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THE MIGHTY DUCKS: GAME CHANGERS: Episode 201 “Ice Breaker”

"Staying Through the Pain"

What You Need To Know:

THE MIGHTY DUCKS: GAME CHANGERS is a Disney+ sports series based on the 1990s film franchise of the same name. “Ice Breaker,” the premiere episode of GAME CHANGERS Season Two, transfers the junior hockey team into an intense summer training camp. After defeating their biggest foes in Season One, the Mighty Ducks face a terrible snag when their Ice Palace training rink is condemned. With nowhere to practice, the team accepts an invite to EPIC, an elite California training camp for the best players across the country. The camp director, however, pits the Ducks against his camp’s fiercest players. Can the Ducks maintain their team spirit?

“Ice Breaker” is a delightful starting point for GAME CHANGERS season two. The cast is more charismatic; the new characters are interesting; and, the “hockey” battles are more visually engaging. This episode stresses a strong moral worldview. The Mighty Ducks stick together and persevere together, despite their challenging environment. Parents should note the moderate hockey violence and the on-screen romance between two Duck players. Also, the unexplained absence of Gordon Bombay may disappoint hardcore MIGHTY DUCKS fans.

Content:

(CC, BB, Ro, L, VV, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Christian, moral worldview of teamwork, sticking together and persevering against a hostile sporting environment, with some romantic, emotional references such as two members of the Mighty Ducks mention they are dating one another, the boy gives his girlfriend a pizza-shaped gold necklace, and she accepts it, and girl jokes that her first “study night” with the boy was actually a first date

Foul Language:
A female hockey player utters the “d” word

Violence:
Typical hockey violence during the California summer camp initiation ceremony. The Ducks and forty other players compete in an “elimination” game, fifty students push, shove and crash into each other in bombastic fashion. One Mighty Duck member gets several pucks thrown on his back. He then falls face-flat on the rink. Various teenage players slam against the ice rink walls

Sex:
No sex

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol use

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
During a road trip from Minnesota to California, the Ducks tease a truck driver to honk at them, the plus-sized Duck meets his fame-obsessed roommate, the roommate brags about his future status in the NHL, one Duck team member is dared to rob a vending machine, the boy pretends with the hockey camp leader that he never messed with the machine, the teenage son of the camp director loses the “ice breaker” challenge out of spite, and a son has a strained relationship with his father.

More Detail:

THE MIGHTY DUCKS: GAME CHANGERS is a 2021 Disney+ original sports series based on the 1990s film franchise of the same name. “Ice Breaker,” the premiere episode of GAME CHANGERS Season Two, puts the titular junior hockey team inside an intense summer training camp. After defeating their biggest foes in season one, the Mighty Ducks face a terrible snag: their Ice Palace training ground is condemned. With nowhere else to practice, the teenage hockey team accepts an invite to EPIC, an elite training camp for teenage hockey players across the country. Colin Cole, EPIC’s disciplined camp director, pits the Ducks against his camp’s fiercest players. Can the Ducks maintain their team spirit in the summer ahead?

“Ice Breaker” begins with our characters going on summer break. The Don’t Bothers, an eccentric team of bubbling middle school hockey players, renames themselves as the coveted “Mighty Ducks.” Before they practice over the break, they receive startling news. Their Ice Palace headquarters is condemned for multiple structural violations. The team is then invited to the Elite Performance Ice Center, a Los Angeles-based summer hockey program that scouts for the best players.

The Ducks travel from Minnesota to California. They arrive minutes late to the EPIC initiation ceremony. The team meets camp director Colin Cole, a former NHL player who “expects the best of the best.” Needless to say, he’s not impressed with their embarrassing entrance. However, Cole leaves a bombshell. The invite he sent was meant for the “real” Mighty Ducks. In season one, the Don’t Bothers team beat the Minnesota Ducks and assimilated the name as their own. Cole asks the “fake” Ducks to pack up and leave. Alex Morrow, the female coach of the current Ducks, persuades the director, however, that her players are up to his harsh standards.

Later that day, Cole gathers the Ducks and other hockey teams into the EPIC ice rink. He informs them that each group will have the chance to meet college scouts and even audition for the National Hockey League. The camp director pits his students in an “ice breaker,” an exercise where each player must score a goal before they can exit the rink. The more aggressive and ruthless players knock (and embarrass) the Ducks out of commission. Through determination and quick thinking, the Ducks survive the camp’s first torture exercise.

At the end of the ice breaker, Duck member Nick faces off against Jace Cole, the son of the camp director. The father orders his son to hit the puck, but Jace plays poorly in protest and leaves the rink. Nick puts the puck inside the goal, and the camp director ends the exercise.

Later that night, the Ducks consider resigning from EPIC. However, Evan Morrow, the team leader, tries to rally his teammates into staying.

“Ice Breaker” is a delightful starting point for GAME CHANGERS season two. The cast is more charismatic, the new characters are interesting, and the “hockey” battles are more visually engaging. This episode stresses a strong moral worldview with the Mighty Ducks sticking together, regardless of the challenging circumstances or new work environment. Parents should note, however, the episode’s moderate hockey violence and the on-screen romance between Duck players Evan and Sofi. Also, the unexplained absence of Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) may disappoint hardcore MIGHTY DUCKS fans.

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