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Moo Cow chimes in with a precise and enlightening story of how KINGDOM OF THE SUN became THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE...

Hey folks, Harry here. This is exactly the reason I created AICN. You see... For years being a film geek I've tried to understand simple stupid decisions like.... the current name change from KINGDOM OF THE SUN, a title that sounds like a good movie, but from what Sir Etch A Sketch showed me looked like a lame ripoff of THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER (which Disney had already done successfully with Mickey Mouse).... To THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE... a title that seems to indicate all of the worst things that we believe Disney is capable of.... However, we haven't seen the current state of this project... So... Maybe it would now be a cool movie with a crappy title.... BUT... We don't know. How did this come to pass? What happened behind those closed doors there in the palace of mice? Did Eisner have one cup of coffee too many and just blurted out the title, which was instantly followed by rows and rows of YES-MEN say, "YES YES YES YES!!!"? Well... Usually we would never be able to get down to the truth. Some hardened press type would simply say, "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH." But as I read this fascinating and insightful look into the decision making process, the story development process and the testing process involved with this film... I'm reminded of the old days of Disney. The long development processes... before the prying eyes of folks like me and you and before the hunger for peeks at presents early came about... The following story is fantastic. Read it only if you are fascinated by the world of animation and Disney. IT contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for Multiple Renditions of this film along the process of final delivery. And right now... Well, after reading it all... It doesn't sound like a farting Llama movie anymore. Good. It isn't a cheap ripoff of THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER. And... god bless it.. the title actually makes sense. So... read and learn...

Harry --

I've just finished reading through all the talk-backs your AICN readers recently sent you concerning Disney's decision to change the name of " Kingdom in the Sun. " And I have to admit that I'm kind of troubled by the negative tone they took toward the title change. It strikes me as kind of bizarre that people can be so downbeat about a film that they haven't even seen the trailer yet for, let alone the finished product.

Yes, I will admit that " The Emperor's New Groove " does seem like a pretty lame title for a Disney animated feature. It certainly lacks the grandeur of the project's first two titles : " Kingdom of the Sun " and " Kingdom in The Sun. " But the new title actually does a much better job of describing the style and tone of this version of the film than " KOTS " or " KITS " ever did.

Just ask Sir Etch-a-Sketch or any of your other moles at the Mouse. Anybody who's worked at Disney Feature Animation over the past few years will tell you that " Kingdom / Groove " has been a very troubled project. In its four years of production, thousands of hours of work and millions of dollars of finished animation ( $30 million's worth is the figure I've heard bandied about ) has been tossed out as the Mouse flailed about, trying to find the right tone and story for this film.

As originally planned, " Kingdom " was supposed to be this Aztec adventure based loosely on Mark Twain's " The Prince and the Pauper. " The story went as follows : A handsome but haughty prince ( voiced by David Spade ) discovers that he has an exact look-alike in a kindly llama herder ( voiced by Owen Wilson ). To get a taste of freedom, the prince switches places with the pauper for a day -- little realizing that the switch has been observed by the evil court sorceress, Yzma ( voiced by Eartha Kitt ).

Yzma sees this switch as an opportunity to gain control of the throne. She uses her magic to turn the pompous prince ( when he's disguised as the pauper ) into a llama. The court sorceress then tells the pauper ( who's then masquerading as the prince ) that she knows that he's not who he says he is. Ymza threatens to expose the pretend prince ( which would result in instant beheading ) unless he does her bidding.

What does Yzma want? Well, the sorceress once was a great looker ... Now, she's a painfully thin, faded beauty -- sort of an Aztec version of Cruella De Vil. Yzma wants desperately to regain her lost looks. To do this, she'll need the pretend prince to marshall the full resources of the Kingdom. What must Yzma do to achieve eternal youth and beauty? Lasso the sun and bring it down to Earth.

I know, I know. That's a pretty odd story for a Disney animated feature ... The real trouble with the original story for " Kingdom of the Sun " was so he would turn back into a human. Having finally learned humility through his experiences as a llama, the prince is finally ready to lead his people. The pauper would win the hand of a head-strong-but-lovely handmaiden in the prince's court ( who knew that something wasn't quite right when the pauper was pretending to be the prince ). The three of them live happily ever after ... Yadda Yadda Yadda ... Nothing new here. Just like in dozens of other Disney animated features ...

Not to say that everything in the original version of " Kingdom " was going to be lame or predictable. Sting wrote several fun pop songs for the film's score spent over a year animated this very funny little character before Disney dropped it from the movie.

As Disney edited together work-in-progress versions of " Kingdom, " It became obvious that a talented team were doing lots of good work on the project. But it became obvious that Allers was clueless as to how to fix the film. Disney Feature Animation head Peter Schneider and Thomas Schumacher then stepped in and quietly shut down work on the project.

For six months ( starting in the summer of '98 ), production was shut down on " Kingdom. " During that time, Disney radically reworked the story while the film's idle animation team was put to work on Eric Goldberg's " Rhapsody in Blue " project. ( Which that they realized that " Rhapsody " would be a perfect last minute addition to " Fantasia 2000. " To make room, they had to drop yet another sequence from the original film, " The Nutcracker Suite. " But the fairies from " Nutcracker " are still featured for a second or so in the " Fantasia 2000 " trailer. So much for pointless trivia ! Anyway ... )

Finally tired of waiting for the film's story to be fixed, several of " Kingdom " 's original animators opted to bail out of the troubled project. Chief among these was Andreas Deja, the original animator of Yzma. Though it's said that he did some of his best work ever with the evil sorceress, Deja had had enough with " Kingdom " 's never-ending story problems. Frustrated by Aller's inability to fix the film, Andreas opted to get out of town. He left Burbank and headed to Orlando, where he joined up with Disney Feature Animation - Florida. Here, Andreas is currently working as the lead animator on Lilo, the little girl heroine of Disney's forthcoming animated feature, " Lilo and Stitch. " Based on what the staff down there says, Andreas is genuinely happier working on " Lilo & Stitch. "

Anyway ... After six months of work, Disney's story department finally decided that the only things that actually worked in the original version of " Kingdom " were :

1) The Aztec setting

2) David Spade & Eartha Kitt's performances as the prince and the sorceress.

3) The turning-into-a-llama story idea.

So, virtually everything else left over from the previous incarnation of the film was tossed out. Gone was the " The Prince and the Pauper " under-structure, as well as Yzma's lassoing-the-sun scheme. Owen Wilson's look-alike llama herder had never been much of a foil for Spade's comic prince character. So, Wilson's character that now drove the story.

The new script for " Kingdom " goes as follows : When the sun reaches its apex on his 18th birthday, snooty prince Kuzco will ascend the throne of the Aztec empire. On that day, his aged aunt Yzma must step down. Trouble is, Yzma doesn't want to step down. She wants to continue holding power. So Yzma conspires with her well-meaning-if-dim-witted henchman, Kronk ( Voiced by Patrick Warburton, best known for his work as Puddy on " Seinfeld " ), to do the young prince in.

So, as the prince's birthday nears, Yzma invites her nephew to dinner one night. During the meal, Kronk is supposed to serve the prince a potion that will poison him. But he accidentally serves Kuzco a potion that doesn't kill him but turns him into a llama. Trying to make the best of their botched plan, Ymza and Kronk then brain the enchanted prince with a vase. Thinking they've killed Kuzco, they quickly dispose of the body by throwing the limp llama onto the back of the cart of a peasant who's heading out of town.

Trouble is, Kuzco isn't dead, just unconscious. The next morning, the enchanted prince comes to in the back of the cart. He finds himself, miles from home and at the mercy of the cart's owner he's going to put this lazy talking llama to work ...

Meanwhile, with the coronation day approaching, Yzma and Kronk put out the word that Prince Kuzco has disappeared. Their story is that the young prince told them that he wasn't up to the challenge of leading a kingdom, so Kuzco fled in shame. Yzma says that she hopes someday that the prince will change his mind and return. Til then, she will be happy to stay on the throne and rule.

Back out in the countryside, Kuzco learns the value of hard work. He notices that Paucho and his friends are good, kind hearted people who deserve a great leader. Humbled by his experience, Kuzco vows to become a good king. Knowing that the prince has finally learned his lesson, Paucho now offers to take Kuzco back to the city where they hope to find someone to break the spell.

Meanwhile, word comes to the palace that a talking llama has been sighted in the countryside. Yzma and Kronk realize that Kuzco must be still be alive. So they send soldiers from the city to go capture the bewitched creature ....

And then ...

Well, you don't want me to give away the whole film, do you? ( Okay. Fine. Good triumphs over evil. The spell is eventually broken. Kuzco becomes human again, while Yzma is turned into a screeching peacock. Paucho's village is destroyed by the soldiers, but Kuzco vows to build it back, better than ever. )

This is the Reader's Digest version of the story. While this may lay out the bare bones of the story, what it doesn't make clear is that the finished version of " The Emperor's Lost Groove " is going to be a lot of fun. Disney hasn't done a film that's been this flat-out funny since " Aladdin. " The movie's humor may be very contemporary in tone, but it's still accessible to audiences of all ages. there's jokes here for kids and adults.

Another prediction : People are going to be really startled by David Spade's work here. Sure, he's been funny before on " Saturday Night Live " and in those Chris Farley film, but who knew the snarky little weasel could act? Space's vocal performance as Kuzco makes this movie. You'll laugh, you'll cry. Just like John Goodman's Paucho, you'll find yourself coming to love the obnoxious little guy.

So don't sell this film short just because of its supposedly stupid sounding title ... By the way, what is the significance of the title, " The Emperor's New Groove "? Well, other than the obvious riff on Hans Christian Anderson's " The Emperor's New Clothing, " the title ties directly in with Kuzco's first appearance in the film. When we initially meet the prince, he and his entourage are parading through the streets of the kingdom. It's an elaborate procession, with musicians playing and flower girls strewing petals in front of the prince as he manfully strolls along. Suddenly, a small child darts into the street -- bringing the procession to an abrupt halt.

" Out of the way, kid, " Kuzco says. " You're throwing off my groove. " ( I know, I know. Not what you'd expect an Aztec prince to say. But remember the film's humor is contemporary, very '00s. )

At the end of the film, we again see Kuzco in a procession moving through the streets of the kingdom. Humbled but with his head on straight now, he and Paucho leads his people in celebration of the defeat of Yzma. This " Emperor's New Groove " shows that Kuzco will now be the good and wise leader the Aztecs deserve ... As Sting warbles the hit single version of the movie's ballad, the camera pulls back from the happy celebration .. and the credits roll.

This you'll understand why Disney opted to change the name. The new title better reflects the tone and style of the movie now. Maybe it's not a Disney classic, in the " Snow White " or " Beauty & the Beast " sense. But " The Emperor's New Groove " is still a damn funny movie that will be turning up at a multi-plex near you in December 2000.

Who am I? Nobody who works for the Mouse. Just a guy who likes animation.

Call me Moo Cow.

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 2, 2000, 4:47 a.m. CST

    Title changes and so forth

    by Archie

    This was a very interesting piece. It shows the truth of the statement that 'nobody knows anything'. A story can founder and become bogged down for so many reasons, once the problem is perceived as solved it seems obvious as to why it was wrong in the first place, or does it? There is a danger in simply telling the same dort of stories over and over to fuel as it were the machine. Which is why a film like Nightmare before Christmas was so refreshing, it may may not have made the metga-bucks but it was exhilirating for the audience.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 4:53 a.m. CST

    sound good

    by batman1111

    sounds pretty good almost great mostly because of that ymsa or whatever i would like to see this recardles of the name the name means nothing it the movie that matters

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 4:55 a.m. CST

    First use of the phrase "very 00s"

    by Owatonna

    But hey, it is February. I think we know how the decade's shaping up by now.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 4:59 a.m. CST

    I guess it ain't such a bad title after all.

    by Doughboy

    It still sounds kinda cheesy and a little too reminiscent of How Stella Got Her Groove Back, but who knows? It could actually work. That's not to say I'd be heartbroken if they went back to the original title. BTW, are these songs by Sting gonna be sung by others during the film or will they take the Tarzan approach and let him do the singing in the background?

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 5 a.m. CST

    My god...

    by Jonte

    ...this site is great. Thanks Harry! The obvious thing to say is that first version seemed better, looking more "adult", but I guess we'll never know... I think that "Iron Giant" has had a great impact on the animation industry, and maybe that's why they cut out the "small Aztec figurine", the disneyesque comic sidekick.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 5:04 a.m. CST

    Bowie is NOT aging badly

    by Touchshriek

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 5:06 a.m. CST

    How to translate "groove"

    by Jonte

    I don't even want to think about the swedish title for this movie: "Kejsarens nya sv

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 5:10 a.m. CST

    Well... (C.K.)

    by Intruder

    This guy probably gave away to much information... I now understand and some what accept the change of the title... Kingdom in the Sun really doesn't fit as a title for that movie anymore... but couldn't they have come up with a better name?... Well... it is supposed to be a comedy, but I'm affraid that the name will simply not attract people... It doesn't make me wanna see it at all... and I just don't see how funny the movie could be from the description of the plot... Still... I'm open minded enough to say that I'll wait til I see it to make a judgement... it won't be no disney classic though, I'll tell ya that right now...

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 5:22 a.m. CST

    Like HELL this guy doesn't work for Disney

    by Brundledan

    The story still sucks. "Moo Cow" can fool him/herself into thinking otherwise, but this stupid turd-in-progress is still going to come out like... y'know. Oh, and is anyone else SICK of this wink-wink, nudge-nudge "contemporary humor" that Disney indulges in all the friggin' time? Remember when Uncle Walt ran the show, how things were always played more or less STRAIGHT?! Remember how the humor came from the nuances of CHARACTER, and not from tired, pat- yourself - on - the - back - for - catching - them, self-referential "in-jokes"??? I am SICK of seeing Michael Eisner and his band of uninspired assholes systematically destroying everything Walt Disney worked so hard to build. This is my third negative post in a row. There's a reason for that, though, as all horizons look pretty BLEAK and MEANINGLESS right now. Just THINKING about The Walt Disney Company makes me angry. Fuck them, fuck their movie, and fuck everything else.

  • Fantastic! The commercial as well as the creative considerations involved in the creation and execution to "one of those Disney cartoons", is beautifully articulated and almost a bit wrenching. It does give pause to the collaborative behomoth these projects must become and the frustrations many anonymous artists come to terms regularly. To spend over a year animating a character, being told by your contemporaries its one of the finest of your long line of accomplishments, then to be "written out" yikes. For the cynics who are now crowing yeah but he still got paid so what the f*ck..your time will come when your all, and heart is bound to a project you become impassioned about only to see it be deemed irrelevant. It can shatter your center in life, prove devastating at the time, but you learn and grow. That the tenure of many of the "new breed" of animators are now in their early thirties many with 8 and 10 years, I offer that these resilient talents believe so much in elevating the art of animation, an enigmatic ever changing goal as they challenge themselves -- that regardless of personal pressures and searing disappointments that by definition are part of the research and nurturing that goes into developing the best possible storyline; Add the appalling positions and decisions Disney Corporate at times make...that still, both entities invest,coddle, believe supremely in this signature American mainstay in entertainment. And by that marriage (and big $$$$$) create time and again the opportunity for art to manifest itself and make our lives a bit more joyous for it That pride is clearly evident in the animator's, (I would think risk-taking) insight into this project's early stages, as he could not bear to sit, and read uninformed opinions denegrate without a fair trial, something that represents his extended family, his reason to get up in the morning.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Well of course he works there

    by zinger

    With that security? Moo cow lay low in the fields for a while.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 6:25 a.m. CST

    Call the Police

    by Ed_Grimley

    Sting...get the hell away from this crap! You don't have to go the Elton John/ Phil Collins route yet... Get your wife to produce some more cool flicks like "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" so you can get some good film work. Didn't Rage Against the Machine have a tune about Aztecs/ Mayans called 'The People of the Sun'? That's where Disney should go for a soundtrack...

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 6:26 a.m. CST

    Suckin' Satan's Pecker...

    by Lazarus Long

    Sucking Satan's Pecker...suck it, it's only your dignity; suck it, it's only your dignity. Say what you want, explain the name changes, blah blah blah. Disney is no longer motivated by art. The lame celebrity cameos that ruined Walt's vision for an ongoing Fantasia proved that. Take a long walk off a short pier, Eisner, Roy, and Co. You belong in a separate circle of hell that Dante could only have dreamed about. Burn, baby, burn...go DreamWorks and El Dorado!!! (aapologies to Bill Hicks, R.I.P.)

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Pocahontas does NOT suck

    by Jumboburger

    Why is everybody always bitching about this movie. Apart from the fact that it was animated in the most beautifull way, it just had a differnet tone to it. It wasn't supposed to be one of the lighthearted Disney-films, but wanted to strike a more adult tone. It was a nice, heartwarming movie, which actually got me ALMOST crying at the end (remember Poca on the cliff, with the leafs being blown to the ship?.....sniff!). About TENG, it does sound like a nice popcorn-movie. Still, the title DOES suck. But as i already wrote in a previous post, it doesen't get the expectations up too high.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Well, at least they got rid of the little Harvey Fierstein thing

    by twindaggerturkey

    And another thing-- it's bad enough that they always feel the need to taint their films with many songs. Why do they always get these wussy whitebread pop singers to write them?

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Second Banana

    by Mole

    Second banana/stupid-yet-lovable henchmen/wise-cracking sidekicks.... this is why I hate disney movies. Mmmm I hope they make the heroine 'sassy'! I hope there's a scene where they look up at the night sky and act 'wistful'. Here's an idea, why not juxtapose a) an ancient culture, or b) the animal kingdom, with modern LA attitudes and speach patterns for comic effect? Hang on, an Inca Llama? Both at once! I hope it can rap!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 7:53 a.m. CST

    when it comes to swedish translations, they ALL suck...

    by Roger Mortis

    ...but apart from that one small (but quite depressing) fact. I actually think that this could become an enjoyable Disney-flick for once...Or rather I hope so...

