You can’t talk about ’80s movies without mentioning The Karate Kid. The Karate Kid series is from a bygone era, and younger viewers are likely to be more familiar with the 2010 Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith-led remake, also titled The Karate Kid. Nonetheless, The Karate Kid had such an impact that even those who have never seen it have a sense of basic familiarity with it.
The success of The Karate Kid spawned a franchise, which included a remake in 2010 and later the Netflix show Cobra Kai.
Relationship between Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita
Daniel LaRusso, a teen, gets into trouble with bullies after his mother relocates the family to Southern California. Mr. Miyagi, a karate instructor, meets Daniel and teaches him everything he knows about the sport and life in general. Daniel competes in karate tournaments against his bullies in the ensuing coming-of-age story and learns the value of compassion.
During a recent interview on Kara Swisher’s Sway podcast, Ralph Macchio discussed his relationship with the late actor, who died in 2005.
He began by discussing Mr. Miyagi’s significance in Daniel LaRusso’s life, noting that he had requested that the mentor’s storyline be included in Cobra Kai before its production.
Swisher then claimed that he was “personally close” to Morita. While the actors had a strong connection, Macchio clarified that they were not “close” to each other.
“I was personally close to him in the sense that, as time passed and years passed, the significance and relevance of our screen partnership around the world became so clear to me,” the actor explained.
“It was truly the definition of magic when we did those scenes because there was a give and take,” the 59-year-old said. “It was effortless, like the perfect tango.” That’s the word. It was effortless. I had no idea how rich it was, I just knew it was simple, and therein lies the truth for me. Something otherworldly, or whatever you want to call it.”
He went on to say how much he enjoyed being Morita’s scene partner.
Pat Morita’s Final Words to Ralph Macchio
Pat Morita passed away in 2005, at the age of 73. The cause of his death was the subject of conflicting reports. His daughter, Aly Morita, said he died of heart failure in a Las Vegas hospital on Thursday; while longtime manager Arnold Soloway said the actor died of kidney failure in a hospital while awaiting a transplant.
In his final words to Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita said “Hey Ralphie, it’s me, Unca Popzi! I love your a**, baby”
“It was an honor and a privilege to work with him and create a little bit of cinema magic together,” Macchio said in a statement. “My life is better for having known him. I’ll miss his genuine friendship.”
“Forever my Sensei,” Macchio added, referring to Morita’s character in The Karate Kid.
With Cobra Kai‘s worldwide fame, it’s easy to attribute the show’s success to its role as a continuation of The Karate Kid franchise. Cobra Kai hasn’t relied solely on memories of The Karate Kid films. In fact, among contemporary movies and TV shows that incorporate nostalgia into their plots, Cobra Kai is one of the best at doing so in just the right ways.
Cobra Kai season 5, released on 9th September 2022, is currently streaming on Netflix.