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Dr. Slump: Arale's First Live-action Movie
Directed by Phil Lord
Christopher Miller
Produced by Phil Lord
Christopher Miller
Akira Toriyama
Kevin Feige
Executive producer(s) Steven Spielberg
Tim Miller
John J. Kelly
Sunil Perkash
Minoru Okazaki
Mitsuo Hashimoto
Yoshiki Shibata
Screenplay by Phil Lord
Christopher Miller
Bill Kelly
Rhett Reese
Jim Reardon
Jennifer Lee
David Reynolds
Jared Bush
Based on Dr. Slump
by Akira Toriyama
Starring Abby Ryder Fortson
China Anne McClain
Will Smith
Jim Carrey
Joel Kim Booster
Ali Wong
Ben Schwartz
Lynn Chen
Michael Giacchino
Ernie Sabella
Music by Michael Giacchino
Songs by Pharrell Williams
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Edited by Fabienne Rawley
Jeremy Milton
Production
company
Walt Disney Pictures
Toei Company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date December 16, 2025
Country United States
Japan

Dr. Slump: Arale's First Live-action Movie would be a 2025 American buddy cop comedy film directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Toei Company. It would be a live-action adaptation of the Japanese franchise of Dr. Slump, and the second entry in the Dragon Ball Live-action Universe. Lord and Miller would also produce the film alongside Kevin Feige and the franchise's creator Akira Toriyama, while the film would be written by Lord, Miller, Bill Kelly, Rhet Reese, Jim Reardon, Jennifer Lee, David Reynolds, and Jared Bush. The film would star Abby Ryder Fortson, China Anne McClain, Will Smith, Jim Carrey, and the voices of Joel Kim Booster, Ali Wong, Lynn Chen, Ben Schwartz, Michael Giacchino, and Ernie Sabella.

Toriyama would reveal a live-action adaptation of Dr. Slump in mid-2022, while Lord and Miller would be revealed as as directors shortly after. Filming would take place in Atlanta, Georgia, and would be during July and December 2023. The writers would consult with psychiatrists in order to study the effects of racism on childs while creating the film's story.

The film would be released on December 16, 2026, and would became a critical and commercial success, grossing 977 million dollars over a budget of 177 millions, and being praised for its direction, subject matter, screenplay, thematical depth, tonal faithfulness to the source material, humor, performances, visual effects, and music.

Synopsis

In the usually-peaceful city of Pengun Village (wait.... it says Penguin Village, but its a city......... nah, just maybe is just to stick close to the original.), things get a turn for the worst when everybody discovers that Arale Norimaki (pause for effect)..... IS A ROBOT!!!!!!! (that happens for not reading the source materal in prepara..... forget it nobody knew in the manga either).  She finds herself facing discrimination (which is logical since robots + a movie+ a franchise means either a lots of deaths, less success than the predecesor with critics, or both), but she may be their only hope when multiple robots sudenly appear out of nowhere and start destroying everything in their paths (rings a bell to ya?). Now, Arale, her father Senbei, and her sister Turbo (SISTER!!!! Now blacklash for changing genders will come. Well, hopefully fans will get over it.) must find out the reason for this sudden event before the movie becomes terrible!!!!!!! (Wow! Sounds cool!).

Cast

  • Abby Ryder Fortson as Arake Noriamki, a robot who was created by Dr. Senbei Norimaki. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller would write and developed the character "with Winnie the Pooh in mind, only unknowingly smarter".
  • China Anne McClain as Turbo Norimaki, Arale's older sister. According to co.writer Jennifer Lee, the character's gender would be changed because the filmmakers would felt that "in a film promoting equality" it would be the best to have a female charcter as "the hater who learns to stop hating", while she was made older in order for her actions to make sense.
  • Will Smith as Senbei Norimaki:
    Arale's creator and Turbo's father. Producer Akira Toriyama would say that this version "tries to be a father for Arale", unlike the manga version, througth the directors would still "aim to make a faithful representation of the character" in the film. Smith would describe a character as "a goofy father who just turns out to be a scientist". Producer Kevin Feige would say that the writers "basically took the original Norimaki, and gave it a Will Smith-spin" while writing the film, with Toriyama explaining that "the writers kept the scientist side, but took the goofy side, and turned it into a Will Smith kind of goofy".
  • Jim Carrey as Dr. Mashirito:
    A mad scientist who tries to difame robots in order to prevent future movies with robots in the franchise, as he seems them as "the movies' curse". Director Phil Lord would call Masharito "the discrimination incarnated", while Christopher Miller would call him "[the franchise's] take on a typical Pixar villain". Lord and Miller would cast Carrey in the role to prevent the character "going fully to the dark side, tonally speaking", and they would feel that Carrey's slapstick comedy acting style would give the character "a sense of humor and fun that is in line with the franchise".

