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THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE

Production Information

Walt Disney Pictures gets moviegoers into the groove for laughter, fun, and fantasy with its exciting new animated adventure, "The Emperor's New Groove." Based on an original story, this outrageous comedy takes audiences on a wild and wacky roller-coaster ride full of unexpected twists and turns with its distinctive flavor, stylish animation, and upbeat new songs featuring lyrics and music by Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Sting and music by David Hartley. Adding to the fun and personality of the film's colorful characters are the superbly cast vocal talents of David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt and Patrick Warburton.

Set in a mythical mountain kingdom, the film follows the misadventures of an arrogant, egocentric young Emperor named Kuzco, who is transformed into a llama by his power-hungry advisor – the devious diva Yzma. Stranded in a jungle, Kuzco's only chance to get back home and reclaim the high life rests with a good-hearted peasant named Pacha. Kuzco's "perfect world" becomes a perfect mess as this most unlikely duo must deal with hair-raising dangers, wild comic predicaments and – most horrifying of all – each other as they race to return Kuzco to the throne before Yzma (aided by her muscle-bound manservant, Kronk) tracks them down and finishes him off. Ultimately, Kuzco's budding friendship with Pacha teaches the royal pain to see his world in a different way.

"The Emperor's New Groove" was directed by Mark Dindal, a multi-talented animation veteran, whose past Disney credits include effects animation, visual development, and visual effects supervision on such features as "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," and "The Rocketeer," and who helmed the animated feature "Cats Don't Dance." Overseeing the entire production in his role as producer was Randy Fullmer, who has been at Disney for 13 years and has previously served as artistic coordinator on "The Lion King" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Don Hahn ("Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame") was the film's executive producer. Patricia Hicks took on the role of associate producer.

Under the guidance of Dindal, Fullmer, a talented story team, and David Reynolds (who wrote the screenplay), an original and exciting comedy was crafted and won the support of Feature Animation president Thomas Schumacher and the artists alike. Chris Williams and Dindal wrote the original story. Stephen Anderson served as head of story.

According to Schumacher, "This film has its roots in the realm of classic fairy tales. Here, our main character is converted from one form to another, allowing him to see life from a different point of view. It's basically the notion of walking a mile in another man's shoes. In our case, this bratty young emperor, who has never really been anywhere or thought of anyone besides himself, is turned into a llama and left to survive in a world that he has never looked very closely at before. Not only does he get to walk among the people, but he has to do it on four legs. To show his true conversion, he starts out as a lovable jerk. You really want to see him get his comeuppance. David Spade gives the character great range and so much of this movie came out of his performance. He keeps it funny and light. Mark Dindal did a great job directing this film and everyone on the team brought something special to the process. Comedy is the hardest thing to pull off and this film makes me laugh every time I watch it."

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