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Space Jam (1996) Poster

(1996)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (2)
Towards the end of the basketball game, Daffy asks Bill Murray, "Exactly how did you get here?" To which Bill responds, "The producer is a friend of mine", referring to producer Ivan Reitman.
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The concept for this movie originated from a series of highly popular live-action/animated sci-fi sports comedy Nike commercial ads for Air Jordan shoes titled: "Hare Jordan" and "Aerospace Jordan" where Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan faced off against Marvin the Martian and his alien henchmen in basketball to stop him from stealing Nike shoes.
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When Stanley comes into Michael's hotel room and says "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." All of those things were products that Michael Jordan had been a spokesman for around that time.
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The movie's original promotional website could still be found online, exactly as it appeared in 1996. However it was changed to promote Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021).
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Michael Jordan actually wore his North Carolina Tar Heel college basketball shorts under his Chicago Bulls uniform every game as a good luck charm.
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After Daffy suggests naming the team "the Ducks", Bugs asks "What kind of Mickey Mouse organization would name their team the Ducks?" This was a dig at the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League, which were established by The Walt Disney Company.
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This film marks the debut of Lola Bunny, Bugs' love interest.
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Although Michael Jordan's real kids were not in the film, their names (Jeffery, Marcus, and Jasmine) were used.
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The hat that Bill Murray is wearing at the Bulls game at the end of the movie is the Saint Paul Saints, a minor league baseball team of which Murray was a part owner at the time.
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To keep Michael Jordan happy while filming, Warner Bros. built him an actual basketball court on the set, so he could use it whenever he could on breaks.
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When flying towards "Moron Mountain", the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) can be seen at the very top-right corner edge of the screen frame floating in space near a red planet.
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Back in the late 1980s, Disney studios asked Warner Brothers if they could use some of the Looney Tunes characters for the Disney film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). Warner Brothers obliged and were in the belief there was a reciprocal gentleman's agreement, which there was but under the old Disney management who were long gone by the time this film started production. However when Warner started work on this film, they asked Disney to return the favor and let them use a few Disney cartoon characters (Mickey Mouse was originally intended to be the match referee). Disney reneged on the agreement, a move which annoyed but didn't entirely surprise Warner Brothers. This explains some of the not so subtle digs at Disney within this film.
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Noel Blanc (Mel Blanc's son) was originally booked to provide all of the regular Warner Brothers male cartoon characters' voices. But he and Warner Brothers couldn't agree on a contract, so the studio replaced Blanc with four other people to do the 12 male voices, instead of Blanc doing them all.
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The gym where the Looney Tunes practice is called "Leon Schlesinger Gym" after Leon Schlesinger, the man who produced the first Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.
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When Larry Johnson says that his grandmother can play better than him, it is a reference to the Converse commercial where Johnson plays his Grandma.
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Bill Murray's appearance is a reference to a series of 1990s commercials in which Murray starred. In the commercials, Murray tries and fails to become an NBA player.
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Bill Murray, who stands at 6'2, joked how he felt puny around Michael Jordan and Larry Bird, who are 6'6 and 6'9 respectively.
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The U.S. VHS release included a collector's coin inside the package that had the Tune Squad on one side and the Monstars on the other.
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The Monstars/Nerdlucks' names are Pound (orange one), Bang (green), Nawt (magenta), Bupkus (purple) and Blanko (blue). None of their names are mentioned in the film, and neither is the word "Nerdluck." However the word Nerdluck was finally used in a crossover of Teen Titans Go! (2013) with this movie which came out 25 years later.
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The movie pokes some subtle jabs at Disney, and ironically would first air on Network TV as part of ABC's The Wonderful World of Disney.
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The scuffed basketball used in the film is a treasured souvenir owned by director Joe Pytka. When held by Michael Jordan it is real, but whenever it is in flight or controlled by the cartoon characters it is animated.
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Bill Murray accepted a role in this movie after expressing regret at missing out on the chance to star in another animated live-action film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).
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The first animated film to have been edited for content for TV airings.
