Having zipped through The Emperor’s New Groove awhile back (yes, I have Disney DVDs), I was somewhat familiar with the story and the cast behind it. I was aware that the original film enjoyed some theatrical success, but I didn’t understand why the film necessitated a sequel. But here I am, trying to wrap my head around the logic for this sequel.
And surprisingly enough, I got a nice kick out of this animated film. Instead of focusing largely on the Emperor Kuzco (voiced by David S…ade, Tommy Boy), this film’s star is now Kronk (Patrick Warburton, Chicken Little). He is cooking in town and his food is enjoyed by everyone, but he still finds rejection from his father (John Mahoney, Say Anything). In the meantime, he helps the people in town, including Pacha (John Goodman, Monsters, Inc.) and his wife ChiCha (Wendie Malick, The American President). He also tries to stop Yzma (Eartha Kitt, Boomerang from trying to destroy the town too.
The wrinkle in this story seems to be that he falls in love with a woman named Birdy (Tracy Ullman, Corpse Bride), and they get along well. Through the course of this 72 minute romp, he sees her and falls for her, but she leaves him after a competition where she was humiliated. But she comes back in the end, because hey, it’s a Disney film, they always come back in the end.
Overall, it’s an animated film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s some singing, some animated dancing, and Warburton’s animated work is always fun in one way or another. Spade’s character makes it clear that he is NOT in the movie, several times in fact. But he just acts as the peanut gallery for the film, resulting in probably the easiest paycheck in recent memory. I wouldn’t call it a completely worthy sequel, but it’s quick harmless fun.
The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation of the film looks solid, but not as good as say Lilo and Stitch 2, where I was completely impressed. It’s not to say that this is shabby by any means, there are a lot of vibrant colors that are reproduced vividly, but the overall image isn’t as sharp as others have been.
It’s always kinda cool when straight to video sequels can get good treatment in the medium, and this film gives you a friggin’ DTS track to enjoy. It’s not as active as previous DTS tracks by Disney, but it still does the trick, with a lot of surround activity, and even some small work by the subwoofer. Much love to Disney for thinking of that.
The lack of extras is slightly disappointing here. There’s a couple of set-top games for the younger kids to enjoy, using the remote control of the DVD player, and a quick look at the making of the film, from a kids point of view. If you’re a teenage DVD enthusiast, you won’t really enjoy these extras too much.
A decent film that looks OK and sounds pretty good. At it’s basic level, I can appreciate and approve of it. Kronk’s New Groove is a fun romp for the younger set that should entertain them long after they’ve seen it, and there’s even a couple cute moments for the adolescent and adult viewers as well. For who it’s geared to, it’s a decent rental.
Special Features List
- Making of Featurette
- Set Top Games