In my not-at-all humble opinion, the original Mighty Ducks movies were born in the era of kid movie perfection. That’s not me throwing shade to all the new films coming out, but the ‘90s were undeniably the most iconic era for inspirational movies that still stand up today.
When you mention The Mighty Ducks to just about any ‘90s kid, you’ll probably be met with a barrage of loving nostalgia. The way Coach Bombay (without competition, Emilio Estevez’s most iconic role) turned his back on a high-flying career as a lawyer to coach kids ice hockey? Goldberg sucking at skating but still being a loveable member of the team? A baby Joshua Jackson in his pre-Dawson’s Creek years?
It’s a franchise that gives so much, and that was before Estevez (and a heap of the original cast) made a comeback in the recently released reboot series, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, which is now streaming on Disney+.*
When Coach Orion told the JV team that “it’s easy to be confident when they have control of the puck, but it’s very, very difficult to keep that confidence when you’ve got to take the strange bounces life throws your way”? Told them they cannot be afraid to lose? I felt that. But it’s just one of the many lessons that I and apparently half the PEDESTRIAN.TV office feel deeply in our souls, even today.
Here are some of our biggest takeaways from The Mighty Ducks that we still proudly live by today. Once you’re done here, we wholeheartedly recommend you fire up Disney+ and take notes on Bombay’s latest batch of life lessons and coaching tips in the reboot.
“As a kid, I could never understand why Charlie gave up his spot on the team (in D2: The Mighty Ducks) to Russ when Adam‘s wrist got better. Why didn’t Charlie want the glory? Well, young Josie, this was Charlie teaching you there’s no I in TEAM. He didn’t need to be out on the ice to share the victory, because the victory was the entire team’s, not each individual player’s. Sometimes the best wins aren’t selfish, they’re about lifting up other people, and finding value in your peers’ achievements — not just your own. A huge life lesson for me as a 10-year-old.” — Josie.
“The reason I know the difference between Iceland and Greenland is because of D2: The Mighty Ducks. Greenland is full of ice. And Iceland is very nice.” — Cam.
“When Coach Bombay describes how he missed his little league penalty, he rues the fact that he hit the post by saying “A quarter of an inch, Charlie — A quarter of an inch and we would have won”. Then Charlie casually replied, “Yeah, but, A quarter of an inch the other way and you would have missed it completely”. I guess the lesson I take away is one of perspective. You can spend your life thinking about what you missed, or you can look at things for what they are — and sometimes, if you do this . . . they’re not so bad.” — Eamon.
“As a kid who was always on the losing/eternally last placed soccer/touch football/basketball team in school, the most valuable lesson Mighty Ducks ever taught me was that having a passion for what you’re doing is more important than anything else. Whether you’re losing, or taking longer than others to get to a certain goal or destination, having a genuine love for what you’re striving for and surrounding yourself with a great team is the most integral element of success and happiness.” — Bianca.
“The Mighty Ducks taught me that it’s never too late to face up to previous failures. The last thing Coach Bombay wanted to do was return to the sport that had humiliated him years ago, but through coaching the Mighty Ducks he came to see his past failure in an entirely new light. I also loved that Charlie won the game on a penalty shot because it felt like Bombay was getting to relive his own moment through him. A real redemption shot. It taught me that you can always reframe things from your past in a positive new light, which is such an important life lesson.” — Lucy.
“It has to be the most iconic line from D2: The Mighty Ducks (or the entire franchise): DUCKS FLY TOGETHER. Truly, it taught the true meaning of friendship, of working alongside your team, your friends, your family. Not giving up not just because you might want to but sticking it out because that’s the important part of being in a team.” — Julie.
“My life lesson learned from The Mighty Ducks is pretty basic: girls are just as good as boys. Sport movies were always for the boys growing up and and seeing Connie Moreau (played by Marguerite Moreau) not only skate alongside the guys, but actually kick some butt on the ice was just *chef’s kiss*.” — Ange.
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