Weekend Movies: Five Reasons to Watch The Emperor’s New Groove
Don’t roll your eyes just yet; stick with me for a minute. Yes, this is a kids’ movie. Yes, it’s a Disney cartoon. However, this one is special. It’s less of a kids’ movie and far more of a reward for an adult that has to sit through a kids’ movie. In fact, you’ll want to watch this one even if there aren’t any children are around; god knows I have. Here are five reasons to watch The Emperor’s New Groove this weekend.
|This is really one of my favorites.|
This film’s script was written by David Reynolds, who worked on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in the 90s, as well as the script for Finding Nemo. That should tell you something about the sarcasm potential. This one doesn’t disappoint. Every chance this film gets to make a smart ass remark or throw a dig at someone, it does. It ranges from direct insults delivered in deadpan tone to a completely dense miss on a point. You will guffaw, I promise.
Shout out to Matthew Jon Beck, Mary Hidalgo and Ruth Lambert, who cast this film: you three nailed it in the best possible way. David Spade and John Goodman (whom I just wanted to yell, “Donny, shut the fuck up!”) are the leads, and they’re perfect as the bratty emperor and the nice guy, respectively. As if that’s not enough, we’re also treated to Wendie Malick, Patrick Warburton, and even Tom Jones in the supporting cast. Not to mention Eartha Kitt, whose voice was absolutely divine as our villain. Speaking of which…
|Eartha Kitt as Yzma is the best.|
Kitt’s Yzma has moments that are not that swift. Compound that with the fact that she’s aided by the dumber-than-a-box-of-hair Kronk (voiced by Warburton), and it takes the ridiculous failure to a whole new level. It’s glorious; the only other villain that comes close to being this clueless is Meet the Robinsons‘s Bowler Hat Guy, who is a pretty close second for me. Nothing can go right for Yzma, and really, she brings a lot of it on herself. She’s nasty, self-serving, and doesn’t plan well. We root for her to fail, and she delivers. It’s awesome.
Ever notice how in most Disney films, we get the wedding, then the happy shot of a year later with a bouncing, smiling baby in mom’s arms? The process of how the baby gets there is completely glossed over. That doesn’t send the most realistic message to kids – the baby has to come from someplace, and you’re not doing anyone any favors by pretending that babies just magically appear after you’ve been married for a year. Malick’s Chica is not only pregnant, but realistic. She moves a bit slower; it takes a few seconds to get her balance; she reassures her husband that the baby’s not coming for a while. This is something totally new in this respect, and most of the people I’ve talked to haven’t realized this aspect until it’s pointed out. I can respect it for being a bit more grounded in reality.
You know what bugs me? When movies (and real life families as well) pretend that everything is fantastic all the time and that no one ever argues. That’s just not real. This one has a set of siblings that bicker. A lot. You’ve either seen these fights or had these fights yourself as a kid. It’s more than just that, though. You get couples that get frustrated. You get a friend welcomed into the family, plus jokes about cooking and long-lost family members. It’s a lot closer to real life than what we’re normally presented. It not only works, it’s endearing.
|We are these kids on some level.|