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The Emperor's New Groove was originally developed as an epic called Kingdom of the Sun and lost scale and most of Sting's song score (some of which can be heard on the soundtrack) on its way to the screen.
The end result is the lightest Disney film in many a moon, a joyous romp akin to Aladdin in its quotient of laughs for children and adults. The original story centres on the spoiled teenage emperor Kuzco (David Spade), who enjoys getting the best of his Aztecan subjects.
When he fires Yzma (Eartha Kitt), his evil sorceress, she seeks revenge and turns Kuzco into a llama with the help of Kronk, her hunk of the month (Patrick Warburton).
Alone in the jungle, the talking llama is befriended by Pacha (John Goodman), who has just been told to vacate his pastoral home by the human Kuzco. What's an ego to do? That's pretty much the story and the characters--simple, direct, fun--a Disney film on a diet.
For any fan of the acidic humour of Spade, this is essential viewing. As narrator of his tale, Kuzco uses a sarcastic tone to keep the story jumping with plenty of fun asides (he even "stops" the film at one point to make sure you know the story is about him).
Even better is character actor Warburton (Elaine's stuck-up boyfriend on Seinfeld), who steals every scene as the dim-witted, but oh-so-likable Kronk. There's even a delicious Tom Jones number that starts the film off with a bang.
DVD Special Features:
Trailers: Atlantis, Hunchback 2, Snow White, 102 Dalmatians & 100 years of magic
2 Deleted scenes
Music video and dance sequence game
Director's Audio Commentary
Sting Music Video