The Mighty Ducks (1992)

PG | 103 mins | Comedy | 2 October 1992

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HISTORY

An item in the 22 Nov 1991 Screen International reported that director Stephen Herek had replaced Steve Miner on The Mighty Ducks, which was expected to film in Toronto, Canada, in early 1992. The article noted that James Belushi was in consideration for the lead role. However, Belushi did not appear in the film.
       A 3 Mar 1992 HR production chart noted that principal photography on the film, now titled Bombay. began 22 Jan 1992 in MN. The 15 Mar 1992 LAT reported the film’s budget was $14 million. Producer Jordan Kerner noted that MN’s unusually mild winter made the location shoot more difficult. The filmmakers spent $50,000 to help freeze a man-made lake. Although they could create a half an inch of ice per day, melting snowbanks spilled onto the lake, making it “virtually unusable.” The production also brought in forty truckloads of snow from Maple Grove, MN, located thirty-five miles away. Director Stephen Herek noted it was a “twenty-four hour a day process” to make the location look like a snowy “fairy land.” AMPAS library files note that an alternate title of the film was Champions.
       The Mighty Ducks marked the theatrically-released feature film debut of actors Marguerite Moreau, Jane Plank, Jussie Smollett, Vincent A. Larusso, Danny Tamberelli, Michael Ooms, and Casey Garven.
       An item in the 5 Oct 1992 DV reported that the “inexpensive” film was released on 1,280 screens, with an estimated Friday box-office gross of $5.8--$6 million.
       Due to its success, two sequels, D2: The ... More Less

An item in the 22 Nov 1991 Screen International reported that director Stephen Herek had replaced Steve Miner on The Mighty Ducks, which was expected to film in Toronto, Canada, in early 1992. The article noted that James Belushi was in consideration for the lead role. However, Belushi did not appear in the film.
       A 3 Mar 1992 HR production chart noted that principal photography on the film, now titled Bombay. began 22 Jan 1992 in MN. The 15 Mar 1992 LAT reported the film’s budget was $14 million. Producer Jordan Kerner noted that MN’s unusually mild winter made the location shoot more difficult. The filmmakers spent $50,000 to help freeze a man-made lake. Although they could create a half an inch of ice per day, melting snowbanks spilled onto the lake, making it “virtually unusable.” The production also brought in forty truckloads of snow from Maple Grove, MN, located thirty-five miles away. Director Stephen Herek noted it was a “twenty-four hour a day process” to make the location look like a snowy “fairy land.” AMPAS library files note that an alternate title of the film was Champions.
       The Mighty Ducks marked the theatrically-released feature film debut of actors Marguerite Moreau, Jane Plank, Jussie Smollett, Vincent A. Larusso, Danny Tamberelli, Michael Ooms, and Casey Garven.
       An item in the 5 Oct 1992 DV reported that the “inexpensive” film was released on 1,280 screens, with an estimated Friday box-office gross of $5.8--$6 million.
       Due to its success, two sequels, D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994) and D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996, see entries), were released, and an animated Saturday morning cartoon, The Mighty Ducks, aired in 1996. In 1993, Disney named its newly acquired National Hockey League (NHL) franchise the “Mighty Ducks.”
       As tracked in articles in the 11 Apr 1997 LAT, and the 16 Dec 1998 DV, screenwriter Steven Brill sued Walt Disney Pictures and its hockey team, the Mighty Ducks Hockey Club Inc. Brill claimed that he was entitled to five percent of the Mighty Ducks’ merchandise and five percent of the hockey team’s gross revenues. According to the Writers Guild of America agreement, a writer is entitled to five percent of the “absolute gross” when a studio profits from merchandise of objects or things “first described in literary material written by the writer.” At the time, the Mighty Ducks team was the most profitable franchise in the $1 billion per year NHL merchandising market. Brill initially filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court in late 1995, but Disney successfully claimed that the suit was a labor dispute and should be argued in federal court. However, prior to moving to federal court, Disney insisted on taking Brill’s case to the WGA to determine if it should be handled through WGA arbitration. In Oct 1998, the arbitrator determined that Brill’s claims were not subject to mandatory arbitration, and the case could proceed to federal court. An article in the 6 Apr 1999 DV reported that U.S. District Court Judge Edward Rafeedie denied Disney’s motion to dismiss the complaint, and Bill’s lawsuit was allowed to proceed. The result of the lawsuit is undetermined.
