How Sneakers And The Looney Tunes Crossed Over-Foot World UK

How Sneakers And The Looney Tunes Crossed Over

After 25 years of struggle, legal wrangling and constant rewrites, the long-awaited sequel to one of the most nostalgic films of the 1990s finally released in mid-July 2021.
 
Space Jam: A New Legacy, much like the original 1996 film, is set to start not only a basketball legend but also his signature shoes, in this case, the Lebron 19s.
 
However, whilst so much is still discussed about the original Michael Jordan epic, it seems to have been forgotten that the original star of the film and the reason Space Jam even exists is because of His Airness’ rare Jordans for sale.
 
Here is the story of how sneakers, the tumultuous life of history’s greatest basketball player and Bugs Bunny all came together.
 
Hare Jordan
 
Warner Bros Animation, and by extension their flagship flock of characters the Looney Tunes, were in a somewhat strange position in the early 1990s.
 
Disney had navigated from nearly cancelling their animation department to some of the most successful and beloved films in history, even getting a Best Film nomination for 1991’s Beauty and the Beast.
 
Warner Bros, by comparison, were somewhat floundering, with the last major appearance of their flagship character being, ironically, a brief and carefully negotiated cameo in the Disney-produced 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
 
They instead focused on television, with Tiny Toon Adventures proving to be a hit for the old characters and leading to Nike gaining interest in showcasing Bugs Bunny in a pair of their adverts.
 
The ads in question, Hare Jordan and Aerospace Jordan, were fraught with issues due to Warner Bros being reluctant to modernise the rabbit for modern audiences, but the success of the adverts showed that there was still life in the old characters.
 
This led to a film being greenlit in 1993 starring the world’s greatest basketball player, right on the cusp of three-peating, and one of the world’s most famous cartoon characters, right up until it wasn’t.
 
Reality Steps In
 
In October 1993, right as the 1993-94 NBA season was set to start, Michael Jordan retired from basketball, partly due to burnout, partly to the pressures associated with his celebrity status (and the allegations of gambling that happened at the time) but primarily due to the murder of his father James.
 
This shocked the sports world, but not quite as much as when he joined the Chicago White Sox, a baseball team owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Bulls, and planned to live out his father’s dream of being a Major League Baseball player.
 
For many kids who watched Space Jam, especially over two decades later, the idea that MJ would suddenly start playing baseball was seen as an invention by the film but it actually happened and scuppered the film for two years.
 
However, he could never stay away long, and sure enough, MJ sent a press release with those two words every fan wanted and every NBA player feared: “I’m Back.”
 
Once MJ was back and winning championships again, the script almost wrote itself, and because of this became a surprisingly charming family film about Michael’s conflict about leaving the sport that made him and his sneakers so famous, mixed with a lot of cartoon slapstick.
 
Whether this 2021 retread of the idea will work as well remains to be seen, but the fact that the original Space Jam, its charmingly baffling premise, its bizarre colourways and ancient website are still so fondly regarded shows that it does have a chance of enduring.

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