This week on Disney Rewind, we take a look at the classic hockey movie, The Mighty Ducks. It spawned a trilogy and even a short-lived animated series, in name only. We will look at all three movies her in the coming months, but today we are going to re-look at the first film.
It is a 1992 film directed by Stephen Herek and written by Steven Brill. It had a great critical reception. Starring Emilo Estevez, Charlie Sheen’s brother for those of you too young to know who he is. We follow Gordon Bombay, a former Hawks player and current lawyer. He is a abrasive douchebag, doing anything it takes to win a case. After celebrating a perfect case record, he is out drinking and driving his Corvette. (in a blizzard…) He gets busted and is ordered to do 500 hours of community service, coaching the Ducks. They are hapless and unable to even skate together.
An extended 90’s montage goes on through the middle of the film. Gaining trust and skill, then losing the trust, then gaining it back. It is really tiresome by today’s standards. Bombay eventually loses his job in a play to get a player that should have been on their team in the first place, but the Ducks make the playoffs where they start winning, making it to the title game. Of course, it’s against the Hawks. Long story short, Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson) scores using Bombay’s move to win the game. We end with promises of a sequel, which we got 2 years later.
As great of a classic this is, this movie could not be made today. From racist remarks made by kids, to blatant sexual innuendos (the kids have playboys at one point), Disney would stay far away from this one today. Not only is that there, Bombay and other adults use pretty aggressive language for a Disney movie. Plenty on cusses are thrown around. You can tell this was made for both audiences, the kids and the parents, but parents would be appalled today. I don’t know if this is a condemnation of the movie and time period, or more a look at how sensitive we have all become.
Other than the very 90’s feel and the off-color dialogue, the message still holds true to this day. Hell, it might even be stronger today. Being part of a team is more than just what you can do, it’s about sacrifice, being there for others, and giving it all you have. We could take a look around and see how these messages would be beneficial to everyone, from the factory worker to the CEO. We are all on team of some sort, even if it’s just team human race. It’s sad that a 90’s Disney flick has more truths in it than most modern movies. If you have a chance, throw this on and enjoy a nice 90 minutes of nostalgia. At worst it will make you think about how you could treat your “team” better.