on July 7, 2003
"The Emperor's New Groove" is a unique film in the vaults at Disney. It plays with the audience instead of in front of the audience, and the burning sarcasm of the emperor's character isn't found in any other Disney flick. Unfortunately, this movie seems to be cursed by the idea that any Disney movie has to be done on a grand scale and end with some great moral truth. Why can't a Disney movie just be fun?
"The Emperor's New Groove" doesn't seem to draw as much attention as other Disney fare. It just kind of quietly appeared and then went away. That's a shame. It got the same treatment from Disney that a lot of their direct-to-video/DVD movies received. At least "Hercules" got headlines for its bad, although undeserved, reviews. "Hercules" has always been erroneously treated like a red-headed stepchild compared to other Disney movies, "The Emperor's New Groove" is treated like an abortion. You rarely here anything about this film. Like "Hercules," it doesn't fit the bill as a standard Disney movie. It doesn't try to force it's morals upon you, and you won't be enlightened by any of the dialogue, but you will laugh. Kids will love it for the emperor-turned-llama silliness and adults will love it for the relationship between Spade and John Goodman. Eartha Kitt is glorious as Yzma, the villain in this tale. Patrick Warburton is perfect as Kronk, her sidekick.
Spade talks directly to the viewer as he narrates his tale, and makes sure throughout that you know the story is about him, and no one else. There is also a lot of adult humor in the film as well, much like in "Hercules."
So, this movie is a fun-time film. You won't be sorry to watch it, and your kids will love it as well. They may not be drawn to the characters as much as they would to a Belle, Snow White, or Simba, but they will enjoy this story. So will you.
on June 4, 2003
The Emperor's New Groove is a hilarious tale of a spoiled Emperor by the name of Kuzco, who fires his long-time advisor, Yzma ("living proof dinosaurs once roamed the earth" says Kuzco in the introduction), who, angered by the disrespect, plots to kill Kuzco and take over the emperor, with her dimwitted sidekic, Kronk. Fortunately for Kuzco, through a mix-up, Kuzco is turned into a Llama instead, and his only chance at survival is a kindly peasant, Pacha, whom Kuzco had just days earlier told that his house was going to be destroyed to make way for Kuzco's summer house.
Madcap adventure ensues, completely differing from Disney's usual style, making this my favortie animated feature of all time.
The voice acting is perfect--Eartha Kitt and David Spade really shine in their roles... really getting into the character, and breathing life and hilarity into them. Patrick Warbutton's character, Kronk, is an absolute scene-stealer, and has many funny moments.
I hgihly reccomend this movie to... well, ANYONE! If you haven't seen it already, you must listen to what you have been hearing about it, and rent it! Or, better yet, buy it!
on April 3, 2003
This is my second favorite Disney movie (Aladdin is my first). What I like about this movie has mostly to do with the slapstick comedy. Not too many Disney animated movies have this much slapstick in it. Even my (soon-to-be) two year old son laughs at it. He loves when they show Yzma explaining why she "has gotten into this bad habit of running the country behind my back" (Kuzco's words), and they show a close-up of something that was stuck between her teeth!
Yzma has to be my favorite Disney villain. Sure, she's "living proof that dinsaurs once roamed the earth", but it's due to the fact that she has to be the most humorous of all the villains, other than Jafar from Aladdin. Also, I think that Kronk is hilarious as her right-hand man.
I also like the character Pacha. He didn't want to help the emporer in the first place (the emporer did want to destroy his village and put his summer home--Kuzcotopia--there), but he did it out of the kindness of his heart. I always like characters like that.
