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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 33.75%
Average: 11.25%
Pretty Bad: 2.5%
Total Crap: 3.75%

5 reviews, 50 user ratings

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Emperor's New Groove, The
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by Greg Muskewitz

"The story hardly equates to the standard of Old Disney & it has lazy anime."
3 stars

“The Emperor’s New Groove” is a neatly, facile Disney-wrapped 80-minute presentation. It’s only disappointing in the sense that this is a further decline in the production of animation, especially that of Disney’s. Otherwise, its laid-back attitude and lack of musical numbers (one at the open, one at the close) is quick to grow on you simply because it’s so indifferent, and it’s perfectly suitable for the kidlets.

The dorky Emperor Kuzco (voiced by David Spade) is a hedonistic, selfish tyrant. After he fires Yzma (voiced by Eartha Kitt, and exaggeratedly drawn to resemble the sagging breasts and crinkled eyes), his dinosaur of an assistant with a malicious power trip, she and her witless assistant Kronk (voiced by Patrick Warburton) plot to kill the emperor. Instead, he’s turned into a llama. (“Beware of the groove”) It’s up to the help of Pancha (voiced by John Goodman), a peasant who’s town is relegated to obliteration by the emperor to make room for his spa, to get him back and teach Kuzco a lesson in humanities and PR.

The animation is lazily drawn, and in a rushed fashion –it really shows. But it challenges the typical Disney in three main instances. First, the conventional moral here is a lot less emphasized and palpable for the children. Second, the lack of a serious villain. Besides the fact that she intended to kill him for firing her, and her somewhat sadistic attitude towards peasants, she is no more evil than the emperor himself. Third, as aforementioned, was the absence of musical numbers. Personally, I prefer less spontaneous songs, so here it actually turns it into a benefit.

There is a large noticeable amount of zingy humor directed towards the adults. (Even a line alluding to masturbation is thrown in: “No touchie! I gotta use that arm later!”) The script is dingy and for the most part, very flippant in its narrative story. This is just like animated David Spade. He looks a little different; darker, taller, but about equally as thin (!), but once you get used to the humanistic literal metonymy, it still resembles him in all shapes and forms. That attitude problem kind of bothered me because it was like an animated stand-up/improv with Spade, who’s humor I don’t mind, but in the form of this magical animated movie, just felt contrived. But maybe this is just the new frontier for Disney. I can’t say that I can comfortably get behind them, but at least with “The Emperor’s New Groove,” it isn’t dull nor an opprobrium, and it really is quite agreeable with the children. It beats the likes of “The King and I” (non-Disney), “Hercules,” and “The Little Mermaid II,” but the delicacy and pride that used to go hand-in-hand with the Vintage Disney (“Lady and the Tramp,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” “101 Dalmatians,” “Pinocchio,” et al.) is very explicitly gone. And quite possibly forever.

Final Verdict: B-.

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originally posted: 12/13/00 09:54:56
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User Comments

