Urban Cinefile
"The two of us stood on the actual murder spot for a few minutes in silence, realising that true life, and death, are so much more important than the movies"  -from the filming diary of Alan Parker, making Mississippi Burning
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday July 28, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



Wise-cracking Emperor Kuzco (David Spade) is a busy man. Besides maintaining his groove and firing his sorceress sidekick Yzma (Eartha Kitt), he's planning to destroy one of his villages to build a new themepark for his birthday - just for himself. Yzma wants revenge for her dismissal, but when her right-hand man Kronk (Patrick Warbuton) botches the assassination job, Kuzco is transformed into a llama and expelled from his kingdom. He becomes the property of lowly llama herder Pacha (John Goodman) - whose home was set to become Kuzco's playground - and the two must resolve their differences and get back to the kingdom before Yzma can usurp Kuzco's throne.

The most whimsical, smart-mouthed, back-to-basics Disney animation in decades, this comic adventure looks much like it could have been animated in the time of Snow White and sounds right off the streets of today. What stands out besides the whip-smart dialogue is the perfect casting of voice talents. Who else but David Spade could provide the acid-tongued voice of the egocentric Emperor, or Eartha Kitt as the devilishly deceiving Yzma, or Seinfeld vet Patrick Warbuton as her hunk-of-the-month Kronk? So what if it's not as visually stunning as most animated films before it. Who cares? It would only detract from the character-driven hilarity.

This fast paced adventure comedy comes beautifully packaged as a two-disc DVD set, with hours of behind-the-scenes fun within the halls of Disney Animation and plenty of extras to keep the young’uns enthralled for hours.

Disc one features a loaded commentary from the producer, director, art director, character designer, head of story, and several animators. Disappointing, perhaps, that not one would explain why the film was changed from drama to comedy. There're music videos of Sting and Rascal Flatts's theme songs, plenty of deleted scenes, a short trip to a llama farm, and a kids-only set-top game.

On disc two, director Mark Dindal and producer Randy Fullmer play host through the many stages of making an animated movie. You can pick your groove; studio (which shows the story and production featurettes) or animation (which walks you through the animation process). We also get to see pitch meetings, ink and paint processing, the clean-up, and the background animation tasks.

Presented in the film's 1.66.1 aspect ratio with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, The Emperor's New Groove's Ultimate Groove DVD will provide repeated viewing pleasure. There's sometimes too much information presented here, and you can't help thinking that seeing every behind-the-scenes detail spoils the magic for the kids. Either way, a fine DVD product of a fine character-driven comedy.
Shannon J. Harvey

Published: November 22, 2001

Email this article

You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia



VOICE TALENTS: David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, Patrick Warbuton,
Wendie Malick, Eli Russell Linnetz, Tom Jones
DIRECTOR: Mark Dindal
WRITERS: Roger Allers, Mark Dindall, Matthew Jacobs, David Reynolds, Chris
MUSIC: John Debney, David Hartley, Sting
EDITORS: Tom Finan, Pam Ziegenhagen
RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes (feature only)

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista International
DVD RELEASE DATE: October 24, 2001

Disc One: Introduction to deleted scenes; Deleted scene "Practice Destruction of Pacha's Village"; Rascal Flatts music video featuring "Walk the Llama Llama" and learn how to
llama dance; Sting music video "My Funny Friend and Me"; "The Emperor's Got Game" set-top game; Behind the scenes Featurette: Character voices; Research trip to Peru; Creating computer generated images; Theatrical trailer; Audio commentary with the filmmakers.

Disc Two: The Animation Groove; The development process; Story and editorial; Layouts and backgrounds; The animation process; Putting it all together; Music and sound; Publicity

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020