In all the hubbub around the new looks at Space Jam: A New Legacy yesterday, you might have missed something. The sequel isn’t just taking place in the world of Looney Tunes, but in the wider Warner Bros. Intellectual Property-verse, where LeBron James needs to track down the Tune Squad team. Now we have our first confirmed connection, and it’s just Wonder-ful.
In another interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Malcolm D. Lee confirmed that when James meets Lola Bunny, it’ll be on DC’s Amazonian island of Themyscira, as seen in the recent Wonder Woman movies. “We wanted to meet her with the Amazons, trying to find greener pastures for herself,” Lee explained. “As she says in the movie, there’s more to her than just being a Tune.”
This is extremely wild, extremely good, and extremely part of A New Legacy’s attempt to desexualize Lola Bunny, who was oversexualized in the original Space Jam. That film introduced her as a midriff-baring, hip-wiggling sexpot so hot that Bugs Bunny became horny to the point of his entire body going stiff as a literal board. Even Tweety Bird had to comment upon her arrival, “She’s hot!” Now, certainly, “kid-friendly” cartoons like Looney Tunes have a long history of including highly sexualized female characters, all the way back to Betty Boop in the 1930s. But it’s 2021, and we don’t need to have kids’ entertainment implicitly tell girls they should be dressing a certain way.
“It’s important to reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters,” according to Lee, who continued, “So we reworked a lot of things, not only her look, like making sure she had an appropriate length on her shorts and was feminine without being objectified, but gave her a real voice. For us, it was, let’s ground her athletic prowess, her leadership skills, and make her as full a character as the others.”
This sounds like a major upgrade on its own, even if we don’t get scenes of Lola literally riding alongside General Antiope (Robin Wright) into battle. There will, of course, be legions of the character’s lascivious fans who will disagree, and loudly proclaim that they deserve to see a sexy cartoon rabbit that makes them horny. To these people, I have a solution: Go to Google Image Search, and type in “lola bunny.” You don’t even need SafeSearch off! Your “needs” have already been well taken care of.
For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.