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Er.....

    by Justin Sane

    ...they should have kept the idea of attempting the impossible task of lassoing the sun. That was the most interesting-sounding part of the whole thing! Well, in any case, the title is still ridiculous (you can just imagine the groans when the title of the film comes on during a trailer), and the story still seems a mite cookie-cutter. I wonder if Fierstein and Wilson were annoyed that they were just totally shafted from the film... well, then again, I suppose they both got paid. And Disney still really scares me.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 8:32 a.m. CST

    So...

    by Incarnadine

    They've replaced the predictable plot in which the pauper helps the prince out of his transformed-llama jam with...a predictable plot in which a slightly different pauper helps the prince out of his transformed-llama jam. Yeah. I'll be lining up to watch this one.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 8:49 a.m. CST

    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!!??

    by green11

    HELLO!!!!!!!!!!! James Woods played "Hades" in Hercules!!! And the title is STILL Lame. Why can't they at least change "groove" to something a little more appropriate??? Because they haven't got a clue, like this MOO COW guy!!!!!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 9:02 a.m. CST

    This is the stupidest idea for a film that I have ever heard

    by Praetor

    I am speechless.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 9:14 a.m. CST

    The Title Still Sucks

    by Sorcerer

    Honestly, it sounds like a bad 70's song. I do like the idea of Patrick Warburton as an evil sidekick, though.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Where Disney goes wrong

    by Smack

    I'm an unabashed Disney fan. However, I think the quality of their films has sunk since The Lion King. Two things really bother me. One is the celebrity voices. I call this the "Robin Williams Syndrome". If you look at the films made while Walt Disney was overseeing everything you notice they didn't have the motion picture stars of the day doing voices. In some cases the may have, but usually the voices were done by people who had performed on radio, or who were under contract with Disney and appeared in their live-action movies. The celebrity voices really distract me because instead of seeing the character I see the celebrity, and whatever roles they have done in the past. I don't know why Disney adopted this strategy, but every studio seems to follow this philosophy now. Another thing that bothers me is that the celebrities don't sing their parts. I can notice the difference between the speaking and singing voice, and it bugs me. I think Disney would be better off going to Broadway stars who can speak and sing the parts. It sounds like a lot of posters, including myself, will have trouble taking a character voiced by David Spade seriously. I mean, when I hear him I think of his weasel character on Just Shoot Me. Anyway, that's my two cents. To the above poster who was upset that the article didn't mention James Woods as Hades: that's because the person moo cow was referring to was the person who animated Hades, not who performed Hades (whom we all know is James Woods). I'm done.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 9:41 a.m. CST

    It's Disney...like night follows day!

    by monolith

    Its gonna have:1.comic side kicks,2.plucky heroine,3.evil villan,4.his minions,5,big fat tough-but-loveable sidekick,6.tom cruise-lookalike hero,7.songs by MOR-has-beens,8.that are crap,9.a big group hug ending,10.tons of crap tie-in merchendising.JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHERS.Just like the Bond and Star Wars franchises, THIS IS THE REAL WORLD!!!!!.Studios are run by money grabbing BASTERDS who don't give a f**k, grow up, Disney's no different!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Spin Doctors from Mouse House Hell!

    by Fluffy da Bunny

    Ha! Disney won't admit the title sucks, so they get some shill to send some spin doctored piece o'poop. Wotta riot!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 10 a.m. CST

    So Disney thinks Spade needs a fat guy to be funny...

    by Funny Ha Ha

    So, essentially we now have "Tommy Boy the Black Sheep meets the Aztecs" from Disney. I can see the execs in the conference room trying to revamp this. "What worked with Spade? Oh yeah, Farley. Let's animate him and get some other famous fat guy to do the voice." No disrespect for the memory of Farley intended, or even for Spade, who I think has done well with "Just shoot me," but making fun of stupid but loveable fat guys isn't exactly new territory for his wit. I still want to see it though, because for some reason I found Tommy Boy incredibly funny.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 10:03 a.m. CST

    This Movie is for CHILDREN YOU GEEKS!!!

    by Bink.uk

    WHY are you getting so worked up? Jesus.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Butcher Moo Cow...

    by The Fat Baldwin

    That's right, into little pieces! So a line in the movie explains the lame-ass title, big deal m'bitches. Revolt against Walt Eisney and his tampering cronies!!! I must say though it's nice to see Spade keeping up his cinematic tradition of working with the grossly obese. What, they couldn't get Artie Lange? Sorry David, this sounds like it's of the same quality as Senseless. Kiss your New Groove buh-bye. F.B. out.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 10:40 a.m. CST

    just how do you pronounce 00's ?

    by Wired

    And yes the title still sucks bigtime, but I suppose calling it 'The Llama King' would sound too similar to something else :)

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Disney: Enemy of Animation

    by V-Darn

    Again, Disney is ready to spew forth formulaic pablum like a miffed volcano. More singing, more dancing, more second rate comedians as talking animals, more mind rot only fit for four year olds. I'm not saying that the animators are untalented. I saw Fantasia 2000, and the skill with the animation was excuted was on par with anything from Japan. However, all the eye candy in the world can not save a fetted piece tripe. Disney makes fetted pieces of tripe. They built there reputation as family film makers on it. Every time Disney makes another animatied feature American animation is set back. It is set back as an artform because of the iconic nature of Disney animaion. When America thinks animation, it thinks Disney. It also thinks that is should be for small children, and that it must be a musical. This sickens me as an animation fan. Animation can be so much more as an artform, but until someone out there gives a serious animated film the suport it needs to destroy this stereotype (and I hope it either Steamboy or the New Vampire Hunter D) animation will linger in the pit of mediocrity that Disney has dug. And if you don't belive that you can have a suitable family film without it being demining to its audence, I got two words for you: Iron Giant.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Artaud?

    by mrbeaks

    Would you mind elaborating on that A BUG'S LIFE comment? It made absolutely no sense to me.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Jumboburger - a few words for you

    by moviet00l

    Perhaps as a movie, Pocahontas doesn't "suck." But as a movie ABOUT Pocahontas, it sucks harder than perhaps ANY ANIMATED MOVIE EVER MADE! My mother is a teacher in the Jamestown, VA area. Disney should hold it's head in SHAME over a movie that completely, and I mean completely disregarded anything that had ANYTHING to do with the story of Pocahontas. Don't give me that "creative license" bullshit. If you want to take "creative license," then write a damned original story and don't try to make children believe that Pocahontas was a twenty-something earth-mother who fell in love with John Smith. Didn't happen. Don't try to make them believe that Ratcliff was even THERE when any of this happened (screw composite characters, the fucking guy WASN'T THERE). I hate Disney's arrogance. Why did they try to make this movie? They KNEW they were going to have to re-write history and that the kids would believe it. It's irresponsible and it's wrong. Now it's up to teachers like my mother to try and convince them that Disney lied to them. Not an easy thing to tell a five year-old. A final note: there are NO WATERFALLS IN JAMESTOWN OR ANYWHERE NEAR JAMESTOWN. THERE ARE NO CLIFFS OVERLOOKING ANYTHING FOR HUNDREDS OF MILES IN ANY DIRECTION. Screw Disney. Go buy the Iron Giant.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 11 a.m. CST

    Are you sure they're Aztecs?

    by Hud

    Moo Cow, thanks for the backgrounder. But is Disney skipping over the whole blood sacrifice, rip-out-a-living-heart side of that fun-loving Aztec culture? And I hereby nominate "the hundreds" to designate this brand-new decade.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Itll save me money

    by darthbrad

    Ok. I am a huge fan of everything animated. Quality animation like the feature films, not shit like Life with Louis or Doug people with fucked up skin. I have been dissapointed in Disney since I saw the first trailer for Hercules and the character animation (or lack thereof) pissed me off. I saved my money and didnt go see it, but I did get the movie on video and was impressed with the strong story. So much so that by the end, I didnt even notice stupid looking characters. In fact they actually seemed to fit. Mulan had the same problem, only they didnt have the story to back up the 2-D sensless Eddie Murphy (look, I wannabe Robin Williams) vehicle. Still, I bought the Movie just so I wouldnt have a hole in my collection. (I own almost all the disney classics) Tarzan almost completely restored my faith in Disney Animation. KITS and the upcomming Atlantis looked like some powerful pictures that would take Disney back up to the level they are so obviously capable of. But as of now, I have no intention of watching this movie in the theater. I do intend to watch it, but Ill just wait for it to come on TV or steal it from Wal-Mart or something. Crap like this doenst deserve any of my money. As for it being "just a kids movie" so what!! I love the Genie, Timon/Pumbaa and all the old Saludos Amigos Donald Duck Micky Mouse funny kid stuff a whole hell of a lot too! But there needs to be a blending of the two! Make a MOVIE people, not something more fitting as a Saturday morning funny cartoon. I weep when I think of what will probably happen to Atlantis and Treasure Planet now. And what the hell is Leilo and Stich! Seems like a good story, but not one to put beside the likes of Sleeping Beauty and The Lion King. For my money give me the other industries. Dreamworks is putting out some quality. Lets see if they can keep it up. Don Bluth seems to be getting his feet under him. Cant wait for Titan AE! And if WB can follow up the Iron Giant with another divergence from their track record of QFC and TKAI, then I say finally, Srew Disney!!!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 11:08 a.m. CST

    GROOVIN'...

    by Blabbermouse

    Geez, these posts are funnier than watching TV

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Oh, and I'm calling this decade - - -

    by Blabbermouse

    "The Uh-Oh's" (you got a better name?)

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 11:37 a.m. CST

    GOOD, BUT NO CIGAR

    by SCOTT1458

    I think the story change will benifit all, as who needs another prince & pauper routine. However the whole concept of disney making films based on audience reactions, poll results, and foucus groups is just assinide. I wonder if Hitchcock gave the public such a voice in his films... and the title still sucks. When I heard the orignal title "Kingdom of the Sun" I was reinded of the old I LOVE A MYSTERY series, of which Scooby Doo was based on. However the Grove thing has got to go, there is no room for "being 00's". What would disney have Sherlock Holmes say now if they made a film on him and Watson? "Grab your heat Watson, the shit's going down!"