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While praying in church for the return of his basketball skills, Charles Barkley says, "I'm never gonna go out with Madonna again." This refers to his own fling with Madonna (not Dennis Rodman's fling, as previously reported).
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Mr. Swackhammer says, "I didn't know Dan Aykroyd was in this picture", when referring to Bill Murray, both former castmates on Saturday Night Live (1975), and co-stars in the first two Ghostbusters movies.
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In order to fill up the audience from a limited selection of characters, one section was made from actual Looney Tunes. The rest were simply replicated over and over and then "seated" next to each other to create the illusion of a full audience.
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When Michael first arrives in Looney Tune town, and is talking with the characters, there is a store front sign on one of the background buildings that says "CJ's Toys", a nod to the famous Warner Brothers director/animator Chuck Jones, who created many of the classic Looney Tunes characters.
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Previously, Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan had teamed up in Nike commercials for the Air Jordan VII (1992) and Air Jordan VIII (1993), with Bugs nicknamed "Hare Jordan". Bugs has since been an honorary member of Jordan Brand, and in 2015 as part of Jordan Brand's 30th anniversary, Nike released a Bugs-themed mid-top version of the Air Jordan I called the Air Jordan I Mid Hare, along with a Lola-themed and female-geared equivalent called the Air Jordan I Mid Lola.
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This is one of the few times where Bugs and Daffy don't share voice actors. Billy West, the voice of Bugs, would later go on to voice Elmer Fudd in many future Looney Tunes productions. He'd also voice Bugs again in some video games, as well as the Direct-to-Video/DVD film Bah Humduck!: A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006).
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The cartoons seen in Moron Mountain are: Broom-Stick Bunny (1956), Don't Axe Me (1958), Duck Amuck (1953), Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (1953), Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z-z-z (1956), Going! Going! Gosh! (1952), Golden Yeggs (1950), Henhouse Henery (1949), High Diving Hare (1949), Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century (1953), Hip Hip-Hurry! (1958), Rabbit of Seville (1950), Ready.. Set.. Zoom! (1955) and Speedy Gonzales (1955).
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When Daffy Duck is modeling potential team uniforms for the other Looney Tunes characters, he states that he's partial to purple and gold. This is a nod to the official colors of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. which is the fraternity that Michael Jordan pledged in college. A tradition for some members of Omega Psi Phi is to brand one or more of the Greek letter Omega on their arms or chest. If you look closely during the scene where Michael Jordan is shirtless in his hotel room while on the phone with his family, on the left side of his chest is a branded Omega.
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Moron Mountain is a spoof on Magic Mountain, a Six Flags amusement park in southern California. At around the time this movie was made, Magic Mountain had a contract with Warner Brothers to use the Toon characters.
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When the aliens from Moron Mountain are in disguise at the basketball game they are wearing Tom Baker's scarf from Doctor Who (1963).
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Joe Pytka is credited as the film's director, however many people who worked on the film (mostly the voice actors) have all said Ivan Reitman was the film's actual director, and that Joe Pytka was only a director for the animation (Pytka himself said he had gripes with not having total control). For whatever reason, Pytka got the main director's credit, while Reitman is only credited as a producer.
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During the big game, when the Toons are rallying, the purple Monstar is about to attack Bugs and Wile E. when he is interrupted by Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd (dressed in tuxedos) shooting his teeth out with "Misirlou" playing in the background. This is a clear reference to Pulp Fiction (1994).
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Grossing over $230 million worldwide, this the highest-grossing basketball film of all time, and it is also the highest-grossing Looney Tunes film.
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Michael's bulldog is named after Charles Barkley.
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The Union Hall in which the Looney Tunes characters meet is entitled "Union Hall 839", a reference to the actual Hollywood Animation Guild, which is Union Local 839.
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The couple sitting next to the aliens when they steal the talents of Barkley and Ewing are Patricia Heaton and Dan Castellaneta. Castellaneta is known for voicing characters on The Simpsons (1989), most commonly Homer Simpson. Danny DeVito (Swackhammer) appeared in a few episodes as Homer's half brother Herb Powell.
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The voice actors in this film for Taz, Marvin, Sylvester and Yosemite Sam are the only ones to have never reprised their respective roles in any future productions to date.
