Disney’s latest attempt to drill into your memories and extract the crude oil of childhood nostalgia is The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, a new streaming series about a new band of scrappy hockey-playing children who are still hanging around Gordon Bombay, despite the fact the worst coach in sports history.
While it’s no doubt beloved, looking back at the Mighty Ducks franchise as adults, it’s clear that it went to some pretty weird places. For starters, it’s perhaps the only Disney movie that begins with its hero chugging beers behind the wheel of his car.
Then this rich asshole is punished for his DUI by being chauffeured around in a goddamn limousine and forced to coach a hockey team full of adorable kids; he thankfully didn’t run over with his car earlier in the week. Also, should any legal punishment involve sending a criminal to spend time with a bunch of minors with no other adult supervision?
One of the oddest plot wrinkles comes in the sequel, D2: The Mighty Ducks, when Bombay recruits most of the Ducks to play as Team USA. Their rivals? The evil Team Iceland, a gang of cold-blooded, hulking Aryan monsters, coached by a total sleazebag who looks like he should be taunting John McClane on a walkie-talkie.
Which made zero sense. In real life, Iceland wasn’t exactly a hockey powerhouse, with its team ranking 33rd in the world. At the time of D2, the entire country had only two skating rinks, both of which were outdoors. The reasoning behind the decision to make Iceland the villains of the movie stemmed from the fact that Disney gave screenwriter Steve Brill just two weeks to hammer out the script.
Since the U.S.S.R. had recently dissolved, Hollywood had stopped using Russians as villains. And going full Die Hard and employing Germans seemed too “obvious.” So Brill randomly picked Iceland, partly because a friend of his was Icelandic, but mostly because it had the word “ice” in the name. D2 actually seems to have had a positive impact on Iceland’s hockey community, even leading to the construction of a third rink, presumably in an effort to show the world that they weren’t soulless murder goons.
Top Image: Disney