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Still a Bad Title

    by Azrael3737

    While, I do appreciate the fact that the title of the new Disney film has been explained, it still sounds like a really lame title, especially after the explanation. There is nothing I hate more than when a film includes the title in the dialogue of the movie, it just sounds really trite. However, aside from the title, does anyone else see the fact that this movie seems to have almost the same plot as Lion King. "Evil family member wants to rule, so they get rid of the rightful heir to the throne?" Overall, I just think this shows that Disney is best at animating existing stories, rather than trying to come up with their own.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Three things:

    by All Thumbs

    1) Moo-Cow reeks of Disney or a Disney-associated company. I've never been one to make the "you're a plant" accusation before, but this one fits the bill. 2) Learn how to use friggin' ""'s!!! There is no space between the word and the quotations. I know it's picky to point that out, but it was getting hard to read and really annoying to me, how about anyone else? 3) The title still sucks and will drive away customers who do not know the story (which is still predictable, ask your test audiences, but has potential). Also, your reasoning behind the title change bears no reason. There are TONS of better titles you could come up with, I'm sure. Geez!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Will the llama be anatomically correct?

    by Mean Ween

    I'm just curious if Disney will have a big ole llama schlong waving in front of all those kiddies. Although I guess they can dress him up in some loose-fitting pants.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Owen Wilson

    by Willy Red

    He was the only reason I was interested in seeing this film, so I guess that takes care of that, one less film I have to sit through this year.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Cultural & Geographic screw-up?

    by KakaduDreamer

    I won't comment on the movie title, but I'm curious about something... If the story takes place in the Aztec culture (which was located in central Mexico), why is the focus on a llama which is an animal that lives in South America, not Mexico? In addition, the name of the prince -- Kuzco -- is a varation on the spelling Cuzco, the capital city of the ancient Inca culture, also located in South America (Peru). This is very strange! To me, this would be like having The Lion King movie (with all it's African animals) set in Russia or something. Maybe it's just me, but even in a meant-to-be-funny animated movie, some things should be technically accurate. Maybe these Disney folks need a lesson in RESEARCH. Just my thoughts...

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 12:19 p.m. CST

    More about the title

    by Mockingbird Girl

    Yes, the movie sounds cute and fun. But, I'm sorry, this is still not a particularly good title. It does NOT make you think of THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES, it makes you think of HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK. Now let's think of the demographic for that movie, and the demographic for a typical Disney movie. And, by the way, raise your hand, Disney execs, if you've actually used the word "groove" in conversation in the past year. Do yourself a favor: PICK A NEW TITLE. This one doesn't have legs.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 12:25 p.m. CST

    and another thing...

    by Mean Ween

    I don't think I've seen a scoop backfire like this in a long time. People are always blasting the talkbackers for prejudging films, but that prejudice lately has been garnering some very interesting responses from those connected with those films (i.e., U571). This prejudice has really made for some interesting news stories here lately. Oh, and I could give a shit about Disney. My kids will be kept far away from the products of that manipulative money-hungry monster. I didn't catch the superbowl halftime show but I heard that it was a shameless gratuitous overblown Disney commercial. Anyone else see it?

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 12:36 p.m. CST

    The title still sucks

    by The MENACE

    The Kingdom of the Sun sounds much better still. The title oozes schmulkey disney film making and it is not going to be as successful as Disney wants because of it. There are lots of people who complain about the Disney animation formula that still go see the movies because the animation and music is great. Give this film a cheesy title like "The Emperor's New Groove" and you are going to alienate a host of people that will balk at obvious Disney cheese. From the story I see here, it does not look like it is going to be great. Thank god we have things like Chicken Run and Road to Eldorado... heck even Dinosaurs.. to look forward to before this movie comes out. I'll wait until I see more reviews before I decide for or against seeing the movie, but at this point I am not interested.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Mickey--Prince and the Pauper

    by Irie

    ...is NOT successful. It's a disaster from top to bottome. The characters have no personality, and the story is a mess. And I don't want to hear that they couldn't tell that "complicated" story in half an hour--Walt did a story JUST as complicated, with LOADS of personality in 8 minutes "Brave Little Tailor," and 14 minutes, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 12:51 p.m. CST

    nice little dig...

    by 18Buddahs

    still sounds as lame as your name, mmmooo cow. studios get so bogged down in test screenings and commities. that the final product becomes a shadow of its formal self. if miramax had listened to test screenings for pulp fiction john travolta wouldn't have died in the film, and in the end they would both leave the criminal life for something pedestrian. fuck test screenings. trust your talent and put out your product. i would much rather have seen the first version. it's been so long since disney has done any decent fantasy work. fantasia 2000, by the way, is the greatest animated film i have ever seen. but, regardless, kots sounded like an interesting story. i want to see someone try and lasso the sun. i want to an evil sorceress. i mean, the greatest disney villians have always been evil sorceress' (except cruella devill). this new film sounds like a cookie cutter valentine heart turd. no substance only one self referential joke after another. i mean, that's what they did with hercules and does anyone even remember that film? it's boring. i mean, just look at what the disney mole thinks passes for humor. 'a nice little dig', kuzco wants to open a theme park and have a waterfall. like that's even remotely funny or has anything at all to do with the story. people are sick of cornball humor. i want real stories taken seriously. i mean, look at dreamworks trailer for that movie, 'the road to el dorado'. the first few minutes of the movie shows this great, interesting scary story with mysterious aztec beasts (which is strange that the disney movie is also set in an aztec kingdom), then as soon as the two 'heroes' show up, your image of the movie is shattered and it falls into cornball humor. these movies both have original stories, but they put them through the popcorn machine and come up with sugar filled shit. now, i haven't seen this movie, and i probably will. but i don't have to see a fart to know it smells. and i don't have to see this movie to know that i would much rather see eartha kitt as an evil sorceress in the vain of snow white, than the cardboard villian she plays now. and, as for the title, it still sucks no matter how you look at it. but, it was an interesting article to see the inner workings of disney. good post, harry.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Moo Cow Works for the MOUSE!

    by eeksmith

    That was a nice whitewashed version of what happened, Moo Cow. There can be no doubt that this posting crossed the desk of Tom Schumacher before it was sent to AICN. Funny that a few things got left out, like Roger Allers being removed from the project (i love the "quietly shut down" nonsense). It's odd to see the direction that the two directors of the Lion King took after the success of that movie. Roger Allers was worshiped, and millions of dollars were thrown at him to create whatever he wanted (and his version of this could have worked without all the crap that the development wonks shoehorned into it). Meanwhile, Rob Minkoff was pushed out the door and went on to direct Stuart Little outside of the confines of Mouseshwitz. It's a shame that these development theater people ruin these stories with their sidekicks, their stupid songs, their ENDLESS references to other movies. Then when the mess gets too complicated, the artists are blamed, re-shuffled onto other shows, and forced to work overtime to make up for all the time lost working on the "wrong" version. Meanwhile the development folks skip out the door early to get to the newest faaaaaaabulous sushi place. The title belongs on a 1980s teen flick, by the way!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Long live the Disney Legacy...

    by Cold Fusion

    of garbage that is. I'll give 'em credit for the old school films. Uncle Walt knew how to animate and tell a story. But ever since The Little Mermaid, Disney has, as much as I loathe using the phrase, 'sold out' for the fast buck. Goofy slapstick (animal or otherwise) sidekicks. Contemporary humor. Overdone celebrity voice acting. Downright painful song and dance numbers. Straight to video sequels. All for what? So marketing can sell Happy Meals, action figures, soundtracks, and other assorted crap. Sure, a lot of movies do this, but Disney treats us to these fiascos every friggin' year. And does anything change? Hell no, because it would be a risk. The older Disney fans have been crying out for years for at least one quasi-serious animated flick, but that wouldn't exactly sell well to their most celebrated demographic would it? Until there's a shakeup in power at the House of the Mouse, expect to be spoon fed more well animated, but worthless storytelling. This is what happens when Disney runs out of fairy tales to base movies on...

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 1:13 p.m. CST

    The Emperor's New Phantom Menace

    by StarBarella

    It is as I feared. Now that we have a little history behind the changing story and name (and thanks for that, MooCow - GREAT report!), we can say with some authority that this is the most ass-backward decision Disney has made in quite a while. The new name is TERRIBLE and the fact that it hinges on a 00's joke is even worse. In five years, this movie will be more dated than a tub of cottage cheese and in 50 years? Forget about it! It's too bad Disney has fed so much money into this monster because all signs point to "straight to video" at this point. The original premise (while cribbed from Prince and the Pauper) sounded far more interesting, particularly since the notion of the villain stealing the sun makes for a fantastic image. Now THAT is the kind of spectacular plot that could have made a classic animated movie. Well, at least there's no wise-talking gargoyles in this one.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 1:22 p.m. CST

    kkrankk says: Anachronistic titles are still lame.

    by kkrankk

    This is the background info I asked about yesterday. Good breakfast reading. I looked forward to the whole capturing-the-sun bit but it's gone now. *sigh* Titles aren't something you're supposed to "get" after you've seen the movie. Titles are supposed to describe the story or cleverly allude to the story to entice you to buy a ticket. "Groove" doesn't make me reach for my wallet. Anyway, a title change based on a word used once by the main character? Maybe, but in this case it seems much ado about nada. I predict folks will be more turned off than enticed and will avoid this flick in droves.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 1:29 p.m. CST

    In my opinion...

    by agentcooper

    The movie sounds pretty good, but the title is still terrible.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 1:39 p.m. CST

    I'm still burning

    by WinterSteel

    ...about that crack about the mummies' names! At least all those artists had integrity to their art, and for the most part continue to perform and produce new work based on their vision, not focus groups. ... A big "me too" to what other folks said about Disney's tedious self-referential and anachronistic jokes. It worked in Aladdin, only because the character of the genie was other-worldly, and you could believe that he can time-travel. But there's no reason to foist the same ability on 16th-century gargoyles fer cripe's sake. ... I'll also put a stake in the sand and say Fantasia 2000 was only partially successful in what they were trying to do. Fer instance, the gorgeous Pines of Rome whales did NOT need lil junior whale with his big, cartoony, "Buy Me, I'm Plush" eyeball. --ciao bella-- Winter

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 1:41 p.m. CST

    The title still sucks...

    by VB

    "Groove" isn't '00s, it's 70's. And let's all pray this doesn't result in a sequel called "How the Emperor Got His Groove Back".

