VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council marked the 30th anniversary of the release of “The Karate Kid” during its meeting Friday at Van Nuys City Hall.
Cast and crew members from the popular 1984 film were on hand for the ceremony, including Academy Award-winning director John Avildsen, who received a resolution from Councilman Mitchell Englander marking the film’s anniversary.
Shot largely in the San Fernando Valley, “Karate Kid” has several ties to the region, including its main character Daniel LaRusso (played by actor Ralph Macchio), who lived in Reseda and trained at the Chatsworth Nature Preserve. The famous scenes of the “All-Valley Karate Championship” were also filmed at Cal State Northridge.
Martin Kove (John Kreese), William Zabka (Johnny Lawrence), and other cast members were also on hand, while Macchio was noticeably absent from the ceremony. Pat Morita, who played Daniel’s mentor Mr. Miyagi, passed away in 2005.
Calling the film “one of the great underdog stories of all time,” Englander praised it as an “instant classic” when it was released in June 1984 on a “limited budgeted and no big name stars at the time.”
“I was 14 years old when this movie came out. I was their target audience — still am!” he said.
The movie is also credited with spawning a number of “prominent pop culture references”, including phrases such as “‘wax on, wax off,’ ‘paint the fence’ and the challenge of catching a fly with chopsticks, Englander said.
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