Get ready to feel old, because one of your favorite childhood movies, "The Mighty Ducks," is celebrating its 25th anniversary on Oct. 2, 2017. That's right, it came out a quarter of a century ago (we'll give you a moment to let that sink in). The movie starred Emilio Estevez as a self-absorbed lawyer who's forced (via community service) to coach the worst youth hockey team in the league (whose members include a young Joshua Jackson). Of course, (spoiler alert) he finally realizes in the end that it's not so hard to be a nice guy. In honor of the film's milestone birthday, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at all our favorite movies on ice to help take our minds off the fact that our childhood really is over. Keep reading for more…
To be clear, "Blades of Glory" wasn't just one of our favorite ice skating movies of all time — it was one of our favorite movies, period. The 2007 comedy had an all-star cast (including Will Ferrell, Jon Heder and Amy Poehler) that managed to make us laugh until we ugly cried pretty much the entire film. If revenge on ice is your kind of entertainment, then this hilarious movie is perfect for you.
We love the 1986 hockey film "Youngblood" for it's dramatic storyline as much as we love its hot stars, Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze (seen here). Rob plays a young hockey pro hopeful who, along with his friend and mentor (played by the late Patrick), has to face a vicious bully, all while finding a way to keep the growing love he feels for his coach's daughter a secret. Sound a bit like "Karate Kid"? Yeah, we thought so too. Still — Patrick and Rob. Sigh.
The worlds of hockey and figure skating collide in the 1992 romantic drama "The Cutting Edge" starring Moira Kelly and D.B. Sweeney. It's all about now opposites attract: A snobby professional figure skater and a laid-back former hockey star frustratingly unite to take a chance to win the gold at the U.S. Olympics. And, of course, they fall in love. (One thing we didn't love were all the made-for-TV sequels this movie inspired.)
The gripping TV documentary "30 For 30: The Price of Gold" revisits the 1994 ice skating scandal involving pro figure skaters Tonya Harding (seen here) and Nancy Kerrigan, and we couldn't take our eyes off it. The film delves deep in Tonya's troubled childhood, exploring what led the young athlete to plot against her biggest rival in hopes of winning Olympic gold.
Because we're suckers for nostalgia, we can't leave out "D2: The Mighty Ducks" in our list of favorite movies that involve ice skates (but don't worry — the duck love stops here). The 1994 film brought back Emilio Estevez as the coach, but this time, he's taking the Mighty Ducks to Los Angeles to compete in the International Junior Goodwill Games. We like the moments of hilarity and self-growth, but we especially love when the Ducks kick the evil Iceland team's butt.
Recognize that handsome mustachioed man? That's right, friends, it's Justin Timberlake (JT for short). The Grammy-winning singer happened to play the role of wife-stealing Jacques "Le Coq" Grandé in the comedy "The Love Guru." We know, you're thinking, "That's not an ice skating or hockey movie" but you'd be wrong. You see, in the movie, Guru Maurice Pitka (played by Mike Myers) was hired by a hockey player to help him win back his wife (who left him for JT's character). So while love might be the main theme of this funny film, hockey definitely plays a part.
Another exemplary TV documentary by the folks at ESPN is "30 for 30: King's Ransom," which gives us an inside look into the life of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. The short film centers on Wayne's decision to leave Canada's Edmonton Oilers to join the Los Angeles Kings — which was the first step in his journey toward becoming one of the greatest hockey players who ever lived.
We know you're used to seeing Russell Crowe star in gripping dramas, but in 1999, he appeared in a little hockey comedy called "Mystery, Alaska." Co-starring Burt Reynolds (seen here with Russell), the funny film is all about how one small town in Alaska gets the chance to battle on the ice against one of the most notorious professional hockey teams around, the New York Rangers. Russell plays Mystery's team captain and we're certain that's why the rag-tag group of players even had a puck's chance of defeating their foes.
The 1978 movie "Ice Castles" is as much about fulfilling your dreams as it is about figure skating. When a talented young skater named Alexis (played by Lynn-Holly Johnson) gets into a terrible accident that leaves her blind, she all but gives up on her dreams of becoming a champion on ice. That is, until she meets someone who shows her not everything is as lost as it seems.
The 2010 remake of the 1978 film "Ice Castles" starring Taylor Firth (seen here) is somehow even better than the original. While it could be the cinematography, we think it's the passionate storyline about a young girl who must relearn how to skate like a champ after an accident leaves her blind that gets us every time.
If we're honest, we love hockey for all the shoving and punching that happens in the rink (oh, and the scores and stuff too). That's why the 1977 film "Slap Shot" starring Paul Newman was one of the best things ever to hit the big screen. The comedy shows how a flailing hockey team uses violent fights on the ice to rebuild their fan base and give them a final shot at glory.
Not only does Michelle Trachtenberg slay on the ice in the 2005 movie "Ice Princess," but she gets to use her big, amazing brain in the process. Although her character, Casey, is supposed to be following in her mom's footsteps by going to Harvard, what she really wants to do is twirl and glide across the ice. Thankfully, Casey gets to shine when she combines her scientific brilliance with her love of the ice rink and shows everyone (including her doubtful mom) that smart girls can also be graceful.
Are we saying "MVP: Most Valuable Primate" is one of the best hockey movies to date? Yup, pretty much. This goofy film from 2000 lets Jack the Chimpanzee shine as a research lab escapee that accidentally ends up in Canada and helps the local junior hockey team reach the championships. Are we saying the plot is likely? Yeah, we sure are. Don't burst our bubble.
The touching 2011 documentary "Rise" takes us all the way back to 1961 when the U.S. World Figure Skating Team died in a plane crash while on their way to Prague to compete in the World Championships. From that tragedy, we get to witness the renewed hope and inspiration that honors the lives of those lost in the crash while also showing the strength and beauty of professional figure skaters around the world. The film includes major ice skating stars like Brian Boitano, Dorothy Hamill, Scott Hamilton, Michelle Kwan and more.
In 1980, the U.S. Olympic ice hockey team did the unthinkable and defeated the Soviet Union's team (considered the best in the world) followed by Finland's team. The 2004 biopic "Miracle" details the inspiring story of how one coach (played by Kurt Russell) was able to take his team to the unbelievable (and miraculous) victory.
For everyone who just watches hockey to see people beat the living daylights out of one another, the 2011 comedy "Goon" starring Seann William Scott and Jay Baruchel (seen here) will punch you right in the funny bone. The film follows dimwitted Doug (played by Seann) as he joins a semi-pro hockey league and uses his talent for kicking butt to help his team score.
In terms of TV movies about ice skating and hockey, 2005's "Go Figure" was one of our faves. When Katelin, a teenage girl and professional figure skating hopeful, learns one of the top coaches in the world runs a private school nearby that help skaters reach the big leagues, she must first join the youth hockey team in order to score a scholarship. We love the inevitable comedy that ensues as she tries to make it in the rough-and-tumble world of hockey while inching toward her dream of becoming the next Kristi Yamaguchi (who also happens to make an appearance in the film).
The 1995 film "Sudden Death" is kinda sorta about hockey, but it's mostly an action-packed thriller and that's something we can stand behind. During the seventh and final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs, terrorists capture a group of people that includes the vice president. To stop them, a retired fireman (played by Jean-Claude Van Damme) must risk his life before time runs out.
An oldie but goodie in the world of ice skating is the classic film "The Ice Follies of 1939" starring James Stewart, Lew Ayres and Joan Crawford. The storyline follows a couple (played by James and Joan) as their careers and dreams of success pull them apart. The one thing that can bring them together might just be a big-budget ice skating production.