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Kuzco (David Spade) is the young, arrogant emperor of a vast kingdom. For his entire life, he has always had everything his own way. When his adviser, Yzma (Eartha Kitt), decides to usurp his power for herself, she has her servant Kronk (Patrick Warburton) poison Kuzco--but something goes wrong, and instead of dying, Kuzco is transformed into a talking llama. The former emperor winds up in the company of Pacha (John Goodman), a simple peasant just evicted from his land by Kuzco's plans for a new summer home. Pacha and Kuzco grudgingly agree to work together to restore Kuzco to his throne--and back to human form--but a series of wacky misadventures and the schemes of Yzma ensure that their journey will be a treacherous one. With THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE, Disney takes a break from the more serious, epic dramas of recent years in order to focus on nonstop comedy and slapstick dialogue. Featuring a series of hilarious stunts and a quick, lighthearted pace, THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE is a bubbly pleasure for viewers of all ages. The film also features Sting's Oscar-nominated song "My Funny Friend and Me."
Theatrical release: December 15, 2000. THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE is the 39th full-length animated feature from Walt Disney Pictures. THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE originally started as a serious, epic project entitled "Kingdom of the Sun," based on pre-Colombian legends and featuring a full score by Sting. As the film developed it eventually transformed into a lighter comedy focusing on the emperor, originally a secondary character. Six of Sting's songs were dropped from the final film. Much of the dialogue written for the character of Kronk was written specifically for actor Patrick Warburton, even before he was officially cast. For research, the film's creative team traveled to Peru to observe the art and architecture of the ancient Incas. Actors whose characters were cut out of the film include Harvey Fierstein, Carla Gugino, and Owen Wilson. Sting and David Hartley were nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song--Motion Picture for "My Funny Friend and Me."
"...The goofiest, giddiest and, yes, grooviest animated trip since ALADDIN unbottled its genie..." -- 3 out of 4 stars - 12/15/2000 New York Times, p.6E
"...Disney pros ditch the regulation Disney animated-musical formula and everyone has a great time in this hip, funny [movie]..." -- Rating: B+ - 01/12/2001 Entertainment Weekly, p.58
"...Genuinely a new groove with a humorous, feel-good twist..." - 02/01/2001 Box Office, p.67
"...A side-splicingly sharp, bruisingly funny buddy movie, THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE is slick anitainment....A real joy..." -- 4 out of 5 stars - 03/01/2001 Total Film, p.94
"...Imaginative incorporation of Inca design aspects....[Spade delivers] hilarious put downs..." - 03/01/2001 Sight and Sound, p.47-8
"...THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE is a delightful, effervescent morality tale for children conveyed with such wit and sophistication that adults are likely to be enchanted as well..." - 12/15/2000 Los Angeles Times, p.C8
"...A zany tonic....[It] is a reminder that the classic cartoon look is a beloved style of its own..." - 12/15/2000 Chicago Sun-Times, p.34