The Muppets were a major part of my life as a kid. From The Muppet Show to Muppet Babies to three major theatrical releases in the ’70s and ’80s, you couldn’t escape that little green frog and his lovable bear sidekick. And I didn’t want to. I absolutely devoured everything Muppets when I was in grade school.
The Muppet Movie hit the big screen before I was in school, and I’m not sure if I saw it in theaters or not (probably not), but I have watched it many, many, many times over the years. It never comes to mind when thinking of favorite franchises, but the first three Muppet films are hands-down one of my favorite franchises. Jim Henson simply could do no wrong.
The Muppet Movie won the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film of 1979. Other 1979 films winning Saturn Award included Alien took home the award for Best Science Fiction Film, Dracula won Best Horror Film, and Dinner for Adele won Best Foreign Film.
Of course, music was a huge part of the Muppets’ attraction. The Muppet Movie soundtrack featured “Rainbow Connection,” “Movin’ Right Along,” and “Can You Picture That?” among other great numbers. The album won the Grammy for Best Album for Children and was nominated for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.
”Wax on…wax off.”
Man, how great was 1984 for movies? The Karate Kid was an insanely popular film and kids were emulating the “crane” technique on playgrounds all across America. Mr. Miyagi, everyone’s favorite sensei, showed that conflict was best resolved without violence. The movie was the fifth-highest grossing film of 1984, just shy of $91 million.
I remember buying the book adaptation of the movie by B.B. Hiller from Scholastic Book Club, reading and re-reading it over the years. I wish I still had that book (and I might somewhere in the basement).
Just like Ghostbusters and Gremlins, The Karate Kid has had a lasting impact on pop culture. There were three direct sequels (Part II, Part III, and The Next Karate Kid with Hilary Swank), a 1989 animated series on NBC (and currently included with Amazon Prime), and a reboot in 2010 with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. Last year, Cobra Kai premiered on YouTube, with Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprising their roles as Daniel and Johnny.
I can’t believe it has been 35 years. I feel so old.