Here are some quotes from critics who have reviewed The Emperor's New Groove:
Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle Movie Critic "The inspired Disney animation army reverted to its old tricks of cartoon mayhem -- and sophisticated comedy -- to fashion the surprisingly madcap The Emperor's New Groove. Though an accompanying buzz hasn't quite hit yet, this oddball comedy may be one of the brightest, funniest pieces of entertainment of the season. With a brisk 80-minute running time, the high-energy movie packs more fun onto the big screen than two-thirds of the movies out there right now..."
Craig Kopp of the Cincinnati Post "...I don't know if it was at that time a decision was made to cut back on the hyper-realistic animation that has become trendy these days. But the more rudimentary animation style of The Emperor's New Groove is appropriately lighthearted and refreshing. So is the fact that the 'hero' of this Disney story is really a bad guy..."
Chris Hewitt of Knight Ridder Newspapers "The animation in Emperor doesn't break new ground, but it's bright and witty, and the terrific script makes fun of, among other things, restaurant birthday songs, lackadaisical diner waitresses and real-estate moguls. The jokes will appeal to adults, but Emperor doesn't have the cynical, crass tone of The Grinch, an adult movie marketed to kids..."
Robert W. Welkos of the Los Angeles Times "...the film can be viewed either as a refreshing departure from formulaic Disney fables of years past, or as a dramatic break that could leave loyal Disney fans scratching their heads. Either way, the film poses a unique marketing challenge for the studio. With a price tag of around $80 million, the project has had a long and arduous history..."
Nina Willdorf of the Boston Phoenix "Rah-rah songs, talking animals, smart kids, bad-guy/good-guy duels -- it's everything you expect from a Disney animation. But this full-length feature directed by Mark Dindal also includes more precocious quips than precious clichés..."
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times "In animation circles the word 'cartoon' is frowned upon, because it makes people think of a film that is six minutes long and stars Bugs Bunny, rather than a film that is 100 minutes long and grosses $200 million. I've trained myself to refer to them as "animated features," but now here comes Disney's The Emperor's New Groove, and the only word for it is 'cartoon.' I mean that as a compliment..."
Susan Wloszczyna of USA Today "...Let's be honest. The action in this Inca-dinka-doodle of a buddy-pic comedy tends to go around in circles, the fall-down, go-boom perils are repetitive, and the message (yes, they still had to sneak in a message) is an utterly obvious one about sharing and caring. The trick is that the gurus behind Groove know all this. In fact, they use it to their advantage..."
Michael Wilmington of the Chicago Tribune "The Emperor's New Groove, a bright and zippy, but alarmingly over-campy and lighter-than-fluff cartoon feature about pre-Columbian male bonding from the Walt Disney company, has a goofy title and a goofy premise...The Emperor's New Groove is bright, sassy and inconsequential, a loony screamer of a movie that never quite runs out of gas but never slips into high gear either..."
Loren King of the Boston Globe "...The Emperor's New Groove is hip and flip, though references to 'sissies' and to timid men as 'ladies' are uncool in a movie aimed at kids. It retains the Disney-esque morality that posits the emperor as an arrogant jerk until older-and-wiser Pacha infuses him with soul, without sacrificing Kuzco's wiseacre spirit. The film's snappy irreverence keeps pace throughout; even the usual Disney assortment of cuddly/crusty animals are jettisoned for a single, nonverbal squirrel and a bunch of silently menacing jaguars..."
Terry Lawson of the Detroit Free Press "...The Emperor's New Groove is neither new nor very groovy, and it is the first Disney animated movie since The Little Mermaid that amounts to nothing more than a throwaway...The Emperor's New Groove looks as if no one at Disney could quite figure out a way to finish this job..."
Stephen Holden of the New York Times "...On the surface, Disney's newest animated film looks and sounds like a poor second cousin to Dreamworks's far more splendiferous (but dreary) Road to El Dorado. But once it hits its groove, so to speak, the new movie exhibits a cheeky effervescence and spunk that were conspicuously absent in its glittering dud of a predecessor..."
Lou Lumenick of the New York Post "...The movie's bumpy production history is most noticeable in the wall-to-wall narration, a crutch live-action filmmakers often employ to paper over narrative gaps, but rarely used in animation...The Emperor's New Groove is overall less fun than the underrated The Road to Eldorado, another beautifully drawn film that shares a very similar historical setting. But as family entertainment, Emperor is still a demonstrably superior choice to that hideous bore known as Dr. Seuss' the Grinch That Stole Christmas."
Churnin of the Dallas Morning News "After stretching
itself with Dinosaur this summer, Disney seems to be running
out of ideas. Just take a look at 102 Dalmations, a fun but vapid
sequel to 101 Dalmations. And then consider The Emperor's
New Groove, an amusing but predictable knock-off of themes that
have been done much better..."
Animation Artist Magazine is now accepting Reader Reviews of The Emperor's New Groove. Email your review, along with your name, to Editor and it will be posted right here on this site. You must be over the age of 13 to submit a review.
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