there is little to no space for experiments and novelties, which is something Disney likes to do (and not always in the best way imaginable). Plus, there’s also the censorship, which will certainly cripple a lot of ideas.

The future of Disney’s Dragon Ball franchise is unknown. Whether they are going to revive the live-action franchise – as that is the only thing they can actually do – is not known at this moment but if they do, they’re going to have a tough job. This is why, in all honesty, we’re not sure that a live-action Disney Dragon Ball movie would be something that the franchise needs at this, or any other point in time.

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