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The Emperor's New Groove (DVD)
Member Name: ryanando
The Emperor's New Groove (DVD)
Date: 15/05/08, updated on 20/05/08 (160 review reads)
Advantages: Great film, fantastic sarcastic fun for everyone.
Disadvantages: The extras suck a little bit
As much as I dislike them for various reasons (most of them relating to the time I spent working for them) they do occasionally churn out a film under their name that is not what you would expect from a woman hating weirdo with a frozen head and a bad moustache.
The Emperors New Groove is certainly one of them. There's a grand total of one song in the film so don't be expecting to be singing anything catchy for the next five years. The animation is rather funky too. It's not one of the fully computer animated offerings that Disney are now swaying towards with every animated film they are doing. The animation in this film is a great contrast of very bright and very dark, depending on the characters and the situations and it makes for some viewing. It sometimes reminds me of the old pink panther cartoons. That might just be me being a total nutter though.
This film is an amazingly sarcastic offering from The MNWBFH (for short) revolving around the Emperor of what looks like an ancient Mayan / Aztec civilisation named Kuzco (said COOzKoh) voiced by the brilliant David Spade.
Kuzco narrates this rather odd tale about himself. It soon becomes apparent that he's a self centred little brat who's used to getting his own way mainly because he always does. After a short burst of the one song in the movie (sang by Tom Jones and his rather short animated counterpart) about how amazing Kuzco is, the story gets moving.
Since the whole story is told from Kuzco's point of view there are some great comical moments when he is describing other characters through his eyes. Firstly we meet Pacha (John Goodman), a kind hearted, dependable guy, leader of a small village...or as Kuzco likes to call him, the guy who ruined his entire life.
Next we stumble across Yzma (said EASE-MAH). Yzma's voice is taken directly from the throat of Eartha Kitt, no not the cockney slang one, the real one. It would seem her old wrinkled scary face is also taken from Kitt... but I'm not sure if she realised. Either way, she is basically Jafar in address (if you don't know who Jafar is, look up Aladdin then hide in shame forever). She has a henchman, Kronk, and as the name suggests, he's not entirely intelligent. He does, however, come with his own "shoulder devil" and "shoulder angel" which makes for some hilarious exchanges between himself and...well...himself.
So these are the main players in the story which, when boiled down, is pretty simple. Yzma gets power hungry and tries to get rid of Kuzco so she can rule over everything, Kronk messes up by accidentally turning the emperor into a Llama (as you do) and then loosing him instead of killing him. Well they are easy to mix up right? While the whole world thinks Kuzco is dead, he has been bundled into Pacha's little cart and pulled all the way to a village in the middle of god knows where. The resulting seventy odd minutes is the story of how Kuzco gets back home, with the help of Pacha.
Why is this film any different from other piles of paint from the MNWBFH? It's the humour. Rather than a very fine smattering of fun and the occasional great one liner, this film is a constant stream of heartless, bitter sarcasm, dipped in a giant vat of randomly hilarious moments. As much as I will admit to actually liking some of the previous sing along, kiddie friendly outings into the unreal, this is the only MNWBFH film that will have me laughing out loud the whole way through and keep the big grin on my face for...oh...minutes afterwards.
***The DVD and its Extras***
The menus are all very neatly laid out and easy to operate. There's a scene selection option which may come in handy too.
You can watch the whole movie again with people prattling over the top of it. I never, ever, EVER listen to this as people talking over movies is possibly the most annoying thing on the planet. So to that end, on to the other extras!
This is...well...possibly the worst extra ever. It does pretty much what it does on the tin. It give you ...ahem... sneak peaks. Unfortunately what that means is that they give you a bunch of adverts for their other movies. Nothing more.
***Never-before-seen Deleted Scene***
Yup, A whole one. It's introduced by the directors who explain exactly what a deleted scene is. Would you believe, it's a scene that didn't make it to the final cut?? Nope, I didn't believe it either. The scene was deleted for obvious reasons...it's crap.
***Music video- Walk the Llama***
...this is the oddest music video I've ever seen. Three middle aged men in bad leather coats looking "Disney" happy with a few ten year olds and a couple of llamas dancing around them. The singer sounds like his man parts have been caught in a vice (though had he not been singing about Llamas, he would probably have a great voice) and since the song isn't actually in the movie...I fail to see the point of this. I guess it's great if you've got kids and want them to have an awful taste in music when they grow up.
***Dance Sequence - Walk the Llama***
Oh...my...dear...god. As if to torture me a little bit more they show you the DANCE steps for the abomination that is the song I just ranted about. Not only do they show you the dance steps, they get the gayest man on earth (even more so than myself) to show it to your kiddie winks (or you if you are odd enough to want to learn the dance moves for a song no one's ever heard) all the while wearing Simon Cowell's famous nipple high trousers. On second thoughts, that might be a ten year old. Oh what a future he has ahead of him. I just shuddered. The only decent part of this extra is at the end where Kuzco does what I can only describe as stamping on the little guys head to make him disappear. Thank christ for that.
***The Emperors Got Game***
As you may have realised, this is a dvd game. Narrated by Kronk, the aim is to get Kuzco back home by answering a few questions. Really easy ones too. It's basically a trivia quiz about the movie followed by a process of elimination type jaunt into Yzma's not so secret lab. Not too challenging, but not really aimed at anyone with motor skills either.
***Behind the Scenes Featurette's***
There are three of these little (and I mean little, a minute or three each) snippets starting with a research trip to Peru. We get to hear how the directors got a holiday so they can look at pretty things for their movie. We also get to see some pretty llamas hobbling round in a field. How graceful they are.
Next we hear about the creation of CGI props which is basically a computer geek telling us what he does when he's not looking at...other...things....on his computer.
Last but not least is the character voices, we get to meet some of the voice actors and hear them talk about their character. This is quite funky as you get to see the real people next to their animated selves.
These featurettes are by far the best of the extras.
***Sting Music Video***
This extra is a sort of interview with Sting as, apparently, he wrote all the music for the film. Apart from the only song they actually use, which was done by Tom Jones. The background music is taken from songs that Sting wrote all by himself and we even get a snippet of some of the songs in the extra, which is great considering you don't hear any of it in the movie. Yes, I'm confused too.
Price wise the movie is pretty expensive. I'd expect not to pay more than a tenner for a film brought out pre-2006. This DVD will set you back around £17-£20 quid. You can, however, always wait a while till that evil company does its DVD offers and you can usually get it for about a fiver. You can also buy it as part of a set as there is a sequel, bringing the price to about a tenner for each movie. It's a great film and it IS worth it... but I grudge paying money. Last but not least, you can take up employment with the bas...er...lovely family loving company... and get heavy discount on it instead. That's what I done. All that for one film eh!
***More Boring Bits***
This dvd comes with a few different languages: English, Norwegian and Danish (no, not the bacon)
The running time is approximately 75 minutes
This DVD is rated U- Universal. This means its quite safe for your kiddies to watch it without you having to explain why that man kissed that other man or some such awkward situation a PG might get you into.
So in conclusion, I love this film. If you have kids, they will love it too. Or else. It's full of great humour and some very likeable characters. Definitely one to add to your collection especially if you found that famous internet Llama song funny in the slightest. Just make sure you have the patience to catch it in an offer.
(review also on Ciao)
Summary: Disneys most sarcastic film yet.