‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Is A Love Letter to Warner Bros. Fans

(On The Court L-r) BUGGS BUNNY, LOLA BUNNY, LEBRON JAMES, CEDRIC JOE as Dom James, TWEETY BIRD and SYLVESTER in Warner Bros. Pictures’ animated/live-action adventure “SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures. © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Hey, Hollywooders! What’s Good in the ‘Wood?

I just got back from seeing Space Jam: A New Legacy, one of the many new movie releases out now in movie theaters.

I took a look at movie theaters near me to compare movie showtimes. I wanted to see the film the day it came out but found that the earliest showing was at 12:50 p.m. at the Regal theater near me. I purchased my tickets online in advance so that I had the best options of seats. I gathered my roommates and we went to the movie theater. When we entered the theater, there were at least a dozen children dressed up in basketball jerseys ready to see the film alongside us. It was really exciting to be able to be part of and witness their excitement.

We purchased a large movie theater popcorn and some drinks, then headed to our theater. The movie was a bit more crowded than other films I had seen lately. It was full of families and groups of friends. It reminded me why I go to the movies in the first place. I enjoyed the previews and thought about other films I’d want to see coming up. I heard the excitement from the kids around me, predominantly for Sing 2. All of these little experiences are some of the many reasons I choose to go back to theaters instead of streaming at home.

If you have an interest in going back to theaters soon, I’d recommend checking out our handy guide with tips for safely going back.

What is Space Jam: A New Legacy about?

Space Jam: A New Legacy (directed by Malcolm D. Lee) is an addition to the Space Jam universe and is a combination of live-action as well as 2D and 3D animation. The film follows LeBron James as he explores his role and beliefs as a parent.

The movie follows LeBron James and his son Dom (Cedric Joe). Dom, unlike his father, is more interested in virtual sports and video game design than being on the court. LeBron James is pushing Dom to be like him and to have his interest in playing basketball. In an attempt to bond with his son, LeBron James brings Dom to Warner Bros. Studios for an opportunity he might have. There, the two are trapped by Al G. Rhythm (Don Cheedle), a rogue AI. LeBron James is tasked with recruiting his own basketball team of Looney Tunes to go against Al G. Rhythm’s Goon Squad in order to save his son and himself.

The movie also stars Khris Davis, Sonequa Martin-Green, Ceyair J. Wright, Harper Leigh Alexander, Ernie Johnson Jr., Lil Rel Howery, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Draymond Green, Kyle Kuzma, Chiney Ogwumike, Michael B. Jordan, Steven Yeun, Sarah Silverman, and Slink Johnson. The movie includes the voice talents of Jeff Bergman, Eric Bauza, Zendaya, Bob Bergen, Jim Cummings, Gabriel Iglesias, Candi Milo, Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Diana Taurasi, Nneka Ogwumike, Rosario Dawson, and Justin Roiland.

Space Jam: A New Legacy creates a Warner Bros. universe

Space Jam: A New Legacy utilized the Warner Bros. name and intellectual properties. Beyond recruiting the toons, it also brought in over a dozen references to other shows and movies the company has the rights to. In one bit surrounding drafting day, LeBron James and Bugs Bunny enter several different Warner Bros. movies and shows to recruit a team. Both LeBron James and Bugs Bunny get to enter and become part of those worlds as they move the story along. These short appearances and cameos manage to not only be charming but also got laughs from the audience.

Beyond that ongoing comedy bit, the film also has a variety of characters appear in the background of shots at the actual basketball game. In each of these shots, I had my own sense of nostalgia as I spotted characters both old and new, animated and live-action, hero and villain. Due to these scenes, my friends and I intend to watch again just to be able to see what characters we can spot in a rewatch. In all honesty, watching just to see how many characters we could spot would bring a whole new enjoyment to the film.

Space Jam: A New Legacy portrays a whole new style

Beyond the Warner Bros. universe, the film utilized the mediums chosen to portray a whole new style. The scenes in the Looney Tunes world utilized toon humor and toon physics. The characters were forced to adapt to the rules of that universe. There were plenty of scenes involving the squash and stretch fundamentals of animation. Beyond that, the jokes played into the style of that world. Another example of this is a scene with Lola Bunny in the Wonder Woman universe. It is explored in a way reminiscent of comics with panels flowing into the next panel. This continues on the court, which is supposed to be a nod toward sports video games.

The way the film uses the medium to tell a story and enhance the jokes is genuinely captivating and charming. It somehow manages to integrate humor with medium and design choices in a way that makes sense, just like it manages to combine characters and worlds in a way that brings something new to the movie. I went into the movie expecting to laugh a little bit but came out of it genuinely excited about the way the story was told.

What others thought about Space Jam: A New Legacy

I enjoyed the movie, but I wanted to see what other fans had to say.

Shane said the film made his top five movies of the year.

This reviewer realized their kid’s excitement might not match theirs.

Daniel expressed excitement over sharing this movie with his son.

This reviewer said they enjoyed the movie when they didn’t enjoy the original.

In Variety’s review of the film, writer Amy Nicholson says, “Space Jam: A New Legacy is chaotic, rainbow sprinkle-colored nonsense that, unlike the original, manages to hold together as a movie.”

Joe Rivera of Sporting News says, “Space Jam: A New Legacy actually lives up to its predecessor, and in some ways it surpasses it.”

I personally liked Space Jam: A New Legacy more than the original. Between the Warner Bros. character cameos and the non-stop humor, my friends and I were laughing consistently. If you don’t believe me, though, take it from the group of young boys exiting the theater in front of me: “Bro, that was so good! I almost cried at the end. That was so good!”

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(On The Court L-r) BUGGS BUNNY, LOLA BUNNY, LEBRON JAMES, CEDRIC JOE as Dom James, TWEETY BIRD and SYLVESTER in Warner Bros. Pictures’ animated/live-action adventure “SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

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