What happens when you combine arguably the greatest athlete of all-time with the greatest cartoon character of all-time? You get a stoner movie. Really, that’s all Space Jam was. Like everything on Cartoon Network these days, Space Jam’s target audience were college kids with enough money for bud and not enough for rent. You will probably hate me for saying this, but Space Jam was a terrible movie.
(Is the title Space Jam supposed to be some kind of gross innuendo like South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut? I bet it is. Eww)
Besides the fact I hate basketball, I don’t really like Michael Jordan. He’s a gambler, a liar, he cheats on his wife, he covered up for his criminal father, despite what the ads say his shoes do not help you dunk, he was an asshole to Pippen, and his Hanes commercials used to make me think the slogan was “Wait’ll we get our hands on you.” Even the real slogan, “Wait’ll we get our Hanes on you” is bad enough. Who is going around putting underwear on unwilling participants? Screw Hanes. I would rather go commando.
The movie is about Michael Jordan’s desire to dominate another sport, baseball. It’s partially true in that MJ quit basketball to try America’s past time. I remember it being a big deal and having a few Michael Jordan baseball cards. As shown in the movie, Michael was pretty bad at baseball. He only spent the 1994 season at AA Birmingham (a great city for black people I hear) and here are his basic stats:
497 at-bats, 46 runs, 88 hits, 17 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 51 RBIs, 30 stolen bases, 18 caught stealing, 114 strikeouts, and a .202 batting average.
Without making you learn much about baseball, he stunk worse than Dennis Rodman’s fingers when he dated Carmen Electra.
Michael Jordan realizes his career as a baseball player is going nowhere while he’s golfing with Bill Murray. I can’t remember precisely, but I’m sure Bill Murray had a few Caddyshack quotes thrown into this movie. It’s when Jordan reaches into the golf hole that he is pulled inside. The mailman from Seinfeld/the guy that gets spit on by the dinosaur in Jurassic Park/Wayne Knight looks into the hole and is left wondering where MJ went.
Jordan ends up in a cartoon world where he meets classic Looney Tunes characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and from a deleted scene Adolf Anteater. The character Adolf Anteater was removed from the film as his anti-Semitic character was not scene as appropriate in these modern days.
(Elmer Fudd should have totally had a pistol hidden in his pocket and finished off Bugs really easily here Jack Ruby style)
MJ is filled in on the horrors going on in Bugs Bunny’s world, Tune Land. A crew of evil aliens has traveled to Tune Land hoping to capture the cartoon characters, enslave them on an amusement park ride, and save the amusement park from economic downtimes. Of course this plan is similar to what Disney did with its ride “It’s A Small World After All” back in the 1950s. Genocides don’t exist. Disney just captures people then tosses them into their rides.
For some reason the alien monsters challenge the cartoons to a basketball game. Michael Jordan is basically a ringer for the cartoons aka Bugs Bunny is a cheater. Then again, the monsters are cheating too. They have stolen the basketball skills of popular players Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues, and Shawn Bradley. There was a really good deleted scene where the monster who steals Shawn Bradley’s skills gets chased out of town by all of Philadelphia. Too sports inside? I’m sorry.
(This sums up Shawn Bradley’s basketball career)
So Michael Jordan starts playing basketball with a bunch of cartoons. I guess it’s funny. I mean it’s all of these old classic cartoon characters and Michael Jordan who gets a D+ for acting. The movie isn’t so much about basketball as much as it is about believing yourself which is why the R. Kelly lyrics “I believe I can fly” are played without. Wow I forgot R. Kelly was involved in this project. And I thought Michael Jordan was a scumbag. At least he’s never peed on a Girl Scout.
Kids from my generation loved this movie. I never did much at all. I thought it was unfunny and featured watered down versions of Looney Tunes characters. This was nothing more than a marketing indulgence featuring cartoon characters for younger kids and a famous athlete for the older ones.
In the end Michael Jordan learned a valuable lesson, he’s not good at anything other than hogging the ball. In my opinion Wayne Gretzky was much better at his sport. Gretzky had more assists than any player had goals and assists combined. Share the wealth MJ, Pippen’s open.
Oh man I love the Shawn Bradley comment. And the rest of this. But for a guy who just decided to take up baseball on a whim (or depending on who you believe, because he was being frozen out of the NBA due to his gambling), hitting .200 in Double A is probably phenomenal. But what do I know, I root for the Phillies who split a series with the damn Marlins.
I agree, I never really understoood the appeal of this movie. I liked basketball, I liked Looney Tunes, but this movie just didn’t sit right. And sexualized anthropomorphic animal toons just made me feel all sorts of confused. Give me Jessica Rabbit or Holly Would from Cool World anyday.
It’s certainly a fun movie, but not something I could ever really bother with again. I think it’s quite short too. I knew if anyone would appreciate the Shawn Bradley comment it would be you.
One of the best animated movies of all time. Still waiting for the sequel. I don’t think they could match an offer that’d be suitable for Bugs and Daffy 😦
Isn’t Lebron James supposed to be in the sequel? He should agree to play for them then decide to take his talents to the Hannah Barbera cartoon characters.
Haha if he gets the role, he might reach his goal of becoming the first billionaire professional sports player.
We had this on VHS and Beauty (the oldest) watched it maybe twice. She loved Warner Bros characters but just couldn’t get into this one. I think the tape died a painful death under the passenger seat of my old Mercury Lynx.
As much as they thought it was targeting multiple demographics I think it kind of limited a few more than anything.
I think the real story here is that you refer to your daughter as Beauty. Was is that a great nickname. You must love your kids.
When I started my blog I decided that I would leave my kids with a little bit of privacy so I call the oldest Beauty (she’s 5’9″ with long blond hair and bright blue eyes) and the youngest is MiniMe. Unfortunately for her she looks like me when I was her age. But yes, I do love them even if they make me crazy.
Isn’t the Mercury Lynx the name of a WNBA team? I won’t bother to fact check that and just assume it’s true. Life comes full circle, yet again
🙂 Yep, pretty sure
I always felt bad for the monster who got stuck with Shawn Bradley’s “talent.” There’s a theory that Jordan’s entire baseball career was done so that this movie could be made.
I’m not sure why anyone really thought this movie would be that good though. It was based on a shoe commercial. You know how Saturday Night Live movies tend to suck because they take a concept that’s good for a few minutes and stretch it over an hour? Well, they decided to take a good 30 second concept (Michael and Bugs playing basketball in space) and stretch it out to a movie.
The monster who became Shawn Bradley was also all weird and lanky which was so gross, just like him.
I had no idea there was a commercial that originally inspired this. That’s so dumb. Great comparison to SNL and their movies.
Here’s the commercial:
It’s like if they took a Geico Commercial and turned it into a sitcom. Wait…
Surprisingly, I’ve never seen this movie. My friend’s dad directed it though I think. Or wrote it or something. I remember my elementary school playing “I believe I can fly” during our lunch time and it always confused me so much.
From your review, I think I would hate Space Jam. I always thought I was missing out, but you’ve convinced me to skip this one. However, I still need to see Hook!
Four people actual wrote the movie. I looked it up. Four people! How can four people ever do anything together? Hook is much better than Space Jam. Hook might be better than anything.