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When in the therapy session, Shawn Bradley says, "or I could go back to the jungle and be a missionary again." This is a reference to him being a Mormon and going on a two-year church mission.
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The 5 stars who have their talent stolen are Charles Barkley, Larry Johnson, Tyrone Bogues (Muggsy Bogues), Patrick Ewing and Shawn Bradley. None of them ever won an NBA Championship, largely due to Michael Jordan winning six championships with the Bulls. 1991 to 1993 and 1996 to 1998.
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In an interview a couple of years after the films release, long time Looney Tunes director Chuck Jones was highly critical of the movie. Jones felt it strayed too far from the source material, in particular, saying that Bugs would never openly recruit others in his battles. Jones further maintained that the Bugs he worked on would have single handedly dispatched with the aliens in short order. Jones also took exception with some of the film's dialogue, feeling that some one-liners were inconsistent or inappropriate, relating to the characters who said them.
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A portrait picture of Bosko The Talk-Ink Kid, Warner Bros. first ever cartoon star, can be seen hanging on the wall of the meeting union hall, in the scene where Yosemite Sam confronts the aliens.
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When playing basketball, Michael Jordan is wearing the Air Jordan XI shoes.
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Shaquille O'Neal makes an uncredited cameo towards the end of the film when Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls are facing the Orlando Magic.
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The Tune Squad's jersey numbers: 1/2, Tweety Bird; 1, Bugs Bunny; 2, Daffy Duck; 3, Sniffles the Mouse; 6, Yosemite Sam; 7, Road Runner; 8, Porky Pig; 9, Sylvester; 10, Lola Bunny; 13, Wile E. Coyote; 22, Bill Murray; 23, Michael Jordan; 25, Barnyard Dawg; 33, Foghorn Leghorn; 53, Elmer Fudd; heart symbol, Pepe Le Pew; exclamation point, Tasmanian Devil; question mark, Beaky Buzzard.
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The last scene shows Michael Jordan returning to the NBA wearing the number 45 jersey, due to his number 23 jersey being retired by the Chicago Bulls after his first retirement.
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Joe Pytka wanted Michael J. Fox to play Stan, but he was overruled by the studios. Jason Alexander and Chevy Chase were also considered.
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This film has an accompanying video game with the same title. It was a clone of NBA Jam (1993) that featured Michael Jordan and the Toon Squad versus the Monstar aliens.
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The pseudo-scientific names of the aliens on the "Aliens From Moron Mountain" blueprint in the brainstorming session are: Wormius Repulsus (green), Newtus Grodius (purple), Dopus Elongatus (blue), Rotundus Tempermentus (orange), and Minimus Whinius (magenta).
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This is the first Looney Tunes film to be rated PG by the MPAA, which has applied to all films in the franchise since both theatrical and non-theatrical.
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Bill Murray's jersey number, 22, is a nod to his film Groundhog Day (1993), which occurs on February 2nd, or 2-2.
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Bill Murray is sporting the Air Jordan II shoes during the big game.
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Paul Julian's last film released over a year after his death in 1995. He voiced the Road Runner, but went uncredited.
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Shawn Bradley is seen as playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. Bradley was playing for the Sixers at the time of the film's production, but just before its release, he was traded to the New Jersey Nets.
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During his baseball career Michael Jordan played for the Birmingham Barons, who are the AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.
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There was originally going to be a scene in the movie featuring MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob, an animated hip-hop group who worked with Paula Abdul on some of her music, but they were completely cut out of the script.
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The following cartoons are referenced when their characters appear at the meeting: An Egg Scramble (1950) (Miss Prissy), Hair-Raising Hare (1946) (Gossamer), Hillbilly Hare (1950) (Curt & Punkinhead Martin), Mexicali Shmoes (1959) (Slowpoke Rodríguez), Rabbit Punch (1948) (The Crusher), Rabbit's Kin (1952) (Pete Puma), The Dover Boys at Pimento University or the Rivals of Roquefort Hall (1942) (The Dover Boys) and Three Little Bops (1957) (the three little pigs).
