The Mighty Ducks

Theatrical Release: October 2, 1992 / Running Time: 121 Minutes / Rating: PG

Director: Stephen Herek

Cast: Emilio Estevez (Gordon Bombay), Joss Ackland (Hans), Lane Smith (Coach Reilly), Heidi Kling (Casey), Josef Summer (Gerald Ducksworth), Joshua Jackson (Charlie Conway), Elden Ratliff (Fulton Reed), Marquerite Moreau (Connie), Shaun Weiss (Goldberg), M.C. Gainey (Lewis), Matt Doherty (Dave Averman), Aaron Schwartz (Dave Karp), Danny Tamberelli (Tommy)

Songs: "Hey Man" - The Poorboys, "Shake 'Em Down" - Southside Johnny, "Good Vibrations" - Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" - Dr. John, "We Will Rock You" - Queen, "We Are the Champions" - Queen


The Mighty Ducks isn't a particularly original film. It's more like a cleaner Bad News Bears, but it follows its underdog sports team formula with skill and success. Former Brat Packer Emilio Estevez stars as Gordon Bombay, a workaholic lawyer who suddenly finds himself in need of some community service after he gets arrested for drunk driving. Estevez is truly a comic talent, and one need only look at the brilliant, underrated Men at Work (1990) for proof of this. Or even right here, in Mighty Ducks. While it's not an all-out comedy, and Emilio's role is the standard coach-seeking-redemption role, complete with inspirational guidance to his troops, the actor still shows off his gift for comic timing, a gift that seems to more or less have disappeared from the face of the earth following 1996.

But enough about Emilio, back to the film.

No doubt about, there's an element of corniness anytime there's a scene where an entire room gradually begins to "quack", inspirationally. But the movie is so much fun, in spite of or maybe because of the corniness, that you certainly don't mind. Pleasantly predictable, The Mighty Ducks is enjoyable in its depiction of the young hockey team coming into their own and growing together. With its mix of formulaic game scenes and standard adult drama, the film is bound to leave some unimpressed. Nonetheless, it's amusing and likable, all the same.



DVD Details

1.85:1 Non-anamorphic Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 (English),
Dolby Surround (French, Spanish)
Subtitles: English
Closed Captioned
Release Date: April 11, 2000
Single-sided, single-layered disc (DVD-5)
Suggested Retail Price: $14.99
White Keepcase



Video quality is mediocre at best. The film appears to have been directly ported from the laserdisc, so the good news is it's widescreen, matching the film's 1.85:1 original aspect ratio. The band news - it's not enhanced for 16x9 televisions and it doesn't look nearly as good as it should. 2002's DVD debuts of the two sequels were both 16x9 widescreen, so it's unfortunate that the best film in the series gets the weakest presentation, the result of it being released to DVD first.

The film is given a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The film makes good use of the soundfield, and while it may lack the dynamic nature that today's newest films pack, the audio is rather active and more than serviceable. Spanish and French 2.0 language tracks are also included.


Not a single thing, unfortunately. There are preview trailers for An Extremely Goofy Movie and Toy Story 2 from the menu and at the start of the disc.


The Mighty Ducks may very well be one of those films like The Love Bug which gets proper home video treatment somewhere down the line, when it is considered a "Vault" title. For now, those of us who like the film must be satisfied with this unfortunately barebones DVD that doesn't offer very much over the '90s laserdisc. Still, it's low-priced and widescreen, so it's tough not to recommend this DVD, in spite of its shortcomings, if the film suits you.

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