In 1993 Michael Jordan retired from playing basketball and started playing minor league baseball. Meanwhile some aliens decided they needed the Looney Tunes to help their struggling theme park. The Looney Tunes challenge the aliens to a basketball game to decide their fate. Things don’t go as expected for the Looney Tunes and they end up enlisting Michael Jordan to help them in the big game.
What does that make this movie? A cartoon comedy or a sports movie? It isn’t a sports movie adventure like “Miracle” or “Angel in the Outfield”. There is only one basketball game and they don’t even follow the rules. It really is a Loony Tunes movie, the first feature length Looney Tunes movie, that happens to have basketball and aliens in it. Having watched my fair share of Looney Tunes, Space Jam is a good addition to the catalogue and doesn’t feel out of place at all to me. You really don’t need to know more about basketball than two teams are trying to get a ball through a hoop and whichever team does that the most wins. It would probably be helpful for some of the human character beats to know a little about current events and pop culture in the 90’s, but you’ll only miss out on a joke or two if you weren’t there. This was of course a kids movie and knowing who Dan Akroyd is was surely not expected of them even in 1996.
If you’ve seen Looney Tunes you’ll know what to expect from Space Jam. If you’re new, lots of cartoon slap-stick violence, occasional potty humour, and one cartoon bare behind. There is one instance of characters drinking an unknown substance to get a performance edge, that is funny, but feels a little off in a kids movie to me now.
The most impressive part of the movie for me is how well they have combined the cartoons with live action. It doesn’t feel weird or unnatural at all, except one scene where they probably were just reaching too far for the technology of the time. And I guess there is one other shot where it looks unnatural, but it makes sense in context and still looks good.
The mini-reviewer’s attention was held through the entire length of the film and they give Space Jam two thumbs up… out of six. They hadn’t watched any Looney Tunes before and I suspect if they were familiar with the characters they would have like it more. The two that didn’t like it said there wasn’t enough funny parts, but I like it and think it’s pretty funny. I give “Space Jam” an 8/10. It’s worth watching if you, like me, like the Looney Tunes style of comedy.
Bluray - https://amzn.to/2PRsOPe
DVD - https://amzn.to/3210wnJ