Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) is a successful Minneapolis defense attorney, whose truculent courtroom antics have earned him no respect among his peers. After successfully defending a client, Bombay is called into his boss’s office expecting to be congratulated. Instead he is chastised for embarrassing the judge. Depressed, he goes out drinking and is subsequently arrested for drunken driving, Bombay is sentenced to community service by coaching the local “District 5” PeeWee hockey team. Bombay has a history with the sport, although his memories are far from pleasant: he blew a penalty shot, costing his team the title and disappointing his hyper-competitive coach, Jack Reilly (Lane Smith). When Bombay meets the team, he realizes the children have no practice facility, equipment or ability to go with it. The team’s first game with Bombay at the helm is against Bombay’s old team: the Hawks, the team from the snooty suburb of Edina. Reilly is still head coach and remains bitter about Gordon’s shortcoming in that fateful game. District 5 gets pummeled and after Bombay berates the team for not listening to him the players challenge his authority. For the next game, Bombay tries to teach his team how to dive and get penalites. Meanwhile, Bombay discovers his old mentor and family friend Hans (Joss Ackland) who owns a nearby sporting goods store was in attendance. While visiting him, Bombay recalls that he quit playing hockey after losing his father four months before the championship game. Bombay then approaches his boss, Gerald Ducksworth (Josef Sommer) to sponsor the team, which Ducksworth reluctantly agrees. The result is a complete makeover for the team, both in look (as they can now buy professional equipment) and in skill (as Bombay has more time to teach the kids hockey fundamentals). Now playing as the “Ducks” (named for Bombay’s boss), they fight to a tie in the next game and recruit three new players: figure-skating siblings Tommy (Danny Tamberelli) and Tammy Duncan (Jane Plank) and slap shot specialist and enforcer Fulton Reed (Elden Henson). The potential of Ducks player Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson) catches Bombay’s eye and he takes him under his wing. How far can Gordon take the team and can he rekindle with his childhood passion hockey?…

“The Mighty Ducks” is a pretty predictable Disney production, that pretty much just appeals to younger kids. Then again, that was without no doubt the idea. There´s no surprises and the making amends in life goes throughout the movie as a pillar and the storyline with a down and out coach taking a sports team to successful level is a classic tale we have seen several times. Emilio Estevez is ok as the disgraced lawyer and the general feel of the movie is ok, nothing more, nothing less. And it was nice to see a movie set in Minneapolis/St Paul for once, a place I visited last year. Some trivia is that when The Anaheim Mighty Ducks were added as an expansion team to the National Hockey League they were named after the movie because the team was owned by Disney. The team was then renamed The Anaheim Ducks after Disney sold it in 2005. (3 out of 5)

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