As 2022 comes to a close (what feels like moments after it began), the realization that time flies faster each year hits us harder than ever. The fact that we just began 2022 and are now only days away from welcoming 2023 is mind-boggling, which is why you might want to sit down for this next part. It’s 2023 already, which means we are a year away from The Karate Kid turning 40. Forty. Four Zero – as in forty. The movie was released in 1984, and it’s older than most of you reading this. The movie is an 80s classic, and they do not make them as they did back then. We’ve got a few fun facts about The Karate Kid you probably didn’t know to celebrate the movie’s last year in its 30s.
1. Ralph Macchio Got to Take Home the Wax On/Wax Off Car
No one cared as much about the car as they did the moment it brought us. When Mr. Miyagi waxes the yellow car in the hit film, he gives the young man a lesson. It’s the classic scene in which he polishes the car and tells him to wax on, wax off. The car is a cool one, to be honest. It’s a classic. The yellow car is a 1948 Ford Super De Luxe. The producer gave this car to Ralph Macchio when filming ended, and the Cobra Kai star actually still owns it.
2. The Movie Had to Bring in Stunt Doubles
Do you know the scene where the skeletons fight? Well, it turns out that the actors were getting hit too hard by Pat Morito’s stunt double during filming. They didn’t want to keep doing it, so the movie had to bring in additional stunt doubles to take over the role so that the actors in the movie didn’t continue getting injured by the famous stunt double.
3. Charlie Sheen Did Not Accept A Role
We cannot say if he regrets that choice or not, but the famed actor was offered a role. In fact, he was offered the role of Daniel LaRusso. He said no. He turned it down, and he moved on. Of course, Charlie Sheen did go on to have a massive career of his own – and some big troubles throughout the years. He probably doesn’t regret it because he is so successful, but it’s worth wondering about.
4. Did You Know Karate Kid is a DC Comic?
The superhero comic genre movie families did not exist in the 80s. There was no Marvel Cinematic Universe, etc., back then. However, there was a DC Comic book series with the same name as the movie. As a result, the movie makers had to seek permission to use the name and not infringe upon any copyright issues. If you watch the credits at the end of the movie, you can even see where the movie makers thanked DC for allowing them to use the name to make their movie. It was a big deal, though we are not sure anyone realizes just how big of a deal.
5. This Movie is One Big Ad for Coca-Cola Products
Remember growing up when there was nothing like TiVo or DVR or streaming services? We had to watch television when shows aired or risk never seeing them at all. We didn’t get to binge anything. We were sitting in front of our televisions when our favorite television shows came on or we didn’t get to watch. Perhaps we could tape it, but there wasn’t always a guarantee that would work either, depending on a dozen different factors.
Back then, we were forced to watch something called commercials. Now they are called ads, and you rarely have to watch them. When Karate Kid came out, though, it was in theaters. You can’t have commercial breaks in theaters. Coca-Cola did a thing, though. They made their own ad using the movie. You see, Columbia Pictures made the movie. Columbia Pictures, at the time, was owned by Coca-Cola. As a result, the company told the men and women behind this film that they fully expected to see their own products used in the film – often. They made it happen, and you’ll see it yourself if you’re paying attention. For example, a container of Minute Maid is clearly shown in one scene – you cannot miss it. In another, there is a Sprite sitting front and center without a chance anyone misses it. These are not the only two examples, but they are two of the most memorable. It was genius advertising on behalf of the soda giant and its business model.
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