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Zendaya’s Lola Bunny Voice In ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Has Inspired A Lot Of Bizarrely Passionate Reactions

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Space Jam: A New Legacy has strangely become the most controversial movie of the year — and that was before we heard Lola Bunny speak.

On Sunday, ESPN released a Space Jam-inspired parody of its 30 For 30 series, “The Bunny & The GOAT,” featuring LeBron James, Bugs Bunny, and the rest of the Toon Squad, including Lola. Bugs’ “female merchandising counterpart” has a revised look in the sequel because she was “very sexualized” in the original film, according to director Malcolm D. Lee. He wanted to make her more “politically correct… This is a kids’ movie, why is she in a crop top? It just felt unnecessary, but at the same time there’s a long history of that in cartoons.” Surprisingly, the discussion around the “The Bunny & The GOAT” video has nothing to do with Lola’s appearance. It’s about the way she sounds.

This is emblematic of a larger discussion about animated movies shifting away from experienced voice actors in favor of big-name celebrities ever since Robin Williams played Genie in Aladdin; it was later solidified with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz in Shrek. They all did a great job, and Zendaya, who rules, might kill it too, even if she’s no Kath Soucie. It’s unfair to make a judgement based on a six-minute YouTube video (there’s a tinniness to her VO that hopefully won’t be in the movie).

The Emmy-winning Euphoria star already has her defenders:

But what I find fascinating is how much of a hot button issue the freaking Space Jam sequel has become. First, it was about something something cancel culture; now it’s strangers getting mad at each other because a cartoon bunny doesn’t sound the way they think a cartoon bunny should sound. Maybe it’s good A New Legacy is being released on HBO Max — think of all the in-theater fights that will be prevented.

Space Jam: A New Legacy comes out on July 16.

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