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.
Director John Avildsen and some cast members received a resolution from Councilman Mitchell Englander marking the film’s anniversary.
Englander called the film, “one of the great underdog stories of all time,” and said it became 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 achieved “iconic status” through the years, he said, and phrases such as “‘wax on, wax off,’ ‘paint the fence’ and the challenge of catching a fly with chopsticks are still prominent pop culture references.”
The film has several ties to the San Fernando Valley. Its title character, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) lived in Reseda and trained at the Chatsworth Nature Preserve. The climactic scenes of the “All-Valley Karate Championship” were filmed at Cal State Northridge.
“This was a true San Fernando Valley story,” Englander said.
Avildsen thanked the council, saying “it was a most pleasurable experience making the movie here.”
—City News Service