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|Index||297 reviews in total|
Hard to see why it wasn't a wildly popular mega-hit - I have two theories,
one charitable, one not. The charitable theory is that people were put off
by the title. MY heart certainly sank when I heard it. I mean, just say it
out loud - "The Emperor's New Groove" - now how could a good movie POSSIBLY
have a title like that?
Yet now, I rather like the title. It fits the story; it doesn't care if it's fashionable or not; it's just so pleasingly RIGHT - but in an almost indescribable way you'll have to watch the film to find out. Maybe it WAS a marketing mistake. Who cares? I never took seriously the charge that Disney's artistic decisions were made by its marketing department, anyway.
That was the charitable explanation for why it made considerably less, inflation adjusted, than every other one of Disney's animated features from "Beauty and the Beast" on, and failed to even get nominated for a "Best Picture" Oscar in a year in which they had difficulty coming up with half-plausible candidates. The uncharitable explanation is probably closer to the truth. People are idiots. This is a classic - but it's also animated - by pencil on paper rather than finger on keyboard - so who will ever notice?
Doubt me? You won't once you've seen it. Everyone to speak of who did reports that it's very, very funny, and they're right - and trust me, nothing is ever THIS funny unless it's clever and witty as well. It goes without saying that their character animation is unmatched in its brilliance and ... I've already used the words "humour" and "wit"? Well, I'll use them again. In addition there's a charming dottiness that a merely hip film could never quite capture. Art direction is perfectly judged and consistent throughout, with a pleasing absence of because-we-can computer effects.
Here's just ONE example of what I'm talking about. One side of the emperor's palace consists of this HUGE golden face, and we find out in a funny scene (but they're all funny) that all excess water is drained out through the nostrils. But that's not all we see. We see characters crawling out of the nostrils, we see someone dangling like a big booger on a rope out of one of the nostrils - one snot gag after another - yet no explicit camerawork ever draws our attention to them. Not only do the characters deliver their lines perfectly deadpan, the camera delivers its images perfectly deadpan. It's just perfect.
Two more things I should mention. Unlike Disney's other recent features, it never, not even for a second, feels as though the story has been unduly compressed - and at 78 minutes it's a trifle shorter than most.
Also, despite the constant hilarity, it's rather touching.
No movie I've seen in the past six months has filled me with such joy. Well, perhaps there have been a few others, but they were all made long ago.
Although my affection for other Disney movies of the 1990s has
decidedly waned, my love for "The Emperor's New Groove" is still as
strong as ever. In fact, I'm now beginning to think it's a work of
genius. It's clever, unpretentious, fast-paced, and- like "Lilo and
Stitch"- you don't feel that the vision of the film was muddled up by
the suits. The characters are not constantly breaking into song, and
there is a welcome lack of cloying sentiment. No cutesy talking teacups
here! The lightning- fast comic timing, sharp writing and constant
loony non sequiturs (i.e. "For the last time, we did not order a giant
trampoline!") improves upon each viewing, and the voice work is
uniformly excellent, from David Spade's hilariously bratty emperor to
Patrick Warburton's dim boy-toy Kronk to Eartha Kitt's Yzma (an
over-the-top screeching Erte-style villainess with an alleged "secret
lab" who is also "scary beyond all reason"). You get the impression
that everyone involved had lots of fun making this. The art direction,
with its whirling cartoon Inca motifs, is simultaneously goofy and
gorgeous- and it shows what marvels can be done with nary a pixel in
sight. I even love all the local L.A. humor, with even Bob's Big Boy
making an appearance. Although I was initially dismayed when I heard
that the project, originally entitled, "The Kingdom of the the Sun,"
was to be changed to "The Emperor's New Groove," I think in the end the
changes were a good thing. Did the world really need yet another
bombastic Disney musical?
No, I didn't think so either.
"The Emperor's New Groove" is a rare hilarious Disney movie.
It's very different from any other Disney movie so this movie might also be very watchable to you Disney haters out there. The movie pace is incredibly high and the music by John Debney and Sting are a real surprise. The movie really is a non-stop hilarious comedy with some unique humor. Also the style, both visual and story-wise is different from any other previous Disney movie, which in this case is a positive thing.
The characters are great. Kuzco and Pacha are a perfect team. Yzma is a remarkable villain and her sidekick Kronk is hilarious. Yep, Laughs are guaranteed in this very hip and hilarious movie!
The story really is of no importance and most of it never makes sense but that's also why this movie is both unique and hilarious to watch over and over again.
Highly recommendable to everyone!
"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
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?
You've often heard the sales pitch, "adults will love it, too!" almost
always referring to a kids' movie and in particularly, an animated
movie for children. Well, in this case I agree. Even as a middle-aged
adult, I enjoyed this.
The dialog is adult-friendly but at the same time not coarse or crude with no sexual innuendos, no profanity or even a hint of it. Yet, it's hip with some very clever lines.
The story is interesting and offers a few unique twists. David Spade does a fabulous job narrating, has a very pleasing voice, one that's fun to hear. I actually do think adults would like this more than children.
How great is this? A movie about a talking lama. I absolutely love this movie, from beginning to end. I don't know how many times I have watched this movie, but I am guessing in the over 10 area. This is the only movie that I find funnier dubbed in Norwegian than in the original language. It is absolutely hilarious, I don't care what age you are. Although I think adults understands more of the jokes in the movie, but that doesn't mean that kids won't find it funny. The movie is a story of betrayal, friendship, love and lots and lots of humour. It doesn't seem like I can ever get tired of this movie. Why? Because it is absolutely fantastic! I am 24 years old, so there aren't any age boundaries here. I rate this movie 10/10
Disney has done it again with a FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY (how many funnies is
that? 4?...not enough) FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY (you get the point)
Picture this. 2 friends and I walk into a local movie rental shop and start arguing over the NEW releases. Horror movie? No. Slasher flick? No. Drama? No. Etc, Etc, Etc. Finally, as if it were fate, we all walk into the Disney/Children section of the shop. One suggest "Emperors New Grove". The rest automatically agree... and we weren't disapointed.
