Cartoon of the Day: The Emperor’s New Groove

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The Emperor's New Groove

The Emperor’s New Groove

I am REALLY on the fence about The Emperor’s New Groove. Sure, it has it’s moments… it has Eartha Kitt… it also has Patrick War­bur­ton and Wendie Mal­ick. On the down side, it does have the barely one-dimensional David Spade in the lead role, and it was directed by Mark Din­dal who was still per­fect­ing the art of really screw­ing up an ani­mated film here (his Mas­ters the­sis was Chicken Lit­tle in 2005, eas­ily the worst film ever from Disney.)

The Emperor’s New Groove began life as the much more seri­ous in tone and epic in scope King­dom Of The Sun. Orig­i­nally, the music was done by Sting, and Roger Allers was the direc­tor. Sort of a Prince and the Pau­per story at first, Allers just could not bring the story to life.

To breath new life into the project, Dis­ney execs hired Mark Din­dal, who brought in the comic ele­ment. This resulted in a very uneven pro­duc­tion… half light and half dark. In the sum­mer 1998, under a time crunch for a 2000 release date, Allers was forced off the film. Din­dal retooled the film, dropped the Sting songs, and reti­tled the film.

In this com­edy, 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 water park 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.

So what do you think? Would you like to have seen Allers orig­i­nal film, or do you like the com­edy ver­sion by Dindal?

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