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5 Fun Facts About The Karate Kid

So seriously speaking, who didn’t love The Karate Kid? The 1984 film launched a franchise that became a pop culture phenomenon, inspired kids around the world to practice their crane kicks, and generated about a million How I Met Your Mother references. Despite now being over thirty years old, ‘80s kids around the world still express their admiration for the beloved movie. It inspired people to never put up with bullies, and to practice their craft until they became the best that they could be. Here are some interesting facts about the legendary movie that you likely never heard about…

Photo: asianfilmfestival.us/Kayvon Derakshanian

Pat Morita Almost Didn’t Get The Epic Mr. Miyagi Role

It’s hard to imagine anybody else playing the wise karate instructor, but Pat Morita wasn’t producer Jerry Weintraub’s first choice for the role of Mr. Miyagi. As Morita was primarily known for his comedic performance on Happy Days in the early 1980s, Weintraub doubted that audiences would be able to take him seriously in a more mature role. However, all Morita had to do was grow a beard and put on a Japanese accent for his screen test, and Weintraub changed his mind. That was the moment Mr. Miyagi was born.

Photo: goodfreephotos.com/Henning Witzel

You Can Visit Many Of The Karate Kid’s Filming Locations

The film begins as Daniel and his mother move to Los Angeles, and you can still visit many of the filming locations in the “City of Angels”. Not only that, but most of those locations still look very similar to how they looked in the movie. For example, Daniel’s apartment complex is located in L.A.’s Reseda neighborhood, and looks nearly identical in real life. The beach where he meets Ali is in Malibu, and it’s still as beautiful as ever. Check out the full list of filming locations at itsfilmedthere.com.

Photo: enclavedecine.com/John Guilbert Avildsen

Two Confrontations Between Daniel And Johnny Were Ultimately Deleted From The Film

The first scene happens in the school cafeteria, shortly after Daniel buys lunch for Ali. Johnny sneaks a piece of blueberry pie onto Daniel’s chair before he sits down. Daniel stands up – humiliated and livid when he sees his blueberry-stained paints. But Daniel doesn’t just take it (literally) sitting down, and smears the remains of the pie onto Johnny’s shirt. What follows is an all-out slobberknocker of a brawl.

The second scene occurs at the water fountain, when Daniel is confronted by Johnny. At that point, he bravely questions the practices of the Cobra Kai. As you can imagine, it doesn’t exactly go well.

Photo: newstatesman.com/Columbia Pictures

Many A-Listers Were Considered For The Role Of Daniel

Sean Penn, Robert Downey Jr., Charlie Sheen, and Tom Cruise were all considered for the lead role in The Karate Kid. Despite all these big names, Ralph Maccio was chosen for the part based on his killer performance, one year earlier, in The Outsiders – making him a true ‘80s icon. In fact, he’s stated that his previous role as Johnny was an inspiration to him while filming The Karate Kid.

“You’re The Best” Was Originally Written For Rocky III, Not The Karate Kid

Joe Esposito’s song will forever be associated with the final fight sequence during the All-Valley Karate Championship, but it almost didn’t make it into the film. The tune was originally written by Bill Conti and Allee Willis to be used in Rocky III, but was swapped out at the last minute for Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” The song was also rejected for use in the movie Flashdance, which makes you truly wonder about the musical tastes of the ‘80s.

Whether you knew some of these facts or not, you definitely knew that you loved this iconic movie- and for good reason- it still holds up, to this day.