If you are a big Disney fan, you should get this even if you haven't seen it. Or, if you don't want to buy it, rent it. I guarantee you'll be laughing!
on May 26, 2004
When I was a kid, Disney's movies were enjoyable for me to watch, but not really funny (the "Little Mermaid" is a good case in point-I love the movie, but there was little ha-ha humor in there.) But, over the years Disney has slowly gotten funnier; they had already perfected the dramatic moments. Now, you have to look at each movie individually. "Aladdin" was meant to be mostly funny, which is why they contracted Robin Williams to play a major part. Likewise, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" was meant to send you into giggles at random moments, and it is my opinion that the gargoyles and Phoebus pulled that off perfectly. But "Pocahontas" and "The Lion King" were mainly dark, introspective-sort of pieces. Some humor, but when you have star-crossed lovers in the midst of a war and a sympathetic character death, the humor is lost.
However, the "Emperor's New Groove" is a laugh riot. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard at a Disney movie. Even though he spends most of the film as an absolute jerk and a spoiled brat, Kuzco is absolutely tongue-in-cheek hilarious. And the witch and her henchman had me holding my sides several times. Even Pacha's family was funny! I especially love his wife-she was really on top of things, even though she was pregnant and trying to control two small children and help outwit the bad guys.
The animation is superb! The colors are bright and clear, and the movements are very fluid. I had to suspend belief with the llama's movements, but he was a talking llama, so who am I to say that he can't sit like that or walk on two legs.
The voices were entirely appropriate to the character; Disney did a fantastic casting job. John Goodman did an excellent job with the calm, down-to-earth llama herder Pacha, David Spade is probably the only one who could have pulled off Emperor Kuzco, and Earth Kitt was the perfect choice for the put-upon, cynical advisor Yzma.
All in all, this movie is another in a very long line of Disney Greats.
on August 19, 2003
Disney's movie The Emperors New Groove was a great movie that was hilarious. When I watch new animated disney movies, usually I really don't like them, I really only like the classic animated ones like Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. But, this movie definetly didn't fall under the list of bad movies. This is a great comedy that parents and kids will love...
Kuzco is an emperor who gets what ever he wants and only cares about himself and no one else. So, when he desides to build himself his own pool he finds a location thats home to dozens of people, one in particular is Pacha who's family has lived on the hill for hundreds of years, when he comes to visit the emperor he finds out about Kuzco's plan and is furious. Later when Ezma an old "Scary Beyond All Reason" advisor to the emperor is fired she must get back at him. So, she decides she will poisen him and then become empress herself. So, Ezma at dinner tells her flakey sidekick to give the emperor his drink which of course has poisen in it. When he drinks it he doesn't get poisened he gets turned into a Llma. When Ezma's sends her side kick to get rid of the emperors Llma body...He does...but, Ezma said to finish off the job which ment to kill the emperor...but, of course her sidkick doesn't, and both the emperor and Ezma go on roadtrips to find one another, (Kuzco looking for Ezma for help changing him back while Ezma plans to kill him). This was a great movie that was funny and everyone in the family will love it.
on March 24, 2003
Of all of the animated films Disney has released in the 21st century, "The Emperor's New Groove" just might be the best thus far. The story centers around a young, self-centered South American emperor named Kuzco who rules his kingdom with the motto "it's all about me!" Kuzco's perfect world is shattered when his disgruntled former advisor, Yzma, casts a magic spell on him that turns him into a llama and plans to do him in. To regain his human form, he must work together with Patcha, a humble and steadfast peasant, and get back to Kuzco's palace before Yzma finds them and finishes the job. The result is a fast and fun irreverent comedy with a smart script and great acting. Eartha Kit and Patrick Warburton, who play the evil Yzma and her dim-witted sidekick Kronk, are a highlight of the film. Both bring the characters to life wonderfully and provide some of the film's funniest moments. While not the most artistic or technologically advanced film Disney has ever released, it is certainly one of its most fun. I would recommend this for just about anyone looking for a great comedy.
on February 26, 2003
I haven't enjoyed a Disney animated feature this much since ALADDIN.
Instead of a single standout performance (Robin Williams in ALADDIN) carrying the show, this one features an outstanding ensemble voice cast supported by some of the most frenetic animation ever to come out of Disney. This just might be my favorite animated film, ever.
