The Karate Kid Movies in Order: A sizable hit with both teen audiences and sports-themed movie enthusiasts, 1984’s The Karate Kid had the right combination of heart and action to spawn three sequels of varying quality between 1986 and 1994, and the remake of 1984’s The Karate Kid, the film presents the iconic relation of feature and student stars Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, moving settings to China, and the martial art changed (despite the film’s title) from karate to kung fu. All Five The Karate Kid movies feature the messages inherent to–finding one’s inner strength, trusting your heart–should ring true to new generations of younger viewers. So if you want to enjoy the best martial art movie series watch The Karate Kid Movies in Order of event.
Though plot elements varied from film to film, the core story remained the same–the relationship between a wise Japanese martial arts teacher Pat Morita and his young American student Ralph Macchio in the first three films, and future Oscar winner Hilary Swank in the final entry, The Next Karate Kid. The first of the Morita/Macchio matchups remains the best of the four features, with excellent performances from both leads and director John G. Avildsen (who also handled Rocky and the first two Kid sequels) expertly balancing the emotional moments with the pure excitement of the martial arts tournament that serves as its finale. So enjoy the utterly predictable and wholly of its time, but warm, sincere, and difficult to resist, due in large part to Morita and Macchio’s relaxed chemistry alongside Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, by watching The Karate Kid Movies in Order as follow.
The Karate Kid Film Series Movies in Order
1. The Karate Kid (1984)
A fatherless teenager faces his moment of truth in The Karate Kid. Daniel (Ralph Macchio) arrives in Los Angeles from the east coast and faces the difficult task of making new friends. However, he becomes the object of bullying by the Cobras, a menacing gang of karate students, when he strikes up a relationship with Ali (Elisabeth Shue), the Cobra leader’s ex-girlfriend. Eager to fight back and impress his new girlfriend but afraid to confront the dangerous gang, Daniel asks his handyman Miyagi (Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita), whom he learns is a master of the martial arts, to teach him karate. Miyagi teaches Daniel that karate is a mastery over the self, mind, and body and that fighting is always the last answer to a problem. Under Miyagi’s guidance, Daniel develops not only physical skills but also the faith and self-confidence to compete despite tremendous odds as he encounters the fight of his life in the exciting finale to this entertaining film.
2. The Karate Kid Part II (1986)
The price of honor. The power of friendship. THE KARATE KID, Part II. Ralph Macchio and Noriyuki “Pat” Morita re-create the roles that brought them international acclaim in The Karate Kid. Karate student, Daniel Larusso (Macchio), accompanies his wise and whimsical teacher, Mr. Miyagi (Morita), to his ancestral home in Okinawa. For the boy, it’s a journey to an exotic new world offering new clues to his mentor’s secret past. For Miyagi, it’s an opportunity to see his father one last time and tore kindle up a romance with his childhood sweetheart (Nobu McCarthy). But Miyagi’s return also re-ignites a bitter feud with the long-time enemy, Sato (Danny Kamekona) – a feud that involves young Daniel in a brilliant collision of cultures and combat. Now, far away from the tournaments, the cheering crowds and the safety of home, Daniel will face his greatest challenge ever when the teacher becomes the student and the price of honor is life itself.
3. The Karate Kid Part III (1989)
Karate Kid, Daniel Larusso, risks losing it all when he places pride before principle in this dramatic film that reunites stars Ralph Macchio and Noriyuki “Pat” Morita. When Daniel (Macchio) decides not to compete in the upcoming karate championship, he becomes the target of vicious Cobra Kai student, Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan), who’s determined to win the title back. Standing firm, Daniel’s mentor and trainer, Mr. Miyagi (Morita), instructs him to ignore Mike’s threats – and stay away from the tournament. But when Mike’s relentless abuse escalates into blackmail, Daniel finds himself forced into the competition – and at serious odds with Miyagi, the one person he cherishes most. Desperate, Daniel turns to another karate instructor, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), whose violent combat techniques are directly opposed to Miyagi’s wise instruction. But when Daniel realizes that Terry and Mike are allied with Mr. Miyagi’s old nemesis, Kreese (Martin Kove), in an elaborate set-up for revenge, he also knows he has alienated the only person who can help him. A riveting story of independence, inner strength, and self-enlightenment, THE KARATE KID, Part III is a powerful new chapter in this popular series of films.
