The story by Akira Toriyama, the creator of the original manga, brings together all the familiar cast members but focuses on the redoubtable Goku (voiced by Sean Schemmel, re-creating his TV role), the martial artist of the Saiyan race from the planet Vegeta. When he awakens from a decades-long nap, Beerus, the feline God of Destruction (Jason Douglas), decides to investigate the prophecy of a "super-Saiyan god" whose fighting power rivals his own.
The search brings him to Earth and Goku, who draws on the powers of his friends and family to attain a god's strength. Although their fight will decide the fate of the Earth, Goku's unsatisfied: That staggering power was a gift, not the product of training and inner strength. Beerus recognizes a fellow warrior, and the battle ends with the planet intact and the combatants honoring each other's noble spirits.
Although there are a few flashy CG special effects, the animation is generally flat, limited and hand-drawn, like the TV show. "Battle of Gods" delivers not only the familiar look but also the slapstick comedy, character interaction and over-the-top martial arts fights that "Dragon Ball" fans want and expect.
"Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods."
MPAA rating: None (cartoon violence).
Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes.