Originally developed as an epic called Kingdom of the Sun, The Emperor's New Groove lost scale and most of Sting's song score (some of which can be heard on the soundtrack) on its way to the screen. The end result is the l... more »ightest Disney film in many a moon, a joyous romp akin to Aladdin in its quotient of laughs for kids and adults. The original story centers on the spoiled teenage emperor Kuzco (David Spade), who enjoys getting the best of his Aztecan subjects. When he fires Yzma (Eartha Kitt), his evil sorceress, she seeks revenge and turns Kuzco into a llama with the help of her hunk of the month, a lunk named Kronk (Patrick Warburton). Alone in the jungle, the talking llama is befriended by Pacha (John Goodman), who has just been told to vacate his pastoral home by the human Kuzco. What's an ego to do? That's pretty much the story and the characters--simple, direct, fun--a Disney film on a diet. For any fan of the acidic humor of Spade, this is essential viewing. As narrator of his tale, Kuzco uses a sarcastic tone to keep the story jumping with plenty of fun asides (he even "stops" the film at one point to make sure you know the story is about him). Even better is character actor Warburton (Elaine's stuck-up boyfriend on Seinfeld), who steals every scene as the dim-witted, but oh-so-likable Kronk. There's even a delicious Tom Jones number that starts the film off with a bang. --Doug Thomas« less
Kathryn R. from FLORISSANT, MO Reviewed on 4/25/2015...
My husband loves this movie, so I got him "The Ultimate" copy of it. He loved it.
Funny as all git out
Eolake | Lancashire, United Kingdom | 09/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This may be my favorite Disney movie ever. (I normally prefer Pixar.)
The reviewers who did not like it clearly expected something for small kids. It is not. It is very abstract in places, especially the art, which is really quite amazing. Watch for the design of the panthers, and the bats. And the landscapes. Wonderful stuff.
And the dialogue and the delivery especially is just hilarious. How you can get such delivery in an animated film is beyond me.
Warmly recommended for mature viewers with an edgy sense of humor."
The Forgotten Disney Film
K. Fontenot | The Bayou State | 07/07/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""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."
Hilarious Film, Great DVD
Michael Janke | San Diego, CA | 05/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE is the funniest movie that I have seen in years. I initially had passed on watching it in the theater because I thought it looked childish, but was convinced to give it a try now that it was out on video. Boy, was my initial impression wrong.The story revolves around a selfish prince who is turned into a llama by one of his subjects. With the help of a kindly peasant he attempts to regain his throne, and in the process finds there's more to him than he previously thought or wanted there to be. While the moral is a good one, it really plays a secondary role to the comedy, which is literally non-stop. GROOVE takes the rapid-fire humor that Disney perfected in Aladdin and combines it with cartoon-style hijinx, the wit of David Spade, and a hilarious lack of reverence for the traditional Disney animated genre. Spade plays his role to perfection, and luckily never crosses the line into being obnoxious. Seinfeld fans are in for a treat, as Puddy plays a very special side-kick role. You really can't take your eyes off the screen for a minute, because you're guaranteed to miss a gag of some sort. The humor works mainly on an adult level, even though kids will be rolling from the funny visuals and some of the more obvious jokes.The DVD itself is a good one. The digital transfer was excellent and the sound quality is top notch. The commentary track is one of the better that I've heard, with interesting and funny insight from all contributors. Animated menus. There's a deleted scene that was probably best left out, but is interesting to watch anyway, plus a few other fun features.In the end, this is one of the best Disney flicks to come along in years. Hardcore Disney fans will eat it up. But even if you're not a fan of Disney's usual animated features you should give GROOVE a shot. Cast aside your pre-concieved notions and you just might be in for a very pleasant surprise. I was. FIVE STARS."
What is your groove???
Jason Cheng | Catonsville, MD | 12/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Emperor Kuzco had it all, huge palace and a staff waiting at his snap of the fingers, he has no concern for anybody and a groove with only his interest in mind. Kuzco's advisor Yzma wanting control over the kingdom, plots with her right hand man Kronk to kill the emperor, the plan fell apart when Kuzco was turned into a llama instead. With the help of a simple peasant Pacha, Kuzco tries to return to the palace and restore himself back to human.I used to love Disney movies, but somewhere along the way the magic was gone, and I stayed away from the newer films. Fortunately The Emperor's New Groove isn't your formulaic animation, it is fun and a light hearted comedy, with very mild violences it is sure a treat for you and your family. It has a really good story and the way it's told is fresh and different, with the stylish drawings, even a lack of songs didn't hamper my enjoyment for this movie (although I welcome this change.) Groove teaches one about friendship and the act of unselfishness and generosity, a fitting topic during the Christmas time.Voices provided by David Spade and John Goodman, The Emperor's New Groove should entertain adults and kids alike, I highly recommend this movie for the holiday season!"
Emily J. Jensen | Oklahoma City, OK United States | 09/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love Disney anyway, but actually wasn't that excited when this film came out, nor did I hear anything spectacular about it. That was probably only because my friends at the time were all college students without kids and nobody had seen it, oh but when we did... we laughed ourselves hoarse! It's just one laugh after another, pretty much non-stop until the end of the movie, at least it was for the 6 20-somethings I saw it with. Loved it!"