The Mighty Ducks
By Elliot Panek,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Classic kids' sports movie has some iffy humor, language.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The kids on the hockey team -- as well as the hockey coach -- learn the values of teamwork, good sportsmanship, and playing a sport for the fun of it rather than winning at all costs.
Positive Role Models
Coach Bombay is a selfish lawyer who's only coaching a hockey team as part of his community service and has no problem cheating, but he eventually learns to value the importance of winning fairly, playing the best you can, and having fun while doing so. Charlie is a boy raised in a single-parent household who loves his mother very much and does everything he can to be good for her.
Violence & Scariness
Some body-checking in hockey games, some light wrestling and shoving. A boy is knocked unconscious during a game by being shoved from behind and sliding headfirst into a goalpost. In an alley, kids get into a shoving match that is broken up when a much bigger boy shows up and throws the three bullies who started it.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kids find a box of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues in a Dumpster and proceed to rifle through the issues while yelling excitedly. A lawyer brags about how he "scored with the court reporter."
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Occasional swearing from kids as well as their new hockey coach in front of the kids: "bastards," "pissed," "hell," "suck," "weird-ass," "bitch," "damn." In an obvious double entendre, a science teacher asks a group of kids studying the figure representing a molecule, "What are the blue balls?" A boy tells another boy, "Why don't you play with yourself?"
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Early in the movie, a character is shown drinking and driving. He is pulled over and arrested for DUI.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Mighty Ducks is a 1992 movie about a ragtag group of young hockey players and their selfish lawyer coach who learn valuable lessons in teamwork, doing your best, and having fun while playing a sport as opposed to winning at any and all costs. There is some iffy humor throughout that might plant some bad ideas in the minds of more mischievous kids; in an early scene, for instance, a group of kids place dog excrement in a purse they find in a Dumpster with a dollar bill sticking out of the purse in the hopes that someone will pick it up and stick a hand inside it. When a man does this, he chases the kids, trips and falls on his groin area against a wooden beam, replete with "boing!" sound effects. A tween boy passes gas inside a limo, causing everyone to yell and scream and laugh. Kids find a box of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues in a Dumpster and proceed to rifle through them while making excited comments and sexual innuendo. There is a reference to circumcision, and there's a scene in which a man is drinking and driving and swerves all over the road before being pulled over by the police. Profanity includes "bastards," "pissed," "hell," "suck," "weird-ass," "bitch," and "damn." Still, despite the occasional iffy humor and content, the movie does show through talk and example what happens when the positive values of sports are highlighted.
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The Mighty Ducks
Based on 4 parent reviews
Great movie, although bad language spoils it.
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Surprised by the rating! But shows it's age
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What's the Story?
THE MIGHTY DUCKS tells the familiar story of an underdog sports team's rise from the bottom. Gordon Bombay's (Emilio Estevez) fast-lane life as a cutthroat attorney takes a turn for the worse when he's arrested for drunk driving. As part of his community service sentence, Gordon must coach a hockey team comprising ragtag neighborhood kids. Though he carries the guilt of a hockey failure and his father's death with him, Gordon, with the help of his team, is able to face his demons -- and his old overbearing coach. In the process, the Mighty Ducks, as they come to be called, learn to work together and accept those different from them.
Is It Any Good?
This is a fun and frothy family film and a good way to breach the topic of the ever-present pressure to excel in sports with kids. There is a brief foray into single-parent romance, as Gordon courts the mother of one of the players.
Overall, things never get serious for very long, as The Mighty Ducks highlights the camaraderie and laughs of being part of a team. It never really feels like a lecture to kids, so they're likely to enjoy it and hopefully will take from it some lessons concerning competition.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about ways children might deal with high-pressure situations, such as the ones faced by the hockey players in The Mighty Ducks. If Charlie had missed his shot at the end of the movie, what could the team and the coach have done to let him know they still supported him?
What similarities and differences do you see between this film and other sports-themed movies in which a group of ragtag misfit kids learn to play together and start to improve over time?
Why do you think sports-themed movies involving kids are so popular?
How do the characters in The Mighty Ducks demonstrate teamwork? Why is this an important character strength?
- In theaters: October 2, 1992
- On DVD or streaming: April 11, 2000
- Cast: Emilio Estevez, Joshua Jackson, Joss Ackland
- Director: Stephen Herek
- Inclusion Information: Latinx actors
- Studio: Buena Vista
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Great Boy Role Models
- Character Strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 104 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: mild profanity and hockey violence
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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