Thursday, May 19, 2011

Throwback Thursday: The Mighty Ducks aka the Best Movies of Our Generation

If you're anything like me (or, let’s face it, anyone, born between 1985-1990), the Mighty Ducks trilogy has a special, hockey puck-shaped place in your heart. And you know what? This is so understandable. Because even though you had no idea what a hat trick was, or didn't know just how important it was to "change it up" (Yell it! "CHANGE IT UP!"), you somehow knew that those movies were destined to go down in history as some of the most innovative and inspiring movies in the genre. (Yes, 1990s pre-teen hockey is a genre. Shut up.) This is the movie that served as a platform to launch Joshua Jackson’s career, documenting Charlie’s transition from a mediocre player to a coaching prodigy and the giving us the emergence of the Pacey smile. (Sidenote: Where would we be without Joshua Jackson?)

These movies—like most Disney films—are first and foremost educational tools. So what have we learned?
  • Drinking and driving is BAD: if you drink and drive, you might end up like Gordon Bombay, a wildly successful lawyer who is sentenced to community service coaching a bunch of talented kids who go on to represent team USA in the Junior Goodwill Games…and after that awesomeness happens, you might—like Gordon—get a second chance at your dream and go play for the NHL. Wait, so drinking and driving is bad, Disney? Is that what you’re telling us? Because Gordon’s life is the shit.
  • Violence is not the answer: The movies teach us how to take a dive and how to be an enforcer for your team (stick, gloves, shirt!). So wait, I lied, this movie actually teaches us that violence might really be the answer. Especially when you have the Bash Brothers and/or you're playing a team of tall, blonde, Icelandic hockey players with facial hair.
  • Treat ladies with respect: Dwayne “Hopalong Gretzky” Robertson is the perfect example of this. When that hulking ogre from Iceland targeted poor, delicate Connie Moreau in D2, he hops off the bench, lasso in hand, to defend her honor. Chivalry is not dead, ladies and gentlemen. But as Connie did remind us, she's not a lady, she's a Duck.
  • Standing up to your bullies: Whether it’s the puny District 5 Ducks standing up to the mean Hawks in D1, Team USA trouncing Iceland and Wolf “the Dentist” Stansson in D2 or the JV team getting the best of the cocky Eden Hall Warriors in D3, these movies teach you that perseverance, dedication, fancy skating skills, and a well-timed prank and/or costume change are all you need in order to overcome adversity and stand up to your bullies. You hear that bullies? You lost it for yourself. Even Gunnar agrees with us.
Eighteen years after the first Mighty Ducks movie was released, we’re all still enchanted--so much so that we had a marathon viewing of all three installments and created a drink called the Gordon Bombay (Canadian whiskey -- it's close enough to Minnesota, ginger ale, lime syrup, and mint -- also known as my version of a mint julep).

I’ll leave you with this: I bet you didn't know that Gunnar Stahl (who grew quite nicely), the long-haired Viking of my fourteen year old dreams, was SCOTT, the preppy-yet-oh-so-dashing-and-endearing-Warrior-goalie from D3 (Krista's favorite installment, don't you know). That sound you hear? That would be your mind being blown.

And for those who have not had the pleasure to watch these three films back to back while drinking Gordon Bombays recently, here's a little refresher on the cinematic genius that is the Mighty Ducks:

And just for funsies- Where are they now? (we gotta say- some Mighty Ducks matured quite nicely while others seemed to have peaked at 14, sorry Banksie!)

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