The world of Dragon Ball is quite vast, and spans multiple series like Dragon Ball, Dragonball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and Dragon Ball Super, as well as a lot of movies (including one that we never talk about…you know the one I’m talking about). Unfortunately, a large majority of these movies aren’t canon, which means there’s really no point in watching a lot of them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t watch them if you want to. One of these movies is Dragon Ball Z: Return of Cooler. Released in 1992, Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler is the sixth Dragon Ball Z movie ever released, but is it even worth watching now? Before you read any further, it’s important for you to know that there will be spoilers for Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler ahead, so if you want to skip those spoilers, I would go right to the end of the article.
Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler begins with showing the Namekian people on “New Namek” when they are suddenly attacked by a massive spaceship. Dende, the Earth’s new Guardian, senses that his people are in danger and calls out to Goku for help. Then, with the help of Gohan, Krillin, Piccolo, Oolong, Yajirobe, and Master Roshi, Goku sets off for New Namek to provide assistance to the Namekians. When they arrive, they find a whole bunch of robots abusing the Namekians, and then learn that Cooler is the one responsible for the invasion of New Namek. It was previously thought that Goku had defeated Cooler in the previous movie, Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge, but it turns out that he survived with a new metallic body (pretty much exactly what happened to Frieza) with the help of his sentient spaceship, the Big Gete Star. Goku begins to fight Meta Cooler and is clearly overpowered, so he turns into a Super Saiyan, but is still ultimately defeated. All hope seems to be lost until Vegeta comes by and saves Goku’s life. The two Super Saiyans continue to battle it out and manage to destroy Cooler, only to find that the Big Gete Star has created an entire army of one thousand Meta Coolers, and end up capturing the two Saiyans. The Big Gete Star drains both Goku and Vegeta of their power as Cooler explains that he is the Big Gete Star, because pieces of his brain ended up fusing with a computer chip. Goku and Vegeta end up releasing all of their energy at once in an effort to overload the Big Gete Star, because they know it can’t handle that much power. This leads Cooler to form Meta Cooler Core and move to destroy Goku when Vegeta severs his arm, allowing Goku to use the last of his energy to finally destroy Meta Cooler, the Big Gete Star, and free New Namek.
In all honesty, I thought the animation for Cooler’s Revenge was much better than Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler. It just doesn’t seem nearly as fluid and at times it just doesn’t look that great. There’s a couple frames here and there that seem to just be glitched, which don’t really help the quality of the animation.
I have to say, most of the fights in Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler are pretty boring. Up until the massive fight between Goku, Vegeta, and Meta Cooler, I really wasn’t at all interested in anything else that was going on. However, once the movie got to the big fight between the three characters, it did pick up, and I enjoyed it a lot more than beforehand.
Is it Worth Your Time?
Now, we have to ask the question: is Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler worth your time? Well, according to the guidebooks, both Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge and Dragonball Z: The Return of Cooler are actually both canon to the Dragon Ball Z anime, however, The Return of Cooler contradicts a whole lot from the anime. First of all, Dende is already the Guardian of Earth, which assumes Piccolo and Kami have already fused together, but the movie takes places well before Cell ever becomes a threat. There’s also the fact that no one should know that Vegeta is a Super Saiyan yet, but he still becomes a Super Saiyan to help Goku? It just doesn’t make any sense. I didn’t really find The Return of Cooler all that interesting either, it had a really hard time holding my attention. So, while Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler is supposedly canon, I think you’re probably better off just ignoring this one.