Originally this Disney cartoon was going to be an ambitious epic based on the Incas, but it ran into trouble and eventually was abandoned. This engagingly funny, undemanding but consistently entertaining escapade emerged instead.
The main character is Kuzco, a super-cool pre-Columbian emperor whose pampered lifestyle is a hedonist's heaven. He's voiced by David Spade, and is a bumptious, cynical, totally selfish egomaniac who has been raised to do whatever he wants, with never a regard for his unfortunate subjects.
He dumps his chief advisor, Yzma, a raddled old harpy, superbly voiced by Eartha Kitt, who retaliates with a death plot which is bungled by her dim-witted but well-meaning aide Kronk (Patrick Warburton) who would prefer to cook food than plots. The emperor is turned into a llama, and left alone in the wilds.
Fortunately for him there is a good man who will save him. Pacha,(John Goodman, no less), is a llama-herder and family man who is not going to allow imminent eviction from his home so that the emperor can have a new pool to affect his duty.
Their hilarious adventures to thwart the villainess, with the fat man as the hero, the emperor-llama his increasingly chastened buddy, have the energy, absurdity and zany humour of classic cartoons, not the usual sentimental, high-minded stuff that you often get from Disney, but the slapstick of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. So much so that someone has already said that this is the best Warner Brothers cartoon Disney ever made.
Sting composed the songs for the original film, and some of his stuff has survived. The score is often as witty as the visuals it accompanies.
Visit the official "The Emperor's New Groove" website.