This family favourite may just tug on your heartstrings. The Mighty Ducks is an actual hockey classic, targeted for younger viewers but enjoyed by all ages. It tackles lessons that we can all relate to, being that actions have consequences. This is explored very early on in the film. Another one tackled in the film is to confront parts of your past that may seem uncomfortable and also how important it is to bond with your teammates. Step aside 2020, because today on our shelf, we are going back to 1992!
A lesson that we can all agree with is that all of our actions have consequences. Every action has a reaction! This is a lesson that we can use on the ice or even in our personal life. Gordon Bombay in The Mighty Ducks is a perfect example of this lesson because he experiences it very early in the movie. The film starts off with the main protagonist Bombay, as an attorney who likes to cheat his way into winning his cases. Building such a reputation with the judge for his cases, when he encounters his own issues with the law, the same judge does not sentence lightly and sends him to complete community service. But he doesn’t learn his lesson. When his community service involves becoming a coach to a struggling pee-wee hockey team, he teaches them to try and cheat as well by gaining as many penalty calls against the opposing team as possible. This quickly makes the team lose respect for their coach since they want to win an ethical way. It is only after seeing it through others that he realizes there are consequences for his actions. Lessons like this are always a good reason to keep this film on our shelf.
The scene is set back to a young Bombay on the ice back when he was a young pee-wee player himself. He is alone on the ice about to take a penalty shot. He shoots! He misses! Fast forward to the modern era the film takes place in, and he doesn’t really play hockey anymore. It is implied it may have been because of that moment he faced as a kid when he failed his team. It is not until he is much older, that he dives deep into his feelings and realizes that it was actually because of the loss of his father when he was young, that he did not want to play anymore. It is always a good lesson to confront moments in your past that seem to impact your present and possibly your future. Without doing so, we may allow old feelings to haunt us but never fully understand why. Bombay eventually joins a men’s hockey league for himself since he learned it was not his lack of skill that stopped him from playing over the years.
Communication is everything! If you do not properly communicate with your team members, there will be problems. The Mighty Ducks demonstrates this when Bombay is being overheard by some of his players speaking poorly about them. Little do they know that he was actually being sarcastic and thoroughly respected them as his team members. But because the players were upset and therefore avoiding Bombay entirely, this led to a complete pause on the existence of their team! It was not until Bombay noticed something was up with his team and he confronted them himself. He then clarified that he never meant any of those harsh things that they overheard. If his team confronted him in the first place, a lot of drama and negativity could have been avoided. When you work as a team, it is essential you stay in the loop with your team members. If this team did not, the Ducks would have seized to exist.
One thing we can appreciate about a good sports film is the moral compass it demonstrates to its viewers. A film like The Mighty Ducks does just that. In under two hours, I was reminded of the importance of remembering that everything I do has a consequence, to always confront parts of my past even if it seems hard and that if you don’t open up about what is bothering you, you are only hurting yourself. A little pee-wee hockey on our shelf is essential to keeping our ethics in check!