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 1:54 p.m. CST

    deep stinky doo-doo

    by knowledge

    These movies continue to get made because our industry is being run by idiots who don't have an understanding of our industry. These guys all come from Theater,or elsewhere, and with the exception of Don Hahn, have never made a drawing in their whole lives. When Artists finally start moving into management (which will be a cold day in hell at Disney) we might see some results. Same at Dreamworks- have you heard about their slate of projects?? Corporate suicide! The new buildings that Disney are putting up over there should be made in the same style as the dreamworks 'campus', because they'll be owning it in 10 years (or less). A damn shame too.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Well, here's what I heard:

    by Blowy Blows

    ***SPOILER WARNING*** Disney, still stinging from the backlash to their Pocahantas blunder, will be strictly adhering to historical accuracy with their Aztec setting. First there'll be llamas. Lots of llamas. The story, will be changed from an uninteresting Prince and the Pauper knock-off to an exciting Romeo and Juliet knock-off. The young and yearning Aztec prince will fall in love with the lonely, longing princess of their rival neighbors, the Mayans. An Olmec go-between will arrange a secret rendezvous, which will be witnessed by the evil, conniving Queen Yzma, who immediately turns all three into llamas. The llamas are then taken to the top of the temple steps to be sacrificed. Meanwhile, the Mayans, having joined forces with the Olmecs, prepare to storm the Aztec gates. And now the fun begins! In a show-stopping song-and-dance number, flint daggers are dramatically plunged into the chests of the captive still-breathing llamas. as a huge, Fantasmic-like fountain of blood sprays, entrails fly; and the temple comes alive with priests, slaves, and llamas forming a chorus line to honor the gods. Very dramatic stuff. Then the Mayans and Olmecs join in, and everyone gets blitzed on magueys and peyotes. Here's where the animators' skills will shine. The hallucinations start with something like the light tunnel you see at the start of some IMAX movies. Then all manner of animation techniques are used in a wild, psychadelic sacrificial free-for-all that will have stoners lining up around the block to experience it. In the end, Yzma will attempt to "lasso" the sun, first by gorging on llama entrails. Then she'll bend over with her ass to the sun, and shoot flaming llama chunk out her connonlike wazoo. In the end, the wicked Yzma will be sacrificed by being drowned in a cenote overflowing with llama spit. Lastly we move to the beach. Here we see a lone Spanish missionary standing there, about to enter the woods. He stops, wiggles his nose in a dramatic close-up, and says, "ah-ah-ah...AH-CHOO!" Fade to black, and roll credits as we hear the rousing title song sung by a yet-to-be-determined famous pop star. It'll be historically accurate fun for the whole family as only Disney can deliver. I can hardly wait.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Groove?!

    by cerebro

    What the fuck is this?! Last I heard from the land of mouse ears the next film project out would be Dinosaur, a cgi film. I didn't even know Disney was up to another animated film, and now I wish I still didn't know. I mean, 'The Emperor's New Groove'?! Now, I'm the first one to admit that the title of a movie isn't all the movie is, but it is the hook that is supposed to lure people to it. Past disney masterpieces have had titles that were simply the main character's name, like Snow White, Cinderella, and Pinnochio; or a title that evoked a sense of majesty, like The Lion King, or The Sword in The Stone, but The Emperor's New fuckin' Groove just doesn't work, and to tell the truth I don't think the plot is going to work out any better. You should have kept the original plot and title to go with it. Kingdom of The Sun sounds much better and it has a lot more to do with what the Aztec people were about. If Eisner and his tight fisted pack of ass licking uncle fuckers (South Park rules!)keep churning out stinky logs like this then the once proud name of Disney, which by itself could get millions at the box office on company name alone, will find itself out on their collective asses making bootleg toon porn featuring the animated starlets of their once glorious cartoon past. So, fuck eisner, fuck moo cow, and (Walt forgive me) fuck Disney! You guys had better get your acts together and start making magic again, cause Dreamworks and New Line, and a whole slew of neo-animation geniuses are at the gates, ready to boot your monkey asses right out of Cinderella's Castle! Now get to work!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Aztecs? Llamas? Yzma?

    by MrFunnyShoes

    Aztecs? Llamas? Yzma? Did this guys actually RESEARCH Aztec culture?

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 2:28 p.m. CST

    My two cents (net worth= less than shit)

    by StankBone

    GodDammit Ive been a die hard, livin twenty minutes from Disneyland, wanting to go to CalArts, merchandise buying Disney fan since I was born, but you know what? FUCK DISNEY. Thats right fuck em. Fuck em in the ass Sideways. Look assholes, if your going to set a movie in South America, why not put a little effort into capturing the culture of the locale?! Im talking about the soundtrack. Sting?!! Now I love Sting but why the hell is he performing the soundtrack!! why does every recent Disney soundtrack seem like its being sold directly to a white, female, 35 year old audience?! Theres a WEALTH of musical influences and performers to give each feature its own unique ACCURATE ambience. The last movie to attempt this was Lion King, and the soundtrack kicked ass! (sold well too) NOw every picture has the over the hill white guy sound. Same with the voice actors. All the argueing over the lack of roles for latino actors in main stream entertainment, and you got a movie right here that technically, should have NOTHING BUT THAT. And I aint talking about that lame ass latin pop Ricky Martin shit neither. OK Im done...

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 3:01 p.m. CST

    It's "The Lion King" - without the guilt!

    by Day4Night

    No wonder the original Director left. If they threw that storyline at him as an alternative to his Prince & Pauper version, I can see why he bolted. Been there. Done that. Can anyone else see the similarities with "Lion King"? Fallen prince leaves his kingdom, makes friends with the outcasts, discovers that real part of himself, marches back home to re-claim his title. Now we've got "00's" comedy to give it a twist (to re-hash what "Alladin" already gave us), AND a stupid title to boot. Yeesh.

  • I agree that The Iron Giant has opened a large door for non-Disney films. I've heard mentioned Titan A.E., but where is the scoop on Hong Kong Phooey? I've been waiting for weeks for any rumor.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Not entirely accurate

    by CAD

    This story is about 3 months old. I've heard more accurate accounts and it doesn't redeem anything.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Too many cooks spoil the broth...

    by Loki Trickster

    Especially if the broth is a destined straight to video clunker that sounds like if it'd make Jar Jar sound tolerable. This is the "new" direction of Disney? This is the same old steaming pile of crap that Disney has been trying to lay on us for the past five years. Let's see, annoying sidekick, check, song by non-threatening aging pop artist, check (Peter Gabriel ((Or was the Phil Collins)), Elton John, and now Sting, among others...all who I like when they're doing their own work). "The Emperor's New Groove"??? Sounds like they're being financed by UPN, doing one of their stereotypical "black" sitcoms, okay, back to the check list: sassy but sweet female character who will save the day (or at least a couple hours of the day until the real hero does so as well), check; plea for equality for all races, creeds, colors, and social status, check; fat sidekicks, who are doppy funny, check; more misguided anachronisms than you can shake a parsec at, check; watered down vision of animal/ancient culture ignoring their violent tendencies and faults, check; ...Sigh....I could go on, but it's getting painful to think about; I'll be seeing CHICKEN RUN, staying at home watching TOY STORY 1 and 2, or gazing at a particularly bare spot on my wall instead of going to see HOW THE EMPEROR GOT IT ON WITH STELLA AND HER GROOVE or whatever the new title of this p.o.s. might be. -Loki

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Deja's work shouldn't be thrown out for Yzma

    by Drath

    I will repeat what every one else is saying, the title still sucks, the plot isn't a whole lot better, and they've lost their best animators! Really, Deja stayed with the equally problematic/formulaic/il-imagined Hercules. What really surprises me is that this was his chance to do a great female bad guy again! How many of those does Disney do these days? I think he's missed a great opportunity. But he probably knew that, and it speaks volumes about how troubled this sucker must have been for two frigging years. I can't act too surprised that the plot is STILL formulaic. Disney is souless afterall. Their movies are just a lot of glitz and hype, which is fine as long as you know it when you buy that ticket. Like junk food, it's bad for you, but if you just have it every now and then, it's fine. Maybe Fantasia 2000 is an exception, but I can't see that until it comes to the little theaters. You know, the ones that are actually accessible to those of us with crowded schedules!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 4:17 p.m. CST

    This Decade is Called "The Donuts"

    by SnapT

    This decade is called "The Donuts" because the '00s are shaped like two donuts. Case closed. Secondly, this new title makes a lot of sense, because the 1970s have ceased being retro and are now considered "classic," which means that using the word "Groove" in a Disney Animated Classic is considered groovy, baby.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 4:21 p.m. CST

    My 1.5 Cents

    by Jambalaya Gumbo

    Walt Disney hated repeating himself, and he refused to do sequels. As a point of personal pride, he made sure each one of his animated films were unique animals. Who is ever going to compare FANTASIA to LADY AND THE TRAMP or SLEEPING BEAUTY to BAMBI, or PINOCCHIO to PETER PAN? See my point? The new breed of Disney fare sports an unhealthy genericism that is the primary root of so much modern contempt for the Disney product. Why go see HERCULES when you can watch the same movie by watching ALADDIN? The Disney Co. has turned Feature Animation into Bond Films. The settings and characters change, the overall narrative arc stays the same. People are tired of it, but they love Disney animation, and they lash out. TANGENT: The hatred for POCAHONTAS comes directly from this phenomenon. It was a wonderful opportunity for something bold and different at Disney but it was "formulaized" into THE LITTLE INDIAN with a boo-hiss villain. I could care less about its "historical accuracy" - I find it specious how Disney comes under fire for their handling of history in their musicals, but you never hear a word about the laughable historical licenses taken in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE KING AND I, SOUTH PACIFIC, MS. SAIGON, et. al. Don't even get me started on this phenomenon in Opera. But its somehow a Great Evil when Disney adapts a historical tale into a musical, or goes anywhere near American history. Mr. Pot...calling Mr. Pot...this is Mr. Kettle. You're black.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Wait For It...

