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The Emperor's New Groove (DVD)
Member Name: spacelamb
The Emperor's New Groove (DVD)
Date: 19/03/01, updated on 19/03/01 (57 review reads)
Advantages: good for all ages, very sharp and funny
Disadvantages: some of the drawing a bit slack
Aladdin is a fantastic movie. This is undisputable fact (gospel of Spacelamb, chapter 2, verse 9). And Disney knows this too; every animated film they have released since 1992 has been hailed as 'the funniest Disney adventure since Aladdin'. This of course turned out to be lies - with the possible exception of Hercules - until now.
The Emperor's New Groove is cut from a different cloth to their lame efforts of the last nine years (I refer you to Tarzan and Pocahontas as chief offenders - what were they thinking?) - and is genuinely funny. Yes, as funny as Aladdin.
The main characters are what really make the film. They are:
The Emperor Kuzco (the anti-hero) – eighteen years old, vain and self-absorbed
Pacha (the hero) – head of a peasant village within the emperor’s kingdom
Yzma (the villain) – the emperor’s former advisor, a fearsome elderly witch
Kronk (the sidekick) – Yzma’s dim-witted, but well-meaning, right-hand man
Kuzco lives his life in a ‘groove’ with everything just as he likes it (hence the title – naturally he comes good in the end), and a blatant disregard for those around him. He is not supposed to be likeable, but as a cartoon personality is very real and therefore very amusing.
The plot is slightly ludicrous, which is always a good start in my book. It's possible that it's based on some myth or legend or other because it has a very clear moral message - but then again, Disney's self-penned movies are always terribly worthy and 'thou shalt not'-ish anyway. So who knows? I'm not going to drone on for six paragraphs telling you the ins and outs of the story because that would be very dull for both of us, not to mention difficult for me due to its rather surreal and nonsensical nature. Instead I can tell you the basics, then you'll have to part with a fiver yourself to fill in the blanks...
r>A vain and self-centred emperor is turned into a llama for his sins. By realising the error of his ways by the end of the film, he is turned back into a human. Er...yeah.
There's a lot more to it than that obviously, but it's fundamentally contrived and doesn't warrant explanation. This is not a criticism and there are no gaping holes in the plot - the writers deliberately use this for comic effect. For example: there is a recurring joke about the levers on the door to Yzma’s secret lair, one of which is completely futile and opens a kind of trapdoor in the floor. Of course, the wrong lever is pulled on several occasions and each time, as the different characters fall into the hole, they shout, “why do I [does she] even have this lever?” – you get the picture. The spoken gags are quite adult – and I don’t mean blue obviously but intelligent and slightly bizarre (including a lot of asides) – but the visual humour is suitably slapstick to keep children entertained.
My only gripe with this film is the actual crafting of it – the drawing and animation. These things are both vastly superior to anything else being made by any company other than Disney but still, the quality doesn’t match some of its predecessors. There is something a little too quick about it, and – the most noticeable defect – a lack of background detail. After Aladdin (sorry, but it really is the benchmark film), the Lion King or even Toy Story which truly went to town on the little things, the back-drops look remarkably like blank canvasses. They give merely an impression of what’s there with a colour or shape.
This one niggle aside I would suggest that you drop what you’re doing immediately and go to the flicks. It’s a real feel-good film and it cheered me up no end! By the way, the title of this op is one of the funniest lines in the film – you’ll HAVE to go and see
it to find out what it relates to!