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Marvin the Martian was likely chosen to be the referee for the Looney Tunes and Monstars game as he would be neutral. Being both a Looney Tune and an alien.
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The baseball game at the beginning is between the Birmingham Barons and the Huntsville Stars.
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The final scene of the game mirrors Michael Jordan's actual first home game back during his 1995 comeback - which was actually against the Orlando Magic on March 24th. The Magic won that game 106-99 in what was Jordan's first game at the United Center after the Bulls had played in Chicago Stadium earlier in Jordan's career. (The Magic - who included Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway, who met on the set of Blue Chips (1994), leading to O'Neal encouraging the Magic to draft Hardaway - also beat the Bulls in six games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals that year. It marked the last playoff series that the Bulls lost with Jordan on their roster. The following year, the Bulls won a record 72 games during the regular season, swept the Magic in the conference finals and then beat the Seattle Supersonics - now the Oklahoma City Thunder - in six games to become NBA champions once again.) In real life, Jordan's first game back in the NBA was March 19th against the Indiana Pacers at Market Square Arena (since replaced by Bankers Life Fieldhouse, formerly known as Conseco Fieldhouse) in Indianapolis.
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Billy West, Kath Soucie and Maurice LaMarche all would later go on to voice major and recurring characters in the Fox Animated Sitcom Futurama (1999), which premiered 3 years after the release of this film.
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When Bugs drags Michael Jordan down the hole, he says, "Who were you expecting? The Easter bunny?" This was a play on the Nike ads they were both in (which inspired this movie) when Bugs announced the duo as "Hare Jordan, and AIR Jordan!", and Michael says, "Who were you expecting? Elmer Fudd?" this is referenced again in the sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) when Blake Griffin appears.
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When airing on the FreeForm network, Bugs Bunny's line "What kind of Mickey Mouse organization would name their team 'The Ducks'?" has been edited out. FreeForm is owned by Disney.
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Larry Bird also appeared as himself in Celtic Pride (1996) the same year.
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Danny DeVito's 2nd time voice acting in a live action film. His first time was in Look Who's Talking Now (1993), and his third time would be in Hercules.
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CASTLE THUNDER: First heard during a "film-within-a-film" for one second when Michael's kids are flipping through the TV channels and lightning appears on the screen. It's then briefly heard again for one second when the Nerdlucks begin to transform into the Monstars.
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Originally the Monstar Bupkus had a different voice actor who gave him a very high pitched effeminate voice, he was later replaced by Dorian Harewood, the version with the original voice actor can be seen in the work-print version.
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In an interview with Charles Barkley, he said Space Jam is "arguably the most greatest sports movie ever".
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Lola's role originally belonged to Honey Bunny, a character created by major Looney Tunes director Robert McKimson who only ever appeared in comics published by Gold Key and on some merchandise, such as acting as a damsel in distress in the Game Boy title The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle II (1991). However, the producers and animators felt she looked too much like Bugs in drag or even a relative of Bugs, so she went through various redesigns but she ended up looking so different she was branded as a new character, she was given several names including "Bunni Bunny", "Lola Buni", "Lola Rabbit" and even "Daisy Lou" (as they briefly toyed with the idea of giving her a southern tomboy personality) before finally just calling her "Lola Bunny".
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Although Bill Murray initially came in to only work on the golf course scene, he then wanted to be in the climactic basketball game after Joe Pytka showed him the process of how he directed the live-action/animation scenes.
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Experienced voice actor Billy West's first voice acting performance in a live-action film. His next two films would later be Cats & Dogs (2001) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).
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June Foray's second time voicing a character in a live-action film. Her first had been Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), and her next two times would later be in The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).
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One of the two live-action and animated films from Warner Bros. to feature Bill Murray. His next one is Osmosis Jones (2001) released five years later.
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Stan drives a 1962 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible [967].
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In the final ultimate basketball battle sequence, the characters walking around the aisles of the arena are animated in CGI while most of the other characters are all traditionally animated.
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Was Warner Bros. Animation's highest-grossing film until surpassed by The Lego Movie (2014).
