With a plot that has some similarities to the classic kids’ sports movie The Bad News Bears, this dumb but fun film has former Brat Packer Emilio Estevez all grown up as a hotshot lawyer who is arrested for drink-driving and court-ordered to coach a failing kids’ ice hockey team, the Mighty Ducks. As memories of his own childhood as a star player resurface (he missed a winning goal and it has haunted him ever since), he grudgingly trains the group of misfits, including Charlie (an effective Jackson), the kid who most reminds him of himself.
It’s a Cinderella story of sorts, as the Ducks actually get good, and it’s likeable, if simple fare (cynics will see each plot development a mile off). It was pretty successful too, spawning two sequels – 1994’s D2: The Mighty Ducks, in which the team compete in the Junior Goodwill Games, and 1996’s missable D3: The Mighty Ducks, in which the kids get scholarships to a prep school and Estevez makes only a brief appearance. Note that this movie is also known as Champions.
Is The Mighty Ducks suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...