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The Emperor's New Groove

Director:Mark Dindal
Writer:David Reynolds
Disney; G; 78 minutes
Release:12/00
Voices of:David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt

It is telling, perhaps, that Disney keeps quiet about its new animated feature. The Emperor's New Groove works as a light-spirited antidote to the typical Disney formula: it isn't an epic musical coming-of-age romance comedy. On the contrary, it's just a zany jungle romp featuring two characters and their oversized sidekicks.

David Spade voices Kuzco, the insufferably whiny Incan emperor. He's eyeing the property of amiable oaf Pacha (voice of John Goodman)—Kuzco wants to develop the idyllic hillside into an amusement park. The emperor is so selfish and intolerant that courtly advisor Yzma (voice of Eartha Kitt) decides to poison him. Her bumbling minion only succeeds in transforming Kuzco into a common llama. Openhearted Pacha takes the llama under his wing. Lessons in humility lurk about, but this cartoon is more about witty, silly dialogue and nonstop action. It is fast-paced and pleasant, virtually free of Disney's penchant for bombast.