After years of people saying “LeBron James should make a sequel to Space Jam,” Warner Bros. is finally ready to release Space Jam: A New Legacy next month, finally continuing the beloved Space Jam saga with a story about… an evil computer program called Al-G Rhythm who traps LeBron James and his son in the internet and makes them play basketball with the Looney Tunes (seriously, that’s what the sequel is about?). That movie looks really weird, though, and if you’re not quite prepared for Al-G Rhythm and… Wet/Fire(?), Cartoon Network has some truly, truly brilliant counter-programming ready to go for this weekend: Teen Titans Go! See Space Jam, a new “original” movie about the characters from Teen Titans Go! watching Space Jam and making comments like Mystery Science Theater 3000. In the interest of preserving our reputation as pop culture critics with particularly high standards, we won’t say that this is the best idea anyone has ever had and that it makes every other idea in the history of ideas look like putrid trash, but it is a damn good idea.
Teen Titans Go! See Space Jam is also sort of a direct sequel to the original movie, with the villainous Nerdlucks (the little guys who turn into the Monstars) arriving on Earth for some presumably evil reason. Cyborg takes this as an excuse to make the other Titans watch Space Jam, which they take as an excuse to make dumb jokes and count how many times the camera makes a point to show someone’s butt. This might seem stupid and pointless to the uninitiated, as if Cartoon Network is just coming up with an excuse to squeeze some extra money out of both Teen Titans Go! and the original Space Jam, but we’re talking about a cartoon that dedicated an entire episode to teaching kids about equity and how rental properties work. This is a cartoon that spent part of its kid-friendly theatrical movie undoing and then redoing a number of superhero origin stories, meaning a scene where they prevent the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne is followed by a scene where they cause the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. This may be stupid and it may be pointless, but that doesn’t mean it won’t also be very fun, and possibly more fun than the Space Jam sequel.
Teen Titans Go! See Space Jam will air on Cartoon Network this Sunday, and it will be available to purchase on VOD services on July 27. It’ll be interesting to see how much of the original Space Jam is actually shown during this thing, since it’s weird to charge money for a movie about people watching another movie, but it can’t contain all of Space Jam anyway (since this is 80 minutes and Space Jam is 88 minutes). Also: Space Jam: A New Legacy star LeBron James was on an episode of Teen Titans Go! that was also an extended Scooby-Doo parody, because that’s the level of bizarre mash-up humor we’re working with here.