10 Times Movies Unexpectedly Spawned An Animated Series

Godzilla, Ghostbusters, The Mask and... Rambo?!

Godzilla the animated series
Sony Pictures Television

Every studio hopes one of their movies becomes a franchise. In the case of Disney if all of their movies can't spawn one then they're probably considered a failure.

These days the hallmark of every successful movie is whether it's been followed by sequels, preceded by prequels, spawned spin-offs or has a video game. However, in the 1980s and 1990s, if a movie was successful, it likely spawned an animated series.

An animated series based on a movie could widen the audience who may not have been old enough to see the movie, and most importantly provide a platform for them to launch the next big toy craze.

An animated series was a gateway to market and exploit the toy industry, which is what led to every child of the eighties and nineties somehow owning at least one toy based on the R-rated classic, Robocop.

Many series were short-lived, some barely even saw the light of day, some were arguably better than the movies that spawned them, and in most cases, they provided many a childhood memory.

10. The Karate Kid

Godzilla the animated series

These days the series most synonymous with the Karate Kid movie franchise is a show with a completely different name. That show of course is streaming sensation Cobra Kai, and for good reason too: it's blooming ace, and it has introduced the world of karate feuds to a whole new generation of youngsters. So, when fathers in their 30s and 40s crane kick the air for giggles, their kids now finally know what the reference is.

However, unbeknownst to this whole new generation of Karate Kid lovers, there was an extension to the franchise long before Cobra Kai hit our small screens.

That's right, in the same year that Karate Kid: Part 3 was released in cinemas, an animated series loosely adapted from the movies was also released. It only ran for 13 episodes, and rather than duelling martial artists the show followed Daniel LaRusso and Mr. Miyagi on a quest to retrieve a magical shrine that has been stolen from Okinawa, and subsequently see's them trotting the globe to find it.

Now, before you scour YouTube for this long-lost relic, know that it pales in comparison to all other Karate Kid content, and the only returning cast member is Pat Morita, and he only narrates each episode's intro.

Then again, if you want to see Mr. Miyagi wrestle a crocodile, then fill your boots.


Avid writer of nonsense. Can often be seen in his natural habitat watching far too many films and not enough TV. Occasionally plays on the Xbox and Megadrive whilst chastising himself for not writing more.