This article was originally published in 2014 on Karate Kid’s 30th anniversary. The Hundreds X The Karate Kid releases Friday, April 27.
It pains me a bit to say this, but The Karate Kid turns 30 years old today. That’s right, it’s been thirty years since a coming-of-age tale about an embattled Valley kid upset industry expectations, raked in $100 Million, earned Mr. Miyagi’s Pat Morita an Oscar nomination, and inspired an entire generation to wax on, wax off.
I was a baby when this film debuted, but it captured my youth. Back to the Future trilogy aside, The Karate Kid caps off my Top 5 Movies Ever, symbolizing an era of American storytelling that’s since been jettisoned. Blockbusters today hinge on comic book properties, A-list celebrities, or obscure indies. But this decade of movies was about making mountains out of unknowns, timeless narratives that spoke to the entire family, and giving hope to suburban youth who were submerged in cul-de-sacs.