The Emperor's New Groove

"Very Good"

The Emperor's New Groove Review


I'll be the first to admit I didn't expect much from The Emperor's New Groove: More Celine Dion-esque song-and-dance numbers, cuddly characters that become cross-promotion devices in McDonald's Happy Meals, and Hollywood stars trying to gain credibility by adding a voice-over job to their resume.

I was dead wrong about all of those things.

The Emperor's New Groove is funny. Damn funny. And the cute characters in the film are the dangerous ones. The script is fast and furious, with no singing and dancing. The animation is clean and would give Walt a warm feeling all over. The humor is dry and aimed at both the cynicism and the goodness in all of us. The story is ridiculously weird and comes off as a strange acid trip involving talking, cross-dressing llamas and schizophrenia.

Here's the plot; try to follow along. Set in a mythical kingdom, the film follows the adventures of Kuzco (David Spade), an arrogant and egocentric emperor. When Kuzco fires his power-hungry advisor, Yzma (Eartha Kitt), she and her "assistant" Kronk (Seinfeld's Patrick Warburton) change him into a llama. Kuzco then gets stranded in the jungle and must rely on Pacha (John Goodman), a llama-herder whose home was to be replaced by Kuzco's Water World Theme Park, to save him. Then the fun starts.

For the next sixty minutes, the audience is treated to something unheard of in Disney films these days: Imagination. Yzma, voiced by the talented singer Eartha Kitt, looks like a cross between Norma Desmond, Joan Crawford, and a really old Vegas showgirl. The dialogue between her and her oblivious assistant Kronk is quick, sharp, and feels like an episode of Seinfeld (which would make sense). David Spade and John Goodman's character interactions make you feel like you're watching an old Hope/Crosby film. Spade is beyond dry with his humor and shoots below the belt on several occasions, and I laughed out loud several times. Needless to say, that is an extremely rare thing in Disney screenings these days.

The best part about The Emperor's New Groove is how audacious the film is. The sheer weirdness factor is very high. Cross-dressing, schizophrenia, duality of soul, people being turned into every animal on Noah's boat, llama CPR, homoerotic tendencies, an Emperor with his own theme song and singer, Michael Jackson dance moves, and a guy that can communicate with a squirrel are only a few of the oddities that make the film a true orginal.

Simply put, The Emperor's New Groove is one of the best children's films out for this holiday season. Kids will enjoy the adventures, and parents will enjoy the story and dialogue. That's a tough thing to pull off in a single package, but this Emperor manages to do it.

The Ultimate double-disc DVD release of the film goes it one better, with an audio commentary track and a goofy trivia game on disc one, and an in-depth making-of track on disc two (a la the DVD for A Bug's Life) that also includes a few roughed-out deleted scenes. Perhaps most interesting is seeing the evolution of Groove from an oh-so-serious flick called Kingdom of the Sun to its eventual end product. Fair warning -- the second disc takes forever to switch between menus and video, so you may be watching for quite a while...

The New Groove edition is basically a stripped-down version of the two-disc set with a full disc of extras taken out of it.

Cuidado, llamas!



The Emperor's New Groove

Facts and Figures

Run time: 78 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th December 2000

Box Office USA: $87.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $169.3M

Budget: $100M

Distributed by: Buena Vista Pictures

Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Feature Animation

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Fresh: 108 Rotten: 19

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Mark Dindal

Producer:

Starring: as Kuzco, Michael Herbig as Kuzco, as Patcha, Reinhard Brock as Patcha, as Yzma, as Yzma, as Kronk, Thomas Amper as Kronk, as Chicha, Pacha's Wife, Kellyann Kelso as Chaca, Pacha's Daughter, Eli Russell Linnetz as Tipo, Pacha's Son, as Theme Song Guy, Stephen J. Anderson as Stephen J. Anderson, as Bucky the Squirrel, Patti Deutsch as Waitress, as Old Man

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.