Top Ten Basketball Movies: #4

We are only a few days away from the start of our Basketball season! And to help kick things off I will be counting down the top 10 basketball movies over the next 10 days. This list is solely my opinion and I respect the fact that other fans of these movies may have a different order. Nevertheless these are still great movies about Basketball!

#4: Space Jam (1996)20121025-111633.jpg

Whether you remember this movie as a kid or you took your kids to see this movie I think it’s safe to say most people have seen this movie. It’s truly a remarkable movie in terms of how it was created, who was involved and when it was made.

Space Jam is the story of a rag tag group of aliens that have come to Earth to enslave the actual Looney Tunes. Bugs Bunny recognizes their lack of size and IQ and challenges them to a basketball game to decide their fate. These aliens wise up and start stealing powers from real NBA players like Shawn Bradley, Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley. After seeing the new and improved aliens (or MonStars) Bugs Bunny goes on a mission to find his own basketball help. During this period of time Michael Jordan had retired from the game of basketball and is pursuing a career in baseball to honor his passed Father. With the best basketball player to ever play the game playing baseball and having slipped under the radar of the MonStars, Bugs Bunny saw his chance. During a golf game with Larry Bird and Bill Murray, Michael Jordan is captured by Bugs Bunny and pulled into Looney Tune land. Jordan then is convinced to lace up the sneakers again and to play for the Looney Tunes (Tune Squad).

This movie holds a special place in my heart because I remember watching it as a kid. There is a timeless quality to this movie and it still holds up today. Not many people got to see Jordan play or even remember what the Jordan brand represents. I’d like to think of this movie as a fun way to share with my kids the story of the best basketball player that ever played.

But there are many other elements to this movie to admire. The technical aspect of combining live actors with computer animation and cartoons was a huge achievement back in 1996, and the end result is a seamless blend. It was also quite an accomplishment by the filmmakers to even get Michael Jordan to do this. Jordan was known worldwide for his basketball play but also his constant presence in the media, mostly in commercials. Jordan wasn’t in a lot of movies back then and he certainly wasn’t the main character in those movies. However he wasn’t just the main character in Space Jam, he was primarily the only live action actor. The majority of his scenes were on a green screen passing to imaginary cartoons! This movie also reaches classic status in the category of music. A lot of songs became popular with and because of the movie, like R Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly. The Space Jam Soundtrack is full of classic basketball tracks. And I’d be remiss if I actually never talked about the basketball from the movie. The main basketball game is entertaining while unbelievable since dealing with cartoon characters. But one of the most rewarding basketball elements was watching the NBA pros who lost their powers attempt to play and fit in with society. Seeing Charles Barkley get packed by a girl never gets old. Sorry Chuck.

Overall this movie holds a special place in my heart and I have fond memories associated with the film as I’m sure most of you do. There is a little bit of everything in this movie and its re-watch value is incredibly high with all the interesting cartoon characters and cameos throughout the movie. And who doesn’t love watching Bill Murray play basketball?
Fan Made Space Jam Trailer

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