Jeff's Review of The Emperor's New Groove
The Emperor's New Groove(2000)
I had no interest in seeing this movie. I went into it thinking that this was another 1 1/2 hour snoozer I have to sit through to spend some time with my son. Yes, this is a Disney flick so I should have expected greatness, but the ads really had not positioned this film well enough.
Folks, this movie was fantastic!
By far one of the best Disney movies I have ever seen, The Emperor's New Groove was one of the funniest movies I had seen all year! The writing, casting, timing, everything, A-rate, hence my grade.
The story is about Kuzco, ruler of an Aztec empire. He is basically a spoiled brat voiced by the king of showbiz brats, David Spade. Perfect casting though as David plays this character perfectly. You really develop a deep disdain for Kuzco. David's attitude, even from the start of the movie, makes you detest him more quickly than one would expect. In fact, not really having paid much attention to the ads, I was surprised to see how this movie began. You want to know? You are going to have to go see it.
In any case, the story progresses nicely, keeping the attention of both me and my 5 year-old. The humor is unbelievable. You get a short showcase of Kuzco's self-centered behavior from his wanting to destroy Pacha's (voiced by John Goodman) village to build a new summer home, to his nonchalantly firing of Yzma, the evil character in the story voiced by Eartha Kitt.
After Yzma is fired, she begins to seek revenge. Kuzco, being so wrapped up in himself, never notices. (One side note...It's about time the world got to the point where, instead of a strong man having a ditsy woman beside him, a strong woman has a good looking oaf for a boy toy.) Yzma recruits the help of her latest boy toy, Kronk, voiced by infamous oaf Patrick Warburton (Puddy from Seinfeld). Kronk, who loves to dabble in the culinary arts (which is hysterical) helps Yzma devise a potion that will kill Kuzco.
Through some quick wit, hilarity and excellent writing, the potion is never given to Kuzco the way it should have been. The plan goes horribly wrong and Kuzco becomes a llama. I know it may not sound funny, but the whole scene will make you roll.
After turning Kuzco into a llama, then knocking him out cold, Kronk is ordered to dispose of the unconscious carcass. The sensitive side of Kronk cannot do it, but secretly places the llama carcass on a wagon being pulled by Pacha's llama. Soon after, Kuzco awakens at Pacha's house and realizes he is a llama.
The rest of the movie is about Pacha helping Kuzco get back to the Aztec temple, despite the fact that Kuzco wants to destroy Pacha's village to build a summer home. All the while, Kuzco is learning that he is not as beloved as he thought with very little notice that he is even gone from the empire.
In the meantime, Yzma takes over the empire, believing all the while that Kuzco is dead. Once Kuzco tries to reclaim the throne and become human again, Yzma's desire to dispose of the boy king is heightened.
I've given a whole lot more detail about the story than I should have, but trust me, I have not told you the movie. The true appeal of this movie is its very-easy flowing storyline and intense humor. I have not laughed that hard at an animated film since South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.
Again, the cast is perfect, the story is great and the writing is superb. Plus, it is sweet enough and adventurous enough to keep the kids interested, both boys and girls. I highly recommend it.