The Emperor's New Groove: David Spade and John Goodman Overcome a Weak ScriptAtlantis: The Lost Empire," "Dinosaur," "Tarzan," the never-ending "Fantasia 2000," and some others, all in vastly different stages of development - but one project in particular seemed like a sure thing, the one that turned into "The Emperor's New Groove" (2000), directed by Mark Dindal from a script by David Reynolds. At that time, in 1998, the project had the tentative title "Kingdom of the Sun," with a convoluted plot about witches stealing the sun because it bothered them and other twists. The project was being guided by Roger Allers, who had helped direct "The Lion King," contributed to many of the Disney Renaissance and previous successes, and who was well-respected by all. Allers, though, got in over his head and let the project fall behind, a major no-no when Disney had major licensing deals in place for its scheduled mid-2000 release. Allers laudably was trying to craft something original and epic, but Disney movies at that time were being cranked out like an assembly line, and there wasn't time to both refine a brand new story and assemble it into a finished product - subjects of animated Disney movies around that time were the aforesaid "Tarazan," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," and "Hercules," all of which had established characters and storylines. Dindal was brought in to add some jokes, Allers left because they wouldn't allow him six additional months to do the job right (which ultimately happened anyway, but Hollywood isn't high school, you don't always get extensions), and the project got a new name, script, composer (John Debney), characters and animation. Basically, the entire "The Emperor's New Groove" project came to a dead halt and then veered off in a completely new direction just two years before it was released - an amazingly abrupt and quick turn-around for an animated Disney movie.
|"This will be my fine new vacation villa! Oh, and you have to move."|
|Kuzco is an arrogant young scamp|
|David Spade is a hoot as Kuzco the llama|
|Kuzco the llama having a bad night|
|Patrick Warburton plays Kronk as an overgrown kid|
|If it's a Disney movie set in South America, there has to be a rickety bridge|
|Pacha hauling Kuzco the llama|
|Wendie Malick plays Pacha's pregnant wife|
|Yzma is up to no good|
|Kronk in the inevitable "angel/devil on my shoulder" routine|
|Patrick Warburton is the best thing about "The Emperor's New Groove"|
|The theme of working together and getting along is hammered home|
Below is the trailer for "The Emperor's New Groove."