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YMMV / The Emperor's New Groove

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The film:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Was Yzma's insulting of Kronk in the climax a result of her thinning patience with his stupidity, or was she trying to provoke him into killing Kuzco?
  • Anvilicious: Like most animated films today, the Power of Friendship is presented in full force, but this movie makes it work: Kuzco is an unambiguous jerk, but he becomes a better person as he spends more time with the much nicer Pacha, and their cooperation ultimately helps both of them in the end.
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  • Award Snub: Whenever there's an argument about voice actors getting Oscar love for their performances (say Robin Williams for Aladdin or Ellen DeGeneres for Finding Nemo), Patrick Warburton's name comes up a lot for his work as Kronk.
  • Awesome Ego: Kuzco might be a narcissist jackass pre-Character Development, but that does make him entertaining to watch.
  • Broken Base: Over whether the original Kingdom of the Sun concept (see the trivia page) would be better than the final film or not.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Evil Is Cool: While Kuzco and Pacha aren't without their moments, Yzma and Kronk are far more entertaining and memorable.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Yzma, who has a mannequin-head for nightly "storing" of her enormous fake eyelashes.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: It has a huge fandom in Italy and Brazil, mainly thanks to Superlative Dubbing.
  • He Really Can Act:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay:
    • Kuzco and Pacha. Come on, you saw it. They had Kuzco dress up as a woman and pretends to be newlyweds with Pacha, Pacha almost giving him CPR and claiming "it was not a kiss", the amount of awkwardness between the two (including after they hug!), and Kuzco's Tsundere dynamic with Pacha. Oh, and Kuzco constantly ordering Pacha to take him back to the palace has eventually been shortened to "take me back" over the course of how many times it's been said. What more proof do you need?
    • Pacha crossdressing as Kronk's wife for him to get his Papa's approval in the sequel.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In a twisted sort of way, Yzma telling Kronk that she doesn't like his spinach puffs. It's the final sign that she shows no loyalty to him, as she knows that this is the one thing she can say to him that he'll take personally.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The PlayStation, Dreamcast, and PC game was just as humorous and satirical as the movie is, hanging lampshades on video game clichés long before The Simpsons Game did. However, there are changes to the plot, such as game Kuzco knowing Yzma is trying to kill him right from the start, while in the movie he did not learn that until after the diner scene. We should also note that Yzma's crocodiles are, shall we say, more competent guards than they were in the movie.
  • Older Than They Think:
  • Rooting for the Empire: It isn't that Kuzco and Pacha aren't entertaining or good characters, so much as Kronk and Yzma flat-out steal the show, to the point that some viewers even wish that Kuzco doesn't get better just because they want to see the villains succeed.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Aside from the whole "twisted, snarky fairytale with an all-star cast" concept being monopolized by the runaway success of Shrek (which made it to theaters months after The Emperor's New Groove did), this was also the first Disney film in years that was not a blockbuster musical romance with a "Be Yourself" message. Anyone who doesn't remember this era will probably have a hard time getting past the "David Spade as a llama" gimmick.
  • Sequelitis:
    • The direct-to-DVD Kronk's New Groove was by no means terrible, featuring some decent animation and good gags here and there, but it was still a rather forgettable film, playing out more like three episodes of a TV cartoon stitched together into a movie than a true follow up.
    • The follow-up TV series The Emperor's New School regained some lost ground but had a tendency to take jokes from the original movie and re-re-re-use them until they lay in tatters.
  • Trailer Joke Decay: An amazing aversion. The "huge waterfall" scene was already funny out of context, but is so hysterical in-context that it remains one of the funniest parts of the whole movie.
  • Vindicated by History: The film was eventually a modest money-maker, and has garnered a new lease on life in the post-Shrek world as an example of how to do a timeless animated comedy right — many of the gags aged far better than the heavily modern pop-culture based humor of Shrek and its knock-offs, and the character of Yzma is now viewed as one of the best Disney villains.
    • The decisions noted in Executive Meddling on the Trivia page can also be seen as this. While the feelings of those who had their hard work discarded are understandable, descriptions and snippets of the Kingdom of the Sun draft look dangerously like yet another iteration of the late 90s/early 2000s Disney Award Bait formula, complete with Romantic Plot Tumor, tangential Green Aesop, and Jafar expy. As noted in the "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny entry, and in an uncharacteristically bold move for Disney, what we got instead was an irreverent Self-Parody of serious!Disney, featuring a cast of memorable characters in a World of Snark.
  • Watch It for the Meme: Billions of memers want to hear the memes' original source.
  • Woolseyism:
    • When Pacha first meets Llama!Kuzco and questions if it's him, Kuzco answers "What do you mean I don't look like the emperor?" In the Norwegian dub, they apparently found it hard to fit the lip sync and instead had Kuzco mockingly mimic Pacha's question (with an added lisp to boot), which somehow made it even funnier.
      Kuzco: Ugh! Kaither Kuthco!?
    • In the Italian dub there are quite a few, like when Pacha and Kuzco have to get up back to back; Pacha asks Kuzco 'Are you ready?' and Kuzco answers 'Yes' in the original dub, but as in Italian 'Are you ready?' was translated with 'Ci sei?' ('Are you there?') which has both meanings in the language, Kuzco gives a funny sarcastic quip, saying 'No, I'm at a bar'.

The game:

  • Anti-Climax Boss: Not that any of the bosses are very difficult, but the final boss is just a simple chase against Yzma in her cat form. Hold right and space, jump over the holes, enter the door, repeat twice, get the potion, and victory is yours. If you lose, you'll be allowed to try again.
  • That One Level: Jungle Night Chapter 3 forces you to Button Mash fast to outrun the chasing jaguars while you keep Kuzco away from Bottomless Pits.

The Kingdom of the Sun prototype:


Example of: