Originally released in theatres in 1996 Space Jam is a live action/animation hybrid similar to the likes of Roger Rabbit. It stars US basketball legend Michael Jordan as himself with all your childhood favourite Looney Tune characters, Bugs, Daffy, Elmer Fudd, Tweety Pie et al. It tells the tale of Swackhammer (voiced by Danny DeVito) the megalomaniac owner of Moron Mountain Space Park - a failing amusement park in outer space. He sends his diminutive henchmen to Earth to capture the Looney Tunes characters and imprison them to be used as attractions in the park. Once on Earth however, Bugs Bunny tricks the henchmen into playing a game of basketball in order to win back their freedom. The henchman steal the talent of the NBA stars, and Bugs enlists the help of a retired Michael Jordan and the game begins.
Written by committee, directed by advert director Joe Pytka, and conceived by marketing men eyeing the back door profits, you would be well within your rights to assume that this movie, cashing in as it does on the family market with cartoon characters and sporting hero Jordan, would suck big time. Well then, it may come as a pleasant surprise that the always comical Looney Tunes combine with the endearingly self deprecating Jordan, and stand out cameos from Bill Murray (Larry Bird isn't white, he's clear) and Wayne Knight, to make a rib-tickling, fun movie. All the acting talent on display comes from the cartoon characters whom, let's face it, are all veterans now. They wisecrack, pratfall, and defy logic with the same riotous results as they always did in their Saturday morning outings. Jordan is slightly wooden and monotonous in his delivery (Gulp..!bad mouthing Jordan may be a capital offence in the USA) but the live wire antics of Wayne Knight and the cartoon characters more than make up for that. With reference to classic movies (Pulp Fiction) and digs at the House of Mouse (What Mickey Mouse outfit would call their team the Ducks) this movie has something for the whole family to enjoy.
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