What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this classic '80s martial arts movie is still a fine pick for families with older tweens. The Karate Kid was re-made in 2010 with a younger perspective starring Jaden Smith. The PG rating of the original seems a little mild considering the number of swear words (including "s--t"), insults, and fights -- not to mention one scene of marijuana use. This is a standard new-kid-in-town flick, but it's also got soul thanks to the teacher-student relationship between wise Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) and lonely teen Daniel (Ralph Macchio). Issues of class, race, (teen) romance, and even war are explored in this coming-of-age tale, where karate is a metaphor for life.
- Families can talk about whether Daniel is the stereotypical "new boy in town." How does he feel about starting over in a completely new place? How does Daniel's relationship with Mr. Miyagi change both of their lives?
- This is at its root, an underdog story. What other movies fit into this genre? What are some similarities between the main characters' journeys? Who helps them? Who are their rivals?
- How do class and financial status affect Daniel's place in the high-school hierarchy? Ali's country-club parents treat Daniel shabbily. Why? Kids: How do you treat people from different backgrounds or those who are new in town?