    by Anton_Sirius

    Hold on a second- Disney retooled the project because the plot was (snigger) too predictable? BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 5:12 p.m. CST

    I love how quickly Disney's damage control got on to this.

    by Niiiice

    Don't you just love how the scooper made sure we knew all the celebrity voices who were in it? Recent Disney films are anachronistic enough, what with the "Stomp" scene in Tarzan. Its pretty sad that Disney doesn't have the guts to go out and make a real film, instead of one in which only the background and character designs are related to the Aztec basis of the storyline, while the characters banter with each other in perfectly hip nineties talk (or is 2000's talk). Since when has predictability given Disney major headaches? They can put out a can of shit and slap the Disney label on it and parents will rush out to take their kids to go see some wholesome cinema. Let's see, they didn't want a predictable story, but they're fine with betraying the historical accuracy of the Aztec people? Lets see, human sacrifice and flayings were a big part of this culture. Think any of that will make it to the big screen?

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Is it just me,

    by BIG JIM SLADE

    or does this "new" version still have the exact same predictability problem as the last one? Oh yeah and did anybody else hear about that Disney executive who was arrested a few months back for trying to pick up some little girl in a chatroom? How messed up is that, huh? That's why I always worry about people who do all this work with, or for kids.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Gotta be a working title or a joke or something.

    by Blowy Blows

    Come to think of it, nobody ever said these movies were documentaries. Has Disney even made a documentary in the last 30 years? I would think anybody--even a child--could tell the difference. When I was a little kid I saw Johnny Tremain on the Wonderful World of Disney, and even though I liked the story, I was skeptical about how real it was. For one thing, I wondered how anyone could possibly know what those people said to one another way back then. I think I just thought it was a cool story that maybe was true or maybe wasn't. I could always ask someone or go to the library or something if I felt a need to know. I doubt if there's a kid alive over the age of three who honestly thinks Pocahontas communicated with a talking tree. That blows the credibility for the entire story. A kid with half a brain would know that, I would hope. So I cut Disney a lot of slack in the factual history department. However this lame-ass "Groove" title is another story completely.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Perhaps I should be beat for this idea...

    by Dlhstar

    True, there is very little left in terms of "Classic" tales that Disney or someone else hasn't done. But on the otherhand, a serious Sci-fi or Comic Book Disney animated film would more than likely never happen since singing family fair seem to be their bread and butter. As odd as it seems, I was watching THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY a few weeks ago (One of my favorite old films) and thought, "Hey, I could see this as a remake with Jackie Chan as Walter instead of Jim Carrey." (Like a dope, I tried working up an idea for an entirely asian cast to Walter Mitty. God... I need help.) But upon reading this, why not do an animated Walter Mitty? The original film was fun and dealt with the a similar concept of leading a false life. I suspect that it be at least half as good as the KOTH idea and with work maybe the one of the Disney classics. It might be really fun too to let the animators stretch out and draw all sorts of Mitty fantasies and wierdness... then again...

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Phojus - On Historical Accuracy

    by Jambalaya Gumbo

    Who stated that KINGDOM IN THE SUN or its new incarnation were children's films? Who ever said any of Disney's films were for children? That's so wrong on so many levels - like the STAR WARS films that so closely resemble them, Disney films are by-and-large visual fantasies with elements that appeal strongly to children, but it would be no more accurate to call STAR WARS a children's film any more than it would be to call FANTASIA a children's film. And again, you're harping on Disney but ignoring the fact that the live-action musical tradition is chock full of examples of exactly this kind of "selective emphasis" in historical tales. Its perfectly valid to critique the above synopsis because its setting has nothing to do with its characters or plot (they may as well invent a whole new Narnia for this Prince to inhabit).

  • And I'd rather hear Owen Wilson's voice than hammy John Goodman's anyday. Too bad. Eartha Kitt and David Spade DO seem to be the only thing going for this picture. The idea of an evil sorceress wanting to capture the sun to restore her beauty was COOL, man! So was the idea of the sidekick being an amulet harboring an evil spirit. Still, even in it's new incarnation, it sounds more interesting than Dreamworks' The Road to El Dorado.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Disney's Problem, and it's SOMETHING THEY CAN'T FIX

    by Funmazer

    Yo. Hey, I think we're all missing the REAL problem with Disney animation. Yup, that's right. NO FAIRY-TALES LEFT. They've done them all, at least anything REMOTELY recognizable. I remember, even when Aladdin came out, I thought "They must be running out of stories." See, as long as Disney had source material, they did OK. But since then, they've gone downhill... Well, Hercules, mostly, which I found lacking. And this new stuff. This Llama movie sounds pretty dumb. However, I'm surprized that more of you didn't like Hunchback. OK YES IT DID HAVE TALKING GARGOYLES. But it was also one of the darkest Disney films I've ever seen. I suppose I have no basis of opinion since I don't watch Japan-a-TIT-amation, so sue me. YES Iron Giant did hand Disney their own ass QUALITY WISE but that Disney label, that THE PARENTS GREW UP WITH will always make the difference MONEY WISE. Don't you geeks realize, 99% of the people that go to those movies are bleary-eyed, dog-tired PARENTS that drag their kids to anything just to shut them up? Oh, and also they need to go back to the OLD STYLE BROADWAY TYPE MUSIC. What had better music, South Park the Movie or Tarzan? South Park, and it was BROADWAY! Ok, bye!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 6:05 p.m. CST

    oh, so it's not just the title, the entire movie sucks

    by Needlenose Ned

    sounds pretty fishy, creating an entire story to go around the idea of a smartass llama. don't get me wrong, it could be great, but it'd be a miracle. they've redone the entire story to tailor to a llama and a villain deserted by her creator (Deja). ya know, i loved the whole feel of aladdin, and have always had hopes that disney could re-create that feel. i thought maybe hercules would do it-- it was an out-and-out comedy with some promise. when i finally saw it, i was crushed by its shittiness. with the exception of Hades, that movie couldn't have sucked worse if it had micheal bolton doing the songs-- oh, wait. anyways, someday i'm sure disney will find it's groove again and start making some great animation, but i'm not holding my breath on this one.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 6:08 p.m. CST

    ***ATTENTION: DISNEY MARKETING EXECS***

    by Mockingbird Girl

    OK, if you've been reading up to this point, you'll realize that this talkback is comprised of (1) people who generally like Disney and animated films, and (2) people who HATE Disney but still like animated films. The latter may perhaps be disregarded as a group who will HATE this new project no matter what it's called, BUT -- and pay attention, this is the important part -- even people who like Disney hate the "GROOVE" title. Change it quick, or risk alienating your adult audience. (And, let's face, it, we're the ones who *bring* the kids to the movies.)

  • Well, I still think there are stories to tell. But I think if Disney is going to do a historical adpatation, they have a responsibility to do it accurately. Otherwise, it's not Pocahontas. Call it something else. Make it about a mythical indian princess so there's no confusion. I liked the movie, myself. Thought they wussed out on the ending, though. Better than Pocohantas two, in which, I kid you not, OUR FAIR INDIAN MAIDEN STRINGS TWO MEN ALONG!!! NOT ONE, BUT TWO!!! Nice Disney, reaaaal tasteful.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Disney and Fairy Tales

    by Jambalaya Gumbo

    Disney has produced a whopping FOUR animated films that could be rightly classified as "fairy tales" -- SNOW WHITE, CINDERELLA, SLEEPING BEAUTY, and THE LITTLE MERMAID. Most of Disney's inspiration comes from fantasy literature of some kind, i.e. PINOCCHIO, DUMBO, BAMBI - even this summer's TARZAN. As long as there are writers, I don't see Disney ever having a problem with source material. -- Best, Ernest Rister

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 6:29 p.m. CST

    I still hate it.

    by Munku

    That is probably the worst storyline I have ever heard, and the worst explanation for a crappy title that I've heard. But, because it's Disney, it will, of course make big bucks just like Mulan and Tarzan and all of those other awful Disney flicks.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Disney needs more competition

    by Red King

    I had the pleasure of seeing a retrospective of the animator Faith Hubley at Sundance, and what a shock--what a great reminder of what animation can do. She's been fusing animation with everything from jazz (Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald) to folklore (tackling South American folklore in a much more rewarding way than Disney could ever do in AMAZONIA) and feminism (her latest is about the witch trials). Real animation buffs have had to take refuge in IRON GIANT, PRINCESS MONONOKE, and the anime section of the local video store of late--but those aren't bad choices. Disney, despite its mediocre approach to storytelling, has been flourishing because even their competition (THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, ANASTASIA) has been imitating their formula, cynically assuming the families (and there are a lot out there, who like to take their children out) won't go see an animated movie unless it's a facsimile of Disney. THE IRON GIANT didn't do very well simply because it didn't have the Disney stamp. But that film succeeded in appealing to adults as well as children in a way that Disney hasn't learned--through an INTERESTING STORY WELL TOLD, REAL CHARACTERS (not cartoonish ones), & GENUINE HUMOR (not the anachronistic kind Disney's been pawning ever since ALADDIN--the only film that did it well). The most telling part of the above article is that the "good" news about the horrendous title THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE is that the quality of the movie supposedly matches the title! I suppose we could all collectively decide to go see TITAN A.E. and send Hollywood a message that way--but I'd rather we support a more original, inventive, downright inspiring movie like PRINCESS MONONOKE (or, okay, THE IRON GIANT, I just wanted to give Brad Bird a rest for a moment). Most depressing to me is that I was looking forward to Disney's ATLANTIS--but now I'm sure they'll ruin that, too. Have they called Harvey Fierstein yet?

