Zendaya’s involvement in a new movie was met by skepticism from fans of the franchise. In April, it was announced that the actress was set to be the voice of Lola Bunny in the hotly anticipated film, Space Jam: A New Legacy.
Last weekend, a new clip featuring Lola emerged on Twitter, and users had many opinions about the cartoon rabbit’s voice.
Overall, many alluded to there being a general feeling of wrongness in hearing Zendaya’s voice come out of Lola Bunny’s mouth. One Twitter user expressed that just because Zendaya is famous doesn’t mean she is fit for the role.
“So, did we learn nothing from Beyoncé as Nala? Is it hard to cast actual voice over artists or actors who understand the characters their already familiar with ie Kristen Wig or Kath Soucie? Celebrities can’t be the answer to every voice role just because they’re celebrities.”
A fan of the former Disney star agreed, saying, “Just look at the clip without any sound,” they said. “Really take in how you would expect the voice to sound based on the animation and how the character moves and expresses herself….then play the sound. It’s actually a little jarring. Absolutely respect Zendaya, but this is just not it :(.”
Another user agreed, responding with, “Exactly. Without the visuals this sounds like Zendaya in an interview over zoom. Where’s the animation in her voice? It doesn’t even sound like she’s playing a character.”
One person commenting was decidedly neutral about the clip, noting that there may be some technical issues affecting the footage as well.
“I don’t really like it. Or hate it. She doesn’t sound as animated as Lola looks in the clip. (Which is not good) also idk if it’s just me but the lip syncing looks weird. Like the audio is very slightly delayed a bit, makes the whole thing feel weirder and less fitting.”
Zendaya joins NBA star LeBron James as he searches for his youngest son while trapped in Serververse, a virtual space ruled by a rogue A.I. named Al-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle), according to the synopsis shared on Twitter by Final Space writer Ben Mekler. James must save his son and get them home safely by leading the Looney Tunes “to win a basketball match against Al-G’s digitized champions on the court, the Goon Squad: a team of powered-up virtual avatars of professional basketball stars.”
The cast, along with James, Cheadle and Zendaya, includes NBA players Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Draymond Green, and Kyle Kuzma, and WNBA player Chiney Ogwumike in cameo appearances. Space Jam: A New Legacy is set to release on July 16, 2021, both in theaters and on HBO Max for a month after its theatrical release.