The original Karate Kid trilogy is now back on Netflix. While The Karate Kidand its first two sequels had been present on the streaming service in the past, they've since been missing for a while while making the rounds on other platforms. This was unfortunate for those getting into Cobra Kai, as watching the popular sequel series has left fans wanting to revisit the original movies.
As of July 1, Netflix has brought back The Karate Kid, The Karate Kid Part II, and The Karate Kid Part III back to the platform in the United States. For those wondering, the sequel The Next Karate Kid with Hilary Swank taking the lead had already been available on the service. These four movies paired with the three current seasons of Cobra Kai means that the entire saga is available to watch all in one place with their availability on Netflix, at least for now.
The Karate Kid was released in 1984. It introduces Ralph Macchio as teenage karate student Daniel LaRusso with Pat Morita playing his trainer, Mr. Miyagi. William Zabka co-stars as Johnny Lawrence, Daniel's opponent in a local karate tournament who loses to Daniel in the finals. Elisabeth Shue, Martin Kove, and Randee Heller also starred. It received universal acclaim and was a tremendous hit at the box office, spawning the highly successful still that's still ongoing.
In 1986, the story continued with The Karate Kid Part II, followed by The Karate Kid Part III rounding out the trilogy in 1989. The series was seemingly over at that point, but Morita later returned as Mr. Miyagi alongside Hilary Swank as his new protege in 1994's The Next Karate Kid. After the movie series was rebooted with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan in 2010, Cobra Kai took the series back to its roots by bringing back some of the original characters with its debut on YouTube in 2018.
Cobra Kai, which is created by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg, has since moved to Netflix as its new home, where it premiered its third season. The fourth season of the series has since wrapped filming, and the new episodes are expected to premiere sometime in late 2021. Watching through the original series now, perhaps coupled with another run through the three current seasons of Cobra Kai, might be a good way to kill some time this summer while waiting for season 4.
Zabka switches to more of a protagonist role for Cobra Kai, reprising his role as Johnny Lawrence from the original series. Macchio is also back as Daniel LaRusso, and while Morita has since passed away, Mr. Miyagi is referenced in the series. Martin Kove and other stars from the original movie series also appear on the show.
Along with the Karate Kid trilogy, many other big titles have also been added to Netflix for the month of July. This includes the Austin Powers trilogy, along with other movies like Boogie Nights, Charlie's Angels, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and What Dreams May Come. You can check out the Karate Kid offerings by heading over to Netflix.