Voices

  • Joel Kim Booster as the Reality Machine:
    A reality altering creation of Senbei's who was accidentally brougth to life by Arale years ago. Booster would call the character "a McGuffin who dosen't want to be a McGuffin". Booseter would be hired due to his work as stand-up comedian, which the filmmakers would felt it would give the character "a Robin Williams Genie spin". Booster himself would inspire his performance by Williams' performance as the Genie in the original Aladdin.
  • Ali Wong as the Gatchans:
    A pair of creatures adopted by Arale after she found them in the woods, who eat almost anything, particularly metal. According to producer Kevin Feige, the characters' potrayal in the film would be inspired by pet dogs "in both the good and bad ways", while still featuring elements from the characters' potrayals in the original franchise, througth also "making them very intelligent, and at the same time very focused with eating". The directors would choose to feature the characters' "language" from the manga in order to showcase Arale's bond with them, as she is the only one that can understand them in the manga. While recording her lines, Wong would come-up with several lines, which the writers would then "translate" in order to have the characters to "say" them in their "language". In scenes in which the Gatchans talk at the same time, Wong would record her lines for one Gatchan, which would then be played twice at the same time in order for both Gatchans' voices to sound exactly similar.
  • Lynn Chen as Tori, an anthropomorphic bird who serves as the film's "Greek chorus", acting as both a friend of Arale's, and the film's narrator. Tori would be modeled as a mountain bird, in homage to her namesake and Dr. Slump's creator, Akira Toriyama.
  • Ben Schwartz as Blue:
    Senbei's anthropomorphic blue-painted car who was given life by the Reality Machine, and a cooky lover of speed, fun, and action. The character would have holographic eyes and mouth, which direcotrs Phil Lord and Christopher Miller would say it would be in order to give make the character "a straight-up reference to Pixar's Cars" while avoiding an uncanny valley feeling. The character would also have several visual allusions to videogame character Sonic the Hedgehog (whom Craig Smith also voices), such as his generally-blue painting, asde from the areas surronding the wheels, whch would be white, while the wheels would be red and white, and he would have painted Sonic's cathcphrase ("gotta go fast") over his body. Craig Smith would even describe the character as "Cars' version" of Sonic.
  • Michael Giacchino as U-900:
    An illusion of a robot who tries to destroy Penguin Village. The illusion's name would be a reference to the T-800 from the Terminator franchise. Giacchino would be selected for the role because he previously potrayed FN-3181 in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which would convince directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to cast him "as he already played a mindless character who only shoots and kills without a question". Unlike most cast members, Giacchino wouldn't be allowed to improvise his lines, and would instead read the script while recording his lines in order to give the character "an emotionless, expresionless" voice. Giacchino would consult with many actors who voiced robots in other films in order to give the character "a geniune stereotypical robot voice".
  • Ernie Sabella as Mr. Pig, the mayor's spokeperson, who always gives the latest news on Penguin Village.

Music

Michael Giacchino would compose the film's score, which would contain motifs and elements from both the original anime and the Dragon Ball anime's score by Shunsuke Kikuchi. Producer Kevin Feige would say that Giacchino was hired due to his use of puns in his tracks' titles, which the filmmakers would felt would fit with the franchise's humor. Score producer Hans Zimmer would say that the reason the score would featue motifs from the Dragon Ball anime would be to have "musical connection" with the film Dragon Ball, which would also feature elements from Kikuchi's score for that anime.

