With the tagline, “It’s all about… me,” The Emperor’s New Groove is a feisty film of fun and frolics, and it is astonishing that it is reaching its 20th birthday while still remaining completely fresh and hilarious.
The premise of the film is one riddled with hilarity. The arrogant and self-centred “me” begins the story complaining about how his life is the worst. Our protagonist is the Incan emperor, Kuzco, who managed to get turned into a llama instead of being poisoned. Kuzco was not a very nice emperor and has to rely on the goodness of village leader, Pacha, to help him get back to his palace and turn back into a human. Both are at odds with each other but entertain an audience thoroughly with their shenanigans.
While this film is obviously a comedy first of all, it shows a lot of heart and character and shows a strong moral subplot beneath it all. It is one of the best Disney films, not only for its content but for the premise itself. From the premise, it must feature an entire film dedicated to a group of non-white characters, which is something that is thoroughly respected by the creators. It is a touch on an ancient culture while making it entertaining and modern.
The voice acting in it is superb and while it is not carried by people of colour (PoC), it does feature the legendary Eartha Kitt, who is iconic as the villain, Yzma. Each character has their own moment to be fabulous, with a very realistic and loving relationship being shown with Pacha and his wife. This is also the first Disney film to show a heavily pregnant woman on screen, and still, that woman is a badass.
This is one of those films that everyone should watch, and if you haven’t, then what are you doing right now?
Watch the trailer for The Emperor’s New Groove below: