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The Mighty Ducks Conundrum

The Mighty Ducks. A treasured movie of youth. This movie has everything you could ever want. The idea itself was nothing new at the time. An unwilling man is forced to coach a rag tag bunch of misfits (see: THE BAD NEWS BEARS) and in the process learns not only to love these kids but also is able to find his true self. Throw in an evil rival coach, a love interest, and a group of kids quacking at their teacher, how could one not love this movie?

In true Hollywood style, due to the movie's overwhelming success, the public was handed a sequel. D2: The Mighty Ducks. I happened to come across this movie on television last weekend and decided to settle in for a few minutes of classic "Duck" action. What better way to remember a few minutes of my youth, right?

I was wrong. What I got was a few minutes (if not more) of questioning the many plot holes of this movie. Okay, maybe not plot holes, but I suddenly had serious questions that never came up in my youth. It is quite easy to suspend one's disbelief when younger, but as one grows up, one tends to think move rationally about things. (See the blog from 12/13/09 titled "Most Wonderful Time of the Year").

For example, are these kids from Minnesota really the best Junior Hockey players that the United States has to offer? I know that Minnesota produces some pretty impressive Hockey talent, but come on. As with any sequel of a sports movie, new talent needs to be brought in to keep the movie fresh. Sure, Luis can skate faster from blue line to blue line than any hockey player his age, but he can't stop. He is no expert skater, that's for sure. Throw in an outlaw, a cowboy, a girl goalie, and a figure skater and we now have a complete team.

But Jason, you may be saying, this is a movie sequel so of course these kids from Minnesota have to be the best America has to offer. Okay, good point. And of course they have to be out of shape and resting on their laurels from their Pee Wee championship. What else would they have to aspire to if they were already at the top of their game? Certainly not a Hockey Championship at the Junior Goodwill Games, that's for sure.

As with any of these movies, a team that is bigger, faster, and stronger than Team USA stands in the way of glory. That team is from Iceland. After a blowout loss to Iceland, Team USA must reclaim their magic that brought them here. And what better place to find that than on the streets of L.A. A place in which street hockey is all the rage. Team USA can play hockey, sure, but they don't play with heart and creativity. Hence the introduction of Kenan Thompson and the knucklepuck.

Due to injury, Kenan is invited to join Team USA. Throughout the movie, Coach Bombay has turned into a corporate bitch and has decided to model himself after Iceland's coach. It's all about power and greed now. All just another obstacle to get Team USA to the rematch with Iceland they desire.

Team USA does indeed get that rematch. The final involves everything. Iceland initially takes a big lead. The Bash Brothers rack up penalties. A kid lasso's other players on the ice. And *Spoiler Alert*, we witness the old switcheroo. You see, Kenan can't get his knucklepuck to work. Iceland has clearly scouted Team USA. So what does Team USA do to counteract this? They have Goldberg (the goalie) switch jerseys and positions with the old knucklepuck maestro. Lo and behold, it works. Now, I'm not one hundred percent sure, but I don't think that switching jerseys like that is technically legal.

And so it goes. Team USA wins the championship in a shootout. They gather around a campfire and sing. Then, eventually, all are offered to receive hockey scholarships at a very prestigious private school. To play on the Junior Varsity team. They were the best in the world, but can't even make the Varsity team. Things are seriously backwards in this world.

Point being, certain kids movies lose their luster of the years. As we get older, we see a bit more of the fallacies of said movies, and our disbelief is no longer suspended. Some movies hold up (see: Goonies) and others are too treasured to ever examine in this way (see: Star Wars). As it is, I will still watch these movies and will attempt to suspend my disbelief as much as possible. From time to time, as an adult, one must look at these movies in a rational way. And poke fun at them, yes, but never lose your sense of wonderment about these movies. There are some many other ways to grow up that I don't want to lose that sense of disbelief from movies of my youth. So deal with that. Cake eaters.


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