The Mighty Ducks was created during the underdog sports era, however, its rise in movie history could also be considered an underdog story too. Its first installment was released in 1993 around the same time as the classic The Sandlot was released. Both involved an underdog story of children rising up in a sport to top the competition(Dodds). The difference between these is the sport that is portrayed. The Sandlot revolves around baseball, but The Mighty Ducks takes on the difficult task of portraying hockey(Dodds). The violent nature of this sport makes it hard to capture the essence of the sport while at the same time making it family friendly. Along with this, the interest in hockey wasn’t that big in the United States further making the success of this movie a revolutionary one. Despite all the odds going against this movie, it grossed at $50,700,000 in the box office(Dodds). The waves of impact this movie had aside from just its entertainment value were huge in the sports and culture scene. The Mighty Ducks is the only movie franchise to have a real sports team named after them. They did more than just make a movie, they played a role in defining that era’s pop culture. In fact, the movies still hold up to this day and are considered one of the best movie trilogies which is why they put out the posters titled “For Your Consideration” as a campaign to win an Oscar.
The story for the movie was also unprecedented. Usually, sports movies are all about winning. After all, the whole point of competition is to ultimately win the championship. The Mighty Ducks took a different approach to the whole sports mentality. Instead of playing to win, the players played to play(Maslin). The team of kids was awful, to say the least, but that didn’t stop them from wanting to play. It also stressed the importance of being a team and playing as a unit(Maslin). Each player had the other’s back. Because of the lack of talent on this specific team, this was even more important. When everything wasn’t looking up in an athletic sense, the players would have a reason to keep coming back. Even now in midst of little league sports, the competition is fierce. These kids are just trying to learn the game, or have fun, but the constant nagging and yelling by coaches and parents make it very hostile and overall unpleasant place to be. Many children who may not have the knack for a sport give up and quit because they simply aren’t having fun. They have no reason to want to go to practice or even games if they’re just going to get punished for their lack of athleticism or talent. The Mighty Ducks shows that it’s okay not to be good at a sport and embrace a key lesson that is hidden and usually lost in all the competition: teamwork and camaraderie.
As stated before, the surprising success of the movie The Mighty Ducks spawned a real National Hockey League team, the Anaheim Ducks. This team is very successful and has a Stanely Cup to boast as well as multiple players entering the Hall of Fame(Malinowski). This team was created just 69 days after the release of the movie. The waves of this movie spill over to more than just affecting the genre and storyboards. If the movie would not have been the surprise that it had there would have been no professional hockey team. From there was a back and forth success with the movie and team. People would watch the movie because they heard that a hockey team was created from it and vice versa. The impact of the movie was that great in pop culture scene and the Cinderella story of the movie coincided with its box office story.
Enter the Oscars poster. All these reasons make it a strong candidate to receive an Oscar. It was much more than just a movie. It left an imprint that is still visible today both in cinematics and athletics. It was nominated for multiple Oscars for Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture and Best Young Actress Co-Starring in a Motion Picture(“The Mighty Ducks”). These kids that portrayed the untalented Ducks team did a perfect job and really sent home the message they were trying to send. Unfortunately, the movie did not win, but it nevertheless shows the impact that the movie had based on its nominations. It most definitely should be in your consideration to at least view this movie and decide for yourself.
Dodds, Eric. “The ‘Mighty Ducks’ Trilogy: An Oral History.” Time, Time, 9 June 2014, time.com/mighty-ducks/.
Maslin, Janet. “Review/Film; Hockey That Transcends Mere Winning.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 Oct. 1992, www.nytimes.com/1992/10/02/movies/review-film-hockey-that-transcends-mere-winning.html.