Which Disney character is the best hockey player: An investigation

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 14: Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse attend a special skating experience with Princess Wishes and children from The Sunshine Kids at Citi Pond in Bryant Park on January 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 14: Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse attend a special skating experience with Princess Wishes and children from The Sunshine Kids at Citi Pond in Bryant Park on January 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images) /

A very serious investigation into which one of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or Goofy is the better hockey player. For science.

There is a lot of work that goes into scouting out sports talent. While it’s not the most lucrative job industry in the world, it’s an important one when it comes to the sports world as a whole. They are often in the background of major sports acquisitions, ones that likely brought your favorite team a championship or helped your team draft an up-and-coming star.

For full disclosure: I am not a sports scout, let alone a hockey scout. While I can string together words about hockey quite well, I do not have the qualifications nor the talent to be scouting out prospective hockey players. And yet, here I am, about to make sweeping generalizations about three potential newcomers to the hockey scene. Just for the content.

I, of course, am talking about Disney’s three biggest pride and joys: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. You may be surprised, but over the course of Disney’s historic lifespan, all three of their major stars have played in a variety of sports, from baseball to golf and more. The trio also moonlight as musketeers, steamboat captains and on occasion, a king and members of his court.

Between their busy lives with multiple careers, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy have all played hockey at one point or another in a Disney short film. While their tape is limited, there is still more than enough information to go off of to decide who between them is the best hockey player.

And yes, before you ask why I didn’t include other Disney characters in this analysis, it is because we have actual tape of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy playing hockey. Sure, Elsa may have ice powers, but I have yet to see her pick up a hockey stick in any of the Frozen movies so until that day comes, this is what we’ve got.

(If this was a serious analysis, Riley from Inside Out would win in a landslide. But really, we all want to see if Mickey Mouse himself could best Henrik Lundqvist in a shootout, so I’m here to provide that Content.)

As for how the final judgements will be decided, I’m rolling with a five-point system across six attributes that I totally did not steal from NHL 20 player rankings that’ll be averaged out into one score. That’s science, baby!

With that out of the way, let’s roll that tape!

Mickey Mouse

Of the three, Mickey’s got the least amount of tape to work with that I could find. This 40 second clip comes from a three-minute 2013 Mickey Mouse short “Bad Ear Day” where Mickey loses his ears. Of course, as you can probably guess, Mickey’s ears end up in a hockey rink as additional pucks, and from there, the hijinks ensue.

For starters, Mickey’s physicality? Terrible. He puts himself in a bad position to retrieve the puck(s) and gets plastered for his efforts. Part of that you could blame on his lack of hearing in the moment due to the absence of ears, but Mickey has a pair of working eyes that could have clearly seen the trio of players coming for him.

However, where Mickey really shines is his puck handling and speed, as after he rebounds from that bruising hit, he steals the puck(s) away from the opposition with a head-on approach and some great stick-handling. Not only does Mickey have great hands, he’s got quite the leap on him that’d make Saquon Barkley jealous.

Mickey’s slap shot too is a highlight as he gets the game-winning goal with seconds remaining on the clock. The opposition’s goaltender clearly should have put up a better fight than just standing and watching the puck(s) sail into the net, but it seems as if the multi-puck fiasco on the ice was just too confusing in the moment.

Not a lot of tape to work with here, but it’s clear to see that Mickey’s strengths are in his stick-handling and playmaking abilities, while leaving much to be desired on the defensive and physicality fronts. A young Alex Ovechkin in the making, perhaps? Only time will tell.

Puck skills: 4.4
Defense: 3.5
Hockey sense: 2.5
Skating: 3.9
Shooting: 4.2
Physicality: 1.3

Final average: 3.3

Donald Duck

Donald Duck apparently has a hockey championship to his name. Specifically he is the “Hockey Champion of Duck Swamp” according to a trophy that folds into Donald’s clothes like an accordion from this 1939 Disney short, “The Hockey Champ.” You really do have to see this for yourself to believe it.

As for Donald’s hockey skills themselves, he’s quite a showboat to his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie isn’t he? Much like Mickey, Donald too is a very fluid skater, even comparing himself to three-time Olympic Champion Sonja Henie with his powerful strides and acrobatic leaps. It’s clear that Donald is an incredible skater with great control over his movements, stopping and starting with ease on open ice and through tight corners.

Unlike Mickey, whose physicality was his downfall, Donald’s hockey sense is wildly erratic. He’s an incredibly skilled and creative playmaker with a penchant for showing off, which eventually comes back to bite his inflated ego when Huey, Dewey and Louie get under his skin. When Donald has everything going his way, he’s unstoppable. However, when Donald loses his cool, he’s thrown off his game and can’t seem to find it again.

It’s clear that the raw talent is there for Donald, but he has to rein in his temper and emotions in order to be a more effective player. Plus, he’s clearly got the physical endurance to keep up in the big leagues after being run ragged through the snow by his nephews and still managing to leg out a puck chase at the end.

Also, Huey, Dewey and Louie? Absolutely Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin here. They always seem to know where each other is on the ice at all times and their teamwork is off the charts. Three great hockey players in the making, in my humble opinion.

As for Donald himself, he grades out just a bit higher than Mickey thanks to his more refined skillset even though his downside is greater due to his emotional immaturity. If he wants to make it big time with his generational talent, he’ll have to get a hold on his emotional outbursts and channel them into a more productive outlet. Maybe he should give Sidney Crosby a call?

Puck skills: 4.7
Defense: 2.4
Hockey sense: 1.9
Skating: 4.3
Shooting: 3.8
Physicality: 4.1

Final average: 3.5


This one is a bit harder to grade considering, well, apparently everyone is Goofy in the 1945 short Disney film, “Hockey Homicide?” All the spectators, players and even the referees look like Goofy in this short. It’s a sight to behold in all its glory.

You could argue that the referee here is actually Goofy, given how it’s his fault that the game goes off the rails in the way it does over the course of the tape, which matches in line with his well-known personality as the comedic relief. However, for the sake of this carefully crafted piece of journalism to work, we’ll be taking a look at the players only so we can give Goofy as fair a grade as possible.

Much like Donald, Goofy too has problems with his on-ice temper, as even before puck drop he’s trading blows with his counterpart. Every time the pair leave the penalty box, they end up right back in it. Not the most disciplined player, it seems.

Goofy does have great hands and a solid shot, but where he really seems to shine is at the goaltender position. While in net he exudes a nonchalant presence, Goofy clearly is calm under pressure in goal and stops eight shots in a row in one quick sequence that would have any NHL netminder shaking.

In total over the first period of play, Goofy blanks both sides with nine saves on nine shots, a perfect record for a goaltender that looks as cool as a cucumber.

However in the second period, Goofy flies too close to the sun as in his hubris, he allows the opposition to take a 1-0 lead on an innocuous shot that he very much could have stopped. Overall, Goofy’s fundamentals are there as an up-and-coming netminder, saving 14 of 15 shots before the game dissolves into absolute chaos at the end, but he too has to work on his hockey attitude.

As for the rest of his game, Goofy grades out well, all things considered. Outside of his discipline and attitude problems, Goofy shows promise as a skater with his powerful stride, though his shooting skills could use some work. Given his theatrics, Goofy tracks well with a Tuukka Rask type if we’re placing him into the goaltender track. Which, given what I had to work with here in terms of tape, I think it’s the best play available.

Puck skills: 3.7
Defense: 4.5
Hockey sense: 2.9
Skating: 3.9
Shooting: 2.7
Physicality: 4.1

Final average: 3.6

The verdict?

By my official, very scientific calculations, Goofy comes out on top in this debate as the best hockey player in Disney history. Overall, Goofy is a better all-around player than Mickey and Donald, with fewer downsides to his game and showcasing a versatility that the other two do not share just yet in their young careers.

Mickey, Donald and Goofy each have their own signature styles of hockey play that are great to watch in their own regards, but the edge here has to go to Goofy as a jack of all trades.

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