The Mighty Ducks is the first film in The Mighty Ducks, produced by Avnet-Kerner Productions and Buena Vista Distribution, distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, and originally released to movie theatres on October 2, 1992. In the United Kingdom and Australia, the film was titled Champions. UK video and DVD releases are titled The Mighty Ducks are the Champions, reflecting both titles.
Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) is a successful Minneapolis defense attorney, whose truculent courtroom antics have earned him no respect among his peers. After being arrested for drunken driving, Bombay is sentenced to community service by coaching the local "District 5" PeeWee hockey team. Bombay has a history with the sport, although his memories are far from pleasant: he blew a penalty shot, costing his team the title and disappointing his hyper-competitive coach, Jack Reilly (Lane Smith). In fact, the movie later shows Reilly with Bombay looking at his string of championship banners and disgustingly saying that the runner-up banner should be taken down.
When Bombay meets the team, he realizes the kids have no practice facility, equipment or ability to go with it. The team's first game with Bombay at the helm is against Bombay's old team: the Hawks, the team from the snooty suburb of Edina. Reilly is still head coach and remains bitter about Gordon's shortcoming in that fateful game. District 5 gets pummeled and after Bombay berates the team for not listening to him the players challenge his authority. Meanwhile, Bombay discovers his old mentor and family friend Hans (Joss Ackland) who owns a nearby sporting goods store was in attendance. While visiting him, Bombay recalls that he quit playing hockey after losing his father four months before the championship game. Hans encourages him to rekindle his childhood passion.
Bombay approaches his boss, Gerald Ducksworth (Josef Sommer) to sponsor the team, which Ducksworth reluctantly agrees. The result is a complete makeover for the team, both in look (as they can now buy professional equipment) and in skill (as Bombay has more time to teach the kids hockey fundamentals). Now playing as the "Ducks", they fight to a tie in the next game and recruit three new players: figure-skating siblings Tommy (Danny Tamberelli) and Tammy Duncan (Jane Plank) and slap shot specialist and enforcer Fulton Reed (Elden Henson). The potential of Ducks player Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson) catches Bombay's eye and he takes him under his wing.
Bombay learns that star player for the Hawks, Adam Banks (Vincent Larusso), actually resides in the Ducks' district boundaries and threatens Reilly into transferring Banks to the Ducks. After hearing an out of context quote about them, the Ducks players lose faith in Bombay and revert to their old habits.
Ducksworth makes a deal with Reilly about the Hawks keeping Banks, however Bombay refuses since it would be against fair-play, which Ducksworth berated him about when he started his community service. Left with either the choice of letting his team down or get fired from his job, Bombay takes the latter.
Bombay manages to win back the Ducks' trust and Adam Banks proves to be a valuable asset. The Ducks manage to make it to the championship against the Hawks. Despite the Hawks' heavy attacks taking Banks out of the game, the Ducks manage to score a tie and earn a penalty shot in the final seconds of the game. Bombay encourages Charlie to take the shot, reassuring him that even if he fails it will be alright. Charlie manages to score a goal using a technique Gordon taught him.
The movie ends with Bombay boarding a bus headed to a minor-league tryout. Although he seems daunted at the prospect of going up against younger players, he receives the same words of encouragement and advice from the Ducks he had given them, promising he will return next season to defend their title.
Emilio Estevez as Gordon Bombay
Joss Ackland as Hans
Lane Smith as Coach Jack Reilly
Heidi Kling as Casey Conway
Josef Sommer as Mr. Gerald Ducksworth
Joshua Jackson as Charlie Conway
Elden Henson as Fulton Reed
Shaun Weiss as Greg Goldberg
M.C. Gainey as Lewis
Matt Doherty as Les Averman
Brandon Adams as Jesse Hall
J.D. Daniels as Peter Mark
Aaron Schwartz as Dave Karp
Garette Ratliff Henson as Guy Germaine
Marguerite Moreau as Connie Moreau
Danny Tamberelli as Tommy Duncan
Jane Plank as Tammy Duncan
Jussie Smollett as Terry Hall
Vincent A. Larusso as Adam Banks
Michael Ooms as McGill
Casey Garven as Larson
Hal Fort Atkinson III as Phillip Banks
Basil McRae as Himself
Mike Modano as Himself
John Beasley as Mr. Hall
Brock Pierce as Gordon Bombay - 10 years old
Robert Pall as Gordon's Father
John Paul Gamoke as Mr. Tolbert
Steven Brill as Frank Huddy