Warner Bros. Animation’s new animated Mortal Kombat movie, Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms, dropped Tuesday, delivering a familiar, bloody tale of the battle of Earthrealm’s warriors against the villains of Outworld. It also quickly confirms the canonical existence of “Ultra Instinct Shaggy,” the Dragon Ball-inspired Scooby-Doo meme of yore (aka 2017).
Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms begins with a WB Animation production logo, in which Scorpion punches, kicks, flips, and generally attempts to intimidate — only to be snatched by the throat by a green-glowing Shaggy, reaching out from behind the Warner Bros. shield from his lair in NetherRealm. Shaggy borrows Scorpion’s signature catchphrase, adding a bit of his own slacker flair: “Zoinks! Get over here, man!” Scooby-Doo’s there too.
The goof is part nod to the Ultra Instinct Shaggy meme, which derived from the 2011 animated movie Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur, in which Shaggy single-handedly beats up a biker gang, and when Goku first reached Ultra Instinct form in the Dragon Ball Super episode “Son Goku Wakes! New Level of the Awakened!” It’s also a sequel of sorts to the WB Animation production logo from Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, the animated precursor to Battle of the Realms. In that intro, seen below, Scorpion drags a hyper Daffy Duck into Mortal Kombat hell through the same WB logo portal.
Mortal Kombat Legends’ version of Ultra Instinct Shaggy is aesthetically in tune with the MK franchise; his green aura is similar to that of the soul-based energy used by Outworld’s Shao Khan, Quan Chi, Ermac, and others.
His appearance may also be a concession to a fan-fueled effort that tried to convince Warner Bros. and MK developer NetherRealm Studios to put Shaggy in Mortal Kombat 11 (which obviously didn’t happen, despite more than 380,000 signatures on a Change.org petition).
The arrival of Ultra Instinct Shaggy into the MK universe exploded on Twitter early Tuesday morning, capturing the attention of Ed Boon, creative director at NetherRealm and co-creator of the Mortal Kombat franchise.
If you want to check out the intro yourself and own a piece of Scooby-Doo/Mortal Kombat history, Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms is out on Blu-ray and digital formats now.