Somehow, I missed this Disney classic when it came out. I suppose at the time I wasn’t much in the mood for animated films and I just lost track of it. However, my family has been urging me to watch this one. So at long last, I found a copy the other day and I sat down to relish in some funny stuff as only animated films can provide.
“Emperor’s New Groove” is a fun film voiced by some fantastic talent! Honestly, these voices are recognizable and well-cast for this film. Eartha Kitt, David Spade, John Goodman, and – my favorite – Patrick Warburton all lend their talents to this project. I couldn’t help but just relish in every scene with Kronk, voiced by Patrick Warburton. Indeed, Kronk was so popular that he spawned a sequel to this film!
The film tells a moral tale of how to realize the world doesn’t revolve around just you – even if you are the Emperor! It follows the Emperor (voiced by David Spade) through a coup to take his throne away via his political advisor (voiced by the late Eartha Kitt). The real humor lies in that this plot of assassination grows awry and inside of death, the Emperor becomes a lama. Spade’s voice was perfect for portraying the whining and very spoiled ruler-turned-lama! The sarcastic wit of the Emperor meshes nicely with the voice as well.
There’s a lot of the sort of slapstick humor that animated films do so well in “Emperor’s New Groove”. It’s easy to like the film because of the quick humor and the positive message. Yzma is a classic Disney villain, not as outright nasty as Maleficent but she has the archetypal look to her. Kronk is not so much a villain as he is just simply a fool. His lines carry this movie in my opinion. Kuzco (the Emperor) may not be a heroic figure but it is through him that the message of “the world doesn’t revolve around you” is delivered. Although the film is a decade old, it has a timeless feel to it – as all great Disney films do. I did a little research and as it turns out this was the last hand-drawn animated feature (until “Princess and the Frog”) that was considered a success by Disney. 2 others that followed it to the big screen “Lilo & Stitch” and “Brother Bear” were considered Box Office flops.
So, if you’re interested in an older animated film that (if you are like me) you may have missed, this one is worth watching!
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE