Space Jam: A New Legacy is a stand-alone sequel to 1998’s Space Jam. Like the original, this sequel is a mix of live action and animation, starring NBL player LeBron James and Warner Bros original Looney Tunes characters, including Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Daffy Duck and so on.
In this reboot, LeBron James (playing himself) and his 12-year-old son, Dom (Cedric Joe), are having some relationship issues. Dom is a talented video game designer, and he has created a very popular basketball video game. LeBron isn’t impressed and can’t understand why Dom doesn’t play real basketball.
On a trip to the Warner Brothers studios, LeBron and Dom are sucked into the Warner Bros computer server by a rogue AI called AI-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle). AI-G Rhythm wants to trap LeBron in the server forever but offers LeBron and Dom the chance to return to real life, if LeBron can defeat his son in a basketball match. The catch is that the match will be played according to the rules of Dom’s video game version of basketball.
LeBron is sent off to the Looney Tunes planet to assemble a basketball team and prepare for the game. Meanwhile AI-G Rhythm coaches Dom to create the meanest and most talented line-up of digital basketball players that he can. Dom has no idea that if he wins, he and his father will be stuck in the server forever.
When it’s finally time for the game, the stakes are suddenly higher than they originally thought.
Basketball; gaming; father and son relationship; media; digital privacy; artificial intelligence; classic cartoons
Space Jam: A New Legacy has some violence. For example:
- There’s a lot of slapstick cartoon violence. Characters fall into canyons, crash into walls, get blown up by TNT dynamite, and so on.
- There are many scenes that show characters firing or being threatened by laser guns. There are some scenes with firearms.
- Some bullets travel in slow motion while Speedy Gonzales leaps over them.
- Granny Karate does martial arts moves.
- AI-G Rhythm throws a chair in anger and smashes things.
There are no sexual references in Space Jam: A New Legacy.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Space Jam: A New Legacy shows some use of substances. For example:
- Granny sips from a martini glass and pours herself another glass from a bottle she has hidden away.
- Bugs Bunny gets ‘drunk’ on carrot juice.
Nudity and sexual activity
There is no nudity and sexual activity in Space Jam: A New Legacy.
The following products are displayed or used in Space Jam: A New Legacy:
- Warner Bros products including Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, The Matrix, King Kong, and The Iron Giant are featured relentlessly, even though Space Jam: A New Legacy is a children’s movie. It’s possible that children are being primed to be future consumers of Warner Bros products.
- Other featured brands and products include Nike, Nintendo, Siri and Apple.
There is some mild coarse language in Space Jam: A New Legacy, including ‘butt, ‘loser’, ‘stupid, ‘What in the Hell?’ and ‘Shut up!’
Ideas to discuss with your children
Space Jam: A New Legacy is a light movie that’s likely to appeal mostly to children aged 8-10 years, especially those who like basketball and/or video games. The seamless mix of animation, live-action and CGI is quite impressive, and there’s enough humour and nostalgia to keep adults interested.
LeBron James is great in the lead role, not only as a basketball player but also a loving father who must learn how to be a good dad. Many children will be able to empathise on some level with Dom’s frustration that his dad just doesn’t understand his passions.
But Space Jam: A New Legacy also blatantly and constantly cross-promotes other Warner Bros products, some of which are unsuitable for children – for example, the R-rated TV series Game of Thrones.
The main message from Space Jam: A New Legacy is that everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Someone else’s talents might not be the same as ours, but that doesn’t mean they’re less valuable.
Values in Space Jam: A New Legacy that you could reinforce with your children include:
- learning to appreciate other people’s talents
- standing up for your own dreams and desires
- being honest and true to yourself and others.
Space Jam: A New Legacy could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like digital privacy violations, which are raised by the character of AI-G Rhythm. This could be a great opportunity to discuss online privacy with your children.