Projections - Movie Reviews

The Emperor's New Groove

The Emperor's New Groove

Disney once again delivers a toe tapping good time with The Emperor's New Groove.  With the opening song / dance number sung by a funkified Tom Jones who is characterized on screen by what can only be described as the perfect animated lounge singer.

The all star cast of voices include David Spade as the Emperor Kuzco who lives his life as a self-centered / self serving boy who uses music and dance to set the pace of his life - that is his “groove”.

Serving Kuzco is his ancient and trusted advisor and his resident mad scientist is Yzma, voiced by Ertha Kitt, who provides a deliciously wicked villain after she is down sized, or as you will actually see, given a pink slip.

Adding to the villainy is Kronk, voice by Patrick Warburton, who provided the brawn to Yzma’s brain as well as many delightful straight lines and physical humor.

Enter Pacha, the voice of John Goodman, a villager whose family has lived upon a mountain top for six generations, now summoned to the castle for an audience with the Emperor.  It is here Pacha learns that the spoiled ruler plans to take his land, and that of his village, to build his summer home complete with pool and water slide.  Trying to persuade the Emperor to spare his land, Pacha finds a cold heart and a very disassociated ruler.

It is here that the story begins.  As revenge for her dismissal, Yzma plans to kill Kuzco and take over the kingdom with the assistance of Kronk.  The plan goes awry as Kronk delivers a potion that not only does not kill the Emperor, but turns him into a talking llama.  Charged with completing the task of eliminating the Emperor, Kronk accidentally drops him on the wagon of the unsuspecting Pacha.

Discovering that Kronk did not complete his task, Yzma begins to search for his llamaness Kuzco to insure her transition to power will not be stopped.  Pacha and Kuzco, after a few awkward moments, begin what can only be called an adventure back to the palace to change Kuzco back into the man he once was.  It is this adventure that forces them to face danger and many wonderfully comedic situations.  Facing panthers, drowning, death by Yzma and loathing for each other, the pair begin to bond.  As with most Disney stories, the ending is a happy one with Kuzco restored to human form and power with the assistance of Pacha.  The last 15 minutes of this film are a spectacular romp of action, humor and humility.

While the lessons here are not for the very young, six and up should take delight in yet another Disney classic.

The Emperor's New Groove

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