Emperor's New Groove, The
G
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: +3

"Ho, ho, ho!" may not be Santa in the shopping mall, but moms, dads and kids responding to this new animated fantasy from Disney. Young, spoiled and selfish Emperor Kuzco (voice of David Spade) rules over a mythical mountain kingdom. His chief adviser is the decrepit Yzma (Eartha Kitt), whose false eyelashes and long painted fingernails fail to fool anyone but herself about being young and beautiful. To celebrate his upcoming birthday, Kuzco plans to destroy a picturesque village atop a neighboring mountain and replace it with a personal vacation resort. This bit of news devastates Pacha (John Goodman), a hard-working, happily married peasant who lives in the doomed village. When evil Yzma plots to poison the emperor and become the empress, Kuzco mistakenly gets a potion that turns him into a llama. Kind-hearted Pacha finds the helpless emperor/llama lost in the jungle. Kuzco and Pacha embark on a series of adventures, including literal cliff-hanging situations, scary chases and a perilous trek across a swinging bridge on the way to reclaim Kuzcos throne and his human form. The tale of whiny, spoiled Kuzco, conniving Yzma and her dim-witted cohort, Kronk (Patrick Warburton), along with a lively musical score by Sting, will warm hearts and brighten any gloomy, wintry day.

Is Disney finally responding to families' objections to sexual innuendo and frightening violence with THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE? With no suggestive, double-meaning remarks and action scenes that provide excitement and suspense without painful results, it does seem so. Even when a pack of jaguars chase Kuzco through the jungle, they don't catch him. Falls off cliffs, surviving perils of a raging river, and hanging from fragile tree limbs are done in fun. And Yzma's comical attempts to look seductive just make her more grotesque. Rather than occultic, the magic potions that turn Kuzco into a llama are part of the fantasy commonly used in fairy tales. Very young children may need reassurance that this is make believe and people cannot be turned into animals. And good triumphs over evil. Pacha exemplifies kindness, strength and compassion as he saves the selfish emperor's life over and over, even though Kuzco has threatened to take away his home. Messages about keeping promises and trust resonate throughout THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE, making it a family holiday delight.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Buena Vista (Disney), 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Many times - Cartoon action (wild animal chase through jungle, collapse of bridge, fall into raging river, dangling and fall from cliff)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Magic potion turns man into llama; positive messages about trust, keeping promises, compassion
Running Time: 78 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 4 and older

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)