The Mighty Ducks

Movie review by
Elliot Panek, Common Sense Media
The Mighty Ducks Movie Poster Image
Classic kids' sports movie has some iffy humor, language.
  • PG
  • 1992
  • 104 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 7 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

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.

Sex

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."

Language

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?"

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Early in the movie, a character is shown drinking and driving. He is pulled over and arrested for DUI.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byMom in Atlanta February 2, 2013

Can't believe this was made by Disney.

While I would consider my boys too young for a PG movie (6 and 8), they both play hockey and a friend told me this was a great Disney movies and really family f... Continue reading
Parent of a 6 and 7 year old Written byJaxDad24 May 26, 2014

Common Sense got it way wrong

I grew up loving The Mighty Ducks movies and wanted to share them with my 6 and 7 year old. I routinely check CSM for a heads up on the content so I can decide... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

ok

This movie we watched in class this is just a ok movie
Teen, 13 years old Written byLamboLover April 18, 2011
I enjoyed this movie, but if I were a parent I wouldn't let younger children watch it because of the language and drinking.

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?

Movie details

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love sports

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