For the longest time, I've been a fan of Lola Bunny, as if that weren't obvious. Still am.
The Lola Bunny I saw in Space Jam
had poise and civility and charm. She carried herself in a way that I hoped my own daughter would emulate: that being polite and mannerly were "cool" traits. This, in opposition to those in-your-face types, who seem to be trying too hard to be noticed. Could they be compensating for something?
At one point, deviant ~Martiangirl made a comment on one of my submissions, detailing the reasons why Lola is widely regarded as a Mary Sue character. I think I can link to it: comments.deviantart.com/1/2044…
At first, I refused to believe it; classic chauvinism on my part. However, the evidence mounted. Space Jam
itself was made to showcase Michael Jordan. In effect, it was Warner Brothers studios displaying their hunting trophy. The whole movie plays out as one big kiss-up to him. Heck, they even built a basketball court and fitness room just for Jordan. And it was inspired by a series of commercials for Nike sneakers, instead of an actual story or screenplay. It took four writers and three producers to get this picture in the can.
During the process, someone in management decided this would be a good time to introduce Bugs Bunny's love interest. You know, that girl bunny character they'd had on the back burner for decades? Warner Brothers' answer to Minnie Mouse? Someone to prove that, despite his cross-dressing, Bugs Bunny isn't a flaming queer?
The animation staff wasn't thrilled by this decision. Honestly, there wasn't much enthusiasm to begin with, unlike with the great Disney films, or the Dreamworks Animation films. The perception in-house was that Space Jam
was just a lot of schlock
being slapped together just to put something in the theaters. And to top it off, management wanted to add a girl bunny character out of the blue? Yeah, *snort*, right.
Bruce Smith did his best to make a believable character. She underwent many, many revisions. The most well-known of these revisions came from McDonald's fast food franchise, when they rejected a design that made Lola look too young. "What, is Bugs Bunny a pedo
or something? Screw that idea; we're not marketing Happy Meal toys that promote pedophilia or prostitution." This is part of the reason Lola's "birth date" is listed as 15 November 1972: this makes her age 24 during Space Jam
However, it seems that as a Take That to the meddling executives, the production staff deliberately made Lola Bunny into a Mary Sue. This, in spite of Cal Arts animation courses advising students against
creating Mary Sue characters. When Lola Bunny made her debut, and fractured the Fan Base, the animators were likely questioned why they created such an unpopular character. Their response, of course, was blame-shifting: "Lola wasn't our idea, Chief. That was his
idea." And the stuffed suit who thought to add a girl bunny into an already overburdened movie was told to clean out his desk by 3:00.
So, giving credit where it's due: congratulations, Martiangirl. You called that one right. And as further proof, Tony Cervone, one of the animation directors on Space Jam
, used his power as one of the producers of The Looney Tunes Show
to reboot the Lola Bunny character as the exact polar opposite of her Space Jam persona
. And she's playing in Peoria very well, thank you. However, as a footnote, Bruce Smith, the creator of the original Lola Bunny, was later hired by Walt Disney studios to develop the villainous Doctor Facilier for The Princess and the Frog
So, happy birthday, Space Jam
Lola Bunny. A tiny few of us haven't forgotten you. You're rejected and discarded by the mainstream, but not forgotten.