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Western Animation / Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins

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A Direct to Video Original Video Animation meant as a tie-in of sorts to Mortal Kombat. The plots between cartoon and movie are more or less similar, with the same three protagonists - Liu Kang, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade - but with far less tournament and far more backstory.

See also Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm.

Trope examples include:

  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Johnny Cage spends most of the cartoon as just a Deadpan Snarker, but when the Power Trio are faced with an army of Outworld warriors, he takes off his shades to kick butt.
  • Limited Animation: This was one of the first instances of digitally produced 2D animation. It shows.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Shang Tsung knows he can't attack the trio before the Tournament, in risk of forfeiting. So he has Sub Zero use his powers to freeze the deck so that they would die in a slip and fall. It doesn't work and even then Raiden was well aware of it.
  • Mister Exposition: Raiden. Literally 90% of his dialogue is just exposition.
  • Motion Capture: How they achieved the CG animated sequences.
  • MST: Retsupurae takes a crack at the entire video starting here.
  • No Ending: Though the film claims that the live action film that this was released for will pick up where this left off... Only it didn't.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Shang Tsung exploits this to get Scorpion to help Sub Zero ambush the trio. As he points out, if one of them were to kill Sub Zero, Scorpion will never get his chance at vengeance.
  • Outside-Context Problem: As Raiden explains, while Kung Lao was the best fighter Earth had, no one had ever seen anyone like Goro. "Punishment that would have killed a mere man seemed to anger the shokan warrior."
  • Recycled Animation: Quite a lot of the 2D animation is this. It's most obvious in the climax, when the same fight sequences are repeated two or three times over the course of a few minutes. The most obvious example is the animation of Johnny Cage crab-walking away from some mooks, even though they try to hide it by first reversing the animation and then playing it in blurry slowmo.
  • Save the Villain: One of the backstories Raiden tells involves Goro and his brother fighting for the right to their father's throne. Goro's brother spares Goro falling off a cliff, but Goro doesn't return the favor when his brother is the one dangling.
  • Say My Name: Raiden towards the end: "Shaaaaaang Tsuuuuuuung!!!"
  • Speed Echoes: In the mook battle.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Much like the then-current console ports of the games, and the live-action movie, Raiden's name is misspelled as "Rayden" in the "Meet the Fighters" sequence.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The whole thing is pretty much Raiden explaining the events of previous Mortal Kombat tournaments over the aforementioned CGI.