Lola Bunny will no longer be “sexualised” in the Space Jam sequel, its director has confirmed.
The anthropomorphic rabbit was introduced in the original 1996 Space Jam as a tough, basketball-playing love interest for Bugs Bunny.
While Lola quickly became one of the film’s most popular characters, and has decorated fashion items and appeared in various Looney Tunes cartoons in its wake, her design has occasionally been criticised.
In the film she is drawn to have an hourglass figure and breasts, with Space Jam animators initially concerned she was too much of a “tomboy” in earlier designs. “We kind of pumped her up more in the feminine attributes department,” animator Tony Cervone said in 1996.
The Space Jam sequel, titled A New Legacy, has “reworked” the character, according to its director Malcolm D Lee.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Lee said he was caught off guard by how “very sexualised” Lola Bunny was in the original film.
“This is 2021,” he explained. “It’s important to reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters.”
In the sequel, Lola Bunny wears a baggy sports jersey instead of a tight sports bra. Changes have also been made to her chest.
Space Jam: A New Legacy stars basketball champion LeBron James, who gets trapped in a computer simulation where he interacts with traditional Looney Tunes characters.
James, who has also produced the film, replaces Michael Jordan, who starred alongside Bugs Bunny in the original movie.
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trialSign up
Space Jam: A New Legacy will be released in the US on 16 July, with a UK release yet to be announced.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies