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D3: The Mighty Ducks
Dthree the mighty ducks.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Lieberman
Produced by Jordan Kerner
Jon Avnet
Screenplay by
  • Steven Brill
  • Jim Burnstein
Story by
  • Kenneth Johnson
  • Jim Burnstein
Starring
Music by J. A. C. Redford
Cinematography David Hennings
Editing by Patrick Lussier
Studio Walt Disney Pictures
Avnet-Kerner Productions
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date(s) October 4, 1996 (1996-10-04)
Running time 104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Money made $22.9 million

D3: The Mighty Ducks (also known as The Mighty Ducks 3) is a 1996 American sports comedy-drama film directed by Robert Lieberman. It is the third and final installment in The Mighty Ducks trilogy and was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and distributed by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

Plot

After their victory at the Junior Goodwill Games, youth ice-hockey team The Mighty Ducks and their captain Charlie Conway are awarded the junior varsity hockey scholarships to Eden Hall Academy, a prestigious Minneapolis-area prep school that Coach Bombay attended. Charlie struggles with his transition from childhood to adolescence; he thinks he was abandoned by Bombay when the latter informs him that he intends to take a job with the Junior Goodwill Games, which would leave him unable to coach the Ducks; one of the Ducks' enforcers, Dean Portman, also decided not to attend the school after hearing about Bombay's leaving. Bombay informs Charlie prior to the start of classes that the team will be in good hands under the tutelage of coach Ted Orion, a former NHL player.

The Ducks' start at the school begins inauspiciously; while the newer Ducks respectfully sit in at the headmaster's speech, the original teammates crash the ceremony on stage. The team then experience many early struggles: playing in the new "two-way hockey" defensive style of Coach Orion, Orion abandoning several Duck traditions and some of their youthful in-game 'trick' plays, and off-ice conflicts with the Varsity team. The Ducks' struggles continue, culminating in a tie in their first game after having a huge lead. Eventually, when Coach Orion restricts the old Ducks uniform after an unsanctioned early morning match with the Varsity team to settle their differences, Charlie decides to leave the team to return to public schools and seek a hockey career. This was a huge loss for the Ducks, as although most would agree Banks was the best player, Conway was the heart of the team. Fulton follows, but considers quitting hockey much to Charlie's dismay. Sometime later, he ultimately returns to the team without Charlie.

Angry at Bombay's departure and at Orion's highly disciplined coaching style, Charlie's acting out alienates him from his mother, Hans (Gordon's old mentor and friend of the Ducks), and even his friends. Hans suddenly dies, and Bombay comes to Charlie's house the day following the funeral and takes him back to Eden Hall. He tells Charlie that Orion's career with the Minnesota North Stars ended when the team moved to Dallas and he stayed to care for his paraplegic daughter. Bombay tells Charlie the background story on how he first came to coach the Ducks and says he told Orion that Charlie was the heart and soul of the team, and it was his hope that both Orion and Charlie would learn something from each other. Bombay also admits telling Orion that Charlie was the real "Minnesota Miracle" man. Emotionally touched by his words, Charlie agrees to rejoin the team.

Arriving at the team bus for the next game, Charlie tells Orion he wants to play "two-way hockey". Surprised but pleased, Coach Orion welcomes him back. Before they depart, Dean Buckley, the school's headmaster, informs the team that its board of trustees wants to revoke the Ducks' scholarships and offers Orion a chance to start anew with a team of his choice. Satisfied with the team, Coach Orion balks at the news, threatening resignation. At a board meeting the following day, Bombay, who was an experienced lawyer before coaching the Ducks, acts as the Ducks' attorney and fights successfully for their case, and the board reinstates the Duck's scholarships.

Prior to the annual JV–Varsity game, Orion brings back the Duck jerseys, giving the team a renewed vigor. Throughout the game, the Varsity dominates on offense. However, the Ducks play good defense and manage to keep the game scoreless after two periods. During the second intermission, Dean Portman returns to the team (having finally accepted his scholarship), adding a needed spark. Late in the game, the Ducks get two penalties and must play 5 vs 3. During the time-out, Orion reinstates Charlie as captain and tells him to go for the win if the opportunity presents itself. With seconds left in the game, Charlie gets a breakaway and beats all the defensemen and goalie; he passes the puck back to Goldberg, now a defenseman, who scores into an wide-open net as time expires, securing a 1–0 victory for the Ducks.

Following the victory, Charlie embraces Orion and spots Bombay who has attended the game, and they both look across the rink to a newly-presented Eden Hall banner with the Ducks' logo. Bombay then departs the game amid a sea of cheering fans, with a smile.

Cast

  • Emilio Estevez as Gordon Bombay (Coach)
  • Joshua Jackson as Charlie Conway #96 (Player and 2nd Coach in Mighty Ducks D2)
  • Jeffrey Nordling as Coach Ted Orion (Eden Hall Warriors Coach for the Ducks)
  • David Selby as Dean Buckley (Eden Hall Warriors Dean)
  • Heidi Kling as Casey Conway (Charlie Conway's Mom)
  • Margot Finley as Linda (Charlie Conway's friend)
  • Joss Ackland as Hans (Gordon Bombay's friend and Sponsor)
  • Elden Henson as Fulton Reed #44 (1st Bash Brother and Player)
  • Shaun Weiss as Greg "The Goalie" Goldberg #33 (The Goalie)
  • Vincent Larusso as Adam Banks #99 (The Top Mighty Ducks Player)
  • Matt Doherty as Lester Averman #4 (Mighty Ducks Player)
  • Garette Ratliff Henson as Guy Germaine #00 (Mighty Ducks Player)
  • Marguerite Moreau as Connie Moreau #18 Mighty Ducks Player)
  • Michael Cudlitz as Cole (Eden Hall Warriors Player and Bully)
  • Christopher Orr as Rick Riley (Eden Hall Warriors Player and Bully)
  • Aaron Lohr as Dean Portman #21 (Bash Brother 2 and Player)
  • Colombe Jacobsen as Julie "The Cat" Gaffney #6 (The Goalie)
  • Kenan Thompson as Russ Tyler #56 (Mighty Ducks Player)
  • Mike Vitar as Luis Mendoza #22 (Mighty Ducks Player)
  • Ty O'Neal as Dwayne Robertson #7 (Mighty Ducks Player)
  • Justin Wong as Ken Wu #16 (Mighty Ducks Player)
  • Scott Whyte as Scott "Scooter" Holland (Eden Hall Warriors Player)
  • Benjamin Salisbury as Josh, the sports announcer (Announcer)

Cameo appearance

Paul Kariya, captain of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (now Anaheim Ducks) when the film was released, makes a cameo appearance during the second intermission of the Ducks/Varsity Warriors game.

Departure

Brandon Adams, who played Jesse Hall, is the only actor from the previous films to not reprise his role as a Duck, after appearing in the first two films of the trilogy. It's assumed his character moved away.

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