[Sidebar] The Worcester Phoenix
Dec. 14 - 21, 2000

[Movie Reviews]

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Nina Willdorf

Rah-rah songs, talking animals, smart kids, bad-guy/good-guy duels -- it's everything you expect from a Disney animation. But this full-length feature directed by Mark Dindal also includes more precocious quips than precious clichés. The fast-paced drama recounts the adventures of the young, self-serving emperor Kuzco (David Spade) after his ambitious top adviser, Yzma (Eartha Kitt), botches an assassination attempt and instead turns him into a llama. Kuzco had planned on razing the home of lowly llama herder Pacha (John Goodman) to make way for his summer residence; now, having been set loose in the jungle, he needs Pacha's help to get back into his human body and deal with Yzma. Along the way, the poor llama herder teaches the egoist emperor the value of humanity and, ta-dah, Kuzco comes to the not-so-surprising decision to relocate his summer home and spare Pacha's. There may not be too many interesting plot twists there, but some songs by Sting, some smart one-liners, and some sharp animation all make the film, well, somewhat groovy.

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