I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since Space Jam slam dunked its way into theaters and dominated the summer box office with Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes having an out of this world adventure on the big screen. Even more popular than the film was its amazing soundtrack which went on to become album of the year back in 1996. So it only made sense that Warner Bros. would dust off this zany classic and re-release it in a sweet collectable steelbook case with the Space Jam: 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray. While it’s not movie of the year material, it is a fun and wacky good time to be had by all that still holds up after all these years.
The film takes place right around the time when his “airness”, the legendary Michael Jordan, had retired from the NBA the first time and decided to give the Major Leagues a try (spoiler alert, it didn’t go too well). So while he’s playing baseball, on the other side of the galaxy there’s trouble brewing in the form of Swackhammer (voiced perfectly by Danny DeVito) who runs a horrible, rundown amusement park called Moron Mountain and needs something that will attract customers and their money. This leads him to discover the always funny and loveable Looney Tunes characters as he plans to kidnap and force them to bring their antics to his park. Don’t ask how or why, but Bugs Bunny convinces Swackhammer to settle the matter with a game of basketball, and who better to recruit on his team than Michael Jordan. This proves to be a bit difficult at first as he doesn’t want to return to basketball much less deal with the silliness of Bugs and his friends. But with the help of other legendary NBA players and even Bill Murray and Wayne Knight, they just might be able to overcome Swackhammer and his “Mon-Stars” team.
I hadn’t seen this movie in quite awhile, so it was an awesome treat to view it again after all this time. While it shows its age in some spots, it still holds up well and is sure to entertain any who hang out courtside with the stars. The Looney Tunes characters are always fun as are the live action cast, and I enjoyed the debut of the lovely Lola Bunny and her mad b-ball skills here as well. The visuals and audio come in fairly clean in this high definition release, though I did notice some pixelation here and there. Despite this, it still looks and sounds good for a twenty year old movie.
The special features are a little on the light side, but are still worth taking to the hoop. There’s audio commentary with director Joe Pytka, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck giving their takes on the making of the film and some of the crazy things that went down behind the scenes. Of course there’s plenty of silly humor thrown in the mix that makes this commentary feel more like a feature length comedy bit than anything else. “Jammin’ With Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan” is a behind the scenes extra that goes into the history of the famous Looney Toons characters and how the film went from idea to reality. There’s also the theatrical trailer and music videos for the songs “Hit ‘Em High” and “Fly Like an Eagle”.
If you’re a fan of Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes characters, or just want to see how the legends were back in the day, you’ll want to lace up your sneakers and hit the court for a copy of Space Jam: 20th Anniversary Edition. It may not be one of the best movies you’ll ever see, but it is without a doubt one of the most fun and zany you’ll see here or on any planet out there.