Now you might think this is coming from a clearly biased point of view, but hear me out.
Last week news came out that there is a Mighty Ducks TV series in the very early stages of creation.
Will it pick up 20 years later with the same characters now living their post-Gordon Bombay life, or will it be a total reboot back to the beginning of another bunch of loveable losers?
This article isn’t about trying to figure out the truth to that question – on a recent Puck Yeah Podcast episode that was fleshed out in depth – but to promote the notion that the Mighty Ducks films are the greatest & most important sports movies/franchise in sports movies history.
So how does this ridiculous hot take explain itself in a climate that includes sports films such as ‘Tin Cup’, ‘The Karate Kid’, ‘Remember The Titans’, ‘Bull Durham’, ‘Caddyshack’, the ‘Rocky’ films and even ‘Slap Shot’ for god’s sake?
Here are the reasons:
1. Introducing future hockey players and fans into the sport
There are a countless number of Kiwis who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s (this writer included) who were introduced to the great sport of hockey by watching ‘Champions’, then ‘D2: The Mighty Ducks’ and then ‘D3’. Some of the top NZ Ice Blacks have admitted their love for the film growing up, calling it their favourite hockey film and couldn’t recall how many times they would have watched the movies as kids with their brothers, sisters and mates.
It also introduced Margot Robbie to hockey turning her into a hockey player in Australia, where she was a goalie!
2. Joshua Jackson
Before he was blowing up on TV in that punishing show ‘Dawson’s Creek’ and the actually pretty good ‘Fringe’ he was Charlie Conway with the hot mum who had the skills but never had the coaching/father figure to fulfil his talents.
3. The Anaheim Ducks nee The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Disney bought an NHL franchise in the early 90s and before the inaugural season in 1993 they wanted to make sure the team launched into the market with the biggest splash possible. How do you do that in Hollywood? Create a movie first and then launch your professional sports team.
Hasbro did a similar thing for the launch of their Transformers toys, releasing the epic 1986 feature-length animated film – you know the one where Optimus Prime dies – before unleashing their toys to take over the world. So Disney already had a fan base for the team from people who had watched the films and now wanted to follow the hockey team.
4. How to figure out the difference between Iceland & Greenland
In the second film the hot Iceland Assistant Coach that Gordan Bombay goes out to eat ice cream with explained the perfect rule to remember the difference between the two… “Greenland is full of ice and Iceland is really nice!”
5. The Flying V
Is there a play in any other sports film that gets referenced by more real teams than ‘The Flying V’ does? It’s fair to say the play isn’t actually very advantageous and possibly illegal in terms of interference rules, but the amount of times someone has yelled out “Flying V!” at some hockey game is crazy.
So there you go, the most detailed and perfectly argued reason why The Mighty Ducks films are the most important/greatest sports films ever!