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Space Jam is a 1996 children’s live-action / animated comedy film starring the legendary NBA athlete Michael Jordan and the characters from the classic cartoon series Looney Tunes. The story
Space Jam was released on November 15th, 1996. The film stars Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Bill Murray and features famous Looney Toon characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
On November 18th, 2013, “Space Jam 2” began to trend on Twitter. A fan made poster (pictured below) also circulated, suggesting the sequel would be released in 2014 and would star basketball star LeBron James. It was revealed to be a hoax, and believed to have steamed from a quote James gave during a Twitter question and answer session when he said, "“I love that movie. Wish I could do Space Jam 2!”
In the real world, basketball star Michael Jordan has given up basketball for baseball, but finds he isn’t a talented baseball player. In the world of Looney Toons, the Toons are in danger of being taken over by a group of criminal aliens. Because the aliens seem small and unathletic, the Toons challenge them to a game of basketball for their freedom, but the aliens steal the talent of famous basketball players to become large and athletic. The Toons then kidnap Jordan and convince him to play on their team. Basketball season in the real world comes to a halt because players fear their talent will disappear as well. The game begins, and after an initial slump the Toons hold their own. Jordan strikes a deal that if the Toons win, the aliens will give back their stolen talent, and even if they lose they will kidnap him instead of the Toons. The Toons begin to lose badly, and lose players to injuries, so that an alternate must be called in (Bill Murray). In the end the Toons win, Jordan returns home and decides to return to baseball.
The film was poorly received by the critics, earning a rating of 35% on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 6.1 on IMDB. Despite its lukewarm reviews, the film opened at #1 in the United States with 27 million tickets sold during the premiere weekend and went on to become a box office success, grossing over $90.4 million in the United States and $230 million internationally.
In contrast to the reception of the film, the original soundtrack for Space Jam was met with both critical acclaims and commercial success, going double platinum in less than two months after release and peaking at #2 on the Billboard 200. Among the most notable tracks include R. Kelly’s R&B hit single “I Believe I Can Fly,” which the singer wrote and produced exclusively for the movie, and Quad City DJ’s main theme with the same name as the film, which went on to inspire a musical remix series that combines the Space Jam soundtrack with other popular songs. R. Kelly’s song went on to win a Grammy Award in the Best Song Written Specifically for Motion Picture category, as well as an MTV Movie Award in the Best Movie Song category.
Fueled by an online resurgence of ‘90s nostalgia that began in the mid-2000s, Space Jam has been since revisited by pop and internet culture blogs, including Mental Floss’ re-discovery of Space Jam’s website, which has remained online since the early 90s (shown below), on November 14th, 2011, and BuzzFeed’s “35 Facts That Prove ‘Space Jam’ Is Criminally Underrated” posted on August 22nd, 2013. Mental Floss mentioned the website once again in its list of “abandoned yet functional sites” published on November 22nd, 2013.
Since launching in June 2012, the Facebook page for “Space Jam” has garnered more than 69,000 likes. In addition, thousands of fan art illustrations and image macros with various references to the film can be found on Tumblr and DeviantART.
“30 for 30″ Documentary
On November 12th, 2013, SketchY, a comedy series created by Yahoo!, released a fake documentary on Space Jam parodying ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. The sketch featured sports reporters and commentators, as well as former NBA players like Kurt Rambis and Greg Anthony, speaking as if the action of Space Jam had actually happened. The video was reported on by The Wrap, Deadspin, and CBS sports.
Slam Remixes (a.k.a “X vs. Quad City DJs”) refer to a series of mash-up songs that combine a popular tune with the Space Jam theme song, especially the chorus portion (“C’mon and Slam!”). These remixes are commonly accompanied by a headshot of former professional basketball player Charles Barkley superimposed over the face of the original singer behind the added track.
The Huffington Post – Space Jam Finally Got The Parody ‘30 For 30’ Documentary It Deserved