RIP SpaceJam.com, 1996-2021

For over a decade, a perfect time capsule of the internet’s initial promise and eternal jankiness existed in the ether, never changing. But like all things, death has finally come for the original Space Jam website.

Since 1996, the URL “SpaceJam.com” has returned a website offering the latest news and information about the 1996 movie Space Jam, starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. This was a useful website in 1996, when I was seven years old and looking for information on what was sure to be the greatest movie of all time. But unlike what I would go through in the last 25 years, the Space Jam website remained unchanged during that entire time. 

The original Space Jam website, which offered a download for a Space Jam screensaver for Windows 95, has been a refuge for anyone who tires of websites that actually update with new information over time. It was emblematic of a specific type of early web design that existed in the mid 90s and decidedly does not exist anymore, except on the Wayback Machine and other internet archives. But, for decades, SpaceJam.com stayed, unchanging and beautiful.

It was a factoid that I, and I am sure many other people, used to impress potential paramours in college. The fact that it had never been updated—not even for significant milestones, like anniversaries of the movie’s opening—is rare on an internet where any and everything has been commodified for potential sale. Hell, people even anticipated the movie getting a sequel, and have bought the URL “SpaceJam2.com.” If you go to that site right now, you can buy a jam that looks like space (it also has a helpful page for anyone who might want to buy that URL).

All that has changed with the trailer for a new Space Jam movie, this time starring Lebron James and for some reason the guys from A Clockwork Orange alongside Bugs Bunny and his friends. Now if you go to SpaceJam.com, you will see a new trailer for a new movie, with new marvels within for children who are curious about what happens when a duck and a bunny play basketball. Thankfully, Warner Brothers have archived the original website at “SpaceJam.com/1996,” where you can still download a trailer for the original movie. To quote the original Space Jam site, “It’s 7.5 megs, it’s Quicktime, and it’s worth it.”

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