The Karate Kid
GenreChildren's television series
Based onThe Karate Kid
by Robert Mark Kamen
Written byDorothy Middleton
Michael Maurer
Directed byLarry Houston
Voices ofJoey Dedio
Robert Ito
Janice Kawaye
Pat Morita
ComposersHaim Saban
Shuki Levy
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13[1]
Production
Executive producersJerry Weintraub
Andy Heyward
Haim Saban
ProducerLarry Houston
Production companiesDIC Enterprises
Saban Entertainment
Columbia Pictures Television
Original release
NetworkNBC
ReleaseSeptember 9 (1989-09-09) –
December 16, 1989 (1989-12-16)
Related
The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid is a 1989 American animated children's television series which debuted on NBC's Saturday morning lineup. It starred Joey Dedio, Robert Ito, and Janice Kawaye. It is based on the Karate Kid series of films, and was produced by DIC Enterprises, Saban Entertainment and Columbia Pictures Television.[2]

The show was originally planned for daily syndication for fall 1988 with 65 episodes, before eventually settling on a 13-episode order for NBC Saturday mornings in 1989.[3]

Overview

The show retains apprentice Daniel LaRusso (voiced by Joey Dedio) and his mentor Mr. Miyagi (voiced by Robert Ito) but abandons the karate tournament motif for an adventure/quest setting.[4] A miniature shrine with magic powers is taken from its resting place on Okinawa, and it is up to Miyagi and Daniel to recover it. Together with Okinawan girl Taki Tamurai (voiced by Janice Kawaye), the karatekas search the globe and, naturally, encounter several opportunities to fight their way out of trouble.[5]

Pat Morita reprised his role as Mr. Miyagi before the opening through a narration in which he explains the episode's plot from his character's point of view. Morita provided opening narration for every episode aside from episode 8.

Episode formula

The episodes typically follow a similar formula: Mr. Miyagi obtains a lead on the shrine's location in some exotic corner of the world. Daniel and Taki follow up on it, and in the process encounter some villains who have either obtained or are seeking to obtain the shrine for their own evil purposes. After engaging and defeating the villains, Daniel comes within a hair's breadth of retrieving the shrine, only to have it escape from his grasp by random chance (for example, drifting away after being tied to a bunch of balloons, or being swept into the ocean), thus ensuring that the search continues into the next episode.

Syndication

The show was available for purchase on iTunes, and could be streamed for free in the U.S. on Netflix, IMDb, Hulu, The Minisode Network, and Crackle. As of May 2018, the show was no longer available on iTunes, Netflix, or Hulu.

In Canada, the series can be streamed online via CTV's "CTV Throwback" video on demand service.

Episodes

No.TitleWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code [6]
1"My Brother's Keeper"Dorothy Middleton
Michael Maurer
September 9, 1989 (1989-09-09)101
In South America, a diffident teenager from a Shuar tribe finds the shrine and believes it can give him the confidence and strength to pass his tests of manhood. Miyagi shows him that confidence does not come from the shrine but from within, and Daniel works with the boy in a series of physical tests to prepare for the warrior rites.
2"The Greatest Victory"Matt Uitz
Michael Maurer
Dorothy Middleton
September 16, 1989 (1989-09-16)102
In Hong Kong, a neighborhood has been threatened by a crime gang known as Dragon. A group of activists figure the shrine could help them defeat Dragon, but when the gang leader seizes the shrine, he uses it to brainwash people into being his hoods. Miyagi teaches that the way to deal with organized crime is through collective action, and the natives form a community watch group and help bring awareness of the misdeeds of Dragon.
3"The Homecoming"Sean Roche
David Ehrman
Michael Maurer
Dorothy Middleton
September 23, 1989 (1989-09-23)103
In New York City, New York, U.S.A., the trio are paying a visit to New York City to find the shrine in New Jersey where Daniel used to live.
4"The Tomorrow Man"Rick Merwin
Michael Maurer
Dorothy Middleton
September 30, 1989 (1989-09-30)104
In Paris, France, the trio is in pursuit of a smuggler known for his affinity for parfait a chocolate, as he is looking for the shrine. A man known as Amazing Roland pretends to be a clairvoyant to entertain tourists, but has been getting actual psychic visions. However, one such vision shows Mr. Miyagi's possible death, causing Daniel to panic. Mr. Miyagi convinces Daniel that fate must run its course.
5"All the World His Stage"Karen Wilson
Chris Weber
Michael Maurer
Dorothy Middleton
October 14, 1989 (1989-10-14)105
While in London, United Kingdom, the trio get hired on a movie set about King Arthur, where Miyagi finds the power of the shrine has been drained into a prop sword, which is used by the film's leading man who then cannot separate reality from fantasy and thinks Taki is his actual bride, and Daniel is threatening him.
6"The Paper Hero"Matt Uitz
Dorothy Middleton
Michael Maurer
October 21, 1989 (1989-10-21)106
The trio is in Tijuana, Mexico, where Daniel runs into his Uncle Jack, an FBI employee. Daniel is enthralled with his uncle's FBI work until he admits his job was to file reports, and that he is investigating a case of small-time banditos threatening villages along the Mexico-US border, and are now abusing the shrine to go from minor offenses to commit major crimes as supervillains. Daniel has a problem with the sandstorms blinding him, and Miyagi teaches him to use his other four senses to fight. Daniel's uncle Jack learns there is no shame in having his current FBI job. Uncle Jack only appeared in this cartoon episode.
7"Over the Rainbow"Michael Maurer
Dorothy Middleton
October 28, 1989 (1989-10-28)107
In the Himalayas, the shrine is in a mountain spring, which has caused the waters to reverse the aging process. In the nearby village, the council of elders used the waters to become young again in order to fill a generation gap and convince their teenagers not to leave. However, the village council enjoyed being young and forgot their responsibilities, and now the village has become focused on partying instead of working hard. When a snowstorm threatens the village, the unrenovated houses and lack of proper civil defense could doom them.
8"The Return of the Shrine"Dorothy Middleton
Michael Maurer
November 4, 1989 (1989-11-04)108
Daniel, Miyagi, and Taki succeed in returning the shrine to Okinawa. However at home Taki has to deal with a family feud that could lead to the shrine being lost once again.
9"Walkabout"Matt Uitz
Michael Maurer
Dorothy Middleton
November 11, 1989 (1989-11-11)109
In Australia, Daniel meets an Aboriginee man who has seen the shrine, but he is blackmailed by members of his tribe. The trio's friend is torn between whom he should help.
10"East Meets West"Michael Maurer
Dorothy Middleton
November 18, 1989 (1989-11-18)110
In what used to be the USSR, the group find the shrine in a Soviet scientific research facility. The Friendship Games are taking place with the first time that Western nations have been invited in an effort to promote glasnost. Daniel has been put on the West's hockey team, which he worries that he cannot even skate, resorting to Mr. Miyagi's unconventional lessons once again. Meanwhile, one scientist steals the shrine to empower his son, who is playing on the East's hockey team, in order to prove the supremacy of the Soviets, only for both to get more than they bargained for.
11"The Hunt"Rick Merwin
Dorothy Middleton
Michael Maurer
December 2, 1989 (1989-12-02)111
The trio get a job aboard a whaling vessel in Norway after seeing a white whale has swallowed the shrine.
12"The Gray Ghosts"Karen Wilson
Chris Weber
Michael Maurer
Dorothy Middleton
December 9, 1989 (1989-12-09)112
The trio goes to San Francisco where they find a group of senior citizens known as the "Gray Ghosts", so named because they were enthusiasts of the classic car by the same name. They learn the shrine may be in possession of a reclusive tycoon named Frump. Daniel has to work with one of the Gray Ghosts, who is very different from the stereotypes Daniel has of old ladies.
13"A Little World of His Own"Dorothy Middleton
Michael Maurer
December 16, 1989 (1989-12-16)113
Somewhere in the South, the shrine has come under possession of a shy boy named Walter, who uses the power of the shrine to shrink actual items such as railroad cars and add them to his model collection. In doing so, Walter resorts to using the shrine to shrink the trio when Daniel tries to get it back. A tiny Daniel and Miyagi must work to give Walter a confidence boost to ask a girl out to a party in the hopes of reverting to their proper sizes. However, Walter is using the shrine for more than just scale models, as he also uses it for revenge on two bullies; and Miyagi warns that not only is such overuse damaging the shrine, but vengeance is also unhealthy.

Cast

Additional voices

Crew

Cobra Kai series

With regard to the series Cobra Kai, Jon Hurwitz clarified that the Karate Kid series is not canon, but an Easter Egg from it appears in Season 3, in response to the question about the Karate Kid animated series' official status within the Karate Kid / Cobra Kai universe.[7] The Easter Egg is in the form of the Miyagi-Do shrine, briefly seen at Chozen Toguchi's dojo in Okinawa halfway through the season.[8]

References

  1. ^ "The Karate Kid DVD news: Announcement for The Karate Kid – The Animated Series". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  2. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 333. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  3. ^ "Achived". s23.postimg.org. Archived from the original (JPG) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2023.[dead link]
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. p. 464. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  5. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1997). The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television. Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 246. ISBN 978-0823083152. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  6. ^ From the United States Copyright Office catalog: "Public Catalog - Copyright Catalog (1978 to present) - Basic Search [search: "Karate Kid"]". United States Copyright Office.
  7. ^ Hurwitz, Jon (September 24, 2020). "Twitter: Jon Hurwitz". Twitter. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  8. ^ Stone, Sam (January 20, 2021). "Cobra Kai Reveals Nearly Two Dozen Easter Eggs from Season 3". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved January 23, 2021.