The Emperor's New Groove
Emperor Kuzco, a spoiled narcissist, summons Pacha, the headman of his village, to his palace and informs him that his newest summer palace, Kuzcotopia, is going to be built right on top of Pacha's home. Pacha protests but is ignored, as Kuzco has many other things to take care of, like firing his advisor Yzma. For revenge she attempts to poison the young ruler, but instead he is transformed into a llama. When her henchman Kronk fails to dispose of the llama properly, the animal ends up in Pacha's village. Pacha is the only person who can help Kuzco get back to the palace and undo the transformation, but unless the Emperor changes his mind about Kuzcotopia's location Pacha won't lift a finger to get him home.
Whoa. This is so different from other Disney movies. It's almost surreal. It's not a musical. There's a ridiculous, over-the-top song opening the movie, but that's it. (Apparently, Sting wrote and/or performed several songs for the film, but they were cut from the final version.) The Emperor's New Groove doesn't have the classic fairy tale atmosphere of Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid. It's decidedly contemporary in dialogue and humor...much more cartoonish. Think Looney Tunes. Very zany and silly and manic.
I don't even know what to say about it. Do I like the film? Yes, lots. Do I think it's going to be regarded as a great classic someday? Y'know...I'm not sure. The animation's interesting, and entertaining, but it's not innovative or beautiful. It's been ten years since the film was released in theaters, and the jokes feel a little stale now. But it's still really funny. I could watch it again and again, but maybe not immediately again.
Side note: This is one of the few Disney movies that I've actually seen the direct-to-video sequel - in this case, Kronk's New Groove. It's pretty bad, but I love it, because I love Kronk. I mean, isn't he pretty much the perfect guy? Big, buff, but loves to cook, clean and take direction?