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The Emperor's New Groove (2000)

G  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Comedy  |  15 December 2000 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 112,338 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 291 user | 138 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

Emperor Kuzco is turned into a llama by his ex-administrator Yzma, and must now regain his throne with the help of Pacha, the gentle llama herder.

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Title: The Emperor's New Groove (2000)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Emperor Kuzco / Narrator (voice)
...
Pacha (voice)
...
Yzma (voice)
...
...
Kellyann Kelso ...
Eli Russell Linnetz ...
...
Theme Song Guy (voice)
...
(voice) (as Stephen Anderson)
...
...
(voice)
...
(voice)
Jennifer Darling ...
(voice)
Patti Deutsch ...
Waitress (voice)
...
Old Man (voice)
Edit

Storyline

In this animated comedy from the folks at Disney, the vain and cocky Emperor Kuzco is a very busy man. Besides maintaining his "groove", and firing his suspicious administrator, Yzma; he's also planning to build a new waterpark just for himself for his birthday. However, this means destroying one of the villages in his kingdom. Meanwhile, Yzma is hatching a plan to get revenge and usurp the throne. But, in a botched assassination courtesy of Yzma's right-hand man, Kronk, Kuzco is magically transformed into a llama. Now, Kuzco finds himself the property of Pacha, a lowly llama herder whose home is ground zero for the water park. Upon discovering the llama's true self, Pacha offers to help resolve the Emperor's problem and regain his throne, only if he promises to move his water park. Written by Richard Hudson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy about standing on your own four feet See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 December 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kingdom in the Sun  »

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,812,302 (USA) (15 December 2000)

Gross:

ESP 250,669,396 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Dolby Digital 5.1) (5.1 Surround Sound) (L-R)| (DTS 5.1) (5.1 Surround Sound) (L-R)| (8 channels) (5.1 Surround Sound) (L-R)| (5.1 Surround Sound) (L-R)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was originally planned to have been a dramatic, sweeping Disney musical named "Kingdom of the Sun", to be directed by The Lion King (1994) director Roger Allers and Mark Dindal, director of Turner's Cats Don't Dance (1997), with six original songs written by Sting, that was essentially an Incan re-telling of Mark Twain's "The Prince and the Pauper." David Spade was the voice of the young emperor Manco, Owen Wilson was Pacha, a young peasant with a striking resemblance to the emperor, and Eartha Kitt was Yzma, the aged royal sorceress. The film involved Manco and Pacha switching places, except that Yzma finds out, turns Manco into a (non-speaking) llama, and makes Pacha do her bidding. Pacha also eventually was to fall in love with Nina (voice of Carla Gugino), the emperor's betrothed. The resulting film tested very poorly, and the production was suspended, even though the film was 50% complete. Allers and Yzma supervising animator Andreas Deja both left the project and moved to Orlando, Florida to work on Lilo & Stitch (2002). During the production hiatus, Dindal, producer Randy Fullmer, story man Chris Williams, and screenwriter David Reynolds completely overhauled the film, eventually throwing out Wilson, the "Prince and the Pauper" angle, the completed footage, and all but one of Sting's songs. As Roger Allers's take on the film was starting to take shape, Disney management were becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the film, feeling it was too similar to the story of the Prince and the Pauper. Test screenings too generated poor feedback. On the strength of this, Mark Dindal was hired to add more comedic elements to the film. Dindal and Allers did not get on and essentially both began making their own separate version of the film. The Disney executives, although unhappy with Roger Allers's direction on the film, held off from interfering with him, given that he had provided them with their biggest hit, The Lion King (1994), which too had had a troubled production. Also, most of Allers's crew were very loyal to their director. By the summer of 1998, it was increasingly clear that "Kingdom of the Sun" was not going to make its summer 2000 release date. Merchandising tie-ins with McDonalds and Coca-Cola amongst others meant that the release date could not be moved. Director Roger Allers asked for a six month extension to the release which was denied. Allers then quit the project. With the film on the brink of total shutdown, co-director Mark Dindal worked on a retooling of the film. While he did this, most of his animators were reassigned to work on the Rhapsody in Blue segment of Fantasia/2000 (1999). The result of this retooling was the film we have today. The story was rebuilt from the ground up, retaining Spade's and Kitt's characters and creating a new, wackier film that centered around Spade's (talking) llama, Yzma, and two new characters: Pacha, now a middle-aged man played by John Goodman, and Kronk. See more »

Goofs

When Yzma gets stuck being a piñata, 4 children in blindfolds beat her with sticks. For obvious reasons piñata is never played with four blindfolded stick-swinging individuals. See more »

Quotes

Yzma: Pull the lever, Kronk!
[Kronk pulls a lever, and Yzma falls into a pit]
Yzma: [as she is falling] Wrong lever!
See more »

Connections

References Superman (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Perfect World / Perfect World Reprise
Lyrics by Sting
Music by Sting & Dave Hartley
Performed by Tom Jones
Produced by Sting and Dave Hartley
Arranged, Orchestrated and Conducted by Dave Hartley
Recorded and Mixed by Frank Wolf
See more »

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User Reviews

"Bring it on."
20 March 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

"The Emperor's New Groove" is stylistically a break from Disney tradition - it's closer in tone to the Genie in "Aladdin" or some of their TV shows than most of their movies, making a refreshing change. In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking that this isn't a Disney movie at all... the only talking animal has a good excuse for yapping in the voice of David Spade, the only romantic relationship is that between Pacha and his wife (and even there it's more the sign of a happily married couple), and apart from the Emperor's Theme Song Guy ("He's the hippest cat in creation...") - and Sting over the end credits, but we'll forgive that - no one bursts into song. Plus the emphasis is more on Warner Bros-type energetic humour than usual. No wonder it was a disappointment at the box office; not your traditional Disney movie.

Then again, "The Rescuers Down Under" was an underrated pleasure as well.

The story isn't particularly different - you've got the ruler who has to change externally before he can change internally ("Beauty and the Beast"), Kronk, the good-hearted sidekick of the villain (Yzma) who can't bring himself to kill the hero ("Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"), and so on - but as is often the case it's not so much what the plot is as how it's handled. Although the movie suffers from "Is-that...?" syndrome - it's too hard not to see Finch from "Just Shoot Me!" every time Kuzco speaks (strangely enough, even though Pacha's wife has the voice of Wendie Malick from the same show, I never pictured Nina Van Horn... which isn't the case with "Fillmore!", where Miss Malick voices Principal Folsom. Go figure) - the movie's speed, energy and high humour rate make it easy to forgive, with Kuzco and the bad guy's sidekick as standouts. The movie's also a bit more self-reverential than other Disney movies, notably in our hero's narration (plus at one point Yzma and Kronk notice they're leaving a blue trail behind them, which turns out to be the trail they leave on the map to the palace illustrating the race between them and our heroes).

The surprising thing is that it even works with character - though the Emperor is enough of a self-absorbed hedonist (to a prospective wife: "Let me guess - you've got a really great personality") to turn off Paris and Nicky Hilton, he and Pacha have a believable relationship throughout the movie, so that by the end we're rooting for him to get turned back into a human. Too bad Marc Shaiman's score was thrown out (he'd have been a natural, as opposed to John Debney), but no sense whining over what might have been. An adventure, a comedy and a drama all in one, "The Emperor's New Groove" has everything that was notably absent from DreamWorks' own South American-set cartoon "The Road to El Dorado" (charm, interest, no Elton John overdose and so on) and is the funniest movie from the House of Mouse since "Aladdin." It's easier to forgive them for giving the world "Dinosaur" in 2000 as well.

Why DOES she have that lever, anyway?


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