Review: Disney+ “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers”

Another Friday gives us yet another Disney+ new show premiere!  The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers invites viewers back into the world of youth hockey in Minnesota in the universe from the three movies from the 1990s.  This review will contain spoilers — so make sure you’ve watched the debut episode or be OK with some spoilers!  Without any further adieu, here is the rundown of the first episode!


The series takes place in the same universe as the movies — but, in 2021, the Ducks are the perennial champions having won a record ten state championships.  They are so popular that they have a following to include even a podcast being broadcast from the bleachers during their tryouts.  The viewers learn that the new season will see the team graduating into the 12-14 year old league.  At the end of the tryout, one of the mothers, Alex reacts to her son being cut from the team with a impassioned speech about how youth sports are getting far too competitive and how kids need time to be kids and have fun — the result is a video that goes viral and also embarrasses her son, Evan, in addition to the trauma of having been cut from the team.

Credit: Looper

Attempting to console Evan and raise his spirits, she suggests that Evan start his own hockey team to compete with the Ducks.  Evan takes her up on her suggestion and sets to the task of recruiting another six kids to meet the league minimum for players, while Alex works on securing an ice rink for the team to call home, as well as a coach.  After searching and not finding a suitable rink, Alex stumbles upon a rundown rink, the Ice Palace, run by Gordon Bombay.  We learn that Coach Bombay has had a falling out with hockey, so much so that he doesn’t want to rent out the ice for a hockey team.  After learning that Alex has discovered some unused grant money for youth hockey, Bombay relents and agrees to rent the ice to the team.


Evan finds quick teammates in the former podcast host, Nick (who has some of the best lines in the episode), as well as a new neighbor who moves in across the street with some great equipment, but we find out later in the episode that he doesn’t really know how to skate, let alone play hockey.  Evan struggles to find more teammates until after he gets some coaching about standing up for himself and doing things for himself by Coach Bombay and he is able to recruit some other kids from school after making a request in a crowded cafeteria. 

Credit: EntertainmentTonight

The episode ends with Team Skate Night at the Hendrix Hockey Arena that the Ducks call home.  Each of the teams is introduced as a kickoff to the season.  Eagle-eyed viewers and fans of the original movie will catch some familiar names to the teams — as we see the Hawks, Cardinals, and Huskies are still competing.  Coupled with the name Hendrix (the hockey equipment supplier that sponsored the Ducks in the second movie when they represented the United States in the Junior Goodwill Games.  Coach Bombay is not coaching the new team, but we do see him developing a relationship with Alex, so maybe things will change later in the season?

We are hopeful for more nostalgia coming out in later episodes — shortly before the show premiered, Emilio Estevez gave an interview confirming the appearance of some of the former Ducks from the movies, which also lends credence to our hope that Gordon Bombay will don a clipboard and a whistle to coach the new addition to the league. 

What did you think?  Did you get up early to check out the show before heading to work or school?  Does it live up to the movies from the 90s?  You going to be lacing up your skates to check out more episodes?  

About Tyler Obenauf

Tyler is a lawyer living in South Florida who visits Disney World at least once a month. He enjoys re-living classic Disney experiences and discovering new things about the parks when he visits. Friends and family always ask him to plan their trip for maximum Disney magic!