Definitely a Disney film at heart (no jabs at anyone are intended to be taken seriously), THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE is peppered with the kind of sight gags, action and dialogue that we're accustomed to seeing in classic Warner Brothers Looney Toons--it particularly shows in the diner scene, complete with the monotone career waitress who wouldn't get excited if her hair was on fire, the disgruntled chef who's heard one too many critiques of his greasy-spoon cooking, and heroic, sweet, dimwitted Kronk taking over in the kitchen in the midst of flapping doors and shouted orders.
Credit goes to David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt and Patrick Warburton for making this odd collection of circumstances and locations pull together into a madcap film the whole family can enjoy. It all feels like the animation is there to support the great performances--to deliver on the promise of the masterful voice tracks. Of particular note are Kitt's wonderfully manic Yzma and Warburton's Kronk...the huge, hapless, genial guy who just happened to end up working for the wrong side.
Ultimately, this oddball buddy picture feels like something out of the Hope & Crosby heyday, poking fun at itself as it goes and firing off throwaway gags that hit more often than they miss.
It ends with the requisite Disney happy ending with moral, but it handles it with subtlety, without leaving that cloying Disney after-taste.
Not to be missed, but not for everyone: people who like this one tend to love it. If your tastes run to the wacky side, this one's for you.
on January 13, 2003
Emperor Kuzco is a spoiled brat and has been since birth. His will is supreme in his kingdom, and all who interfere with his life are punished immediately. When he catches the royal advisor doing his job for him, he quickly fires her. But Yzma doesn't take it easily and hatches a plan to poison the emperor. This doesn't quite work, however, and Kuzco is turned into a llama. Accidentally taken out of town, he finds his only hope of regaining his kingdom is to work with the peasant whose village he's just threatened to destroy.
This movie is a comedy in the truest sense of the word. I laugh so hard every time I see this movie, as does everyone I see it with. There are many one-liners in the movie and in Kuzco's voice over. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the hilarity that Kronk adds as Yzma's dim-witted assistant. His scenes with his shoulder angel and demon are priceless.
As always, Disney does it right for this 2 disc collector's edition. The film looks sharp in its widescreen aspect ratio and sounds wonderful. And there are so many special features you can spend hours learning about this movie and animation in general. Of special note is the information about "Kingdom of the Sun," the original story that was gutted and turned into this gem.
Critics were harsh on this film, and I must admit that I didn't appreciate it the first time. But on rewatching, my love for this movie has definitely grown. I highly recommend it for those times when you need to forget everything and laugh. It'll have you smiling again in no time.
on December 9, 2002
I can't believe this Disney pic got panned by critics- although my views on "movie critics" is that they have the cushiest job in the world- oooh, I'll just sit here with my popcorn, watch a movie, write about my honored opinion and make loads of cash off of it. Blah! If a movie catches your attention, go see it. But I digress...
Emperor Kuzko (David Spade) is a spoiled brat who doesn't care if building his new "Kuzko-Topia" summerhouse will make an entire village homeless. Kuzko's advisor Yzma (played by the fabulous Eartha Kitt)had just been fired after too many attempts to rule the empire behind Kuzko's back. Yzma and her hunky henchman Kronk ("Seinfeld"'s "Putty", Patrick Warburton; imagine a brunette version of Johnny Bravo), plot to poison Kuzko, but Kronk accidentally puts extract of llama into Kuzko's drink instead. After Yzma orders Kronk to "take him outside and finish the job", Kronk accidentally dumps him onto the cart of peasant Pacha (John Goodman). Llama Kuzko still expects Pacha to take him back to the palace, even though Pacha knows of Kuzko's plans to obliterate his village. The movie follows their travels back to Kuzko's palace, with Yzma and Kronk in hot pursuit to try and finish Kuzko off. David Spade is his usual sarcastic character, except this time in animation form, but I found it was Patrick Warburton's Kronk that made me laugh the most.
