The Emperor's new Groove is Disney's 40th animated feature and, after the package films from the 40's, its return to a southamerican based story. The film is also really different from what the studio had produced in previous years story, character and humor-wise.
In my opinion it is also one of the most underrated animated films from Disney. I could easily place it in my top 5. I think its great all around. It doesn't have the epic scale of Lion King or Pocahontas, it's not based on great stories like Peter Pan or Alice in Wonderland, and none of the supertar animators worked on the final version of it. So how is it that this is still one of my favs?
The color in the backgrounds, added to the amazing environment design is simply great. The characters are
But the road to this great film was a really bumpy one, changing almost completely from start to finish. Not only did the story finish, but also the crew that worked on it was completely different at first.
The original story was called Kingdom of the Sun (later changed to Kingdom IN the Sun) and was basically a new take on the prince and the pauper story that we all now. As many other Disney films, it would include many songs throughout the plot that were to be composed (or in fact were composed) by Sting.
In the end, the movie only features an opening and closing song (which are the same) interpreted by Tom Jones and a credit song by Sting.
Another animation superstar that left the project was Andreas Deja. Famous for his great villains (Jaffar, Scar, Gaston) he was in charge of giving life to Yzma, the great villainess in Kingdom in the Sun. When the plot was changed, Yzma's character was changed as well and Deja didn't like the way the character evolved so he decided to leave the project.
Even though the original plot sounds very interesting, the movie that we got to see is fantastic. If you wanna know more about the making of this film, I really recommend you watch The Sweatbox, a documentary that shows all the stages of this production.