10/05/13 KingNeutron Despite prod problems, Great for a laugh; very rewatchable. Spade/Warburton/Kitt nailed it. 5 stars
10/20/11 Magic A conflicted production results in one of Disney's funniest movies ever. Kronk alone, whoa. 4 stars
2/20/11 Ark Hilarious! Once in a while Disney screws up and gives us something good! 5 stars
2/14/11 Quigley The funniest movie ever made; no joke. This film is criminally underrated. Ten stars! 5 stars
8/30/09 CTT Warburton and Kitt steal the film; hilarious stuff 5 stars
12/11/08 Dominic YZMA looks like LADY TREMAINE,MALIFICENT and URSULA. 5 stars
11/01/08 Shaun Wallner Hilarious Movie! 5 stars
9/02/06 Chad Thomas One of the funniest animated movies ever! 5 stars
8/19/06 Beau All-time fav disney movie, very comimcal and entertaining, not just for kids!!!! 5 stars
7/12/06 David Cohen This is what happens when commedies try to be hip instead of funny 3 stars
5/23/06 Ashley Hinz I hated it, just a waste of time. 1 stars
4/26/06 timoth1212 AWESOME COOL SWEET AND ALL THE OTHER NAMES MEANING REALLY GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer They turned their "Kingdom of the Sun" project into this... AND I LOVE IT! BOO-YAH!!!! 5 stars
8/30/05 ES Laughter but no redeeming qualities, not as bad as Mulan 3 stars
7/03/05 Quigley Totally funny. what do you people have against this anyway? disney got it right this time! 5 stars
1/28/05 Jack Scallops Worth the $3.50 5 stars
1/16/05 conor the great hilarious... why doesn't Disney do more like this? 4 stars
7/24/04 Sarah If only Disney would make them all like this! 5 stars
7/18/04 Nate It's good to see Disney trying something new 5 stars
5/20/04 John Disney has sunk to this?! 1 stars
5/13/04 Sean Scanlan close, but no Doug's First Movie 4 stars
5/11/04 J.Peckerfoot Great fun for all the fuckin family.Thankyou Kronk! 5 stars
4/29/04 merv someone needs to lay off the crack! 5 stars
11/28/03 Samuel A very funny cartoon, Spade is awesome!! 5 stars
8/30/02 Interrog8 KRONK! Need I say more? 5 stars
8/05/02 LessThanColleen Okay, I'm almost 15 and this was great! Love Kronk! (Reason #2, look what I can do) lol 5 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Loved it! How wonderful to hear Eartha's gravelly voice. 5 stars
1/02/02 Andrew Carden I Liked Land Before Time #6 Better Then This. 1 stars
12/16/01 Jeremy I laughed but I didnt piss my pants and it was funny (very) 5 stars
9/30/01 daniboy best disney movie in years. laughed my ass off 5 stars
7/01/01 ALEXIS Hey I'm also 15 and this is one of my favorite movies!! it kicks ass, so does David Spade! 5 stars
6/29/01 Geebo I'm also 15, and okay Kronk. Kronk ruled. He was awesome, Nothing can compare. 5 stars
6/01/01 Melody Gordon Ths movie is awsome!!! I'm 15 and I love to watc it all the time!!!! 5 stars
5/18/01 Wendy Gayle Walkup-Barry I loved it!!!! So did my daughter :) 5 stars
4/07/01 viking Well, at least it's an original idea free of schmaltz !!! 4 stars
1/29/01 Mario Rodgers What a bunch of grouches. This movie was brilliant! Stop saying the animation was weak. 5 stars
1/16/01 bats surprised by the sharp writing and humor 4 stars
1/12/01 Gariess A cartoon is a cartoon. Why do we expect effects and animation to entertain us? leave it fo 2 stars
1/12/01 McArthur Student Simply one of disneys best! 5 stars
1/11/01 Who? Great movie, better than all disney movies since "Lion King", or maybe even more 5 stars
1/03/01 FrayLo Not bad, sure as hell more entertaining than sitting through "Dude, Where's My Car?" 4 stars
1/03/01 The Bomb 69 animation was weak and the beginning was slow but the last 20 minutes made up for it 4 stars
1/02/01 Tonka Lightweight and hilarious, especially the last 20 minutes. Eartha Kitt is the best villain 5 stars
12/29/00 Dippy Better than you think! 5 stars
12/24/00 Reverend Krule i'm sick of sittin' through disney shit 2 stars
12/19/00 orpy I was prepared to hate it; it was not bad!! 4 stars
12/16/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble New Groove? I wonder how many blacks worked on this film? None I'll bet. 3 stars
12/16/00 Paul Putman It was such a homage to Chuck Jones that I missed the Disney magic. 4 stars
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  15-Dec-2000 (G)
  DVD: 18-Oct-2005


  05-Apr-2001 (G)

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