U.S.—If you want to know if something's true, the first place you should go is Snopes.com. Snopes has an impeccable record, never having gotten any facts wrong and definitely not showing any bias when it comes to fact-checking fake news, hoaxes, and satire.
So it was really helpful when Snopes recently published a fact check on a 1996 basketball documentary that confused a lot of people: Space Jam. The movie was supposed to be an accurate depiction of Michael Jordan's career when he quit to play baseball, but apparently, it got some key facts wrong.
"Did Michael Jordan get sucked into a cartoon world to help Bugs Bunny win a basketball game in 1996?" the article read.
That's what we and everyone else wanted to know, the question that has bugged us all these years.
Thankfully, Snopes slapped the claim with its patented red "X" and the word "False."
To find out whether this claim was true, a Snopes investigator put on a detective hat, tucked his magnifying glass into his trench coat pocket, and went straight to the source: Warner Bros. studios, the production company that filmed the supposedly factual documentary. The reporter went up to the guard booth and demanded that the security guy give him information on whether or not Space Jam was accurate.
"Did Michael Jordan play against the Monstars to win the Looney Tunes' freedom in 1996!?" the reporter screamed as the guard hauled him off the Warner Bros. lot and tossed him onto the sidewalk. "I'll get to the bottom of this, you fiends! You won't get away with it!"
Then, the Snopes writer scaled the movie studio walls and sneaked through several soundstages, looking for the smoking gun.
Finally, there it was: an old script for Space Jam sitting around in the archives. Security pounced at that very moment, but the investigator was ready with some pocket sand and managed to escape with the script. After losing his pursuers, the modern-day Dick Tracy looked it over. Sure enough, it appeared the entire plot, dialogue, and even special effects for the film had been faked.
"I knew it---I KNEW IT!" he cried to the heavens.
According to the Snopes detective, it goes "all the way to the top."
"It's not just Space Jam," he said excitedly as he gestured at a bunch of newspaper clippings connected by pieces of yarn on his office wall. "It's everything---it's faked! It's all faked! Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Batman, even Lord of the Rings---it's all done with special effects and cameras. Smoke and mirrors, it's all smoke and mirrors."
"And that case... is closed," he added, shutting his briefcase dramatically before staring pensively out the window while filling the room with raspberry-scented vape smoke.