The Karate Kid (franchise)

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The Karate Kid
Created by Robert Mark Kamen
Original work The Karate Kid (1984)
Films and television
Film(s)
Television series Cobra Kai (2018)
Animated series The Karate Kid (1989)
Games
Video game(s)
  • The Karate Kid Part II: The Computer Game (1986)
  • The Karate Kid (1987)

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, was released 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.

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.[1] Furthermore, the series has also had a lasting influence on both karate culture and teen film narratives in America.[2][3]

Films[edit]

Television[edit]

Characters[edit]

Characters Original films Animated series Remake Television series
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
1984 1986 1989 1994 1989 2010 2018–present
Daniel LaRusso Ralph Macchio Joey Dedio Ralph Macchio
Mr. Miyagi Noriyuki "Pat" Morita
Fumio Demura
(martial arts double)
Noriyuki "Pat" Morita Noriyuki "Pat" Morita
Fumio Demura
(martial arts double)
Robert Ito Noriyuki "Pat" Morita
(archive footage)
John Kreese Martin Kove Martin Kove
Johnny Lawrence William Zabka William Zabka
(archive footage)
William Zabka
Owen D. Stone
(young)
Bobby Brown Ron Thomas Ron Thomas
(uncredited, archive footage)
Ron Thomas
(archive footage)
Tommy Rob Garrison Rob Garrison
(archive footage)
Rob Garrison
(archive footage)
Dutch Chad McQueen Chad McQueen
(archive footage)
Chad McQueen
(archive footage)
Jimmy Tony O'Dell Tony O'Dell
(archive footage)
Tony O'Dell
(archive footage)
Ali Mills Elisabeth Shue Elisabeth Shue
(archive footage)
Elisabeth Shue
(archive footage)
Lucille LaRusso Randee Heller Randee Heller
(archive footage)
Randee Heller Randee Heller
Freddy Fernandez Isarel Jurabe Isarel Jurabe
(archive footage)
Mrs. Milo Frances Bay Frances Bay
Sato Toguchi Danny Kamekona
Chozen Toguchi Yuji Okumoto
Kumiko Tamlyn Tomita
Yukie Photograph Nobu McCarthy
Miyagi's Father Charlie Tanimoto
Terence "Terry" Silver 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
Taki Tamurai Janice Kawaye
Dre Parker Jaden Smith
Mr. Han Jackie Chan
Meiying Wenwen Han
Cheng Zhenwang Zhang
Sherry Parker Taraji P. Henson
Master Li Yu Rongguang
Harry Luke Carberry
Miguel Diaz Xolo Maridueña
Samantha "Sam" LaRusso Mary Mouser
Reese TinLee
(young)
Amanda LaRusso Courtney Henggeler
Kyler Joe Seo
Robby Keene Tanner Buchanan
Sid Weinberg Ed Asner
Micheal H. Cole
Anthony LaRusso Griffin Santopietro

Crew[edit]

Film Director(s) Producer(s) Writer(s) Composer(s) Editor(s) Cinematographers(s)
The Karate Kid John G. Avildsen Jerry Weintraub Robert Mark Kamen Bill Conti John G. Avildsen
Walt Mulconery
Bud S. Smith
James Crabe
The Karate Kid Part II John. G Alvidsen
David Garfield
Jane Kurson
The Karate Kid Part III John G. Avildsen
Walt Mulconery
Bud S. Smith
Steve Yaconelli
The Next Karate Kid Christopher Cain Mark Lee Ronald Roose László Kovács
The Karate Kid Harald Zwart Jerry Weintraub
Will Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith
James Lassiter
Kevin Stovitz
Christopher Murphey James Horner Joel Negron Roger Pratt

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office gross Budget Ref(s)
North
America
Other
territories
Worldwide
The Karate Kid June 22, 1984 $90,815,558   $90,815,558 $8 million [4]
The Karate Kid Part II June 20, 1986 $115,103,979   $115,103,979 $13 million [5]
The Karate Kid Part III June 30, 1989 $38,956,288 $38,956,288 $12.5 million [6]
The Next Karate Kid September 9, 1994 $8,914,777 $6,912,207 $15,826,984 $12 million [7]
The Karate Kid June 11, 2010 $176,591,618 $182,534,404 $359,126,022 $40 millon [8]
Total $430,382,220 $189,446,611 $619,828,831 $85.5 million [9]
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.

Critical response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
The Karate Kid (original) 90% (42 reviews)[10]  
The Karate Kid Part II 43% (23 reviews)[11]  
The Karate Kid Part III 16% (32 reviews)[12]  
The Next Karate Kid 7% (27 reviews)[13]  
The Karate Kid (remake) 65% (203 reviews)[14] 61 (37 reviews)[15]
Cobra Kai: Season 1 100% (30 reviews)[16]  

Music[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Score[edit]

Merchandise[edit]

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.

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.[17]

Legacy[edit]

The series has been credited for popularizing Karate in the United States.[18][19]

The 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.[20]

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.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/cobra_kai/
  2. ^ Forbes, Bruce David; Mahan, Jeffrey H. (November 17, 2005). Religion and Popular Culture in America (First ed.). Oakland, California: University of California Press. p. 31. ISBN 0520246896. 
  3. ^ Driscoll, Catherine (June 1, 2011). Teen Film: A Critical Introduction. Oxford: Berg Publishers. p. 136. ISBN 1847886868. 
  4. ^ "The Karate Kid (1984)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Karate Kid Part II (1986)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Karate Kid Part III (1989)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  7. ^ "The Next Karate Kid (1994)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  8. ^ "The Karate Kid (2010)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  9. ^ "The Karate Kid Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  10. ^ "The Karate Kid (1984) – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  11. ^ "The Karate Kid Part II (1986) – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  12. ^ "The Karate Kid Part III (1989) – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  13. ^ "The Next Karate Kid (1994) – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  14. ^ "The Karate Kid (2010) – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  15. ^ "The Karate Kid Reviews". CBS Interactive. Metacritic. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Cobra Kai – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 13, 2018. 
  17. ^ "The Karate Kid (1984) Action Figures have been Revived by Funko". Z.Love's Entertainment Blog. 2015-10-10. Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  18. ^ Powell, Larry; Garrett, Tom (20 December 2013). "The Films of John G. Avildsen: Rocky, The Karate Kid and Other Underdogs". McFarland. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via Google Books. 
  19. ^ M.D, Lyle J. Micheli (17 November 2010). "Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine". SAGE Publications. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via Google Books. 
  20. ^ Campbell, Christopher (June 6, 2010). "William Zabka-Directed Music Video, 'Sweep the Leg, Johnny'". Moviefone. AOL. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  21. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (April 29, 2013). "'How I Met Your Mother' recap, 'Bro Mitzvah': The REAL Karate Kid". ew.com. Retrieved May 12, 2018. 

External links[edit]