Making the Grades
Hockey hits the big screen in this Disney film. A bunch of street kids make up the Division 5 pee-wee team, and they are in desperate need of a coach. Along comes lawyer Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez), who is assigned to coach the misfits to pay off an impaired driving charge. Bombay, once a pee-wee-er, discovers his old coach still heads the toughest team in the league. Both Bombay and the kids have identity crises to overcome in order to get the team together.
The Mighty Ducks serves up a heartwarming story for the most part. Language concerns are limited to a few minor profanities, and the main source of violence is the usual antics of a pee-wee hockey team. Considering this is a bunch of street kids learning to play hockey, this film is quite tame, and should be appropriate for most families.
A plus for the movie is that it portrays heros as being able to be sensitive, and having both strengths and weaknesses. One big kid is able to puncture hockey nets with his slap shot, but admits he doesn't know how to skate. Coach Bombay uses some unusual tactics to allow this kid to get into the game. This element demonstrates using imagination to create a team effort, and gives each kid a chance to focus on their abilities.
The one thing this film does suffer from is a large dose of predictability. With the expected Disney ending, most people are able to write the rest of the script, right down to the final goal, minutes into this movie.
But what Ducks lacks in originality, it makes up for in charisma. While not the funniest movie made, for kids especially it offers fun sequences with comedy that is not produced at the expense of others..