Movies Like 'The Mighty Ducks' to Watch Next

'The Mighty Ducks' is turning 30, but you're never too old to learn about the importance of teamwork and perseverance!
by Taylor Freitas — 

Emilio Estevez (center) in 'The Mighty Ducks'

Walt Disney Pictures

In 1992, Walt Disney Pictures produced The Mighty Ducks, a feel-good family movie about an underachieving youth hockey team that bands together to achieve greatness. 

Directed by Stephen Herek, the film stars Emilio Estevez as Gordon Bombay, a self-absorbed attorney who's arrested for drunk driving in Minnesota. As part of his court-ordered community service, he must coach a local kids' hockey team (just known as "District Five"), which hasn't won a single game. 

At first, Gordon and the players — a goofy (but lovable) bunch of misfits, including a young Joshua Jackson and a young Kenan Thompson — are skeptical of the new coaching arrangement. But over time, the coach develops a strong bond with his team (now called "the Ducks"), and they all learn about the value of teamwork.

Although The Mighty Ducks didn't receive high praise from critics, it earned a spot in many kids' (and parents') hearts. In less than five years after the film's release, Disney produced two follow-up films and an animated TV show and founded an NHL hockey team called the "Mighty Ducks of Anaheim." Last year, Disney+ debuted a live-action sequel series, which is now on its second season.

The Mighty Ducks is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, which is a fantastic reason to revisit the original film or any of its sequels. Alternatively, if you're looking for more sports-related comedies or underdog stories, you can check out the list below.

Here, Metacritic shares 10 movies like The Mighty Ducks to view next, ranked by Metascore.


Walter Matthau (left) in 'The Bad News Bears'

Paramount Pictures

The Bad News Bears 

Metascore: 84 
Best for: Fans of kids' sports comedies with a little edge
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 102 minutes

The plot of 1976's The Bad News Bears is similar to The Mighty Ducks: a distracted man reluctantly takes over coaching duties for a kids' sports team. In this case, that person is Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau), a heavy-drinking, ex-minor league pitcher who agrees to coach a youth baseball team called the Bears. Despite some early struggles, the players start to improve their skills and rally around their talented pitcher, Amanda Whurlizer (Tatum O'Neal). The Michael Ritchie-directed movie later spawned a pair of sequels and a 2005 remake. Matthau also earned a BAFTA Award nomination for his performance.

"Beneath the mild verbal shocks lay an excellent screenplay handled by real talent." — Bill Higgins, The Hollywood Reporter


Geena Davis in 'A League of Their Own'

Columbia Pictures

A League of Their Own 

Metascore: 69
Best for: Fans of sports dramedies based on true events
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 128 minutes

Directed by Penny Marshall, the 1992 A League of Their Own offers a fictionalized look at the creation of the first women's baseball league. It focuses on sisters Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) and Kit Keller (Lori Petty), who share a talent and passion for baseball but don't always get along off the field. Eager to play, the women help found a team called the Rockford Peaches, which is managed by former big leaguer Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks). Even though A League of Their Own revolves around adult athletes, it's a good combination of inspirational drama and comedy like The Mighty Ducks.

"A good movie, amiable and ingratiating." — Richard Schickel, Time


Kurt Russell (far left) in 'Miracle'

Walt Disney Pictures


Metascore: 68
Best for: People who follow ice hockey and/or the Olympics
Where to watch:

, , Google Play, , Vudu
Runtime: 135 minutes

If you're a hockey fan, you're likely familiar with the story of the U.S. men's ice hockey team that — against all odds — won gold at the 1980 Winter Olympics (also known as the "Miracle on Ice"). Released in 2004, Miracle depicts the team's impressive rise to success under the leadership of coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell), from the squad's formation to its historic win against the seemingly superior Soviet team. It's more drama and less comedy than The Mighty Ducks, but it's an interesting watch if you enjoy sports movies — especially ones that deal in team spirit.

"Once these players strap on their skates and take to the ice, it's hard to suppress that lump in the throat." — Scott Tobias, The A.V. Club


'Cool Runnings'

Walt Disney Pictures

Cool Runnings 

Metascore: 60
Best for: Fans of heartwarming and funny sports stories
Where to watch:

, , Google Play, , Vudu
Runtime: 98 minutes

Released in 1993, Cool Runnings is another heartfelt sports comedy from Walt Disney Pictures. The film follows the journey of the first-ever Jamaican national bobsleigh team, which debuted at the 1988 Winter Olympics. It stars Leon Robinson as Derice Bannock, a sprinter who fails to qualify for the Summer Olympics and decides to form a bobsleigh team for a chance at gold in the Winter Games. He recruits several athletic friends to round out the squad, as well as Irv Blitzer (John Candy), a former American bobsledder who reluctantly agrees to coach the Jamaican team.

