The Emperor's New Groove / The Emperor's New Groove 2: Kronk's New Groove

The Emperor’s New Groove 9/10

THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE is a brilliant combination of Disney animation, witty storyline and fantastic voice talent. When spoiled Emperor Kuzco gets transformed into a llama on the eve of his 18th birthday, he demands begs for help from Pacha, a peasant he rebuffed earlier that day.  The odd duo encounter all sorts of obstacles in their quest to return to the empire to raid Kuzco’s former advisor’s “secret lab” for the concoction that will transform him back to being a human. Little do they realize, but Yzma and her consigliere, Kronk, are behind Kuzco’s mistaken transformation that should have been a termination.

John Goodman, David Spade in The Emperor's New Groove

Some say THE GODFATHER has wisdom that you can apply to your daily life, however, in my book, I turn to THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE for movie inspired lessons. This animated picture is one of my all-time favorite films. The sharp humor and quick jokes have me in stitches and I find myself quoting lines on a semi-frequent basis. The banter between snide Kuzco (David Spade) and down to earth Pacha (John Goodman) is that of two life long friends. Spade is his usual snarky self that we’ve seen in other pictures, this time pointing fingers hooves at everyone else instead of seeing his faults.  However, their ribbing pales in comparison to the ridiculousness of revenge driven Yzma (Eartha Kitt) and dimwitted-but-means-well Kronk (Patrick Warburton).  Yzma’s frustration with Kronk is quite amusing, but he steals the show with his camaraderie between wildlife (ahem – squirrels in the jungle), love for cooking and his ‘shoulder angel/devil’ that help provide advice during big decisions.

David Spade, Patrick Warburton, Eartha Kitt in The Emperor's New Groove

What makes THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE a favorite is like most Disney pictures of late, it’s fun for children of all ages and for those who are young at heart with a nice message of being wealthy with friendships. The upbeat musical numbers and quick pace make this entertaining film easily rewatchable. Excuse me while I watch THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE for the millionth time.

The Emperor’s New Groove 2: Kronk’s New Groove 6/10

The straight to video follow up to THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE came out five years after the original picture. Bringing back all the same voice talent (Spade, Goodman, Kitt, Warburton, and Wendie Malick) it was a treat to see how old friends from the original picture were doing.  This time instead of following spoiled Kuzco, we get to check in with dry humored Kronk.

Patrick Warburton in Emperor's New Groove

Much like the original, the show starts with the same formula of telling the tale from the middle. Kronk receives a telegram from his Papi (John Mahoney) announcing his upcoming visit. We follow Kronk as he shares his fears of Papi’s visit and his hopes that he’ll receive a thumbs up from his old man.

As far as sequels are concerned when they skip the big screen, I tend to be a bit weary on the quality. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the second installment in the Groove series is full of great jokes, sharp dialogue, and heart. Knowing the first film as well as I do, it was a delight to catch all the inside jokes throughout this picture. Enthusiasts will agree it’s not surprising to see our beloved Emperor pausing the flick to jump in every now and again as we hear Kronk’s tale.

Tracey Ullman, Patrick Warburton in The Emperor's New Groove 2: Kronk's New Groove

The one disappointment I had in the entire thing was Yzma singing a solo like Belle in BEAUTY IN THE BEAST or Ariel in THE LITTLE MERMAID.  The original Groove did not showcase a single character singing, rather it started and ended with big musical numbers. That complaint aside, KRONK’S NEW GROOVE is a fun follow up to one of my favorite films.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video (1.85:1/1.75:1): Images were sharp and vibrant in both fantastic films.

Audio (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1): The audio was excellent to catch all the humor and sharp wit sprinkled throughout both pictures.

OVERALL 4
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