20 years ago this month, ‘Space Jam’ hit US cinema screens. An instant hit, the Looney Tunes-basketball mashup became the third highest grossing sports film of all time. It made a movie star out of NBA legend Michael Jordan, and evolved from a run of the mill blockbuster into a cult classic for ’90s kids. What hasn’t changed since its release though, is the film’s archaic website. Go to SpaceJam.com today and you’ll find the same sparkly background and gimmicky logos that greeted fledgling web-surfers back in 1996.
That’s right, ‘toon fans of yesteryear can still sample the delights of:
‘Jam junk galore’
Up to date movie news…
‘Cool links and hijinx!’
And of course…
A detailed ‘site map’, because people in 1996 obviously weren’t compos mentis enough to navigate a basic website on their own without getting lost.
Contrary to logical thought, SpaceJam.com was actually “a nightmare” to build, according to the design team.”No one had really done web development to that point,” says the site’s creator Dara Lynn-Weiss. Beset by image rights problems and most company execs’ lack of patience with the Internet, the team met with “a lot of resistance” when trying to get the web address put on the movie poster.
Thankfully, the plucky web designer somehow still managed to find the process “very exciting”. Which is lucky, because nobody else did. “The job was awesome, but the drawback was that no one cared what we did,” she told Rolling Stone. “We got very little attention. My friends had no idea what I did for a living because they weren’t online yet.” Shame.
‘Space Jam’ the movie continues to attract new fans to this day, even if its pioneering website never did.