The Mighty Ducks
Since I’ve done a couple hockey movies this week, and since today was, finally, opening day for the NHL, I decided that today’s Saturday Replay should take me back to the first hockey movie I ever watched, The Mighty Ducks. As I started watching it it occurred to me that I probably watched the movie in its entirety in at least twenty, maybe twenty-five years.
Yesterday I said that The Puck Hogs aimed to be Slap Shot meets This is Spinal Tap. Keeping that analogy going, I would say that The Mighty Ducks wants to be Slap Shot meets The Disney Channel. However, unlike The Puck Hogs, this movie actually achieves that goal. Sure the hockey’s pretty lousy, and a lot of the jokes weren’t nearly as funny as I thought they were when I was thirteen, but this is a really well done kids movie. That blend of humor and heart that Disney has down to a science is on full display here.
Directed by Stephen Herek, who also directed Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the film stars Emilio Estevez as jaded lawyer turned court-appointed youth hockey coach Gordon Bombay, but is probably most notable, (for me at least), for starring a young Joshua Jackson as Charlie the leader of the Ducks hockey team.
This is far from a perfect movie, it’s a kids movie. If today had been the first time I’d watched it, I’m not sure that I would have liked it. But Saturday Replays aren’t about looking at a movie for the first time. I can’t ignore the nostalgia I feel watching this movie. On some level it did take me back to the days when my biggest concern was getting my homework done so that I could play. For that alone the movie would get some praise for me. Throw in a nice, positive, if predictable story, and a fantastic score by David Newman, and The Mighty Ducks is certainly worth seeing.