The other week when I was visiting home, my brother magically produced one of my all time favourite movies from my childhood – Space Jam, and allowed me to take it with me … a classy move as it must have been hard to let a disk with such amazing content go! So, I set aside some time to indulge in this classic, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.
The film revolves around Bugs Bunny and his Tune Land gang trying to save themselves from the Nerdlucks who, under the instruction of Danny Devito’s Mr Swackhammer, want to kidnap them and make them amusement park attractions on Moron Mountain. A basketball game is set up to play for their freedom, which seems a safe bet considering the Nerdluck’s vertically challenged state, but panic ensues when the talent and height of a collection of pro NBA players is stolen and the Nerdlucks become “Mon-stars”! …
Enter Michael Jordan – saviour of cartoon characters.
Yes, the film is basically one big advert for Michael Jordan – in fact the film was developed following a series of Nike ads that featured MJ and Bugs Bunny. Yes, it is very cheesy in places. Yes the jokes are a little childish. BUT, it is still so much fun to watch, and is still absolutely hilarious! And lets face it , the likes of LeBron or Kobe wouldn’t be able to pull off a friendship with the Looney Tunes, and it is doubtful they would even be able to rally a team to beat the Mon-Stars.
… in fact Space Jam is just another reason why Michael Jordan will always be the greatest basketball player of all time.
But back to the film.
It had been a long time since I had seen Space Jam, and sometimes these things from your childhood don’t stand the test of time – but Space Jam is not one of those things. If anything, I feel this has got better with age. I was still laughing out loud at the childish antics of Bugs and Daffy, I found myself recounting lines and classic catch phrases before they were utter by the characters and marvelling at the outrageous events that are only possible in an animated world. At one point I was laughing so loud one of my flatmates stuck their head round the door and asked “ehhh, whats up doc?” … okay the last thing didn’t happen, but you get my point.
However, it’s not just the animated characters that serve up the laughs, the guys from “3D land” also bring the comedy. Wayne Knight’s Stan Pollack has the potential to become an annoyance but is thankfully delivered in short and sweet bursts, and holds one of my favourite lines in the film, after being questioned about the 10 foot hole he has dug on the golf course he replies “Ugggh, I’m fixing a divot”. It might be simple, but it had me in stitches. Bill Murray, playing himself, also is fantastic dreaming of a new career in the NBA which he won’t let go, and again provides the set up for another of my favourite lines, “HEY! I didn’t know Dan Akroyd was in this picture!”
And like all good kid’s movies, there are things that go over your head as a child, but are hilarious when you get older – Space Jam delivers this in the form of innuendo, references to other items of pop culture, and the not so subtle Warner Bros digs at Disney – including Moron Mountain (quite obviously a reference to Disney’s Space Mountain) and the throw away line “Please! What kind of Mickey Mouse organisation would name their team the Ducks?” … Sorry Emilio, Bugs Bunny just served you.
Space Jam is a lot of fun, and probably the best real life/cartoon crossover since ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ … a solid 8/10
If you haven’t seen this film, then you definitely need to … although there should be no excuse for not having seen it, you’ve had 17 years to do so.
If you have, go back and watch it again, like me, you will not be disappointed!
So what are you waiting for … Get your Hanes on, lace up your Nike’s, grab your Wheaties and your Gatorade, and we’ll pick up a Big Mac on the way – you’ve got a film to watch!
Leave a comment with your thoughts on the film!
Also, if you are a fan of the film, you should read this article as to Why Space Jam is the worst officiated game in history – absolutely hilarious!