Mr. Miyagi’s constant referring to Daniel LaRusso as “Daniel-San” is a double-edged sword. “San” holds the same title in Japanese as sir or mister would in English therefore the much older, much wiser Mr. Miyagi is referring to Daniel tongue-in-cheek as “Sir Daniel”.
The slight ribbing has a very intended purpose though: it’s to keep LaRusso from becoming too arrogant in his newfound karate skills.
Daniel’s Hormones Are Off the Charts
'The Karate Kid' has a good few Easter eggs laid in it. Eagle-eyed fans have noted many small details. A clever, little one is when Daniel LaRusso goes in search of his love interest, Ali Mills at the local fair.
LaRusso walks into the scene while the camera focuses on a gimmicky machine called the “Lover Tester”. The level that is illuminated when LaRusso stands by it is “Uncontrollable”, signaling his desires for Ali.
Mr. Miyagi’s the Backstreet Boy
Mr. Miyagi could have been a Backstreet Boy. Daniel LaRusso asks him “What song were you singing?” Well, now we can tell you that the song he sings while very inebriated is a Japanese folk song titled “Back Street Life” by a well-known Japanese artist named Takeo Abe.
Pat Morita used his creative license for the scene, recalling the song being sung when he was a child.
The Crane Kick Comes to Life
The mythical Crane Kick was brought to life in an almost implausible fashion during a UFC fight between Lyoto Machida and Randy Couture. Machida executed the move flawlessly, without the theatrics of first posing with his arms raised and assuming a crane stance.
Instead, he leaped forward and his foot thrust forward to meet Couture’s unfortunate face. The UFC commentators screamed “The Karate Kid” wildly and the match records clearly state that Randy Couture was knocked out by “crane kick.” Life imitates art!
Burgers Landed Elisabeth Shue the Role
Elisabeth Shue was a name that popped up consistently in the ‘80s. Kind of like Steve Buscemi seemed to be in almost every movie in the ‘90s. 'The Karate Kid' was the movie that launched her film career.
The producers and director settled on Shue to play the part of Ali Mills in part due to a very well-known series of Burger King commercials that she starred in.