With The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers now streaming on Disney+, let’s look back at the original film trilogy ranking, according to critics.
The new series, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, is now streaming on Disney+. The show is a continuation of the original film trilogy that was released in the 1990s. The franchise followed an underdog team as they became champions and overcame fierce competition throughout the three films and featured Emilio Estevez as Coach Gordon Bombay, a former minor hockey superstar turned jaded lawyer who became an iconic hockey coach. Let’s break down where each of the original films ranks, according to critic scores from Rotten Tomatoes.
The final film in the original franchise is 1996’s D3: The Mighty Ducks. The film has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 20, which is the same as the second film. Since neither movie has a Metacritic score, the tiebreaker comes down to the audience score, which is 45 and puts it lower on the list than the second film. Roger Ebert gave the film a one-star review where he accuses D3 of being a carbon copy story of the first two films and shameless cross-promotion for the Disney corporation.Continue Scrolling To Keep ReadingClick the button below to start this article in quick view.START NOW
D3 follows the Ducks as they win a scholarship to a prestigious prep school called Eden Hall Academy. Gordon Bombay is no longer their coach and while at Eden, they clash with the school board, the varsity hockey team and their new coach. The players have to learn how to play hockey at the next level and prove their value as Ducks, no matter where they play.
The sequel to the original film, D2: The Mighty Ducks, came out in 1994. It has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 20 and an audience score of 59, which puts it as the second highest-rated film in the franchise. Critics were quick to point out the contradiction of the film, considering it is part of a cross-promotional push by Disney to promote their new NHL franchise while the content of the film preaches against the commercialization of sports.
D2 follows the Ducks as they take their game to the next level and become Team USA to participate in the Junior Goodwill Games. Their rivals in the tournament are a bigger, faster, stronger Iceland team, prompting them to add some new faces to their roster to help them pull off an international championship victory. Fun fact, the Iceland team captain, Gunner Stahl was played by Scott Whyte who would return in a different role for D3.
The original film of the franchise The Mighty Ducks was released in 1992. It is the only film in the series to have both a Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic score. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 23 and Metacritic drops a 46. The Hollywood Reporter review said The Mighty Ducks was “an overall charmer… with a nifty mix of slapstick and action.” The film’s success launched the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, an NHL team owned by the Disney Company with their home rink not far from Disneyland.
The Mighty Ducks found hot-shot lawyer Gordon Bombay forced to return to the world of hockey when he is assigned coach duty to the underdog District 5 team after a DUI. As their coach, he confronts his past as a former youth star and learns to be the coach this band of misfits needs to become champions. Along the way, both Bombay and the players learn teamwork, and how to fly on the ice.