Western Animation / The Mighty Ducks

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Mighty_Ducks_cartoon_7281.jpg
Left to right: Grin, Duke l'Orange, Wildwing, Nosedive, Mallory and Tanya.

"See if you can keep up with this string of complete illogical nonsense: In 1992, Disney released a slobs vs. snobs comedy about a pee wee hockey league called The Mighty Ducks, in which a group of rag-tag kids came together under the guidance of Emilio Estevez.
"Then in 1993, Disney founded an actual professional hockey team that they also named the Mighty Ducks, and while you'd think they would've filled out the roster with a team of good-hearted but clumsy and disadvantaged youths, they went with the usual professional athletes.
"Then — and this is where any kind of logic breaks down — they made an animated series in 1996 called The Mighty Ducks, and despite the fact that they were still making live-action movies, the animated series was about a group of hockey-playing, crime-fighting anthropomorphic ducks that were led by a duck named WILDWING FLASHBLADE. Wildwing. F—-ing. Flashblade. And for bonus points, he was voiced by Ian Zeiring."

"Ducks Rock!"
—Intro for the cartoon.

The Mighty Ducks animated series was, to put it gently, rather a surprise for viewers expecting a comedy series about misfit kids playing hockey. This animated series lasted from September, 1996 to January, 1997 on ABC (during their transition to Disney ownership- the season after this brought in One Saturday Morning).

It was instead about (sit down for this) a team of super-powered anthropomorphic ducks who fight aliens with hockey-themed gadgets. Yes; somewhere in space there were two dinosaur-derived races. Interestingly, the race descended from Ceratopsians, led by Lord Dragaunus, were evil and the Therapod (well, more specifically, duck) descended race was good. By an incredible coincidence, the Ducks' entire culture was based upon hockey.

When the Ducks pursue Lord Dragaunus to Earth, the Ducks form an NHL team where they can hide in plain sight. Their arena, known only as "The Pond," has a hockey rink that doubles as a landing pad for the Aerowing above and has an HQ below. The Ducks and Dragaunus continue their fight, although there are other villains that sometimes challenge the Ducks.

Compare Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dinosaucers.

Despite being ducks created by Disney, they are not part of the Disney Duck Canon. One would be intrigued to see Scrooge's reaction to these guys...

