The Emperor's New Groove
- Reviewed by: Carl Langley
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Current Rating 7.69/10 | 62 Votes
In most cases with cartoons, a sidekick is drawn in to provide the most of the witticism, such as Eddie Murphy’s donkey in Shrek or his dragon in Mulan. Four characters seem awfully small for a feature length movie. However, the comedy flows by with ease. All four characters have a riotous effect and the one that stands out holds the most unmapped name on the market.
Eartha Kitt effectively submits her voice into the ruthless Yzma, an administrator to the impertinently bad-natured Kuzco (voice of David Spade). After she is fired and told to think that “your life's going in a different direction...your body's part of a permanent outplacement,” she devises a malicious plan. She has concocted a “sleeping medicine” for ole Kuzco and plans to slide into his spot on the throne. But instead of injecting poison into Kuzco, her lovely, feebleminded assistant Kronk (Patrick Warburton) transforms him into a llama. At first, Kuzco has trouble adapting to his metamorphosis, but with the help of the good-natured Pacha (John Goodman) Kuzco treks back to his castle for revenge. Of course, along the way are hazardous and menacing obstacles such as black cougars, bloodthirsty bats, and a charming squirrel looking to show off his balloon animals.
The voice casting is impeccable – some of the finest work since Robin Williams made bellies hurt in Aladdin. David Spade may be better off staying behind the microphone because he had me rolling on the floor. Most of his jokes are poked at other people, especially Pacha when they are traveling through the countryside. Kronk’s expressionless and blockheaded one-liners are gutbusters. His conversations with the cute little squirrel (“Squeak squeakity, squeak”) are priceless. Kronk delivers the best lines; his dialogue makes you laugh, although it makes you wonder whether it is because of his stupidity or simply because his lines are cleverly stupid (i.e. When Kronk is told to bust down a door he shockingly replies, “What are you kidding me? This is ancient hand carved mahogany...”). Pacha and Yzma offer some whimsical moments too, creating a difficult, most tedious task: deciding who garnered the most laughs.
The Emperor’s New Groove is living proof that there is still hope for Disney. Whereas most other big name Disney films waste precious time, it is this little guy that steps up to the plate and knocks one out of the park.
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