The dork has his say. The Emperor's New Groove   3 Disembodied Jet Wolf Heads out of Five
"It's like an animated OW! post."
Thursday, 18 January 2001

Jet Wolf Says ...
Heck, it's so much fun, after about 20 minutes, you manage to forget that you're listening to David Spade. That is a serious achievement.

I wasn't going to see this movie. Nothing I'd seen or heard about it impressed me. The few clips I'd seen appeared nothing but silly, the title made me think it was an adaptation of "The Emperor's New Clothes", which has never been my favourite fable anyway, and much to my horror, it featured David Spade as the main character. So it wasn't ever really a viewing choice, but when I asked for cinematic suggestions, The Emperor's New Groove was the first to come up.

So I mulled it over, thought about our other options (surprisingly limited given the three multi-plex cinemas in our area), and surprised both myself and Mike by selecting it. My justification is that I'd had a very bad week and wanted something light and distracting.

Boy, when I pick 'em, I pick 'em. New Groove was nothing but light and airy ... and FUN. There was no overwhelming message here, no cataclysmic battle between good and evil, no great moral implications ... Yes, all these things were there in their own small way, but they were so apparent and refreshingly undisguised that you could gloss over them with little effort. It's a blend that I think is difficult to achieve, despite it's simplicity, but it paid off in the end.

Or, in other words, this was a movie that never quite took itself seriously. As a result, neither did the viewer, and we were able to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Oh, and what a ride. Slapstick, sarcasm thick enough you could cut it, balatant unabashed anachronisms, and more than a little poking at its own absurdity. Heck, it's so much fun, after about 20 minutes, you manage to forget that you're listening to David Spade. That is a serious achievement.

Thinking about it, I can most easily compare this film to the Tiny Toons movie How I Spent My Summer Vacation. If you've never been fortunate enough to see this masterpiece, then think of your favourite Warner Brother's cartoon, and you've just about got it. And that's very much what New Groove feels like it should be, something released by Bugs' creators instead of Mickey's. Trust me, this is meant as a good thing.

I don't expect to see New Groove regarded as a "Disney Classic" (well, they proclaim all their films as a classic, but anyway). It's no Snow White, or Bambi, or even Lion King. No great breakthroughs were made here: the animation was alright, but hardly breathtaking. The characters were all fairly generic (even Cronk, who totally stole the show). And as I stated before, the true cartoon feel has been done before. So this is a movie fated to be watched, enjoyed, and then not touched again or even really thought of for years at a time. Now that may sound like a bad thing, and while it certainly may not be fantastic, there are much, much worse fates for movies than to be thoroughly enjoyable fluff.

And so it is.

And it is good.

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