Western Animation / The Karate Kid The Animated Series

In the 1989 series, Miyagi and Daniel continue their adventures when a shrine is stolen from a Chinese temple. Along for the ride is Taki, a temple girl. It follows them from place to place as they hunt the shrine and help the natives.

While its decent animation pleased fans of the film the series is based on, NBC screwed the series and canceled it after only thirteen episodes due to low ratings. Fortunately, Sony has made the entire series available on iTunes and has been streamed on Netflix, Hulu and Crackle.

This series includes the following tropes:

  • An Aesop: Quite regularly.
  • Berserk Button: In "Return of the Shrine", Taki's aunt has two — messing up her hair and messing with her relatives.
  • Call-Back:
    • In the theme song, Miyagi incapacitates an opponent and honks his nose.
    • In "A Little World of His Own", Daniel tells a lonely boy that he knows what being the friendless new kid is like.
  • Catch a Falling Star: in "Homecoming", Miyagi grabs Taki after she falls trying to get the shrine.
  • Convection Schmonvection: "Walkabout." Daniel is on a ledge above the lava for several minutes. It doesn't harm him at all.
  • Dramatic Drop: Kina when Daniel and Taki come suddenly into her hut. It's more significant than most examples because she drops the remaining water from the fountain of youth.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Or sequence. The opening sequence shows how Daniel and Miyagi got involved and why Taki is with them.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero / Phony Spy: Daniel's Uncle Jack in "The Paper Hero." He confesses that he made up the impressive exploits he told Daniel as a kid and apologizes for putting him in danger by taking him along on a raid. By the end, he's resolved to rack up some real accomplishments.
  • Females Are More Innocent: Tina helps Brick steal the shrine, but she clearly doesn't like doing it and tries to keep him from hurting Daniel in the process.
  • Feuding Families: in "Return of the Shrine", the Ishakis and the Takimuras are fighting over a past grievance and the shrine.
  • Fountain of Youth: In "Over the Rainbow" the trio stumble on a hidden community with one fueled by the shrine.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Anytime they got near the shrine they would inevitably have to give it up to save somebody. Its nature meant that it would inevitably be gone by the time they got back to it.
  • Implausible Boarding Skills: in the opening sequence, Daniel surfboards using a torpedo.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Daniel, Miyagi, and Taki in "A Little World of His Own."
  • I Shall Taunt You: in the first episode, the protagonist Kala calls his jailer "breath of the baboon" so he'll come back and Kala can steal his spear.
  • Never Say "Die": In "The Paper Hero", when it looks as though Daniel might have fallen into a Death Trap, Taki asks, "Is he —" She never finishes the sentence.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: in "My Brother's Keeper", both Miyagi and the Big Bad encounter threatening crocodiles.
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: In "Return of the Shrine", the Ishakis and Takimuras spend the whole episode fighting over the shrine, only for it to be lost again at the end. They realize the error of their ways and stop their feud.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Daniel just leans back and to the side to avoid a bully's punches in "Homecoming" and "A Little World of His Own".
  • Not What It Looks Like: In "Return of the Shrine", Taki promises to save all her dances for Yoshi. Yoshi's aunt (who disapproves of the relationship) sends one of the family to force Taki into "dancing" with him. When Yoshi comes back, Taki tries to tell him this.
  • Percussive Maintenance: in "Homecoming", Miyagi kicks Papa Tony's truck as the last resort to fixing it.
  • Save the Villain: Miyagi pulls the Big Bad of the first episode out of croc-infested waters.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: the first two in "The Tomorrow Man", courtesy of Daniel.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: a man grabs Taki by the wrist during "The Tomorrow Man", forcing Miyagi to throw something to rescue her.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Taki and Yoshi in "Return of the Shrine."
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: in "My Brother's Keeper", the Big Bad transforms himself into a jaguar.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Walter in "A Little World of His Own."
  • Would Hit a Girl: Brick in "Homecoming" backhands his girlfriend Tina when she tries to keep him from going after the shrine.
  • You and What Army?: in "A Little World of His Own."
    B.J.: You and what army?
    Daniel: Who needs an army?
    He stands still, dodging as needed, and breaks B.J.'s skateboard when B.J. tries to hit him with it.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: this seems to be the Aesop being set up in "The Tomorrow Man" but at the end it switches to "You make your own fate."