David Spade is brilliant as the voice of the Emperor in this movie. His humour was definatly evident throughout the entirity. Speaking of the humour... it was funny. Ha, ha. Ain't I a kidder? Seriously though, I have to say that this is the funniest Disney movie that I've ever seen... and it's definaly because of the cast... who were brilliant in all their roles. There was a lot of adult humour in this one though. Nothing gross or sexually oriented or anything, but just grown up... intelligent... making it a fabulous watch.
If you haven't seen this, then I suggest you do... and soon.
In all of it's 77 minutes this was still worth renting. (and buying in my opinion) Simply the best Disney film in recent memory. And no reason a 25 year old like me shouldn't see it. If you like laughing, this will serve a treat that will last for a very long time. (cute cat....) 10/10
Apparently there was this thing that happened in 1994 called "The
Disney Renaissance". The Lion King brought back "Classic Disney" or
some such nonsense. The implication is that mega-hits like The Little
Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin were not good enough. Nope,
it was the Lion King which restored dignity to the studio. Dignity
which they then squandered on garbage like Hunchback of Notre Dame and
Hercules. On top of this Dreamworks Animation was gearing up to be a
serious competitor while Pixar was hogging all of the glory.
Such was the success of the Lion King that director Roger Allers was given permission to indulge himself in a vanity piece called Kingdom of the Sun. It was to be an epic, mystical spin on the Prince and the Pauper set in Peru during the time of the Incas as well as a romantic comedy musical with serious weight to the mythology.
Honestly, this sounds like the kind of movie that I would have hated. The Disney suits felt the same way, though were even less kind when it came to communicating that opinion to the creative team. The development and production of Kingdom of the Sun dragged on for years with innumerable clashes, arguments, and differences between Allers and Disney. None of the moneymen liked where the film was going. A half-finished version was screened and rejected. Production was shut down. Allers was off the project and Mark Dindal was brought in to replace him. In the process Dinal completely overhauled the movie and changed it into something quite different. And thus Kingdom of the Sun gave birth to The Emperor's New Groove. A serious, mystical epic became an archaic slapstick comedy more in the vein of Looney Tunes than Lion King. And it's all the better for it.
Throughout this shambolic development only three people remained constant: David Spade as the spoiled emperor Kuzco, Eartha Kitt as the conniving Yzma, and Sting, who would provide the soundtrack. The latter ended up only doing a single song "My Funny Friend and Me", but it did get an Academy Award nomination (which it lost to Bob Dylan). Sting's wife Trudi Styler was even commissioned to make a documentary on the production of Kingdom of the Sun and covered every torturous twist during those terrible times. What was supposed to be just an ordinary "making-of" became a rather notorious stand-alone documentary called "The Sweatbox" which was such a damning and difficult portrait of the House of Mouse that they have never allowed it to be officially released (and barely acknowledge its existence).
Make no mistake, The Emperor's New Groove did not have an easy journey from concept to screen. Far, far from it.
When the trailer screened in early 2001 in the UK I was immediately dismissive. I had become tired and jaded of the setting and tone. With The Prince of Egypt and The Road to El Dorado in the recent past I was not in the mood for more of the same. I was loudly vocal about how awful the trailer looked. But then something very odd happened...Kuzco turned into a Llama and it became surreal and hyper. I remember squinting and saying "Uh...what IS this?" I'd much rather take a chance on an odd curiosity than a self-proclaimed epic.
The final story sees Emperor Kuzco betrayed by his assistant Yzma who plots to kill him in revenge for being fired. Her lunkhead servant Kronk (perfectly voiced by Patrick Warburton) mixes up the poison potion and instead transforms Kuzco into a Llama. Discarded into the nearby jungle Kuzco teams up with good-natured peasant Pacha, whom he earlier condemned to homelessness. They make a deal - help Kuzco turn back to human and Pacha can keep his community. Together they fight their way through the wilderness back to the palace with Yzma and Kronk close behind, determined to finish the job.
TENG moves so fast it will make your head spin. This movie barely takes a breath, so much so that I don't think that the opening and closing titles even lasted a single second. It's just one wonderfully overblown set-piece followed by another. You'll be grinning so hard your face will be in agony. I can't call it anything other than my absolute favorite Disney animation (Big Hero 6 coming in at a close second) but I'm sort of annoyed that it gets such a bad reputation and that its often forgotten.
Released in the US in late 2000 the movie received little fanfare and had a horrible dated marketing campaign that was stuck in the mid- 90s. While most Disney movies are shoved in our face and pretty much demand that we go see them this one seems to end up merely being discovered by growing cult of fans. I guess that makes a unique and controversial movie all the more special.
Considering that this movie wasn't made to compete with Disney's line-up of Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, etc..., it is an excellent movie. Who would've thought that a simple animation could do so much. This is a good movie to watch with friends and family members of all ages. Also, if you want a good night's innocent laugh, this movie is recommended. This is the first good family film I've seen since "A Bug's Life." Just a little note on the side: can you believe that this movie that absolutely NO romantic plot (one of the first and only that I've seen of Disney animations).
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