Space Jam: Shameless Corporate Product, Or Sacred Creation Myth?

Everyone knows the timeless tale of Space Jam, in which our Lapine and human friends join forces to ward off the Moron Mountain Monstars. But does it have anything to do with the Mayans' most holy text? One scholar says...maybe.

It's the work of Michal Brody, a professor of Mayan linguistics at a Mexican university. I mean, the comparison goes without saying; surely you're just as familiar with the Popol Vuh, a centuries-old account of the Mayans' mythological narratives. But just in case you need to brush up, here's a taste of the similarities.

Consciously or unconsciously, the film's writers have developed a narrative in which a pair of heroes (Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan) 1) are summoned to play a high-stakes underworld ball-game against a variety of frightening villains, 2) manage to defeat those villains through the heroes' summoning of extra-human ability, and 3) ascend from the underworld with a glowing orb, all of which occur in the Popol Vuh...Brody also shows that the well-known phonetic irregularities of, e.g., Daffy Duck and Sylvester are quite analogous to those of ancestral characters in a variety of native cosmologies.

Right now you might be saying to yourself, how trustworthy can Brody be if she went to school for god knows how many years to get her Ph.D and is working at a Mexican college? And you wouldn't be wrong. But this isn't beyond the realm of possibility.

After all, isn't Cool Runnings the same archetypal fish out of water story as Moses among the Egyptians? Isn't Rudy a poorly disguised Christ figure? And isn't Celtic Pride clearly just a word-for-word retelling of the Necronomicon, by the "Mad Arab" Abdul Alhazred?

Space Jam As Sacred Mayan Text? [Chicagoist]