Everybody get up, it's time to slam now! The original Space Jam is back and better than ever on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD! If you grew up in the 90's, like me, you probably remember watching this film over and over again. How does Space Jam fair 25 years later? Is this movie truly OK for younger children? I've got a no-spoilers (cause hey, it's been a while), parents review as we revisit Space Jam!
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of the Space Jam Blu-ray/4K Ultra HD combo pack free for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Space Jam Now Available on 4K Ultra HD | No-Spoilers, Parent Review
Space Jam | Movie Synopsis
The world's greatest legends collide in a future universe with Jordan as a live-action hero entering a spectacular animated world. Captured by Bugs Bunny to foil a ghastly gang of space creatures, Jordan must play the basketball game of his life to save the beloved cartoon heroes from a hideous kidnapping scheme.
Space Jam | Review
I remember loving this film and the Looney Tunes in general as a kid but I will admit I have not watched Space Jam in a very long time. I was excited to watch this film on our family movie night but I really didn't know what to expect. Would the film hold up all these years later? Would it be as good as my childhood memory leads me to believe?
Space Jam has tons of laugh out loud moments, it is jam-packed with incredible cameos and it is downright LOONEY!
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This film is looney, remember? The plot of the film is based around space creatures wanting to bring the Looney Tunes to their theme park (in space) as a way to draw larger crowds and make more money for their boss.
The always clever Bugs Bunny gets the creatures to agree to play them in a game of basketball; if the space creatures win, Bugs and the gang would head up to space, if Bugs wins they won't.
Simple right? Things of course get tricky and Bugs "recruits" basketball legend, Michael Jordan to help out the Looney Tunes team.
The plot is more complex than just a basketball game and when we flash back to the human world, younger children may get confused.
The PG Rating
I believe the official reasoning for the PG rating is "mild cartoon language".
That being said, this film was released in the 90's and cartoon violence and language is different than what some parents and caregivers may expect in a film made today.
The cartoon violence is typical of classic Looney Tunes, you'll see some gun use (not shooting at each other, but a gun is visible and shots fire off), characters flattened like pancakes, stretched, rolled into a ball and bounced like a basketball. These fantastical injuries crossover from the cartoons to the humans in the film, but everyone is always okay in the next scene, no one is ever truly, truly hurt.
As for the language, the space creatures theme park is called "Moron Mountain" so that is said frequently in the film. Other words heard include "hell" and "sucks". At one point one of the space creatures has their pants down and Lola Bunny remarks "nice butt!"
There are certainly jokes in the film geared toward parents, at one point another basketball player is asked if he is having trouble performing in other areas (wink, wink).
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How Scary Are the Monstars?
For sensitive children, the transformation of the small space creatures into the giant, Monstars may be too much for them. The Monstars are certainly the bad guys of the film, and look the part.
They are at their scariest during their transformation scene however, so a quick scene skip may just do the trick.
This film holds up! The soundtrack features one hit after another, remember Monica's "For You I Will"? Seal's "Fly Like an Eagle"? Of course the title track "Space Jam" by Quad City DJ's is the true star, that song had my kids (and myself!) up and dancing as soon as it started.
Space Jam does a great job of mixing slapstick, silly humor for kids with actual jokes for grownups.
The montage of Michael Jordan's unmatchable talent on the court is goosebump inducing and is such a wonderful love letter to his career. 25 years later I know I appreciate that sequence way more now than I did as a kid.
Space Jam has multiple levels of nostalgia. This film not only takes audiences back to a time when Michale Jordan was on the court but Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing as well, so when you mix that in with the Looney Tunes characters in all of their looney glory it is quintessential 90s.
Age recommendation for Space Jam: 5+
I watched this with children younger than 5 however I am now dealing with a toddler who remarks "nice butt" at least once a day.
Due to the scary nature of the Monstars and the language I would say this is for slightly older children but it is still a perfect family movie night choice all the years later!