The Karate Kid (franchise)
|The Karate Kid|
The Karate Kid franchise logo
|Created by||Robert Mark Kamen|
|Original work||The Karate Kid (1984)|
|Owned by||Columbia Pictures|
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
|Films and television|
|Television series||Cobra Kai (2018–present)|
|Animated series||The Karate Kid (1989)|
The Karate Kid is an American martial arts drama multi-media franchise, created by screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen. The franchise began in 1984 with The Karate Kid, and was followed by three film sequels: The Karate Kid Part II (1986), The Karate Kid Part III (1989) and The Next Karate Kid (1994). Cobra Kai, a television series that serves as a sequel to the films, premiered in 2018.
The success of the first two films spawned an animated television series that aired in 1989, while a remake film centered on kung fu was released in 2010, set outside of the main story and featuring a similar plot to the original film.
While the first film garnered critical acclaim, critics were less enthusiastic about its sequels. However, the Cobra Kai television series garnered critical and audience acclaim. Furthermore, the franchise has also had a lasting influence on both karate culture and teen film narratives in America.
- 1 Films
- 2 Television series
- 3 Characters
- 4 Reception
- 5 "Karate Kid" title
- 6 Merchandise
- 7 Cultural influence
- 8 References
- 9 External links
|Film||U.S. release date||Director(s)||Writer(s)||Producer(s)|
|The Karate Kid||June 22, 1984||John G. Avildsen||Robert Mark Kamen||Jerry Weintraub|
|The Karate Kid Part II||June 20, 1986|
|The Karate Kid Part III||June 30, 1989|
|The Next Karate Kid||September 9, 1994||Christopher Cain||Mark Lee|
|The Karate Kid||June 11, 2010||Harald Zwart||Christopher Murphey||Jerry Weintraub, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith,|
James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz
The Karate Kid (1984)
Daniel LaRusso and his mother have just moved to Reseda, Los Angeles from Newark, New Jersey at the start of the school year. Befriending classmate Ali Mills, he comes into conflict with Ali's ex-boyfriend and star pupil of the "Cobra Kai" dojo Johnny Lawrence and his gang. After being beaten up by the Cobra Kai gang in an after-school fight, Daniel finds an unlikely friend and karate sensei in his apartment complex's handyman, Mr. Miyagi, a proficient karate master. Making a deal with Johnny's merciless sensei, John Kreese, to end the fighting, Miyagi trains Daniel to compete at the All-Valley Karate Tournament.
The Karate Kid Part II (1986)
Immediately following the All-Valley Karate Tournament, Johnny is attacked by his furious sensei, John Kreese, in the parking lot. Mr. Miyagi intervenes, rescuing Johnny and passively humiliating Kreese in the process. Six months later, Miyagi receives a letter about his ailed father and plans to return to his home village on Okinawa Island. With Daniel in tow, Miyagi's past catches up with him as an old rivalry with a former friend is reignited.
The Karate Kid Part III (1989)
One year after the 1984 All-Valley Karate Tournament, John Kreese is now broke after losing all of his students. After visiting his Vietnam War comrade, rich businessman Terry Silver, Silver sends him on vacation to Tahiti promising to re-establish the Cobra Kai dojo and get revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi. Meanwhile, Daniel and Miyagi have returned home from Okinawa to find Daniel's apartment building under reconstruction and his mother back in New Jersey taking care of a sick relative; Miyagi invites Daniel to stay with him. When Miyagi refuses to train Daniel to defend his title at the tournament, Daniel happens across Silver who offers to train him Cobra Kai-style.
The Next Karate Kid (1994)
Attending a commemorative service in Boston, Massachusetts for the Japanese-American soldiers who fought in the 442nd Infantry Regiment in World War II, Mr. Miyagi reacquaints with Louisa Pierce, the widow of his commanding officer. Louisa introduces him to her rebellious teenage granddaughter Julie, whose anger issues – resulting from her parents' deaths – make life difficult for Louisa. Offering to help, Miyagi sends Louisa to his home in Los Angeles for respite while he works to mentor Julie. Julie initially rebuffs Miyagi's help, but warms to him after coming into conflict with the leader of her school's shady security fraternity, Ned.
The Karate Kid (2010)
Dre Parker and his mother move from Detroit to Beijing after she transfers jobs. He befriends Meiying, a young musician who goes to his school, but draws the unwanted attention of Cheng, a kung fu prodigy whose family is close to Meiying's. Cheng and his friends relentlessly bully Dre at school to keep him away from Meiying, resulting in a fight on a school field trip where Dre is beaten up before being saved by his apartment building's maintenance man, Mr. Han. After failing to end the bullying by talking with Cheng's ruthless kung fu teacher, Mr. Han agrees to train Dre to compete at an upcoming kung fu tournament.
|Series||Season||Episodes||First released||Last released||Showrunner(s)||Network(s)|
|The Karate Kid||1||13||September 9, 1989||December 16, 1989||Larry Houston||NBC|
|Cobra Kai||1||10||May 2, 2018||Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg||YouTube Premium|
|2||10||April 24, 2019|
The Karate Kid (1989)
A miniature shrine with mystical properties has been stolen from its resting place in Okinawa; Daniel and Miyagi are tasked with locating it and returning it home. Joined by Taki Tamurai, the group searches the globe on a series of adventures to keep the shrine out of dangerous hands.
Cobra Kai (2018–)
34 years after the 1984 All-Valley Karate Tournament, a down-and-out Johnny Lawrence has just lost his job. After getting arrested for rescuing his teenage neighbour Miguel Diaz from a group of bullies, then getting cut-loose by his step-father, Johnny agrees to teach Miguel karate and reopens the Cobra Kai dojo, attracting social outcasts who build their self-confidence under his aggressive tutelage. Meanwhile, Daniel LaRusso owns a successful chain of car dealerships but struggles to keep a balanced life without the guidance of his now-deceased mentor, Mr. Miyagi. Johnny's estranged son, Robby Keene, comes under Daniel's wing – initially not knowing Robby's parentage – giving Robby a job at his car dealership and mentoring him with Miyagi's life lessons. Daniel and Johnny come into conflict after Cobra Kai's return is made public, while Daniel's daughter Samantha gets caught in the middle.
|The Karate Kid||The Karate Kid Part II||The Karate Kid Part III||The Next Karate Kid||The Karate Kid||The Karate Kid||Cobra Kai|
|Daniel LaRusso||Ralph Macchio||Joey Dedio||Ralph Macchio|
|Mr. Miyagi||Noriyuki "Pat" Morita||Noriyuki "Pat" Morita||Noriyuki "Pat" Morita||Robert Ito||Noriyuki "Pat" Morita |
(martial arts double)
|Fumio Demura |
(martial arts double)
|John Kreese||Martin Kove||Martin Kove|
|Johnny Lawrence||William Zabka||William Zabka
|Owen D. Stone |
|Ali Mills||Elisabeth Shue||Elisabeth Shue
|Elisabeth Shue |
|Lucille LaRusso||Randee Heller||Randee Heller
|Randee Heller||Randee Heller|
|Bobby Brown||Ron Thomas||Ron Thomas
(uncredited, archive footage)
|Tommy||Rob Garrison||Rob Garrison
|Dutch||Chad McQueen||Chad McQueen
|Chad McQueen |
|Jimmy||Tony O'Dell||Tony O'Dell
|Freddy Fernandez||Israel Juarbe||Isarel Jurabe |
|Mrs. Milo||Frances Bay||Frances Bay|
|Sato Toguchi||Danny Kamekona|
|Chozen Toguchi||Yuji Okumoto|
|Miyagi's Father||Charlie Tanimoto|
|Terence "Terry" Silver||Thomas Ian Griffith||Thomas Ian Griffith|
|Michael "Mike" Barnes||Sean Kanan|
|Jessica Andrews||Robyn Lively|
|Julie Pierce||Hilary Swank|
|Louisa Pierce||Constance Towers|
|Ned Randall||Michael Cavelieri|
|Eric McGowen||Chris Conrad|
|Colonel Paul Dugan||Michael Ironside|
|Angel the Hawk||Frank Welker
|Dre Parker||Jaden Smith|
|Mr. Han||Jackie Chan|
|Sherry Parker||Taraji P. Henson|
|Master Li||Rongguang Yu|
|Taki Tamurai||Janice Kawaye|
|Amanda LaRusso||Courtney Henggeler|
|Miguel Diaz||Xolo Maridueña|
|Robby Keene||Tanner Buchanan|
|Samantha "Sam" LaRusso||Mary Mouser|
|Reese TinLee |
|Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz||Jacob Bertrand|
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Budget|
|The Karate Kid (1984)||June 22, 1984||$90,815,558||$90,815,558||$8 million|
|The Karate Kid Part II||June 20, 1986||$115,103,979||$115,103,979||$13 million|
|The Karate Kid Part III||June 30, 1989||$38,956,288||$38,956,288||$12.5 million|
|The Next Karate Kid||September 9, 1994||$8,914,777||$6,912,207||$15,826,984||$12 million|
|The Karate Kid (2010)||June 11, 2010||$176,591,618||$182,534,404||$359,126,022||$40 million|
|The Karate Kid (1984)||88% (43 reviews)||60 (15 reviews)||N/A|
|The Karate Kid Part II||42% (24 reviews)||55 (9 reviews)||A–|
|The Karate Kid Part III||16% (32 reviews)||36 (12 reviews)||B–|
|The Next Karate Kid||7% (27 reviews)||36 (15 reviews)||B+|
|The Karate Kid (2010)||66% (206 reviews)||61 (37 reviews)||A|
|Cobra Kai: Season 1||100% (42 reviews)||72 (11 reviews)||N/A|
|Cobra Kai: Season 2||88% (24 reviews)||66 (7 reviews)||N/A|
"Karate Kid" title
In 1994, a Karate teacher named Bill DeClemente filed a lawsuit against those involved in the Karate Kid films, claiming that he owned the rights to the title The Karate Kid.  A New York court dismissed the case in 1997, stating that it was a "nickname" for DeClemente, known to only a few people.
The film spawned a franchise of related items and memorabilia such as action figures, head bands, posters, T-shirts, and a video game. A novelization was made by B.B. Hiller and published in 1984. The novel had a scene that was in the rehearsal when Daniel encounters Johnny during school at lunch. Also at the end, there was a battle between Miyagi and Kreese in the parking lot after the tournament which was the original ending for the film and used as the beginning of The Karate Kid Part II. A video game based on the second film, titled The Karate Kid Part II: The Computer Game, was released in 1987.
In 2015, toy company Funko revived The Karate Kid action figures. Two versions of character Daniel Larusso, a version of character Johnny Lawrence and a version of Mr. Miyagi were part of the line. The toys were spotted at retailers Target and Amazon.com.
The 2007 music video for the song "Sweep the Leg" by No More Kings stars William Zabka (who also directed the video) as a caricature of himself and features references to The Karate Kid, including cameo appearances by Zabka's former Karate Kid co-stars.
Macchio and Zabka made a guest appearance as themselves in the How I Met Your Mother episode "The Bro Mitzvah". In the episode, Macchio is invited to Barney Stinson's bachelor party, leading to Barney shouting that he hates Macchio and that Johnny was the real hero of The Karate Kid. Towards the end of the episode, a clown in the party wipes off his makeup and reveals himself as Zabka.
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