Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Emperor's New Groove: It's just Funny, Okay?

There are many who were disappointed in this film before they even saw it.  It was to be called The Kingdom of the Sun and was to be the follow up to the dramatic and powerful Lion King.  Then someone *cough*MichaelEisner*cough* took the film away from Roger Allens and gave it to the comedic director Marc Dindal, reduced the budget and took away almost all the songs written by Sting for the original production.

Others don't care for this film because it's simply too light.  There is no dramatic tension, pretty much no sympathetic characters, and the moral is as obvious as the nose on a llama's face.

Nevertheless, for my money, this is the most entertaining of Disney (non-Pixar) animated films.

I grew up on Loony Toons, watching Bugs Bunny and Wile E. Coyote almost every day of my young life.  This film has the zaniness and the non-sequitur humor of those old films.  It also has a few times when the most awkward of adult conversations are placed in, just for fun. (An adopted son speaking to his mother about her much younger boyfriend: "So... he seems nice."  "Oh, he is.").  It pokes fun at every aspect of real life, from the self-importance of those who have always gotten what they wanted to brilliant ideas that occur to us in the middle of the night to the desperate importance of a minor talent of ours ("And I never liked your spinach puffs."  "Oh, she's going down").

Perhaps the voice-over narration is irritating, but if we get into the film, the irritating nature of David Spade is part of the fun, and how David Spade's character gets irritated at the David Spade narrator, tells him to "go away" and the narrator is silent throughout the rest of the film is not only brilliant, but a revenge on voice-over narration in all films.

How I love this film!  I count them by quotes that my family throw at each other almost every day:

"Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh."
"Point three: Look what I can do." "What does that have to do with..." "No, wait, he's got a point."
"Why do we even HAVE that lever?"
"Bring it on."
"No touchy"
"It's not the first time I've been thrown out of a window, and it won't be the last."
"Oh.  I feel it."
"Is that MY voice?"

Okay, I won't bore you with the silly quotes.  Enough to say that this movie works for us.  Yes, it's only entertainment.  It entertains us.  And that's what a movie is really all about, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment