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Heartwarming / The Emperor's New Groove

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Surprisingly enough, for a movie like this, there are a few examples:
  • Everything involving Pacha and his family.
    • When Yzma and Kronk visit Pacha's family, Kronk appears to genuinely bond with Pacha's kids over jump rope. Unlike Yzma, Kronk shows no hostility towards Pacha's family, even when they are locked up in a trunk.
    • When Kronk is leaving Pacha's home, Kronk leaves on good terms and seems to genuinely forget the fact that he isn't related to Pacha's family — saying "Let's not wait 'till the next family reunion to get together."
    • During the end credits, Kronk is running his own Squirrel scouts which include members of Pacha's family.
    • In the sequel, when Pacha and his family come by to the diner where Kronk works, they greet him warmly and treat him as a dear friend.
  • Kronk enjoying his time in the restaurant as the new chef. Instead of begrudgingly going along with it because he accidentally got the chef to quit, he puts a lot of care into his dishes and gets the dishes out in a timely manner. It’s also worth mentioning that Kronk starts working there full-time in the sequel.
  • Pacha lending Kuzco his poncho.
    • And at the end of the film, Chicha presents Kuzco with a homemade poncho of his own. He looks like he has tears in his eyes when he receives it, as if it's the first time he's even gotten a heartfelt gift like that.
    • Followed by Kuzco getting hugs from her, Pacha, and the kids, showing that he is pretty much considered one of the family now.
  • Kuzco accidentally (or not) saving Pacha from falling off a cliff. "Don't read too much into it."
    • During the climax, he chooses to save Pacha (for real) rather than get the vial. That is true Character Development right there.
  • When Kuzco apologizes to Pacha after learning the truth about Yzma's plot to kill him. Just when Kuzco has resigned himself to being a llama permanently, he accidentally stumbles upon Pacha, who's telling his llamas the story of how Kuzco saved his life earlier. To his surprise, the latter doesn't chew him out or say "I told you so", but simply smiles, politely waves off the apology from Kuzco that he didn't require, and asks, "So, you tired of being a llama?"
    Kuzco: (bawling) "YEH-HEH-HEH-HESS!!" *sniff*
  • Watch Kuzco apologizing to the old man who he had thrown out the window at the beginning of the film.
    Old Man: Oh now you stop being so hard on yourself. All is forgiven.
    Kuzco: You're sure?
    Old Man: Oh it's not the first time I've been thrown out a window, and it won't be the last. What can I say, I'm a rebel.
    Kuzco: Okay buddy, take care. (Chuckling to himself after the man leaves) Heh, he's a sweet guy.
    • At the beginning of the movie, Kuzco does not allow anyone to touch him, even in a friendly manner. At the end here, he lets the old man playfully punch him in the arm and plays it off.
      Whoa,Tiger! I gotta use that arm later!
  • Kuzco agreeing to build his summer home next door to Pacha's house.
    Kuzco: So, you... lied to me.
    Pacha: I did?
    Kuzco: Yeah, you said when the sun hits this ridge just right, these hills sing. Well, pal, I was dragged all over those hills and I did not hear any singing. So, I'll be building my summer home on a more magical hill, thank you.
    Pacha: Heh. Couldn't pull the wool over your eyes huh?
    Kuzco: No, no, I'm sharp, I'm on it. Looks like you and your family are stuck on the tuneless hilltop forever, pal.
    Pacha: ...You know, I think I heard some singing on the hill next to us. *Beat* In case you're interested.
    • What sells it is that Kuzco, being...well, Kuzco, can't just come out and apologize. He's doing it, but he's doing it in his own way, just to remind us that this is still the same guy who once was about to destroy a man's (now best friend's) village.
  • Oh, and his summer home? Just a simple hut. The only trace of "Kuzcotopia" at all is the building's model turned into a fancy birdbath.
  • A small-but-significant moment as Pacha and Kuzco are racing back to the palace: Kuzco expresses concern for Chicha and the kids and questions Pacha if he really thinks it was a good idea to leave them behind to Kronk and Yzma.
  • Yzma gets a small Pet the Dog moment when she allows the distraught mook who has been turned into a cow to go home early.
    • Not only that, she asks if anyone else needs to, and all of them say "No, we're good", then she orders a second attack.
  • When Yzma furiously insults Kronk's spinach puffs and Kronk begins to tear up, we see his shoulder angel give him a small pat on the cheek.
  • As they're leaving Pacha's house with the supplies they need, Kuzco takes a moment to compliment the appearance of Pacha's wife, Chicha. This coming from a guy who rudely dismissed an entire line-up of potential brides for not being pretty enough for his standards, it means either Kuzco has developed enough to acknowledge the merits of other people, or he thinks Chicha is just that beautiful.


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