The Mighty Ducks' Climactic Kiss Was A Lot Less Romantic Behind The Scenes

For '90s kids everywhere, "The Mighty Ducks" wasn't just a fun movie to watch with your buddies after watching episodes of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" that your dad recorded off the TV, it was a way of life. Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) became the de facto father figure for a generation, and we all tried in vain to master the "knucklepuck" made famous by Russ Tyler (Kenan Thompson) in "D2: The Mighty Ducks," which made games of street hockey all the rage. 

After hot-shot lawyer and washed-up peewee hockey star Gordon Bombay is arrested for drunk driving, he is assigned coaching a rabble-rousing kids' hockey team as part of his community service. With typical sports movie cliches abound, the success of "The Mighty Ducks" spawned a movie trilogy, a spin-off TV series, and a very real NHL hockey team. "The Mighty Ducks" took the underdog formula made famous by "The Bad News Bears," gave it a radical '90s twist and a new, much colder setting.

"The Mighty Ducks" takes place in Minnesota, one of the consistently colder parts of the continental United States and the unofficial "state of hockey." In honor of the 20th anniversary of the trilogy's star player, "D2," members of the cast and crew sat down with Time to tell some never-before-heard stories about the franchise's production and legacy. As it turns out, the film's chilly climate was a massive factor during the production of the first film, and the low temperature had a tangible effect on some of the film's most memorable moments.

'Humans should not live in this s**t'

At only 14-years-old, Joshua Jackson made his breakthrough as Charlie Conway. The Canadian actor thought he would be fine in Minnesota, but he was painfully mistaken. Jackson called the temperature drop "jarring and dangerous," and he was shocked to discover downtown Minneapolis frequently connects buildings with Habitrails because the cold becomes so difficult to handle that no one goes outside. You can see these specific above ground tunnels on display in another '90s flick, "Jingle All The Way," during the scene when Schwarzenegger and Sinbad evade arrest with a fake bomb threat that turns out to be an actual bomb. Jackson told Time:

"Okay, so, so you know what cold is, right? I'm from Vancouver. We have cold. In fact it's a little bit colder in New York than it is in Vancouver, but that to me is what winter feels like. That's nothing like what Minnesota is. It's not just subzero. It's minus 40, minus 50. Humans should not live in this s***. Only Scandinavians would have ever stopped in this place to make a city.

Jackson said that many of the actors didn't realize how intense the cold would be, and tey would frequently panic out of fear that they were going to "die on the streets" while trying to sightsee Minneapolis. "We're outside, like, 'wow, this is incredible,' and after about 10 minutes, you're like, 'oh, my god, I can't feel my face, this is terrible!'" said Jackson.

Garette Henson, who played Ducks player Guy Germaine, grew up in California, and he had never experienced anything quite like it. "It was beyond an issue," he said. "It was so insane, it was almost comedic." In fact, one part of the production went into full fledged classic comedy territory.

The Mighty Ducks pulled a real life A Christmas Story

Because of the ridiculous cold, much of the outdoor scenes were greatly impacted. Producer Jordan Kerner noted to Time that while filming the scene when Estevez' Bombay shares a kiss with Heidi Kling's Casey Conway (Jackson's character's mom), the temperature had dropped 55 degrees (Fahrenheit) below zero. When Estevez and Kling finally locked lips, they did so literally. The moisture from their mouths froze together, and the crew had to secure warm water to safely separate the actors from one another. 

Despite it all, Kerner says that the production genuinely loved Minnesota and the state was super appreciative of all the film has brought to them over the years. The state of Minnesota even passed "The Mighty Ducks Bill" as a way to allocate funds to build more hockey arenas to foster the growing popularity of the sport and to accommodate the demand for all-girls teams. Kerner even confessed that he eventually built a home in Minnesota, and that he and his wife were married there. No word on whether or not they were also fused by kiss after exchanging vows, but if they did, at least Kerner knew exactly how to remedy the situation.