The Mighty Ducks (D2: The Mighty Ducks) (1994)

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Released 17-Mar-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 102:13
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Sam Weisman
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Emilio Estevez
Michael Tucker
Jan Rubes
Kathryn Erbe
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music J.A.C. Redford


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
Spanish Titling
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, definitely
Action In or After Credits Yes, in credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Moving right along with the sequel to Champions (The Mighty Ducks), we get another dose of advertising promoting the first NHL season of The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Well, Disney would have us believe that is simply a film to follow up the earlier film, but really the blatant promotion gets a little too much towards the end of the film. Oh, again the film goes by a different name in our market - D2: The Mighty Ducks in the USA becomes The Mighty Ducks in Australia and elsewhere.

    In this incarnation of the franchise, coach Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) is stunning the minor leagues as a 29 year old rookie and looking to an early promotion to the major league - at least until injury strikes him down. Returning to Minneapolis with no idea what he is to do, he finds a booster in another former mentor, Jan (Jan Rubes), and ends up as the coach of Team USA for the Junior Goodwill Games in Los Angeles. So a bunch of the former Ducks find themselves forming the core of Team USA with a few ring-ins from other teams. Naturally, just as cocky Team USA teams in just about every sport, they head to La La land with high expectations. However, Coach Bombay soon falls foul of the distractions and pisses the team off no end. Thereafter we get the obligatory moralising thinly disguised as a film, as the team comes together in time to have the obligatory happy ending.

    If I thought the story for Champions was clichéd, there simply aren't any words to adequately describe the sheer banality of this tale. Even by Disney standards, the moralising going on in this film is so blatant it is not funny - it gets fairly rammed into your face with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the head. Like so many Disney family films, the whole thing is by the numbers and there is little here that resembles acting. Add into the equation some genuinely cringe-inducing scenes (the final game when the crowd starts singing "we will quack you" to the tune of "We Will Rock You" is particularly noteworthy in this regard) and there really is little to redeem this effort. And I am a fan of the trilogy!

    As is typical of so many sequels, this one falls short of the original film in every way. Accordingly, the only memorable stuff here is of the cringe variety. Add the blatant product placements and the whole thing might as well be classified as an advertisement.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Whilst the film itself is poorer than the original, the transfer it has been given is much better. The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and in this instance is 16x9 enhanced. Salvation at last!

    The transfer here is significantly sharper and much better detailed than the earlier film. It is way clearer and suffers not the least from grain. The result is a much more watchable transfer and one that whilst not being top echelon stuff, is at least more than competent and without any significant issues. There is nothing in the way of low level noise here. Shadow detail is more than adequate.

    The general colour trend here is very good, very nicely saturated with nice tonal depth and decent levels of vibrancy. I say general, because just once or twice there seems to be a drop off for some of the footage. Perhaps this indicative of some variation in the film stock? The whole transfer is quite easy on the eyes and suffers no instances of over saturation or colour bleed. There could perhaps have been a little more depth to the blacks, just to add a bit more punch to the uniforms worn by the Iceland team.

    There are no significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, just the odd hint of loss of resolution in some pan shots that are probably source-related. There is nothing really in the way of film-to-video artefacts to blight the transfer. Sure there is the odd hint of aliasing but you would hardly notice them and they certainly are not a distraction. Film artefacts are barely an issue at all.

    This is a single sided, single layered DVD - so we still get the obligatory advice on the slick cover that the layer change may trigger a slight pause!

    There are eight subtitle options on the DVD, including English and English for the Hearing Impaired options. I sampled these and they both seem to be very decent with no significant problems at all.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two soundtracks on the DVD - an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I stuck with the English soundtrack obviously.

    Dialogue comes up well here, other than some of the low-level dialogue, and there is no real problem with understanding what is being said. There did not appear to be problems with audio sync.

    The original music score is provided by J.A.C. Redford and it is a distinctly average effort. It sort of sounds like having been compiled from the CD 1,001 Music Excerpts for Films. It left a complete blank on my memory and it was only when trying to remember what to write here that I realised how much of a blank it did leave.

    The soundtrack is not that bad really, with some decent ambient noise through the surround channels. This is most noticeable during the game sequences where we get some reasonable crowd noise through the rear channels. There is not a whole heap of work from the bass channel, but then again the nature of the film only requires some emphasis when the hits happen in the games. The sound is quite clean and open and there are no obvious defects in the transfer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    One advantage of extras-bereft packages - it takes a lot less time to do the reviews! Not really much benefit to everyone though...

Menu

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Information is a bit thin on the ground regarding the Region 1 release, but from what we can locate there would appear to be no significant difference between the two regions.

Summary

    The Mighty Ducks (D2: The Mighty Ducks) is not an especially wonderful sequel, but if you like the original film then this will probably keep you amused too. Not an especially inspiring DVD release even though blessed with exceedingly competent transfers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Sunday, April 20, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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