This series contains examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Explosive hockey pucks.
  • The Ace: The Ducks' original leader, Canard, to some extent; though even he can't get a puck past Wildwing the goalie.
  • Aliens Speaking English
  • All Planets Are Earth-Like: Puckworld is much like Earth, only much colder.
  • All There in the Manual: Save for Mallory and Duke, none of the Ducks' last names are ever mentioned in the show itself. So how are they all around and 100% canon? They were provided by the writer, David Wise, specifically for the fanbase to use.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Tai Quack Do, Grim's mentor.
  • Animal Superheroes: The heroes are ducks.
  • Animated Adaptation: Though it seems to be more an adaptation of the name, with the only other tie to the original movies being the hockey theme.
  • Another Dimension: The Heroic Fantasy-ish version of Anaheim seen in "Dungeons and Ducks" and "The Return of Asteroth."
    • Technically, the ducks and the bad guys also came from another dimension. Another another dimension.
  • Atlantis: Plays a part in the episode "The Final Face Off."
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Dragaunus loves using his DNA Accelerator to create giant-sized monsters.
  • Badass Bookworm: Tanya. How many tech experts do you know that can also hold their own in a hockey ring and on the battlefield?
    • Or pick up a fellow duck with only one hand? See "Monster Rally."
  • Bad Future: In "Beak to the Future."
  • Big Brother Worship: Nosedive displays this on occasion towards his older brother, Wildwing.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Dragaunus has proven himself more than a match for most of the ducks in hand-to-hand combat, yet on many occasions he puts them in an over the top Death Trap that they'll be able to escape fairly easily. And he's not the only villain guilty of this either.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Buzz Blitzman, though in all fairness, he's a Child Prodigy without a family who's pretty much forced to invent stuff for people who won't even let him see hockey games when he wants.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Captain Klegghorn, a police officer for Anaheim who initially doesn't trust the ducks.
  • City of Adventure: The city of Anaheim.
  • City of Weirdos: Almost everything that happens to the ducks, happens in Anaheim. Justified in the fact that Lord Dragaunus landed there first, and is hiding out.
  • Clear My Name: This happened to the ducks in "Puck Fiction." It was up to Nosedive and Grin to save the others in jail.
  • Cool Old Guy: Hockey Master, Tai Quack Do.
  • Cool Starship: The Raptor.
  • Comm Links: The ducks use wrist communicators. The Saurians have them too, but theirs double as teleportation devices.
  • Conspicuous CG: It's aged better than some examples due to the cel shading.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Inverted in the case of Dr. Droid, who is implied to have been mentally unbalanced before he started replacing his body parts with machinery.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: During "Duck Hard," Klegghorn is knocked out. As the villains take out the ducks, a box of doughnuts falls to the floor, with one rolling right past Klegghorn's nose. Klegghorn quickly revives, and holds the baddies at gun point.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Writ large (look at the Big Bad's name), at least for all the dinosaurs who aren't hockey playing ducks.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Grin.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Happens to Dragaunus in "Bringing Down Baby" and "Jurassic Puck."
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Ducks' contract allowed them to build a headquarters under the hockey rink. You shoulda seen the fine print on that one.
  • Evil Sorcerer: There are two, Wraith and Asteroth.
  • Fake Defector: Duke in "To Catch a Duck."
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: For some reason, the local donut-loving Cowboy Cop Klegghorn also has a blaster pistol.
  • Femme Fatale: Lucretia DeCoy in "A Traitor Among Us."
  • The Final Temptation: Dragaunus eventually gets tired of the Ducks constantly thwarting his schemes and offers them the means to go back to Puckworld, leaving Earth to him. Subverted slightly since his henchmen were ready with a bazooka in case they refused the offer. The Bad Future seen in that episode is the result of the Ducks accepting the offer.
  • Four Bad Band: The villains.
  • Five-Man Band: In this case, a Six Anthropomorphic Duck Band.
  • The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson: Chameleon frequently makes references to Earth pop culture.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: Although hockey is accurately portrayed, the Ducks don't respect a few prerequisites for a team...
  • Hard Head: Nosedive in "Phil in the Blank." Guy gets a concussion but wakes up and proceeds to drive to the rocket and then later jumps out of it to land in Wildwing's borrowed jet, all with no side effects.
    • Though he is an alien from another planet; that may be a factor.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Duke l'Orange started out as a Gentleman Thief before using his skills for good.
  • Hello, Nurse!: This was pretty much the reaction Lucretia DeCoy got when she showed up. Even Phil seemed to think she was hot (of course, he also planned on making money off said hotness.)
    • Mallory also got this same reaction at the end of the same episode.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the pilot, Canard Thunderbeak, the Ducks' original leader, throws himself into an inter-dimensional vortex to save the rest of the team.
    • The fact that it was a Disney Death is relevant in at least one episode, where the idea of said leader returning was toyed with.
  • Heroes With Bad Publicity: Klegghorn would always tell the ducks they were a menace, regardless of the evidence to the contrary.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: "The Most Dangerous Duck Hunt."
  • In-Name-Only: This series might be called The Mighty Ducks, but don't expect any connection at all to the live action films.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: The ducks and their hockey based combat.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Dragaunus' troops almost never hit what they aim at.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: "Microducks."