Giacchino would create a theme for Arale "that both has a sense of wonder, a hint of incomprehension, and a Disney Junior show-esque vibe", while Senbei's theme would be "a hip-hop-style funny theme". Turbo's theme would be described by Giacchino as having "something that gives a know-it-all vibe, but with a certain, unfounded, fear of the unknown", and, according to Giacchino, Mashirito would have several themes in order to represent the fact that the character appears under two disguises througth most of the film: Masharito's theme while undercover would be "funny, very funny" according to Giacchino, while the theme for Mashirito's plan would be "more tense and action-suited", and Mashirito's theme after his plans are revealed would "have everything from the prevous two themes, plus an intense feeling of hate".

Pharrell Williams and "Weird Al" Yankovic would write the film's songs, which would be performed by several artists in the movie. Due to his reputation of parodying popular songs in his work, Yankovic would write the song's lyrics, while Williams would write the music. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller would hire Williams due to his "amazing" work on the Despicable Me franchise, particualrly due to Despicable Me 2's "Happy", which they would feel to be "quite fitting" for Arale's personality, while Yankovic would be hired due to his musical style, which they would feel would be fitting with the franchise's nature.

During an interview, Williams and Yankovic would say that they wrote one of the film's songs, "One of Us", in a style in which "the lyrics of The Lion King II's 'Not One of Us' can work with the melody of The Hunchback of Notre Dame's 'Hellfire'". Yankovic would describe the song as "a challenge", as they "struggled to get emotional without going dark" due to the its context within the film, while Williams wuld describe it as "an exiting experiment", as it would force him create a more instrumental melody than in his previus works. Williams and Yankovic would also perform a new song for the film's end credits. Star Will Smith would also perform a new song for the film's end credits, which he would describe as "a hip-hop-style funk song that combines the best of Men in Black and Friend Like Me" .

Reception

Critical reception

The film would have an aproval rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 7/10. The critical consensus would read, "A thougthful-yet-humourus take on an old franchise, Dr. Slump manages to tackle timely themes in a style that dosen't betray its franchise's nature." On Metacritc, the film would have an weighted average score of 81 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".

Sequel

Main article: Dr. Slump 2: OH NO! WE GOT TO THE SEQUEL

During the San Diego Comic-Con 2028, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller revealed that a sequel to Dr. Slump: Arale's First Live-action Movie is in development, titled Dr. Slump 2: OH NO! WE GOT TO THE SEQUEL, and set after the crossover Dr. Slump/Dragon Ball: The Franchise's First Crossover. Bill Kelly, who co-wrote the first film, would return to write the sequel, with Lord and Miller acting as producers, while Kevin Lima and Bill Condon would direct the film, which would be a musical, with songs written by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.

Trivia

  • According to directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Akira Toriyama would be "even more involved with this film" than in Dragon Ball in order to make sure the film stays faithful to the original manga's tone in spite of the film's tackling of themes such as racism and prejudice. Similarly, due to his work on the film Deadpool (2016), executive producer Tim Miller would supervise the writing of the film's script "to stop it from becoming too serious and with too little 4th wall breaking jokes". Aditionally, Minoru Okazaki, Mitsuo Hashimoto, and Yoshiki Shibata,who previously worked in the anime adaptations of Dr. Slump, would be brought in as executive producers in order to further make the film faithfull of the manga's style and humor.
  • Lord and Miller would draw inspiration from the animated Disney film Hercules (1995) and the 1987 TV series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the film's action sequences.
  • According to producer Kevin Feige, most actors and voice actors would be allowed to improvise during production, in order to add more humor to the film and to "give each character their actors' essence".
  • Throught the film, Mashirito (while undercover) would mention that "[he] can't watch Evolution without something happening". When he's revealed to be the bad guy, it would be shown that the Evolution he was talking about was Dragonball Evolution, which he would praise as "a wonderful work of art that accpets that you don't have to follow the previous version, instead choosing originality". This would not comically show Mashirito's twisted mind and evil nature, but would also be a reference to the highly negative reputation held by Dragonball Evolution.
  • While Lord and Miller would mostly refrain themselves of featuring dark scenes in the film, they would neverthless allow for the scene in which Masharito suggests that he destoryed innocent robots before the film's events to be filmed, due to its resemblance to Charles Muntz' monologue in Pixar's Up (2009). They would explain that they felt that, while dark, the scene's resemblance to Muntz' monologue in Up would allow the film to "go dark for a moment" while still being faithful to the original franchise.
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