"Cheesy? Certainly. But strong performances and a heart-warming storyline make this a winner." — Angie Errigo, Empire


'Little Big League'

Columbia Pictures

Little Big League

Metascore: 57
Best for: Baseball lovers and fans of family-friendly sports flicks
Where to watch:

, , , Vudu
Runtime: 119 minutes

In 1994, Seinfeld executive producer Andrew Scheinmandirected Little Big League, which tells the story of preteen Billy Heywood (Luke Edwards), who takes over as the owner of the Minnesota Twins after his grandfather's death. After a spat with the team's manager, Billy decides to take over managerial duties, raising concerns (and eyebrows) among the players. As he struggles to get control over the team, he also finds it difficult to manage his relationships with family and friends, eventually forcing him to make a difficult decision about his role with the Twins.

"This is one of the few recent movies that parents and children would enjoy together." — Harper Barnes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch


'The Sandlot'

20th Century Fox

The Sandlot

Metascore: 55
Best for: Fans of quotable kids' movies from the '90s
Where to watch:

, , , iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 101 minutes

Set in 1962 but released in 1993, The Sandlot revolves around a group of Southern California schoolboys who spend their summer playing baseball in a neighborhood lot. One day, they're joined by Scott Smalls (Tom Guiry), a new kid in town who doesn't have much athletic talent but is eager to make friends. As summer rolls on, the boys get into all sorts of juvenile high jinks, from getting kicked out of a community pool to making themselves sick on chewing tobacco. In the years since its release, The Sandlot has developed a cult following, with a rebooted TV series reportedly in the works.

"Sandlot isn't well made but it's alive with dopey, summertime spirit." — Desson Thomson, The Washington Post


Michelle Trachtenberg in 'Ice Princess'

Walt Disney Pictures

Ice Princess

Metascore: 55
Best for: Fans of ice skating and uplifting, female-focused sports sagas for all ages
Where to watch:

, , Google Play, , Vudu
Runtime: 98 minutes

In 2005's Ice Princess, Casey Carlyle (Michelle Trachtenberg) is a high-achieving high school student hoping to get into Harvard. However, her plans change when she decides to get back into figure skating, a sport she'd practiced as a child, and starts performing at a competitive level. Despite her success, Casey's renewed passion for skating frustrates her mother, Joan (Joan Cusack), who continues to push for her to get an Ivy League education. In classic Disney fashion, Casey must choose between her burgeoning career as an ice skater and her bright academic future.

"Silly, yes, but sweet and fun too." — Luke Y. Thompson, Dallas Observer


Thomas Ian Nicholas in 'Rookie of the Year'

20th Century Fox

Rookie of the Year 

Metascore: 53
Best for: Current or ex-Little Leaguers who have ever dreamt about playing in the big leagues
Where to watch:

, , Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 103 minutes

Thomas Ian Nicholas stars as Henry Rowengartner in Rookie of the Year, a 1993 family comedy about a Little League baseball pitcher who's recruited to play professionally for the Chicago Cubs. After joining the team, veteran pitcher Chet Steadman (Gary Busey) takes the preteen under his wing, helping him hone his skills on the mound and prepare for a starting role on the team. Despite his young age, Henry surprises his fellow players and fans with his 100-mile-per-hour pitch and impressive hitting abilities — but things take a turn when his fame leads to problems with his loved ones.

"A wholly benevolent but banal baseball fantasy aimed at Little Leaguers with dreams of reaching big-time fields." — Rita Kempley, The Washington Post


Denzel Washington in 'Remember the Titans'

Walt Disney Pictures

Remember the Titans 

Metascore: 48
Best for: Fans of emotional high school sports dramas
Where to watch:

, , Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 113 minutes

Inspired by a true story, Disney's Remember the Titans is set in 1970s Virginia at the recently-integrated T.C. Williams High School. In the 2000 film, Herman Boone (played by Denzel Washington) has replaced the successful and much-loved Bill Yoast (Will Patton) as the coach of the football team — which, for the first time, includes non-white players. In spite of the many obstacles in his way, Coach Boone teaches the young men how to overcome their differences and work together. Although the tone of Remember the Titans is more serious than The Mighty Ducks, both movies promote the themes of teamwork and perseverance.

"A shrewd, pulpy crowd-pleaser." — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times


Will Ferrell (right) in 'Kicking & Screaming'

Universal Pictures

Kicking & Screaming

Metascore: 45
Best for: Fans of Will Ferrell and lighthearted family rivalry flicks
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , Starz, Vudu
Runtime: 95 mins

It's father versus son in Kicking & Screaming, a 2005 comedy about an ultra-competitive kids' soccer league. The film follows Phil Weston (Ferrell), a typical suburban dad who steps in to coach his son's soccer team — which pins him directly against his own father, Buck (Robert Duvall), who coaches a rival squad. The Weston men spend the season trying to one-up each other (Phil even hires Mike Ditka as an assistant coach), with things reaching a fever pitch at the league's championship game. Although the film didn't impress critics, Ferrell's performance successfully won over some audiences.

"It's not brilliant by any means, but bright enough to light up an overly familiar feel-good story." — Michael O'Sullivan, The Washington Post