Emperor's New Groove

Emperor's New Groove

4.6 28
Director: Mark Dindal

Cast: Mark Dindal, David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt


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A ruler learns how the other half lives -- the animal half, that is -- in this animated comedy-adventure from the Walt Disney Studios. Kuzco (voice of David Spade) is the young emperor of an Inca nation who takes a self-centered joy in the troubles of others. Not surprisingly, Kuzco's attitudes have earned the enmity of many of his subjects, including Yzma (voice of… See more details below


A ruler learns how the other half lives -- the animal half, that is -- in this animated comedy-adventure from the Walt Disney Studios. Kuzco (voice of David Spade) is the young emperor of an Inca nation who takes a self-centered joy in the troubles of others. Not surprisingly, Kuzco's attitudes have earned the enmity of many of his subjects, including Yzma (voice of Eartha Kitt), a sorceress who wants to seize power away from the emperor after he relieved her of her royal duties, declaring she was too old and unattractive to do the job. Yzma and her musclebound assistant Kronk (voice of Patrick Warburton) hatch a plan to poison Kuzco and take the throne, but thanks to a mistake on Kronk's part, Kuzco isn't killed -- he's instead turned into a talking llama. Kronk can't bring himself to kill the llama, and instead sends the former emperor into the jungle to fend for himself. Kuzco doesn't do too well as a llama until he runs into Pacha (voice of John Goodman), a poor farmer whose property Kuzco once planned to take over for a vacation home. Soft-hearted Pacha agrees to help the emperor-turned-llama find his way back home where, hopefully, another sorcerer can reverse the spell, but once they hit the road, they discover Yzma and Kronk are looking for them, with Yzma determined to finish the assassination she started. Pop star Sting composed several original songs for The Emperor's New Groove, which during its long and troubled production had previously been announced as Kingdom in the Sun and Kingdom of the Sun.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
If one views Disney as a sort of empire of children's animation, then it's not much of a stretch to assume that the emperor -- in the wake of the technically awesome but relatively laugh-free Dinosaur -- was in desperate need of a new groove. This feature, Disney's loosest, hippest, and funniest animated work since Hercules, certainly delivers on that in spades. Or rather, David Spade, whose smart-alecky vocal stylings give the young and arrogant emperor Kuzco plenty of snap. John Goodman is the voice of gentle giant Pacha, a peasant whose home is slated for demolition so Kuzco can build his summer palace, Kuzcotopia. The indefatigable Eartha Kitt is the voice of the "scary beyond all reason" Yzma, the most memorable (and funniest) Disney villain since James Woods's Hades. She schemes to kill Kuzco, but her plot backfires when her dense, scene-stealing sidekick Kronk (Patrick Warburton of The Tick) gives the unwitting Kuzco a potion that turns him into a llama instead. Kuzco gets Pacha to accompany him back to the castle to undo Yzma's spell, and they predictably must learn to rely on each other to survive. But getting there is all the fun. The songs by Sting are a bit of a letdown, but they are the only flat notes in this rollicking little gem. Reportedly, this offbeat buddy comedy began life as something more epic and dramatic. Fortunately, funnier heads prevailed.
All Movie Guide
The Emperor's New Groove was a curious anomaly for Disney; released in December, outside of the studio's regular blockbuster-per-summer schedule, without much fanfare or marketing muscle. It wasn't a very kid-friendly sell, almost totally lacking in cute animals and songs, and it stars a supercilious, bratty emperor (voiced by David Spade, natch) who repents his awful behavior far more gradually than your average reformed cartoon character. These characteristics undoubtedly contribute to its refreshing, adult-oriented charm, but what really distinguishes the film is not its story or dialogue, which are only mid-level clever. The grooviest thing is its angular, impressionistic animation, which is reminiscent of the studio's version of Hercules, but on acid. From the bat-like sorceress cackled by Eartha Kitt to the square-jawed numbskull voiced innocently by square-jawed Patrick Warburton, the animators delve deeply into their twisted side, using wild brush strokes to match drawings to character traits. The never-named setting and its landscapes are also replete with gnarled, jutting beauty. The film moves along quickly on a loopy succession of set pieces more than a developing story, and it doesn't need songs to bridge them, although Sting had written some that were mostly scrapped to his great displeasure when Disney decided to take the film in another direction. Despite a troubled production that featured periods when it might have been given a hip-hop edge, The Emperor's New Groove emerges as a sophisticated achievement in animation and one of Disney's more original films.
New York Times - Stephen Holden
On the surface, Disney's newest animated film looks and sounds like a poor second cousin to Dreamworks's far more splendiferous (but dreary) "Road to El Dorado." But once it hits its groove, so to speak, the new movie exhibits a cheeky effervescence and spunk that were conspicuously absent in its glittering dud of a predecessor...."The Emperor's New Groove," directed by Mark Dindal, shrewdly avoids pompous moralizing in favor of zany high jinks and snide, adolescent jokes, which Mr. Spade delivers with a typically smug twerpiness that suits the role just fine.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Walt Disney Video
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Special Features

Deleted scenes; The Emperor's Got Game: Help Kuzco get from Pacha's house back to the castle; Rascal Flatts Music Video: Learn to "Walk the Llama Llama," as featured on The Emperor's New Groove soundtrack; Sting's Making the Music Video: Featuring the Academy Award-nominated song "My Funny Friend and Me"; Behind the Scenes: A fast-paced tour of how the film was made; Audio commentary with the filmmakers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
David Spade Kuzko
John Goodman Pacha
Eartha Kitt Yzma
Patrick Warburton Kronk
Wendie Malick Chica
Kellyann Kelso Chaca
Eli Russell Linnetz Tipo

Technical Credits
Mark Dindal Director,Original Story
Roger Allers Original Story
Tim Chau Sound/Sound Designer
John Debney Score Composer
Paul Felix Production Designer
Randy Fullmer Producer
Don Hahn Executive Producer
David Hartley Score Composer,Songwriter
Patricia Hicks Associate Producer
Matthew Jacobs Original Story
Ruth Lambert Casting
Mel Metcalfe Sound Mixer,Sound/Sound Designer
Terry Porter Sound Mixer,Sound/Sound Designer
David Reynolds Screenwriter
Colin Simpson Art Director
Sting Score Composer,Songwriter
Mark Walton Original Story
Christopher Williams Original Story
Pamela Ziegenhagen-Shefland Editor
Dean A. Zupancic Sound Mixer,Sound/Sound Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Emperor's New Groove
1. "The Name Is Kuzco" [1:24]
2. Main Title ("Perfect World") [2:30]
3. Choosing a Bride [:35]
4. Pacha Arrives At the Palace [1:00]
5. The Emperor's Advisor [2:38]
6. Kuzcotopia [2:24]
7. Yzma's Revenge [:58]
8. "To The Secret Lab!" [1:18]
9. A Diabolical Dinner [4:21]
10. Finishing the Job [2:59]
11. Pacha Returns Home [3:35]
12. Demon Llama! [3:19]
13. Into the Jungle [2:03]
14. Pacha to the Rescue [4:51]
15. The Transition of Power [1:47]
16. Bad Dreams [:40]
17. An Apparent Change of Heart [1:53]
18. Battle At the Bridge [5:31]
19. In Hot Pursuit [2:38]
20. Mudka's Meal Hut [6:32]
21. A Llama Alone [1:03]
22. Good News [:57]
23. Friends, Finally [:13]
24. Playtime At Pacha's [2:05]
25. The Chase [3:16]
26. The Final Showdown [1:05]
27. A Whole New Groove [8:08]
28. End Credits ("My Funny Friend and Me") [2:19]

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