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Michael Jordan filmed in a 360-degree green screen room with motion trackers, playing and acting alongside green-suited NBA players and improv actors taken from the Groundlings Theatre and School around him serving as placement identifiers for the animated characters, with a CGI background replica of a real-life setting chroma keyed in.
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During the golf scene when the golf ball moves by itself, Bill Murray says the line "It is alive" which he also said in Stripes (1981).
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When the nerdlucks transform into the Monsters, only three are shown transforming, Pound, Bang, Blanko.
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The scene where Charles the bulldog runs and jumps on Michael and starts licking him happily, The dog ran from A to B when cued by his trainer. A fake dog was used for the shot of the dog leaping into the air. When the dog is seen licking the actor's face the trainer had applied juice to the area.
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Joe Pytka was informed about the project only months before the start of principal photography; in addition to being hired as director, he also revised the script, including writing a scene where Jordan hits a home run after he returns to Earth that was filmed, but ultimately never used. Spike Lee was also interested in helping Pytka with the screenplay, but Warner Bros. blocked him from the project out of dissatisfaction from how he funded Malcolm X (1992).
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The project was closed when Michael Jordan retired from basketball in 1993, only to be reopened in 1995 when Jordan returned to basketball.
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Simona Ventura is the Italian voice of Lola Bunny.
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Danny DeVito (voice of animated character Swackhammer, leader of the Nerdlucks/Monstars) later appeared in fellow Warner Bros. animated film Smallfoot (2018) 22 years later with LeBron James, who appeared alongside the Looney Tunes in Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) 25 years later.
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Charles Barkley is shown playing for the Phoenix Suns in the movie, but in reality he was playing for the Houston Rockets when the movie was released, since he was traded from Phoenix to Houston in August 1996.
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Michael Chapman replaced the original director of photography early in the shoot. Due to his experience with sports movies like Raging Bull (1980), and director Joe Pytka's relative inexperience, the latter would often defer to Chapman's judgment.
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This is a fictionalised account of what happened between Michael Jordan's retirement in 1993 and when he came back to playing basketball in 1995.
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According to Joe Pytka, it was difficult to get most actors involved with Space Jam due to its odd premise: "I mean, they're going to work with an animated character and an athlete are you serious? They just didn't want to do it."
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The Classic Animation faction of Warner Bros., which animated the commercials and was located in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, was originally planned to be the only company responsible for Space Jam. However, after only a week, the animation work was so complicated that Warner Bros. contacted more studios, including reassigning the Feature Animation division in Glendale from working on Quest for Camelot (1998) to Space Jam; ten of Classic Animation's members, including the production's animation director Tony Cervone, were taken out of the faction to become involved all throughout production, and development artists were reassigned to animating jobs, including supervising animator Bruce Woodside, who had little faith in the project: "Like so many other animators, I adore the classic Warner Bros. characters, but I really had little hope that tying them to the massive anchor of an apparently doomed marketing scheme could actually give them a successful second life in features." After Cervone was hired as animation director, Jerry Rees contacted Bruce W. Smith about being an animation supervisor on the film; Rees was fired by the time Smith joined, and Joe Pytka hired Smith to be another animation director. Before January 1996, when animation production was put into overdrive, none of the animators' drafts or concepts for how the film should look met with Ivan Reitman's approval; Bill Perkins joined that month as animation art director, and when first arriving at the Sherman Oaks division, "we only had around eight months to do about 52 minutes of animation" and "it was just kind of a little skeleton crew." Cervone highlighted Ivan Reitman's role as supervisor: "It started off as a string of gags with no structure, and he helped a lot with that." The drafting process involved the animators and artists using the original cartoons as references. Ultimately, they went with Robert Clampett's 1940s style of animation and design due to being wilder than Chuck Jones'.
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Production totaled around 19 months, with filming taking up ten of them; this was half the time of any other film of its kind. The animation was done at a very quick pace by more than 700 workers from 18 studios in London, Canada, California and Ohio, starting January 1996 by the recently joined producers Ron Tippe and Allison Abbate. In trying to track the huge amount work done at the 18 studios, Tippe hung stills of all the shots throughout the Feature Animation faction's hallways, with completed ones marked in red.
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Features about the film's production, including one from the official website, emphasized its state-of-the art computer technology when it came to its live-action/animation hybrid: "this film could have not been made two years ago," claimed animation director Tony Cervone in 1996. Due to its mixture of various art mediums as well as the "broad sense of humor and entertainment" unique to the Looney Tunes, Space Jam was considered an important part of diversifying the animation industry. The movie broke the record for amount of composited shots in a featured film - "roughly 1,043" according to producer Ron Tippe, as well as a record number of FX shots, with around 1,100 in a single 90-minute film. Independence Day (1996), released the same year, had 700 FX shots within two hours of screen time. Tippe claimed the film would have, at most, "multiple characters, multiple levels of effects and, in some cases, up to 70 elements" in one shot.
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One of the earliest animated productions to use digital technology. 2D animation and background layers were first done on paper before being scanned into Silicon Graphics Image files through Cambridge Animation Systems' software Animo; they were then sent to Cinesite via a File Transfer Protocol, for its animators to color and touch upon in Photoshop and composite into the shots. Unlike previous projects that used the Cineon digital film system, Cinesite were working with the quicker Inferno and Flame systems for Space Jam. The Holly render farm utilized for the film consisted of 16 central processing units, four gigabytes of shared memory, and took up one million dollars of the film's budget, "on top of which the deskside boxes had 256 megabytes of ram to splurge on whatever scene you needed to create and render," explained Jonathan Privett.
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For scenes that take place in the stadium, shortcuts were made. For crane shots of the crowd of 15,000 people in the final basketball sequence, it was created with live-action extras, cloned animated crowd members, and a few computer-generated characters walking around the aisles in the stadium. When these shots involved camera movements, a few 2D extras were animated to reflect the angle of the camera, but much lighting was added to distract from the crowd, thus minimizing this work. The reflections of the floor on the gym were also faked, as raytracing would've meant rendering it for four days per a few frames.
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The voice casting was very involved, as Ivan Reitman was serious about the voice actors for the established Looney Tunes characters being far better than Mel Blanc and not just replications. Joe Alaskey, one of Blanc's successors at Warner Bros. Animation, was put by Reitman through a set of auditions which lasted months until Alaskey got tired of waiting to be cast and backed out from the project despite that his agent was called up by Reitman to bring him back.
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The casting directors originally planned several voice cameos; however, that did not work out, and Danny DeVito ended up being the only celebrity voice actor in the film, as Mr. Swackhammer, who was originally planned to be played by Jack Palance.
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Ed Jones, who worked on the special effects for this movie also worked on Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). The same kind of effects were used, except with this movie it was done more digitally.
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Many of the shots in the film involving the Bulldog were shot on blue screen, and inserted in post-production along with the sound effects.
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The Looney Tunes arrive for an impromptu meeting at the Union Hall 839. The building contains a direct reference to the Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839.
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The film's opening daytime baseball scene was filmed at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama.
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Concept drawings and discussions between the animators and Joe Pytka about how the animation would be incorporated into the live-action shots took place on set during shooting, and re-writes to the script would be done daily. As an experienced commercial and music video director working on a sports film, Pytka took on fast, unlimited camera movements and Dutch angles; this challenged the animators that had to integrate their characters in the shots. To connect the real and animated worlds together, blue-screen shots of miniatures by Vision Crew Unlimited were used; these include a Christo-inspired interpretation of The Forum arena for exterior shots, city rooftops for a transition scene with a wide skyline view of Chicago serving as the chroma-keyed background, and space ship parts initially produced by Boss Film Studios for a Philip Morris advertisement.
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Co-producer Allison Abbate suggested the hurried workflow of the animators bled into the character animation, resulting in a quick-witted style the Looney Tunes cartoons are most known for.
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Although the animators had to work with almost 100 characters, they were the most focused on Bugs and Daffy not only because they were principal characters, but also because they were the most recognizable Warner Bros. characters to general audiences. Sculpting was incorporated the most on Bugs and Lola, including in "beauty shots" or sequences where Bugs and Lola are together. Perkins conceived the idea of the villains being secondary colors, as the main Looney Tunes were primary colors or brown.
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There was also a lot of experimentation with motion blur with the 2D characters, especially Tweety; as Simon Eves explained, "The workflow was that an artist would track some specific points on the sequence of 2D character-on-black that came from the animation house, and I think it was able to take a basic roto shape as well, and then it would generate an interpolated motion vector field which could be applied as a variable directional blur. The field would deform based on the relative motion of the tracking points on the camera, to produce more accurate blur as the character deformed."
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Before Wayne Knight was cast as Stan, Joe Pytka's initial choices were Michael J. Fox and Chevy Chase, whom he had worked with on Doritos commercials, but Warner Bros. rejected both actors.
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There were attempts to replace Michael Jordan's character with a more experienced actor, but "we couldn't find anyone better." The easiest actors to obtain were the NBA players, except for Gheorghe Muresan.
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Mr. Swackhammer was also planned to be a live-action character until the very final days of development, with Dennis Hopper possibly playing the role due to his friendship with director Joe Pytka.
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When Bill Murray tells Daffy that he's only there because he's a friend of the producer, Pound (The orange Monstar) can be seen in the background, and shakes his head in disgust when Murray mentions this.
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Bill Murray appears as Peter Venkman in the live-action Ghostbusters films. Maurice LaMarche (Pepé Le Pew), Kath Soucie (Lola Bunny) and Frank Welker (Charles the Dog) voiced Egon, Janine and Ray/Slimer on The Real Ghostbusters (1986). Billy West (Bugs Bunny) replaced Welker as Slimer on Extreme Ghostbusters (1997), though Welker and LaMarche did return as Ray and Egon. Also, Space Jam producer Ivan Reitman directed the first two Ghostbusters movies, for which editor Sheldon Kahn also served as editor.
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Originally, Swackhammer was going to be a live-action character 'til the final days of development.
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The characters had different layers of light and shadow on them to give them a 3-Dimensional effect.
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This is one of the first movies to be filmed on a virtual studio.
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At around 47:11 min, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck are watching Richard Simmons.
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The famous artwork painting "The Scream" by Edvard Munch can be seen in the background of the hospital behind the psychiatrist in the "Basketball Jones" hospital scene. the same picture is also seen again in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) in the "Paris Museum Art Gallery/Big Chase Through The Paintings" sequence.
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Cinesite had begun developing proprietary software for motion tracking when working on Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), which involved most of its shots incorporating a digital background; this made the company prepared for this film, which consists of a bunch of moving camera shots with 3D backgrounds to be added. The CGI backgrounds moved around with the motion trackers via Cinesite's proprietary software Ball Buster, which identified the markers through algorithm. To avoid mistakes in the visuals as much as possible, Cinesite artists worked on the film by frame instead of viewing each shot as a whole; those, such as Jonathan Privett were dissatisfied with the method, primarily because it put them under much pressure: "We much preferred the good old fashioned run-at-24-fps, just-as-the-viewer-sees-it approach."
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The design of the stadium was heavily dictated by that of the film's many characters, and it was such a long process that it went through 94 revisions, explained Cinesite digital effects supervisor Carlos Arguello: "Tasmanian Devil was brown so we couldn't have a wooden brown upper level, and there were so many colorful characters, and Michael Jordan and everybody had to look good in all the scenes."
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The third live-action and animation hybrid film to be rated PG by the MPAA, after Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and James and the Giant Peach (1996). But only the second featuring 2D animation, as James and the Giant Peach (1996) used stop-motion instead.
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Originally, Sofia Bunny was to return but was scrapped from the film and replaced with Lola Bunny due to Sofia being too similar-looking to Bugs.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

After the big game, Michael returns the talent to the pros from which they were stolen. In that scene, Mugsy says that the glowing ball that contains the talent looks like something out of Star Trek. Ironically Star Trek: First Contact (1996) was released in theaters the following week.
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The orange Monstar name pound, his rear behind was attacked twice, first Sylvester the cat use a fishing rod to catch his shorts and Daffy Duck painted as a target, and Toro the bull quickly hit him
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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