       End credits include the following statement: “The Producers wish to thank: Elliot Park Neighborhood; 'Lets Play Hockey'; Minnesota Film Board; The Met Center; Minnesota Northstars; Senator Richard Cohen; Senator Roger Moe; Mayor Don Fraser; People of the state of Minnesota.”


AMPAS research in shared drive; CXLD Academic Network participant. University of Texas, Austin. Advisor: Prof. Janet Staiger; Student: LaForce. lfr 9/2010 More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Oct 1992.
---
Daily Variety
16 Dec 1998.
---
Daily Variety
6 Apr 1999
p. 3, 18.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
15 Mar 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Oct 1992
p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
11 Apr 1997
Section D, p. 1, 4.
New York Times
2 Oct 1992
p. 18.
Screen International
22 Nov 1991.
---
Variety
28 Sep 1992
p. 79.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Walt Disney Pictures presents
Presented in association with Touchwood Pacific Partners I
An Avnet/Kerner Production
A Stephen Herek Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Co-prod
Co-prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
Still photog
Chief lighting tech
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Best boy elec
Elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Cam loader
Cam loader
Addl cam op
Addl 1st asst cam
Addl 2d asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Asst props
Set des
Leadman
Set dressing buyer
On-set dresser
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const coord
Const foreman
Lead carpenter
Stand-by carpenter
Lead scenic
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Key costumer
Set costumer
Head seamstress
MUSIC
Mus ed
Supv mus ed
Orchs
Orchs
Mus scoring mixer
Mus scoring mixer
Orch contractor
Supv copyist
Synthesizer programming
SOUND
ADR/Loop group
Sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Dubbing rec
ADR mixer
Foley mixer
Foley rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Spec eff asst
Newspaper opticals
MAKEUP
Key makeup
Asst makeup
Key hairstylist
Asst hair and makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Scr supv
Transportation coord
Transportation co-capt
Transportation co-capt
Loc catering by
Craft service
Craft service
Craft service
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Prod auditor
Asst auditor
2d asst auditor
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Minneapolis casting
Extras casting
Extras casting
Unit pub
Asst to Mr. Estevez
Asst to Mr. Herek
Asst to Mr. Kerner
Asst to Mr. Kerner
Asst to Mr. Avnet
For the Avnet/Kerner Company
For the Avnet/Kerner Company
Hockey trainer/Tech adv
Hockey asst
Hockey asst
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Prod and distributed on
SOURCES
SONGS
"Hey Man," written by Dennis Hill, Joe Phillipy and Greg Higgins, performed by The Poorboys, courtesy of Hollywood Records
"Shake 'Em Down," written by Steven Van Zandt, performed by Southside Johnny, courtesy of Impact Records
"Good Vibrations," written by Dan Hartman, Donnie Wahlberg, Mark Wahlberg and Amir Shakir, performed by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, courtesy of Interscope Records/EastWest Records
+
SONGS
"Hey Man," written by Dennis Hill, Joe Phillipy and Greg Higgins, performed by The Poorboys, courtesy of Hollywood Records
"Shake 'Em Down," written by Steven Van Zandt, performed by Southside Johnny, courtesy of Impact Records
"Good Vibrations," written by Dan Hartman, Donnie Wahlberg, Mark Wahlberg and Amir Shakir, performed by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, courtesy of Interscope Records/EastWest Records
"Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive," written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, performed by Dr. John, courtesy of Warner Bros. REcords, Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"We Will Rock You," written by Brian May, performed by Queen, courtesy of Hollywood REcords/EMI Records
"We Are The Champions," written by Freddie Mercury, performed by Queen, courtesy of EMI Records.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Bombay
Champions
Release Date:
2 October 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 2 October 1992
Production Date:
began 22 January 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.
Copyright Date:
13 October 1992
Copyright Number:
PA583839
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording Dolby Stereo SR™ in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
103
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32055
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As a child, Gordon Bombay played for the “Hawks,” a Minneapolis, Minnesota, pee wee ice hockey team coached by Jack Reilly, who believed in winning at all costs. Gordon had the chance to score the winning goal at the championship playoffs, but missed. For the first time, the Hawks were in second place, and Gordon never skated again. He grows up to become a cocky lawyer, who is was often cited for speeding, and when he is arrested for drunk driving, the District Attorney plans to take him to trial. However, Gordon’s boss, Mr. Gerald Ducksworth, does not want the bad publicity for his firm, and makes a deal with the court. Gordon’s license is suspended and he must work five hundred hours of community service as the District Five pee wee ice hockey coach. Believing the assignment will help Gordon better understand teamwork, Ducksworth places him on paid leave of absence and provides a driver, Lewis. At the first practice, Gordon has Lewis drive the limousine onto the frozen pond where he meets the rag-tag team of inner-city children. The rambunctious team climbs into the limousine and Gordon asks Lewis to drive them around the pond. Moments later, Casey Conroy arrives to pick up her son, Charlie, and is furious that Gordon endangered her son’s life by driving on the ice. Gordon is upset upon discovering that District Five team’s next game is against the Hawks, still coached by Reilly. As Reilly exhorts his team to win by as large a margin as possible, Gordon barely coaches his team. After the match, he berates them for ... +


As a child, Gordon Bombay played for the “Hawks,” a Minneapolis, Minnesota, pee wee ice hockey team coached by Jack Reilly, who believed in winning at all costs. Gordon had the chance to score the winning goal at the championship playoffs, but missed. For the first time, the Hawks were in second place, and Gordon never skated again. He grows up to become a cocky lawyer, who is was often cited for speeding, and when he is arrested for drunk driving, the District Attorney plans to take him to trial. However, Gordon’s boss, Mr. Gerald Ducksworth, does not want the bad publicity for his firm, and makes a deal with the court. Gordon’s license is suspended and he must work five hundred hours of community service as the District Five pee wee ice hockey coach. Believing the assignment will help Gordon better understand teamwork, Ducksworth places him on paid leave of absence and provides a driver, Lewis. At the first practice, Gordon has Lewis drive the limousine onto the frozen pond where he meets the rag-tag team of inner-city children. The rambunctious team climbs into the limousine and Gordon asks Lewis to drive them around the pond. Moments later, Casey Conroy arrives to pick up her son, Charlie, and is furious that Gordon endangered her son’s life by driving on the ice. Gordon is upset upon discovering that District Five team’s next game is against the Hawks, still coached by Reilly. As Reilly exhorts his team to win by as large a margin as possible, Gordon barely coaches his team. After the match, he berates them for losing. The team is harassed by the top Hawks player, Adam Banks, and two of his friends. However, Fulton Reed, a tough neighborhood kid, forces the Hawks to leave. During the next game, Gordon orders his team to fake injuries. However, Charlie refuses. Gordon yells at him after the game, but the boy insists he will not cheat, and quits the team. Gordon notices an older man, Hans, watching from across the rink, disappointed. Gordon visits Hans’s ice skating equipment shop, and reminisces about knowing the man during his childhood. Gordon admits that missing the championship shot was the worst moment of his life, and Hans is sad that Reilly’s aggressive attitude about winning stopped Gordon from skating. Hans gives him a pair of skates, and later, as Gordon skates at a public pond, he remembers how much he loved playing ice hockey. He goes to Charlie’s home, apologizes, and stays for dinner with Charlie and his single mother, Casey. Later, Gordon asks Mr. Ducksworth for $15,000 to help fund ice rink time, equipment, and uniforms. Ducksworth is reluctant, until Gordon claims it is good publicity for the law firm, and suggests naming the team after his boss. The kids get new equipment and Gordon commits to training them. As Lewis drives Gordon to practice, a hockey pucks smashes the car window. Gordon meets Fulton Reed, the tough teenager who is a forceful street hockey player. However, Fulton admits he cannot skate and therefore, has never joined a team. Gordon signs him to the team, and they teach Fulton to ice skate. Gordon also enlists a couple of figure skaters to join. When the team’s jerseys arrive, the kids are not thrilled that their new name is the “Ducks.” However, Gordon rallies them, noting that ducks always work as a team, and if anyone attacks a single duck, they face the whole flock. Excited, the teammates start to quack as their new chant. At their next game, the Ducks work well together and Fulton scores the tying goal. Later, Hans informs Gordon that the Ducks can make the play-offs if they win one more game. Hans also notes that the district lines were redrawn a few years earlier, and, according to district rules, Adam Banks should be playing for the Ducks, not the Hawks. Later, at the ice rink, Gordon informs Reilly that Banks will have to play for the Ducks. Reilly is furious, and Philip Banks insists that his son will only play for the Hawks. However, Gordon reiterates district rules: if Banks plays for the Hawks, the team automatically forfeits. Reilly insists that the Ducks are losers and cannot win even if Banks helps them, and Gordon agrees. A few of the Ducks overhear Gordon’s remark, and when he joins them in the locker room, several players walk out. Gordon hopes everyone will join him on the ice, but only Charlie and Fulton follow their coach. Without enough players, they forfeit the game. Later, Gordon admits to Charlie that he once played for the Hawks, but lost the championship game. Charlie insists that just making it to the championship is impressive. Charlie becomes upset when Gordon reveals that he has arranged for someone else to coach the Ducks because they do not trust him anymore. Mr. Ducksworth calls Gordon to his office and states that the probation is finished and Gordon is free from community service. Ducksworth’s old friend, Mr. Banks, and Coach Reilly are also present at the meeting. Ducksworth made a deal with the pee wee hockey league that will allow Adam Banks to play for the Hawks for the rest of the current season, with the teams redrawn the following year. The only caveat is that Gordon must withdraw his protest. However, Gordon refuses, insisting that fair play is more important. Ducksworth fires Gordon, who quacks at his former boss and promises to see Reilly at the playoffs. Gordon apologizes to the Ducks, claiming he was only being sarcastic with Reilly. He reveals that the Ducks can either play their next game and possibly proceed to the play-offs, or forfeit the game and end their season. The team chooses to play. Banks wants to play hockey, and joins the Ducks. The team is not immediately receptive, but Banks eventually fits in. Meanwhile, Gordon pursues a romance with Charlie’s mother, Casey. The Ducks win their next games and advance to the final championship game against the Hawks. The Hawks get an early lead and Coach Reilly pushes his team to win at all costs, ordering two players to attack Banks, their former teammate and friend. As Banks scores a goal, a Hawks player knocks him into the goal, injuring the boy. Before he is wheeled off the ice, Banks encourages the Ducks to go for the win. Gordon storms over to Reilly and declares he wasted years worrying about his former coach’s opinion, and promises the Ducks will win. He tells his team that they do not need to play “dirty” like the Hawks, because the Ducks are smart players. Most importantly, he wants them to have fun. Working together as a team and employing a V-shaped duck formation, they tie the score. In the final seconds, Charlie is about to shoot the winning goal when he is knocked down by a Hawks player. The referee calls a penalty against the Hawks, and the Ducks have a chance to score. Gordon wants Charlie to take the shot, but the boy claims he might miss and they could win with a better player. Gordon declares the team already won because they made it to the championship. Charlie takes his best shot, scores, and the Ducks win. Later, Gordon leaves to try-out for a minor league ice hockey team. He kisses Casey goodbye, and promises the Ducks that he will return next season to defend their title. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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