The DVD includes behind the scenes extras, a rough draft deleted scene, a fun interactive game, and the "Walk the Llama" video where kids can follow along with the little dancing dude who's doing "the llama". A fun, hilarious flick.
on December 1, 2002
Oh Yeah! The Emperor's New Groove is the "grooviest animated trip since Alladin." This is a great movie. That is why it has the honor of being a collector's edition DVD set. This 2 - disc edition is one of the best disney ones avaible. Lets start at the beginning.
To start, read the letter by Thomas Schumacher. It sums up the features contained here. Then pop in the DVD and watch this hip, funny, and sassy movie. After this head over to bonus features on disc 1. (It is the Extra Gravy menu.) Here, you should start by playing the "Emperor's Got Game." This game has two parts. First, you answer five questions from the movie. Get two wrong and you have to start over. Then, you go into the secret lab and mix a potion that will turn the emperor back into a human. There are three potions and one combination of all three. Find it and win!
The second feature is the fabulous audio commentary. This audio commentary featrues the director Mark Dindal, producer Randy Fulmer, Supervising Animators Nik Ranieri and Bruce W. Smith, Art Director Colin Stimpson, Character Designer Joseph C Moshier, and Head of Story Stephen Andersen. This will give you a great look behind the scenes of this movie. Another feature is the Rascal Flats music video, "Walk the Llama Llama. Learn how to dance the Llama Dance! Then, pop this disc into the DVD-Rom drive of your computer and you could play three games: The Emperor's Got Game, The Emperor's Adventure Game, and Groove Center. Also, watch the movie, go to weblinks, and register the DVD. And this is just half of the fun.
Now, we ride the groove. Randy Fulmer and Mark Dindal's intro is hilarious on disc 2. They will tell you what's on the disc. Then, they will get you past the security guard to get into the top secret studio. When you reach the Secret Lab menu, begin at "Get Into the Groove." I like to start at the "Studio Groove." You will run around the studio learning about how a film is made. You dodge one close call when an animator almost catches you. The second groove, "The Animation Groove," is a series of split-screen comparisons.
After this, head to the Developement menu. Start at the featurette on the Developement Process. There is a featurette on the reasearch trip as well. You will get a chance to read the story treatment and look at concept art of the movie here. Learn about the original idea for the film named "Kingdom of the Sun." Look at concept art for this as well.
Groove on to the story and editiorial. Watch the featurette on The Story Process. Watch three different story pitches for a scene, and watch a featurette on putting storyboards up on reels. Also showcased here are three deleted and unused scenes. The first one is about the Destruction of Pacha's Village, Pacha's Family, and the Original Ending. Each of these has an introduction as well.
Next stop, Layouts and Backgrounds. Begin on a featurette about the Layout and Background Departments. Then go to the Scene Planning. Watch the featurette on Scene Planning then watch a storyboard to background comparison. Then look at the workbook gallery. Finally, look at the three layouts and backgrounds galleries.
Groove On! Next comes animation. Watch the featurette on The Animation Process. Begin with a featurette on CGI Props. Go to clean-up animation. You get a comparison for rough animation to clean up animation. Then look at the model sheet gallery. Next comes Character Animation. Learn about the Character's voices, watch a comparison for background to rough animation, then check out the Character Design. The First character is Kuzco. Here is a gallery and test animation. Then Yzma, Kronk, and Pacha all have rough animation. Then the next galleries are on Pacha's Family and other characters. The final animation feature is the production progression reel.
Keep on groovin on the Putting it all together. Begin on the featurette on Ink & Paint/Compositing. Then watch the clean up to final film comparison. The final feature here is the color models gallery.
Then, Music and Sound. Watch the featurette on the creation of the music and sound effects. Watch Sting's Music Video: My Funny Friend and me. Try out mixing your own sound effects of a scene on the Mixing demo.
Finally, go to Publicity. This is the final features. Watch the two theatrical trailers and the three T.V Spots. Then look at the gallery of posters and ad compaign. This set is Groovy.
This movie is created directly from the digital source, so it is in perfect picture and sound. This movie and the bonus features are funny. So I give it five stars. S0..................