Happy 18th Birthday, Space Jam!
That's right! The cinematic masterpiece (which totally holds up!) was released November 15, 1996. The greatest sports movie about aliens battling Looney Tunes ever made is officially a grown-up. And, how appropriate, because it's this very film which taught so many of us how to be an adult.
We're probably going to have a president someday who attributes his or her success to that opening scene of a little boy shooting hoops to an R. Kelly song. It's just a matter of time!
You may have forgotten the profound impact this celestial sports wonder had on our lives, but there are a lot of life lessons that are with us today, thanks to Michael Jordan's greatest career accomplishment:
1. Do whatever the hell you want: MJ is a basketball legend, but this film opens with him retiring from the sport at the height of his career to play baseball. Bad choice? Some may say that. But you know what? MJ never would have gotten sucked down a hole at a golf course to play monster aliens at basketball if he hadn't done that. It's like what Robert Frost says about taking the road less traveled...if that road is in fact a sh--ty minor league baseball career that leads to you dunking on Monstars. So the moral is, like, you do you!
2. Don't take yourself too seriously: That Charles Barkley Madonna dig thooooo...! Life's short, and you should be able to laugh about it. A group of super-accomplished NBA stars, who can't act worth a damn, starred in a cartoon movie because they wanted to. Like Vanilla Ice spitting hot fire on a joint about Ninja Turtles, you should find ways to make your life fun. There are enough obligations to fill your time, do what you can to make each of them a party.
3. Only dish it if you can back it up: You see this Monstar talking mad smack? His bare ass gets exposed during a basketball game because he dared throw shade at MJ and Bugs Bunny. Healthy competition is fine, but only s--t talk if you can back it up.
4. Be your own advocate: Speaking of having mad skillz, Space Jam introduces us to the character of Lola Rabbit, the fiercest anthropomorphic female rabbit to ever grace the big screen. And even though Bugs Bunny tries to objectify her looks, she goes hard in the paint to prove the team would be lucky to have her playing for them. You have to fight for you, because no one else will. And if you'd like to do that while wearing bunny booty shorts, go 'head with your bad self!
5. Dream big: Your imagination is a powerful tool. The greatest basketball player of all time makes his best game-winning dunk when he believes that he can do it. Self-imposed limitations do you no favors. And when you're done doing that, get dropped off at your baseball game in a giant, animated spaceship, because that's a baller move.
6. Bill Murray makes everything better: This still counts as a life lesson, right? Bill Murray is a god among men, popping in at random moments, to make everything wonderful. Of course he manages to steal a movie filled with amazing cameos, from Wayne Knight to Larry Bird, because he's Bill G-D Murray! He drops the best one-liners, wows on the court, and gets referred to as Dan Aykroyd. We are on board! The greatest Space Jam lesson here may be that we will all spend our entire lives trying to be half as cool as that guy.