The Emperor's New Groove
- Mark Dindal
- Reviewed by
- a.k.a. Coffee
- Review date
- Wednesday, April 11, 2001
Now that I’ve confessed I’ll tell you how I got to see The Emperor’s New Groove, because actually it was quite a coincidence and I probably wouldn’t have seen it under “normal” circumstances. My excuse goes a little something like this: Jacinda and myself usually go to see a movie once a week (in case that sounds nutty to you ask some of the other critics here what they do in their free time and you’ll be shocked, hehe). She usually does our “schedule” e.g. she plans what picture we’ll see next and what theatre is available. Last week we went to see Snatch and I’d already decided to write a review about it since I like Guy Ritchie and was eager to see whether he’d come up with something interesting. When we entered the theatre we were sourly disappointed however. The show was practically sold out and the people were making a lot of noise and most weren’t really paying attention to the movie (something we habitual movie freaks LOATHE). Anyway, we decided that we’d just give The Emperor’s New Groove a shot which was showing in the theatre across the hallway. We sneaked into the other theatre (which wasn’t too difficult because at that multiplex your tickets are only checked at the entrance and they don’t really care very much where you go after that) and found our seats just in time for the beginning of the show.
Now that I’ve walked you through this lengthy prologue, let’s concentrate on the movie!
The plot is Disney material from start to finish. Kuzco (voice by David Spade) is the young emperor of an ancient South-American kingdom and spends his days with little in mind except his own pleasure. When he fires his suspicious advisor Yzma, the strange old hag schemes to murder him and when he is instead transformed into a llama chaos erupts...
The Emperor comes along fresh, light and with a lot of self irony. The visual style reminds more of the older Disney flicks and the character of Yzma (voice by Eartha Kitt) looks pretty much like the Aztec version of Cruella de Vil from 1961’s 101 Dalmatians. A fact that is also remarkable is the lack of music. While previously Disney has always focussed on producing animated musicals this time the concept is clearly that of a comedy that is based rather on witty dialogues than on sing-along songs. Although at it’s core the movie does have an educational message (show me a Disney picture without and I’ll show you a mouse with three ears) it is conveyed not half as forcefully and blunt as it has been done in the past.
The fast pace of the film together with a good dose of self-irony and the hilarious characters (most notable: Kronk, voice by Patrick Warburton) makes it an entertaining flick for kids and grown-ups alike... unless you’re an all-grumpy, cynical mouse-hater who’s banished all memory of your childhood from your mind ;-)
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