Space Jam: A New Legacy, Lola Bunny's change and its impact

When Space Jam came out in the halls, in the now distant 1997, immediately caught the attention of the masses because of what represented. We are talking about a project, with a license plate Warner Bros, which not only fused together two worlds, but that he did it by exploiting a time of the story in which everyone's attention was directed to the man at the center of this film: Michael Jordan. We cannot, in fact, talk about this film, without underlining the fundamental importance of Michael's fame at the time and the legend that hovered around his name. His being one of the number one sportsmen in the world, his competitiveness and goals that he conquered during his career, they soon went beyond the limits of the sport in which he excelled, even reaching out to sectors well outside, and projecting his shadow up to shores still unreachable. Around all this, therefore, the operation originated commercial behind Space Jam, an operation that was preparing to bring a legend into contact i Looney Tunes (so Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, Duffie Duck…), in a challenge that would undoubtedly have nourished and excited children all over the world, and even their families. 

Now, in the 2021 un new project rises on the horizon, a project that has been waiting for a while and that is now finally beginning to reveal themselves to the general public: Space Jam: A New Legacy. At the base of the new film, curiously, it would seem there is the same reasoning that originated the previous one. This time at the center of it all we find a new legend LeBron James, who, like Michael years ago, will find himself in contact with the famous cartoon characters with one difference: the time which has inexorably passed.

The changes and the time that passes in the cinema 

As written above, they have passed since the first Space Jam many years, and obviously with them the public itself has changed. This change has occurred both at the level perceptive, both social. Now there are social media, now consumers have the opportunity to express direct opinions, which in certain circumstances can reach the ears of the "insiders". This dinamica socio-commercial completely unprecedented and alien to the past, it has already manifested its power not too long ago. Just think of the film by Sonic and the flood of negative opinions that the public launched on social networks against what was the design of the blue porcupine. At that juncture the masses inexorably won, conditioning the work of intent on the film, and pushing them to change what they didn't like.

This kind of direct contact we also see it in the world of Games, in which, even, certain developers target their own audience for direct the approach to one's work. So we find ourselves living in an era in which commenting on something is very easy, it turns out the most fast of all to be able to do, in which one's opinion can push and touch strings that were previously light years away and inaccessible, in which it can happen that the public itself judges and conditions something even before of its own release or publication. Certainly cinema, as well as the whole world of entertainment, is based on the public and its responses but… not only. The public opinion should be an added value to the vision of those who work personally in the sector itself, unless the priority is not exclusively to make money standardizing everything. If the approach is purely commercial then the public and its voice will be central, this is not discussed.

With this Space Jam: A New Legacy the aforementioned situation would seem tornare again to live, to breathe and even to disturb. With the publication of the first images some of the film aesthetic changes made to the character of Lola Bunny they have given the masses much to discuss, changes on which it remains interesting to try to weave a reflection.

The aesthetics of Lola Bunny in Space Jam

Lola Bunny he is not a character at all Central in the first Space Jam, she is seen to intervene in very few scenes, leaving room for other developments. Its characterization of the time recall clearly a models precise, like that of the lolita, or that of fatal woman unattainable and fascinatingly intangible. His is a character who plays much on these models, shaping an identity that is “attractive” (in limits of the context in which it is inserted, obviously) and at the same time inevitably stereotyped in his pose. Of course, it is still a looney tunes, it is still the '97, it is still a context in which no animated character was minimally deepened in a general lightness typical of the genre to which he belongs. Yet all this gave over the years to discuss, especially because of his aesthetics and the way of being: “Don't ever call me again… doll”.

The images revealed about Lola in this one new movie, in fact, they immediately gave from discuss on the Web. Her new aesthetic it is very different from that of the late nineties, it is much more sober with a'minor physical accentuation, thus completely eliminating the previous identification from the imagination of fans. Of course, the fact remains that we have not yet seen nothing directly outside the aforementioned images, we still know nothing about her in this new Space Jam, and therefore it does not detract from the fact that everything may have developed, and perhaps deepened, even at the level of writing. In any case, it remains a curious choice, a choice that was promptly made justified  by the director of the film himself Malcolm D. Lee, who stated: 

Lola [Bunny] was very sexualized, like Betty Boop put together with Jessica Rabbit. Lola was not politically correct… this is a children's film, why does it have a crop top? It seems unnecessary, but at the same time there is a long history behind this in the cartoons.

This is 2021. It is important to reflect the authenticity and strength of female characters. It probably has the most human characteristics of the Tunes; she doesn't have a carrot, she doesn't mumble and stammer strange things. So we reworked a lot of things, not just her look, but also making sure she's got proper length shorts and was feminine without being objectified, giving her a real voice to express herself. For us, it was about focusing on her athletic power, her skills as a leader, and making her a character like any other.

From these words, therefore, it is clear thatidentity of a choice that wants to place the character perhaps under one new light, not strictly related to his generally of belonging, but to the sport in which we will see her move and play. Curious, however, to see how not only the public has changed in his read this kind of products, but also the experts themselves, who, reading a certain type of dynamics and importance ofsuggested image they have chosen to completely detach themselves from the past, perhaps writing a completely new character. Is it still a right choice? How will all this be perceived by the public? Reflecting on the narrative dynamics of what is being created is undoubtedly important, as it is, after all, also not to do condition of the tastes of the masses, trying to go beyond gender stereotypes than in 2021 clash inevitably.

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