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Hey, cool article

    by Tall_Boy

    I like that behind-the-scenes shit that isn't just straight spoilers, but shows the inter-office mechanics, etc. etc. Koo job, I dug it, personally. PS- The lil' fucker who posted the killers for Scream 3 in the Ben Affleck talkback must die!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 7:59 p.m. CST

    perfect ex. of Disney's problem

    by anais

    Oh God, the original idea was bad, and the new one isn't any better. Is Disney so out of originality that it's forced to steal from itself? And it took them 3 years and 30 mil to realize that audiences aren't buying it? What Disney needs are films powered by directors rather than a studio. This is not the 30s and 40s anymore. Films aren't manufactured, they're created. If you want a good Aztec/Peruvian story, watch THE MYSTERIOUS CITIES OF GOLD. It was a kickass cartoon series which aired on Nickelodeon 10 years ago. It lived up to its South American setting, unlike what Disney is trying to do with this "Latin Aladdin!"

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 8:06 p.m. CST

    The Emperors New Wat's Pig??

    by Feathers McGraw

    Kinda similar, innit?

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 8:39 p.m. CST

    No Llamas in Aztecland

    by Undead

    The Aztecs (and their forbears the Mayans, Olmecs and Toltecs) had no domesticated pack animals, much less llamas. Of course, who needs llamas when you have slaves?

  • Do they teach geography and history anymore in school??? No evidence of it in this Talkback! First off - Aztecs lived in modern day Mexico, which is part of NORTH America (NOT SOUTH). Llama's are beasts of burden that the INCA's, in SOUTH America, used. While all cultures (esp. our own) can be accused of brutality and bloodlust, the Aztecs were amongst history's worse. So is the story set in the mountains of Peru, thus the Inca Empire (also known as the Kingdom of the Sun) or in Mexico, the Aztec Empire??? I think this cow thinks Aztecs and Incas are the same culture. Obviously in Di$ney's eyes such details are confusing - all that stuff gets in the way of promoting a new crappy film aimed obviously at the growing Latino audience. I have no problem glossing over the bloody aspects of an ancient culture to keep it a G rated film but this mismash is incredible. The last Disney animated film I really enjoyed was The Jungle Book.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Is this going to be animated porn

    by The Jawa Jedi

    'Cause the title makes it sound like one. I used to love disney, but lately all it has been is politicaly correct shit. I would rather see a llama and some nubile incan getting it on than this lame piece of crap. And the whole "lassoing" the sun angle would have made a cool concept, but nope, the Great Satan, disney things us simpletons couldn't handle it. Just look at Hercules! I am not asking for a R-rated movie, but they could have at least used the legend! They totally raped Greek Mythology! Hera was the Queen Bitch of the gods in original legend, and hercules was a simple-minded hero who was atoning for murdering his wife, and Hera's main hobby was in torturing Hercules in one way another. Instead we get a sweet hera, a Hercules who is THE EXACT SAME AS EVERY OTHER DISNEY HERO, and some morals about fame. And the hydra was one of the lamest monsters I have ever seen! Screw Disney in their llama porn!

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 9:40 p.m. CST

    90 minutes of politically Correct Formula

    by Doctor X

    Jawa Jedi is right. This is just the same fucking story over and over again with the same formula shit that was mentioned earlier...This guy says that the title was very 00's..but it is in fact, very 90's. While we can still look back and watch old Disney Movies like the A Christmas Carol and Fantasia et al and still enjoy them..this one will have the staying power of and class of CHIPS. The Empire of the Sun has this really over the top, cheesy title that they love, and then they have to try and make a movie to fit the title. Here

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 9:44 p.m. CST

    NOT AZTEC

    by CAD

    All I know is that its supposed to be south american, not aztec or any other specific culture.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 9:45 p.m. CST

    And heres another thing

    by Doctor X

    Sicarus has a point. Every one of those fucking disney movies have all these fucked up facts. Did you see the way they kissed ass in Pocahontis? If they made the Aztecs to look the same way they made white people in that movie there would be hell to pay. It's too much like the Nazi's giving this bullshit history lesson of a society that never exhisted.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 10:12 p.m. CST

    Satan!

    by EyeintheSky

    Lucifer! The Devil! Aaack! Aaack! Phlbbth!

  • I'll bet anyone money that we'll get at least one of the following: 1) Some LAME ASS Broadway-style song with "mexican" accents, 2) A non-threatening version of the non-specific indian tribe, i.e. the palace guards in Aladdin and 3) A song by Sting about learning to be a good leader. Oh well, the roping the sun thing was sooooo coool. Once again, Disney takes the road most traveled by...

  • Now that's brilliant writing. Plenty of sexual innuendo and violence, to boot. I'd even settle for an attempt at a live-action version. Why are they letting this property go to waste? It has a significant fan following. Reruns are on Disney Toons -- check your local cable.

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Dreamworks wins this round...

    by mr_ripley

    WHAT IN THE HELL IS DISNEY THINKING?! Marlena Detricht was said about attending the premiere for SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES, "I can't believe I got dressed up for that abortion." After reading that article, I now see what animated abortion is all about. I knew most of the story before reading this, as this project has been whispered about for a few years now. It is ideal that Disney would be riffing on THE EMPOROR'S NEW CLOTHES. The story of this film proves the company is indeed naked. Disney Animation is not responsible for this problem child, as this film is a product of the film division. Here's the skinny: Disney needed a project to compete directly with Dreamwork's THE ROAD TO EL DORADO. It didn't matter what the project was, it just had to be South American, come out around the same time as EL DORADO and make more money. This not a movie, but a corporate strategy. I hope this film bombs at the box office and forces Disney to consider the results of corporate interference. Even now as KINGDOM OF THE SUN is dying a slow and painful death, those same bastards are meddling with ATLANTIS, a project with a great deal of promise. Just ask Mike Mingola (HELLBOY) who has been met with more grief at the hands of Disney execs. My love/hate relationship with that Mouse goes on... AND wouldn't it be nice if a movie set in South American had ANYTHING to do with South America?! Oh, wait, I forgot about that llama. Pathetic...

  • Feb. 2, 2000, 11:49 p.m. CST

    who gives a fuck...

    by 18Buddahs

    just go and see american movie. it's better than any of the shit talked about on here!

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 12:08 a.m. CST

    Hey Disney, using present-day humor and slang DATES your films h

    by Elgyn6655321

    None of the Disney films since "Lion King" (or maybe "Pocahantas") will be classics years from now, like "Snow White" and "Cinderella" and "Bambi" and "Dumbo" are for us. Why? Because the Disney classics of yesteryears weren`t loaded with jokes and slang (and crappy celebrity-voiced characters) from the times they were made. Instead they had, what was it, oh yeah, Entertaining, Compelling Stories with Funny, Endearing Characters. And BTW, MooCow, the reason people are "reacting negativly" to the new title even though they haven`t seen "the trailer, let alone the movie" is because IT`S THE WORST TITLE FOR A DISNEY MOVIE EVER.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 12:09 a.m. CST

    How can you say "very '00s"?

    by Efihp

    When the stinkin' decade is only a month into it? That's less than 1%.Hardly enough time to establish something as "very '00's".

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 1:05 a.m. CST

    My God! Is Disney REPEATING itself?????!!!

    by half vader

    That's pretty damn funny - years and 30 million dollars later, and they STILL come out with the "Don't judge a book by it's cover" storyline they've been doing in each and every film since little mermaid!!!!_______You know, I've been watching these 'new breed' (post-mermaid) Disney flicks for a while now and well, I'm starting to think that women don't actually have any failings! They all seem to be sassy, have "atti-tood" and be pushing at a glass ceiling. Except for Cruella.______ But I guess a sequel will tell us how she's just lashing back for being misunderstood as a child and at night she actually looks out her window and sings generic songs of hope about interchangeable places "out there" where she can belong.

  • OK... Out of all these "insiders" and "spies" that Harry has in all these companies, how come they really don't know much of anything. All these big news reports and shit we get to read have prety much NOTHING in them. Just a sentence or two of speculation that's been floating around for a long time anyway. This guy really seems to have his shit together. If only the other spies actually knew what was going on. My guess is, most of them are just coffee boys and mailroom idiots that once in a while get a peek through a door.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Peter Gabriel and other junk

    by Twisted Mentat

    hey! just wanted to say....Petes not entirely a safe artist! some of the stuff that wasn't made into Videos is pretty off the wall...such as the backwards song. ANd i dont think he did a Disney movie song. How about...hehe someone like Tom Waits doing a song? that would be damn werid...he could even double for the wacky sidekick voice too! plus...didn't i hear something about this years ago, something about a courus line of Llamas? But...Kindom of the Sun...Kingdom in the sun..makes me think of Empire of the Sun, a movie about WW2 Japanese empire in China, but they're right....Groove makes me think of How stella got her groove back...but i doubt Oprah will be sending hoards of women into theaters to see this one. I do hope Disney does keep putting out crap like this though, because oneday somethings going to come out of left feild and smack them upside the head (maybe something like the Final Fantasy Movie, or that CGI matrix thats beeing tossed around). That will finaly make them realize "hey! there's more than we can do with this medium than make 2.5 hour long adds for fuzzy things and a crappy tv show.." Ah well..thats my 2 cents...and thats canadian so is really just a little more than 1 yank cent..