4. The Next Karate Kid (1994)
Mr. Miyagi is BACK and he takes a new pupil under his WING! Noriyuki “Pat” Morita and Acacemy Award winner Hilary Swank co-star in this story of a rebellious teen.
Karate master Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita) goes to Boston to attend a military reunion. There, he visits with Louisa (Constance Towers), the widow of his former commander, and meets her granddaughter, Julie (Hilary Swank). Julie’s parents were recently killed in a car accident, and she is still reeling from the loss. When Julie surprises Miyagi with her knowledge of karate, he takes her to a Buddhist monastery for training and to help her come to terms with her angst.
5. Cobra Kai (TV series) [2018–present]
In the highly-anticipated return of two iconic characters, the arch-rivals from the legendary Karate Kid film series reunite over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament. Cobra Kai (2018–present) offers a continuation of the universe that the original films of the 1980s and 1990s created.
After the 1984 All-Valley Karate Tournament, a down-and-out Johnny Lawrence, now in his 50s, has just lost his job. After getting arrested for rescuing his teenage neighbor Miguel Diaz from a group of bullies, then getting cut-loose and disowned by his step-father, Johnny agrees to teach Miguel karate and reopens the Cobra Kai dojo, attracting social outcasts who build their self-confidence under his unorthodox tutelage. Meanwhile, Daniel LaRusso owns a successful chain of car dealerships and is happily married to his wife Amanda but struggles to keep a balanced life without the guidance of his now-deceased mentor, Mr. Miyagi. Johnny’s estranged and troubled son, Robby Keene, hoping to get back at his father, comes under Daniel’s wing – initially not knowing Robby’s parentage – giving Robby a job at his car dealership and teaching him Miyagi-Do karate. Daniel and Johnny come into conflict after Cobra Kai’s return is made public, while Daniel’s daughter Samantha gets caught in the middle.
The series attained high viewership on both YouTube and Netflix, and has received critical acclaim. The website’s critical consensus reads: “Cobra Kai continues the Karate Kid franchise with a blend of pleasantly corny nostalgia and teen angst, elevated by a cast of well-written characters.”
5. The Karate Kid (2010) [Remake]
In this reimagining of the 1984 film, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) could’ve been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother’s (Taraji P. Henson) latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying – and the feeling is mutual – but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre’s feelings make an enemy of the class bully, Cheng. In the land of kung fu, Dre knows only a little karate, and Cheng puts “the karate kid” on the floor with ease. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who is secretly a master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life.
The film received generally favorable reviews and earned $359 million on a $40 million budget. The site’s critics consensus reads: “It may not be as powerful as the 1984 edition, but the 2010 Karate Kid delivers a surprisingly satisfying update on the original”.
How many The Karate Kid Movies are there?
The Karate Kid film series includes FIVE (5) installments: The film series began as a tetralogy, starting with the release of The Karate Kid (1984), after the success of which three sequels were produced: The Karate Kid Part II (1986), The Karate Kid Part III (1989), and The Next Karate Kid (1994). In 2010, a remake with a similar storyline but with a different set of characters was released. A sixth film is scheduled to be released in 2024.
All The Karate Kid Movies in Order of Release Date
Here is the list of The Karate Kid films in order of release:
1. The Karate Kid — June 22, 1984
2. The Karate Kid Part II — June 20, 1986
3. The Karate Kid Part III — June 30, 1989
4. The Next Karate Kid — September 9, 1994
5. The Karate Kid — June 11, 2010 [Remake]
6. Untitled The Karate Kid — June 7, 2024
1. The Karate Kid — September 9 – December 16, 1989
2. Cobra Kai — May 2, 2018 – Present
Is Cobra Kai connected to Karate Kid?
Yes, The Cobra Kai TV series and The Karate Kid are connected, the series reunite over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament. It spans Mr. Miyagi’s life and continues with the children of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence.
Where to Watch The Karate Kid Movies?
You are able to stream The Karate Kid series in order by renting or purchasing on Amazon Prime because it is pretty much solely available to watch on Amazon Prime, you may be able to Rent and buy on Vudu, iTunes, and Google Play.
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