Karate Kid Sequels, Remakes and cartoons – Oh My!

We took a look back at the original Karate Kid Trilogy and they really deserve their spot in pop culture. Not to mention in classic martial arts films even if they’re not really fight or choreograph heavy. Now it’s time to go through all the other sequels, remakes and shows that the franchise had over the years. We’re only missing the Youtube Red show which is also a sequel but we’ll take a look back at it eventually as well.

The Next Karate Kid
This is another movie that gets a lot of hate like Part III but I also found it better than what I expected. At least in this movie we get a new Karate Kid, this movie definitely looks like a 90s version of the original so its interesting to see it that way instead of comparing it. Hilary Swank does a decent job and her training is interesting. The bad guy seemed a little too evil for the sake of being bad but so did the other sequels so I can’t complain too much about it.

Without a tournament or anything it felt like something was missing to the plot or to see where the film was going and you aren’t satisfied with the ending. They seemed to never mention her grades later on either which was a big plot in the beginning, rather odd. My biggest disappointment was the lack of explanation for Daniel-San. Mr. Mayagi acknowledges him in a line, but why not instead of that mention that his previous student is in college? Daniel obviously meant a lot to him so a “Boys are much easier to deal with, I had a student named Daniel San” seems a bit of a weird reference that took as long but didn’t have any heart. Far from a terrible movie.

Karate Kid 2010
The first Karate Kid movie I watched was the remake with Jackie Chan and Jayden Smith which was originally called The Kung-Fu Kid. I had my doubts but it was a good movie. It is not a remake and tells it’s own story even if it does borrow some elements from the original it still has less throwbacks than The Next Karate Kid did. A sequel has been in development but it never came out and who knows if it’ll happen now, it’d been neat to see Daniel returning in the sequel as some type of mentor or rival since this film could take place in the same continuity.

Karate Kid Cartoon
The Karate Kid animated series was made by Saban who is known for being cheap and it shows since it looks like it didn’t have a high budget. The show reeks of the 80s and has the most generic plots you can imagine straight out of other shows at the time. They travel around the world to find this “mini shrine” that gives powers so there’s an evil person who wants it in each episode.

The show seems to take place after the trilogy since it doesn’t make much sense for it to take place after the original movie but fits a little better after the second one since he is just randomly travelling with Mr. Miyagi I guess. The plot of the show is never really explained through a pilot episode, the closest we come is when they get to Okinawa to return the Shrine (only to be lost again) in one episode. I guess this is as much of an elseworlds story even if you can shoehorn it after the original.

The show is filled with stereotypes which I guess fits the franchise since we already have Mr. Miyagi being somewhat of a Japanese stereotype, but I don’t know the main characters just don’t fit the role of world explorers and seems like another 80s show just copied and pasted with the Karate Kid name. There’s a new character an Okinawa girl,she’s ok but could’ve used some character development or a previous girl that we knew about but then again Daniel always had a different girl in each sequel.

The theme song and ending song aren’t bad so there’s that at least. Also Mr. Miyagi seems to be a little too active for an old man but other than that isn’t too out of character. Daniel himself seems to fit the character personality in the movie but then again his personality is a generic 80s teen learning lessons each episode that was used in every 80s cartoon that just happens to fit his movie personality. Not really for everyone but at least it had a show.

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Luigi Kawasaki

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