The Mortal Kombat fighting games are probably best known for their violence, most notably their gory fatality moves. While it is entertaining to rip the spine out of your opponent at the end of a match, you might not want to expose your youngest children to such graphic displays. That doesn’t mean that fans of the Mortal Kombat franchise don’t have any options available to introduce it to their children.
Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm is an animated series that aired on USA network during their Action Extreme Team animation block in 1996. It’s written as an alternative sequel to the first Mortal Kombat movie and features Liu Kang, Stryker, Sonya Blade, Jax, Kitana, Sub-Zero and Raiden, who labor to protect Earth from various invaders from other dimensions. If you watched the cartoon as a kid, you may find that it hasn’t aged very well. The animation is somewhat choppy, and the plot sometimes nonsensical, but its action-packed battle sequences will still grab your child’s attention.
The series also includes voice acting from a few solid players in the sci-fi/fantasy field, including Ron Perlman (Hell Boy, Fallout), Clancy Brown (Highlander, Starship Troopers), Olivia d’Abo (Conan the Destroyer, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), and Luke Perry (Beverly Hills 90210).
Though the show only lasted one season (13 episodes, which aired back-to-back with the Street Fighter series, its Saturday morning flavor and softer approach to the violence makes it suitable for most kids. For any child unfamiliar with the Mortal Kombat franchise, this stuff makes for a rip-roaring good time. Dragon jets, ancient burial grounds and multi-dimensional portals are just part of the fun.
And sometimes the warriors actually use their brains to figure stuff out, rather than resorting to the violence on which Mortal Kombat is so often based. It’s a good message to send to kids, especially if their next step in the process is ultra-violent gaming with dad.
You’ll enjoy it as well, just check out this clip full of Mortal Kombat “logic”.
Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm is available at Times Forgotten.