Wow, we’re at #40 already! Only a dozen more films to go before my project is finished!
Well, if you won’t cry, I will!
Today, we are looking at Disney 40th animated feature, “The Emperor’s New Groove”. Released in 2000, the film was originally called “Kingdom of the Sun” and was planned to be a musical a la “The Lion King” with the British singer, Sting working on the songs.
Long story short, this plan collapsed upon itself!
What the final product gives us is the story of a spoiled bratty jerky teenage Incan emperor named Kuzco
who is the subject of an assassination attempt by his ex-advisor, Yzma.
Due to a mix-up by Yzma’s right-hand man, Kronk, Kuzco transforms into a llama instead of dying,
and accidentally gets transported to the home of Pacha, a peasant who was told to vacate his premises by Kuzco a few hours/days earlier. When Pacha discovers that Kuzco is a llama, it’s up to him to get Kuzco back to the palace. But, this is much more difficult than it sounds because Kuzco’s “jerk-ness” gets in the way! And that’s pretty much the premise of the movie.
Now this was another hard one to choose a forgotten/minor character of, mainly because there are SOOO many minor characters!
You have the Theme Song Guy,
the official in charge of finding Kuzco a bride,
the royal dresser,
and my personal favorite: the Piglet-voiced old man who constantly gets thrown out of windows!
And those are only SOME of the minor characters in this film!
The other problem is that although all these characters are minor, almost none are forgotten, since their presence in the film is usually associated with some comedic scene, thereby making them memorable.
So after a LONG time of thinking, I finally decided to go with the checkers players as my forgotten/minor characters of this film!
When Pacha and Kuzco discover that Yzma is trying to find them, they head to Pacha’s house to re-supply so that they can leave immediately again for Kuzco’s palace. The problem is that Yzma and Kronk are already at Pacha’s house awaiting their arrival. How do our heroes know that the villains are at Pacha’s house?
Well, some elderly checkers-playing neighbors tell them so!
Besides this, these old men don’t do anything else worthy of mentioning…and they’re really not that important when you come to think of it!
So why do I pick them? Well, like I said, everyone else is too darn memorable!
I…don’t really have anything else to say about them!
Oh well, give it up for the checkers players!
9 thoughts on “Disney Canon-Forgotten/Minor Characters #40: The Checkers Players”
Ya got me. I totally forgot about these guys!
So, I made the right choice then! Nice 😀 !
I really like your forgotten character posts! and thank you for commenting on my blog
Thanks, I’m nearing the end of the Disney Canon, so watch out for the rest of my forgotten/minor characters!
Well, I still remember those two. Anyways, I think the movie is a bit too simple for my taste. It is fun, but simple, and don’t really have much else to say about it.
Yeah, it’s a fun film…but definitely not a favorite.
Ah, THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE– one of my personal favorite post-TARZAN and pre-PRINCESS AND THE FROG Disney animated features. Excuse me while I write my review in this comment slot…
Among the many things I appreciate about this film include:
1. It takes the conventional definition of the “buddy film” and turns it on its nose every chance it gets.
2. The animation is sprightly and refreshingly cartoony.
3. The jokes come fast and furious: There’s plenty of slapstick and sarcasm throughout (including some of Kuzco’s catchphrases, like “No touchy!”), not to mention the usage of ever-hilarious diner-speak, as well as some priceless examples of medium awareness and breakage of the fourth wall.
4. The basic tone of the movie seems less like Disney’s previous animated films, and has more of a Warner Brothers (or even Muppets) vibe to it, which is really refreshing.
5. I’ll use this last entry to talk about Yzma, if you don’t mind. For one thing, she is arguably the most sympathetic antagonist in all of animation history (“arguably” being the operative word)*. For another, her chemistry with Kronk (who’s really just a well-meaning guy who fell in with the wrong crowd, when you think about it) is impeccable. And finally, Eartha Kitt gave a delightfully over-the-top vocal performance on a par with Betty Lou Gerson’s turn as Cruella de Vil, making Yzma one of the funniest Disney villains ever (along with Madame Mim and Hades, in my book).
In all, I’m quite happy with how EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE turned out, although I’m also kind of curious as to how it would have fared as KINGDOM OF THE SUN (which makes me wish even more that Disney would release THE SWEATBOX [a documentary that covers the film’s sordid history] unabridged on DVD).
*Many say that Kuzco inherited his negative traits from her, and that she might have been an even worse ruler than he was in the beginning, but still, when you consider how he treated her, you can’t help but sympathize with her in the moment that she gets fired. Although, it makes you pity her for the misfortunes that befall her all throughout the movie’s running time, funny as they are. (If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that Yzma could be described as a glutton for punishment…)
Lol, have you thought about creating your own movie review blog? You’ve got your reviews down to a tee!