The Mighty Ducks are back and this time they aren’t just looking to win a peewee hockey championship, they are looking to take on the best of the world at the Junior Goodwill Games in “D2: The Mighty Ducks.” The ducks represent Team USA at the international competition being held in Los Angeles and are joined by some new kids who help make this team even better.
I love “The Mighty Ducks” and, as a kid, I loved “D2: The Mighty Ducks” even more. My brother took me to see this film in theaters. It was either the first or second film I saw in theaters. Yes, the plot is ripped right from the United States Men’s Olympic Hockey Team’s magical run to the gold medal in 1980. Yes, the movie “Miracle” is a better representation of that story. But, for a kids movie, this one was awesome.
One of the things that’s really cool when watching these movies of my youth again is seeing what happened to some of these child actors. Charlie went on to “Dawson’s Creek.” Fulton appeared on “Daredevil.” And, one of the new kids brought in for this film is Keenan Thompson who went on to be a Nickelodeon star on “All That” and “Keenan and Kel” before becoming the longest tenured “Saturday Night Live” cast member in history. There’s some legitimate star power in this movie, but you didn’t know it at the time.
As a kid, I remember seeing the knuckle puck used by Thompson’s character, Russ Tyler, and thinking it was the coolest thing ever. I went out and got my hockey stick and my roller blades and tried to recreate that shot. I was probably the only kid in northern Mississippi trying to play hockey but this series of films began my love for the sport that still continues to this day. As an adult, I don’t go out and try to make impossible shots happen. I barely even skate anymore. But, watching this film brings back that wave of nostalgia and I can still imagine myself scoring the game winning goal with the knuckle puck. It makes no sense, but I’m transported back to being a kid wanting to succeed at a sport I didn’t even play.
This film ups the ante when it comes to the championship game. In the first film, Charlie; who has struggled scoring on breakaways; is fouled on his chance at a game winning breakaway and scores the game winning goal on a penalty shot. In this film, the championship game ends up tied and they go to penalty shots where we get to see a combination of successes and failures before the backup goalie gets her chance to show what she can do. It’s a creative way to basically do the same ending, but make it not exactly the same.
This movie was better as a kid, there’s no doubt about that. But it’s still a lot of fun. Some of it is nostalgia. Some of it is watching movies I loved as a kid with my son today and watching how much he enjoys the films, especially given that I now live in a hockey crazy area and he loves hockey more than I ever did growing up in the Southern United States. It’s a kid’s movie that I will sit down and watch at any time.