The Emperor's New Groove

Many animated features seem designed to sell their sound tracks, but this fable doesn't often get musical as it tells the story of an assassination attempt that accidentally turns the intended victim, an egocentric emperor, into a llama. The villain's meanness, her henchman's stupidity, and the emperor's selfishness are all meant to represent less extreme behavior by real people, and the three characters ultimately learn their lesson from a solid citizen whose behavior is exaggeratedly good—he treats the emperor far better than he deserves. Ingenious action sequences driven by surprisingly little plot lead to a climax full of the transmogrification animation was invented for. Mark Dindal directed a screenplay by David Reynolds; with the voices of David Spade, Eartha Kitt, John Goodman, and Patrick Warburton. 79 min.

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