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The Emperor's New Groove

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Emperor's New Groove

Starring: David Spade, John Goodman
Director: Mark Dindal
Rated: G
RunTime: 80 Minutes
Release Date: December 2000
Genres: Comedy, Kids

*Also starring: Wendie Malick, Kellyann Kelso, Eli Russell Linnetz, Eartha Kitt, Patrick Warburton

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Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

If Walt Disney were to wander into the multiplex tonight, he'd wonder which studio did this animated film. Unlike what's come to be known as the Mouse House formula (or rut, depending on your point of view), there's only one or two songs and no romantic subplot. The story begins with a lonely, braying llama being drenched by rain in Peru. Only he's not an ordinary llama. He's actually Kuzco (voiced by David Spade), once the ruler of a pre-Colombian empire, who was accidentally transformed by his scheming, malevolent advisor Yzma (growling Eartha Kitt). Her dim-witted, muscular assistant, Kronk (Patrick Warburton), was supposed to kill him. Instead, he escaped in the back of a cart belonging to Pacha, a good-natured, hulking peasant (John Goodman), his pregnant wife Chica (Wendy Malick) and five daughters whose village Kuzco had intended to raze to build a vacation resort. The adventure revolves around the emotional maturation of the not-quite-18 year-old selfish, sarcastic, obnoxious Kuzco as he tries to find an antidote for the llama spell and hoofs his way back to the palace with Pacha to claim his rightful throne. Written by David Reynolds from a story by Chris Williams and director Mark Dindal, it's basically a buddy comedy and the quips are jazzy and hip, like "Your department is being downsized" and "We're not picking up your option." Reportedly, Sting and David Hartley composed a full musical score but what remains is "Perfect World," sung by Tom Jones, and "My Funny Friend and Me." On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Emperor's New Groove" is a lively, swingin' 7. Curiously, it shares the same historical setting as "The Road to El Dorado."

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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