We think this movie stands out for:
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, like most Disney movies, this one has some scary moments, including a nighttime jungle scene reminiscent of the woods at night in Snow White. Most of the peril is comic, but it still might be too much for kids under 5. And it's worth noting that the sarcastic tone that makes the main character so hilarious could be contagious for young fans. Keep an ear out for remarks like "Me no likey" and "Yeah thanks, you've been a big help." In the end, though, the movie is about a selfish person who sees the error of his ways and reforms, which is a positive take-away.
What's the story?
THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE follows the story of spoiled emperor Kuzco (voiced by David Spade). When Kuzco dismisses his advisor, Yzma (Eartha Kitt), she decides to poison him. Her dim but muscular sidekick Kronk (Patrick Warburton) accidentally gives Kuzco the wrong potion, and instead of being killed, he's turned into a llama. Kuzco needs to get help from a peasant named Pacha (John Goodman) to get his body and his kingdom back, and the pair embark on a wild adventure in which they go over a rushing waterfall, get covered with scorpions, are cornered by jaguars, and get chased by Yzma and Kronk.
Is it any good?
Fast, fun, and funny, The Emperor's New Groove is a sheer delight. It deserves to be taken out of the rarified category of "animation" and called what it is: a cartoon. It has more in common with classic Warner Brothers cartoons like Bugs Bunny and Road Runner than with Disney animation classics. The animation is fine, but the voice performances are brilliant, especially Spade, who's sensational.
Unlike other animated adventures, this story has no perky heroine singing about her dreams, no adorable animal sidekicks, no soulful romantic duet to be nominated for an Oscar. In fact, there's no love interest at all. It's pure nonstop action and comedy, with a kind of freewheeling, even improvisational tone that's downright revolutionary. The movie even spoofs itself, along with other movies from The Fly to The Wizard of Oz.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the main character's transformation, both physical and mental. How do you think Kuzco's animal transformation helps him become a better person?
Why do you think a character like Kuzco thinks all people are selfish, while a character like Pacha finds good in everyone? How do these very different characters learn to trust each other?
- In theaters: December 15, 2000
- On DVD or streaming: October 18, 2005
- Cast: David Spade, Eartha Kitt, John Goodman
- Director: Mark Dindal
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship
- Character strengths: Humility
- Run time: 78 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
Find more movies that help kids build character.
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love comedy
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.