18 Things You Probably Didn't Know About "Space Jam"
Trying to describe the 1996 half-cartoon, half-live action basketball comedy "Space Jam" to someone who's never seen it is not easy, so thankfully nearly everyone in the world has seen it!
The kooky movie is still a classic almost 20 years later, which is proven by the talks of making a sequel. To tide you over until then, here are some little-known pieces of "Space Jam" trivia that might change how you see the movie.
"Space Jam" is the highest grossing basketball movie of all time, and the 12th highest grossing sports movie of all time. The movie raked in over $230 million the year it came out in 1996.
A COURT OF ONE'S OWN
To keep Michael Jordan happy through filming, Warner Brothers actually built him his very own basketball court on the set of "Space Jam." Jordan would go there to shoot hoops between takes.
The idea for "Space Jam" actually came from a popular 1993 Nike ad. The commercial showed Michael Jordan playing basketball against Marvin the Martian and his turkey-like alien henchman.
R Kelly's song "I Believe I Can Fly" was written for the "Space Jam" soundtrack, and became one of the biggest successes about the movie. After release, it reached number two on the Billboard charts, won three Grammys, and remains the singer's biggest hit to date.
Although they are never mentioned by name in the film, the villainous Monstars do all have their own names. Bang is the green one, Blanko is blue, Bupkus is purple, Pound is orange, and Nawt is red.
DANNY DEVITO, I LOVE YOUR WORK
You probably didn't realize it when you were younger, but now it should be pretty obvious that you recognize the voice behind the villainous alien Swackhammer.
Early in the movie, when the Toons are trying to pick out a uniform, Daffy mentions that he is partial to purple and gold. While this is an obvious nod to the Lakers, it was also the colors of Jordan's college fraternity Omega Psi Phi.
"Space Jam" is the first animated movie to ever be edited for content for TV airings. When it airs on Cartoon Network, Daffy saying "We're getting screwed" is spliced out, along with a few other lines.
It's pretty obvious that "Space Jam" includes a ton of famous basketball players in its cast, but not actually that many famous actors (except Bill Murray, of course).
However, in a scene where the tiny Monstars go to a basketball game to steal talent, they are seated next to Patricia Heaton (famous for "Everybody Loves Raymond") and Dan Castellaneta (famous as the voice of Homer in "The Simpsons").
In the scene where we see Moron Mountain from outer space, there is a black rectangle visible in the right edge of the screen. This is meant to be the monolith from 1968's "2001: A Space Odyssey."
"Space Jam" marked the only acting credit for legendary basketball player Larry Bird. Bird is the only man to go from most valuable player, to coach of the year, and then to executive of the year.
HER NAME WAS LOLA
"Space Jam" was the debut of Lola Bunny, Bugs' female counterpart and love interest. After the film, Lola appears in several Looney Tunes products, even being voiced by Kristen Wiig in "The Looney Tunes Show."
After Charles Barkley loses his talent in the film, he prays that they come back. In his prayer scene, he promises that he won't go out with Madonna again if he gets his talent back.
This was meant to poke fun at the well-known rumor that Barkley dated Madonna in 1993, although they both deny it.
ONE BIG GLOWING REVIEW
Although "Space Jam" is a classic for many people, it did not receive the best reviews when it came out. While almost every reviewer tore the movie apart, one of the most famous film critics actually gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars.
Roger Ebert called the movie "a happy marriage of good ideas."
NOTHING BUT NET
If you are feeling nostalgic for either "Space Jam" or how web pages looked 20 years ago, then you'll be happy to find out that the original website made to promote the film in the mid-1990s is still active!
Check out www2.warnerbros.com/spacejam/movie/jam.htm for some sweet '90s internet action.
When Jordan's publicist Stanley comes into his hotel room to get him ready for a game, his lines are "C'mon, Michael, it's game time. Slip on your Hanes, lace up your Nikes, take your Wheaties and your Gatorade, and we'll grab a Big Mac on the way to the ballpark."
Every product mentioned is something that Jordan was a sponsor for in 1996.
Daffy suggests that the team should call themselves The Ducks, to which Bugs replies "What kind of Mickey Mouse organization would name their team the Ducks?"
This is poking fun at the popular Disney movie that came out a few years earlier, "The Mighty Ducks."
MURRAY'S HOOP DREAMS
Many people found Bill Murray's role as a version of himself who longs to play basketball very random (although incredibly entertaining). It was actually based on a series of bizarre commercials Murray shot in the early '90s in which he tries and fails to become a basketball player.