  • It Is Pronounced Tropay: The unscrupulous scientist, Dr. Swindle, insists that his name is pronounced "Swin-del."
  • Jerkass: Phil Palmfeather, the Ducks' money-grubbing manager.
  • Left Hanging: They set things up so another season was possible (Nosedive even breaks the fourth wall about it.) One never came.
  • Magic Versus Science: Wraith the warlock doesn't think too highly of the technology that Dragaunus has embraced, even if it did free them from the dimensional limbo and allow them to conquer Puckworld.
  • Mask of Power: The mask of Drake DuCaine, with the power to see through invisibility cloaks and possessed X-ray vision, which can see through any kind of disguise.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Dragaunus' basic foot soldiers.
  • Mind Control: "Phil in the Blank."
  • No Fourth Wall
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Despite being birds, all the female ducks that appear have breasts.
  • Off Model: This is a mid-Nineties Disney Cartoon after all. And five of the animation studios note  used to work on Gargoyles too. This was also Plus One Animation's first Disney series as well.
  • Out of Order: Many of the series episodes were originally aired out of order, including the series finale.
  • Petting Zoo People: The Ducks are bulky humans — complete with hair and breasts — with variants of Donald Duck's face slapped on.
  • Police Code for Everything:
    Mallory: I don't know what bothers me more: the fact that we're being attacked by a dinosaur or the fact that you've got a category for it.
  • Punny Name: "Duke l'Orange."
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Two sets in the team.
    • Nosedive and Grin.
    • Mallory and Tanya.
  • La Résistance: The Mighty Ducks, after Dragaunus took over Puckworld and before everyone came to Earth.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Canard Thunderbeak.
  • Serious Business: Puckworld's entire culture is based around hockey, if it wasn't obvious from the name. Though the Ducks don't have much trouble fitting in on Earth after a while.
    • Just in case any of the viewers missed it from the premise and name, there is a field of puck-shaped asteroids near it, along with a nebula shaped like a hockey mask.
    • Apparently it is in our universe too; one episode has the Ducks captured to participate in an intergalactic bloodsport version of hockey.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Speech Impediment: Tanya stutters pretty badly, and tries to switch from Technobabble to Layman's Terms mid-sentence. It's said she does so because her brain moves faster than she speaks.
  • Squishy Wizard: One of Dragaunus' two Squishy minions is a conventional version of this. The other is a tiny Shapeshifting creature who, of course, turns into a big scary guy during combat. Rounding out the Four Bad Band is... Another Big Scary Guy.
  • Status Quo Is God: There are too many opportunities where either side could have just ended the conflict permanently (like the time the Ducks ended up grabbing a Saurian comm, or the various petty uses of the dimensional gateway), but they don't bother.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Dragaunus says so in no uncertain terms very often.
  • Take Up My Sword: Right before he lets himself fall into dimensional Limbo, Canard tells Wildwing to take the mask of Drake DuCaine and with it the position of resistance leader. Wildwing only does so at the end of the pilot after overcoming his feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
  • Taken for Granite: Once happened to Phil in "Return of Asteroth". Mallory thought he'd make a good lawn ornament.
  • Teenage Mutant Samurai Wombats: Although the only actual teenagers are Nosedive and maybe Mallory.
  • Teleport Interdiction: The Ducks have a defense shield over the Pond that keeps the Saurians from teleporting into their base, but it's of limited usefulness the one time they just walk in.
  • Teleport Spam: Averted; while the Saurians do teleport a lot, it's more to run back to the Raptor than any real advantage in combat.
  • Theme Naming: The ducks are, of course, named after birds and duck related foods. The most obvious being Duke's name. Which is, of course a pun on the dish "Duck à l'Orange."
  • They Fight Crime
  • Toothy Bird: Comes with the Petting Zoo People territory. It's not that noticeable, but it briefly shows up on a few episodes. Dungeons and Ducks, however, goes totally nuts with it; throughout the episode, many characters' facial expressions pretty much explode, giving us more than a couple clear views at the Ducks' teeth.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: "The Human Factor."
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Here's another cartoon that was affected by The Smurfette Principle. There were 5 lines of action figures. How many lines did Mallory make it into? Just two. Also, her action figures are extremely rare. Why? There was only one of her per case. And Tanya? She never had an action figure at all.
    • In a case that doesn't involve the principle, Canard and Wraith were never made into action figures either.
  • Travel Cool; As the setting demands:
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: See Villain Teleportation.
  • Villain Teleportation: Done to ridiculous extremes; the villains tend to teleport away when things go bad.
  • Void Between the Worlds: Dimensional Limbo, a swirling purple void always seen whenever there's an active dimensional gateway.
  • We Need a Distraction: This is one of the Saurians' primary tactics, keeping the ducks busy while they are working on a scheme. Despite this, the ducks still manage to foil them.
  • Weapon of Choice: Each Duck (and each of the villains) has their own personal weapon. Wildwing has his explosive puck launcher (essentially a grenade launcher,) Duke l'Orange uses a laser sword, Tanya has various gadgets on her wrist device including a small chainsaw, Grin fights with his fists, and the rest of the ducks mostly use pistols.
  • Witch Species: The Saurians are this, even though the only one who truly specializes in magic by the time of the show is Wraith. All the others favor technology.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/TheMightyDucks