Animation | Adventure | Comedy
David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, Patrick Warburton, Wendie Malick, Kellyann Kelso, Bob Bergen, Tom Jones, Patti Deutsch, John Fiedler, Joe Whyte
Vain and cocky Emperor Kuzco (David Spade) is turned into a llama by his ex-administrator Yzma (Eartha Kitt), and must now regain his throne with the help of Pacha (John Goodman), a gentle llama herder.
Yesterday it was my birthday, and I treated myself to the film I was obsessed with when I was a kid. I was just curious to see how my old self would have reacted to this film, and I can't believe how much I've enjoyed it.
Nothing fancy if compared to Disney Classics, yet "The Emperor's New Groove" is a hilarious buddy film that just happens to be animated and suitable for all ages.
The story isn't particularly original - the ruler who has to change externally before he can change internally, the good-hearted sidekick of the villain who can't bring himself to kill the "hero" - and sometimes doesn't make sense, but it's well-paced, entertaining, easy to follow, and somewhat different.
What's different, you ask? Well, the story is told from the perspective of the ruler: the llama Emperor tells the story as if he was the innocent one being hurt by everyone, when it actually is quite the opposite.
The characters are great. Kuzco is some selfish llama, the main character that we are NOT supposed to like, but how can you not? He's hilarious and David Spade does a wonderful voice work, he just makes the llama so much more likable. Pacha is a generous, thoughtful and intelligent peasant that makes a good team with Kuzco - and he is the only one having a romance -, and John Goodman pulls off a good performance. As for the bad guys, Yzma is a memorable, over-the-top villain, scary beyond all reason, hilariously performed by Eartha Kitt, and Kronk is a the funny and likable sidekick, perfectly voiced by Patrick Warburton.
Like all Disney movies, "The Emperor's New Groove" has a moral that has to do with true values of life and friendship. It still is visually appealing, even 16 years later, and it also features a very catchy opening song performed by Tom Jones.
If you haven't seen it yet, I really don't know what you're waiting for!