A selfish emperor is turned into a llama by his evil advisor and
must find a way to change back with the help of a gentle villager.
The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
Directed by Mark Dindal
Written by David Reynolds
Starring David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt,
Patrick Warburton, Wendie Malick, Tom Jones
Oscar Nominations - Best Original Song (My Funny Friend and Me)
The Emperor's New Groove is a funny Disney classic that fell off the radar after its initial release. Thanks to the age of streaming, however, I was finally able to watch it again and it is still a great hit from Disney. Led by impressive voice work from David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, and Patrick Warburton, this film is good fun for the whole family as it teaches good lessons about selflessness and family. Plus, it's got a seriously catchy theme song.
David Spade plays the selfish, childish Emperor Kuzco, who plans to destroy an entire village in order to build his summer home. His advisor, Yzma (Kitt) wants to murder him for firing her. Her and her assistant Kronk (Warburton, arguably the funniest character in the movie) poison him and turn him into a llama instead. When Kronk tries to drop him over a waterfall, he instead drops him on a cart belonging to Pacha (Goodman), the villager Kuzco intended to evict first. What follows is a hilarious journey back to the palace, with Kuzco and Pacha bonding over the course of it.
This film is packed with memorable quotes and an original plot that holds up among a string of disappointments in the early 2000's. It isn't Disney's greatest film, but it is fun to watch. I've always liked it and I think it deserves more attention. Maybe it's time The Emperor's New Groove made a cult comeback.