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 2:15 a.m. CST

    THANK YOU FEATHERS!

    by xrae

    I, too, was put in mind of "Wat's Pig," I just couldn't remember the name of it! (And I just loaned out my "Creature Comforts" vid today). The last Disney flick I *really* liked, not counting those brilliant pieces from Pixar, was Beauty and the Beast. I don't think its "Best Picture" nomination was a fluke. And if you think about the music in that one, it was broadway style - fun to sing, and only one Top 40 radio hit that was vastly inferior to the film version. (My husband words for an AC radio station. The recent Disney songs fuel their playlist and make the ratings soar, but they still suck). Aside from "Mulan," I haven't even seen a new Disney flick in the theater since "Aladdin." I just haven't felt compelled to go. The best movie of any genre that I've seen in recent years was "Iron Giant." (But I gotta say that "Toy Story 2" was the funniest). If only Disney could take a lesson from so many of their heros and learn to STEP OUT and BE BRAVE and TRUST WHAT'S IN THEIR HEARTS to tell a good story... But oh, I forgot, most marketing execs and studio heads lost their hearts a long time ago. *sigh* One more thing: I think we should call this decade the "ooh's," as in, "Ooh, those fireworks are sooo coool," or something like that. If I'm rambling it's because it's 2 a.m. Ick. -- xrae

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 2:27 a.m. CST

    funmazer's obviously not seen Princess Mononoke

    by dezolis

    If he had, he'd realise that not all japanese animation is soft porn. In fact, the soft to hard porn aspect of japanese animation is just a niche market. I suggest he/she/it/they go out and rent Kiki's Delivery Service or My Neighbor Totoro.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 3:16 a.m. CST

    How Stella got her Lamma back.

    by wato

    To the author of the story above, I am not casting any dispersion on the movie. It actually sounds kinda fun. This does not change the fact that the tittle has got to be one of the stupidest and most pandering titles I

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 4:16 a.m. CST

    TARZAN

    by mr_ripley

    For everyone so admantly against Disney, they should check out TARZAN on video. YES, it differs from Burrough's version. Point taken. However, I thought it was the best animated film released last year. Just slightly better than PRINCESS MONONOKE and better than THE IRON GIANT. I was amazed that Disney was able to embue the 90 minutes with so much life. Critics conceded that this was indeed the best Tarzan film ever, but I would argue it's the best Disney animated film ever. Yes, Disney is retreading the same thematics, but this time Tarzan is conflicted not just bored. I know people were scared off by Rosie O'Donnell and Phil Collins (and the Disney brand name), but hopefully even the sceptics out there will give it a chance. Minnie Driver, though a celebrity voice, is excellent. The DINOSAUR trailer appears before the film, too, so those curious should check it out. DAMN, I am becoming a Disney Retailer all of the sudden. But, um, that llama business is still crap.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Disney execs- PLEASE READ THIS

    by WildRose

    O.K., so I'm hoping they're taking advantage of this free focus group session, here's my two cents**Attention** I'm a 34-year-old upper-middle-class mom with three children under the age of ten, if my family doesn't fit in Disney's favorite demographic, just ignore the following: The new title is terrible, it's not even terrible in a clever sort of way, it just STINKS!! I can't believe it's even being considered, knowing the type of budget Disney has for any project, can't one of their many talented employees come up with a better title? I've been a Disney fan since I was a little girl, and the outstanding animation they have produced over the years has kept me enchanted with everything Uncle Walt envisioned for his company. I feel a lot of sympathy for the animators who have witnessed their hard work being thrown to the wayside so this new version could take it's place. It just sounds like the whole project is doomed, perhaps that explains the new title- it will be the joke the employees will share when they reminisce about it in the future! I can only imagine how poor Sting is taking all these changes, he probably agreed to the project because of his ongoing involvement with South American issues, and now Disney has made it into a huge farce ( and despite what some posters think, he's a very talented musician). That's all, hope all the negative responses to the new title will make a difference (just hope all the companies over in Asia haven't already produced a bunch of dorky products with it plastered all over them).

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 9:28 a.m. CST

    To Dlhstar

    by twindaggerturkey

    There is an all-Asian Walter Mitty flick called DR. WAI AND THE SCRIPTURE WITH NO WORDS. It stars Jet Li and is directed by Ching Siu Tung. It's really great!! Ya probably won't read this because I came in too late, though.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Thank you dennis

    by cerebro

    Amen, brother, Gargoyles rocked (pun very much intented)! Violence, interspecies sex, flying roaring monsters with bright glowing eyes, great music, the TV show had everything. While I must admit I liked it better before the last season, when all of Manhattan learned of the Gargoyles' existence, the rest of the series kicked! Plus, since it's a Disney property anyway it's not like it would be that hard to do. My only beef would be that they would have to get all the original voices back (Salli Richardson, David Kieth, Jonothan Frakes, and Marina Sirtis). And the movie should definately involve MacBeth. The episodes that featured him were without a doubt the best in the series. Come on, everybody, jump on the band wagon and TELL the mouse what we want, otherwise pop-culture shit machines like Groove are just going to keep getting made and keep making millions! If Disney would take the time to look hard enough and do their jobs right they could find a plethora of story ideas that could keep them in good business into the next century! Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. (Dennis Miller kicks ass too!)

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Responsibility

    by Jambalaya Gumbo

    I personally would adore an accurate film about the Aztecs or the Mayans, because no one has done one yet (to my limited knowledge). I think it would be fascinating to see a culture presented that had no gumption about infanticide. As to the Disney films and their presentation of life-lessons, every traditinal story ever told has been in and of itself an argument for some kind of life lesson, I don't care if its DUMBO or LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR. What was great about the Walt films is that they frequently plumbed deadly serious topics and in so doing, they gave children a safe context through which they could become familiar with life's harsher realities. How many of us first explored the concept of Death (and euthanasia!) through OLD YELLER? Did you know that Walt Disney himself was a severly abused child (his father Elias once hit him in the head with a hammer) - Disney drove ambulances in France in World War One when he was all of 16 years old. He was not a powder puff, and more than anything else, he wanted his films to be given respect by his peers. "This is not the 'cartoon medium'. We have worlds to conquer here." -- Walt Disney, re: FANTASIA, 1938

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 1:16 p.m. CST

    STING's songs...

    by Irie

    With all the great music in South America, WHY would Disney hire white-bread Sting to write music for this film? I mean, it was BAD ENOUGH they got the whitest wanna be black guy to do the awful music for the generally good film "TARZAN," but I think Disney might be surprised how well they'd do if they got someone like Mickey Hart to score the film...

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Horrible Name

    by Jolard

    Unlike many here, I generally like the Disney movies, and enjoy purchasing them for my family every year (sure I am a dutiful slave, but hey!). I have to agree however, that this sounds a lot like the disastrous Pocohantas fiasco. Of all the Disney movies (ither than maybe Hercules) I liked this the least, and this sounds just the same. But beyond all that, the name is horrible. It doesn't sound at all '00, it just sounds like trying to be cool 70's. I think the volume of comment has got to make Disney rethink that loser title.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Want animated Aztecs? Watch The Tick!

    by Conspir8or

    1. Why waste time, Disney? The Tick covered the animated Aztec issue years ago, and it was far funnier and had no stomach-emptying musical numbers to contend with. Itlan! 2. Am I alone in the fact that when I hear "Atlantis" mentioned, I imagine a toon version Joe Pesci kicking the shit out of Billy Bats in "Goodfellas" w/ the Donovan tune in the bkgrnd? Wonder how that would survive the transfer to the Disney idiom. Best let Miramax deal with it. 3. Someone mentioned the Disney-fied Super Bowl halftime show. While watching, three words came to mind: Multicultural Nuremberg rally. It warmed my heart to hear that someone on NPR made the same observation the next day. Itlan! --Conspir8or

  • July 28, 2000, 12:26 p.m. CST

    New Groove? Good Grief!

    by PonsonbyBritt

    Having seen the trailer, I guess I can understand why they changed the title to "The Emperor's New Groove". Yes, it is undeniably a stupid title and it continues to make me cringe everytime I hear it. However, it would seem to be in character with the tone of the movie, which is far too "wacky" for my liking, but there you go. I do wish Disney would get back to telling good stories with warm, wonderful characters like Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp,etc. These films are, indeed, "classics" in the true sense, as they are the product of a different type of thinking than the muddled kind that goes on today at Disney. I've become increasingly weary of the contemporary, "anything for a cheap laugh" approach of Mr. Eisner, Mr. Schneider, et al.

  • Nov. 26, 2000, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Reviewers of this movie

    by helmut

    I would like to comment on the three or four reviews that I have read on this site about The Emperors New Groove. The reviewers on this website should stop giving their readers faulty information. It is obvious that these reviewers have no idea and have made no attempt to correctly explain the story behind this movie. It is obvious that the empire that this movie is based on is the Inca and not the Aztec. Some of the reviewers do not even know what continent it supposedly takes place in or why the characters are the way they are and why they were put into the movie. For example the llama, an animal that can only be found in Western South America and could never be associated with the Aztecs of Mexico. Another hint would be the main characters name Kuzco, which is the also the name of the Inca capital in southern Peru. If these reviewers would make the attempt to learn the exact history behind a movie they would not sound so foolish and would stop giving their readers faulty information. I suggest you review your facts before you paste your so-called reviews on this site. Thank you