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
[Yzma and Kronk are trapped in a dark locked room
What do you mean the door's stuck? Try jiggling the handle.
There is no handle in here.
[holding the door handle
There's not? Are you sure?
All right, I've had enough of this. Tell us where the talking lhama is and we'll burn your house to the ground.
Er, don't you mean or?
[even more angrily
Err, tell us where the talking lhama is *or* we'll burn your house to the ground.
Well, which is it? That sounds like a pretty crucial conjunction.