Friday, 2 April 2010

Emperor's New Groove

Decided to rewatch this one recently, and it's still one of my favourite Disney films, and surprisingly so, because I don't usually like that form of humour.
It's also the only film I know of that I actually think has a better name in Norwegian than English; Et kongerike for en Llama, A Kingdom for a Llama, which is much more descriptive and suitable for the film.

A Kingdom for a Llama is one of those films I go back to and rewatch every time I'm sick of pretentious animation trying to be more than its plot/humour opens for. Kingdom is nothing like this. It's a purely silly and funny film, and it's fully aware of both its humour type and its target audience, which makes it able to pull off humour, plot, character development and touching moments without jarring from the overall feel.

More than any other Disney film, Kingdom is carried by its actors, and would probably not have a place among my favourites without David Spade. He's funny, arrogant, and pulls off Kuzco to perfection. His comic timing is also totally on point, and works really well together with John Goodman (Pacha). Warburton is also great as Kronk, though rather type-cast.

Some of the physical gags don't work that well on repeated viewings, especially after having seen the Disney channel series, where the "wrong lever, Kronk!" and "I didn't order any [soft or bouncy objects]" gags are rehashed every episode. But, the film is still funny, Kuzco is still a really interesting character, and the plot is well-written (I love the whole "we're totally aware of this big plot hole and we're going to comment on it instead of ignoring it" when Kronk and Yzma reach the lab before Pacha and Kuzco).

It's interesting to watch how they manage to develop lovable, deep characters in a gag comedy like this, and it's also a very good example of good script writing, both plot and lines, within a physical-based humour film.

And my favourite line is still, after at least 4 viewings; "Yay, I'm a Llama again! Wait.."

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