Space Jam is a 1996 American sports comedy film – directed by Joe Pytka – is a film that combines live action and animation, following the story of Michael Jordan, a retired professional basketball player, who is recruited by Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes to help them win a basketball game against a group of alien creatures.
The film combines live action and animation and features appearances by several famous basketball players, as well as music from popular artists. The film was a box office success and has become a cult classic.
If you lived during the 90s, and didn’t see this film, you really did miss out.
If you haven’t seen the film – or you need a recap – here is an outline of the plot line for you:
Space Jam Plot
The film begins with Michael Jordan announcing his retirement from the Chicago Bulls and his desire to play professional baseball. However, Jordan is not very successful at baseball and eventually decides to return to basketball.
Meanwhile, in outer space, a group of alien creatures called the Nerdlucks steal the abilities of several top basketball players and challenge the Looney Tunes to a game of basketball. If the Looney Tunes lose, they will become the Nerdlucks’ slaves, but if they win, the Nerdlucks will give them their abilities back.
The Looney Tunes recruit Jordan to help them win the game and the two teams face off in a high-stakes match on the basketball court. With Jordan’s help, the Looney Tunes are able to defeat the Nerdlucks and win back their abilities.
In the end, Jordan decides to return to the Chicago Bulls and the Looney Tunes return to their own world, grateful for the help that Jordan provided.
Other Notable Points
Space Jam was a successful and higher popular film, and it was inevitable that a sequel would be made. This wasn’t until 2021 however (more on that below). But here are some key points and facts about the filme:
- The film features appearances by several famous basketball players, including Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Muggsy Bogues.
- The film’s soundtrack features music from popular artists, such as R. Kelly, Quincy Jones, and Seal.
- Space Jam was released in the United States on November 15, 1996, and was a box office success, grossing over $230 million against its $80 million budget.
- The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising its blend of live action and animation and its humor, while others criticized its predictable plot and overuse of product placement.
- Despite its mixed reviews, Space Jam has become a cult classic and has spawned a merchandise line, including a video game and a sneaker collaboration with Nike.
Space Jam 2
With a film as popular and successful as Space Jam, there was no doubt that a follow up would eventually be made. The only problem being how to replace someone as influential as basketball legend Michael Jordan.
This role eventually fell to LeBron James, which features a similar plot line, albeit it with greater animations and modernisations.
Released in 2021, it was successful (in monetary terms) but only just. With a budget of $150 million, it took $163.7 million from Box Office sales, and whilst not a complete flop, it may just be the last film we ever see in the franchise!