HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Emperor's New Groove/Kronk's New Groove
HTS Overall Score:65
WARNING: THE SCORES ABOVE ARE A COMBINED SCORE FROM BOTH FILMS, THE INDIVIDUAL SCORES ARE CONTAINED BELOW IN THE INDIVIDUAL SECTIONS OF THE REVIEW
The Emperor's New Groove :4.5stars:
Now we’ve come to probably one of my favorite Disney movies of all times. Even with the classics being the great films that they are, “The Emperor’s New Groove” has always managed to stick with me over the years. It may not be as epic as some of the older stories, but the film just happens to WORK on every level. I honestly don’t know a single Disney fan who can’t quote this movie from beginning to end. Filled with witty humor and a cast that just makes the characters their own, “The Emperor’s New Groove” is a shining spot in an otherwise dull era of Disney animated feature films.
“The Emperor’s New Groove” is one of the craziest and breeziest films that the mouse house has undertaken for quite some time. Emperor Kuzco (David Spade) is an emperor of a Mesopotamian nation with a slight penchant for selfish indulgence. No one in the kingdom likes him, much less his own staff, and he’s made more than a few enemies in his search for self-gratification. His own advisor, Izma (Eartha Kitt) plots to kill Kuzco and take over the empire with the help of her studly, albeit slow, assistant Kronk (Patrick Warburton). In this tale of political intrigue, Kuzco is intent on taking away a small village and replacing it with a giant summer home, against the multiple protestations of the loveable village leader Pacha (John Goodman). After informing Pacha that it’s time to pack up and find a new hillside, the emperor is "poisoned" by Izma that ends up turning him into a llama. Sending Kronk to finish off the Emperor and dispose of the body, Izma ecstatically begins rebuilding the empire as her own. By a twist of fate, Kronk loses the body in a crowd and it ends up on Pacha's cart. As you can guess from this situation, Kuzco ends up back home with Pacha and Izma is off ruling in his stead. Determined to get back to his former life, Kuzco enlists the reluctant aid of Pacha to help him regain his throne.
“The Emperor’s New Groove” just works on every level. The writing is humorous and light, but the actors totally absorb themselves into the roles and display some of the most amazing chemistry. John Goodman and David Spade literally fit together like a hand and glove, their on-screen chemistry just sizzles with action. Patrick Warburton and Izma as the dastardly villains (well, one dastardly, one more just a bit of a slow tagalong) play off of each other with incredible wit and style. Patrick Warburton is known for his kind of droll and dimwitted characters and here he is in top form. Easily stealing the show, Kronk is one of the funniest, side splitting characters I’ve seen Disney pull off in recent years. David Spade tends to be an annoying, one note, type of character, but here that is how the character is written and he fits seamlessly in with the other cast. A true delight, I have been waiting YEARS for this film to hit Blu-ray and it’s finally here.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=11832[/img]Kronk's New Groove :3stars:
“Kronk’s New Groove” suffers the fate of all the other Disney DTV sequels. It just is a “meh” film that is mainly groomed for young children, rather than aiming at the multiple audiences that the originals catered to. The story is a basic mixture of Kronk’s origins as well as a few minor adventures AFTER the original film with his old boss, Izma. The best think I can say about “Kronk’s New Groove” it’s really not THAT bad compared to some of the other Disney DTV titles. Sure, it’s bloated, it’s childish and there’s really no necessity for its existence, but it is pretty decent children’s fare. The animation is a step down from the original, but that’s to be expected, and it has a pretty flat sound stage, but the storyline isn’t like nails on a chalkboard bad as others that I’ve viewed. Basically it’s just a mediocre, middle of the road DTV movie that will be good for an hour and a quarter babysitter when necessary. Patrick Warburton and Eartha Kitt do what they can to raise the film up, but there’s only so much the two of them can do with the budget they were given.
Rated PG for action violence
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=11830[/img]The Emperor's New Groove :3.5stars:
Disney’s 1.68:1 AVC encode is a bit of a mixed bag. Like “Atlantis”, the film displays some rather annoying digital tampering effects reminiscent of an older master being used. There’s evidence of haloing, aliasing and even some macroblocking. As a result, the image isn’t as pristine and perfect as I would have liked to have seen. Now don’t get me wrong, there is quite a lot going for it that makes “The Emperor’s New Groove” a welcome relief for those of us suffering with the original DVD. Colors are vibrant and rich in hues, the animated details, except for the aliasing, is clean and free of jaggies. There is a nice layer of film grain over the image and the contrast is spot on. Black levels are suitably inky and shadow detail is quite good. The movie has some limitations set upon it by the older, and lower budgeted, animation of the 2000’s era, but it is LEAPS and bounds better than the old DVD master that we’ve had for over 10 years.
Kronk's New Groove :3.5stars:
“Kronk’s New Groove” is actually surprisingly well done for DTV sequel. The animation quality is a step down, but that’s to be expected with a much lower budget. The thing is, that it’s not THAT much of a step down. The animators actually did a surprisingly good job with the tools at their disposal. The haloing and aliasing issues of the first film are almost nonexistent here, giving us a pretty solid and clean picture. There’s a few instances of ringing, but it’s nothing that’s going to distract the viewer too much. Overall a clean and fairly impressive encode considering the type of sequel it is.
The Emperor's New Groove :3.5stars:
“The Emperor’s New Groove” is not going to be one of Disney’s most impressive audio tracks. It’s not a powerhouse of action or surround usage and is mainly relegated to a ton of dialogue. As a result you get a light and breezy audio track that doesn’t try to be anything more than what it is. Dialogue is crisp and clean, actually VERY clean. Locked in the front channels it stays there giving us a very nice listening experience for David Spade’s voiceover. LFE is rather mild and used sparingly. It can pack a punch when needed, but really doesn’t intrude into the film too much. The same can be said for the surround usage. This is mainly a dialogue driven film and the end results back that up. This isn’t really a problem with the track though, but rather how the film was mixed. I’ve seen every iteration of this film known to man and that’s the way it’s always been.
Kronk's New Groove :3.5stars:
Following up its mild manner predecessor, “Kronk’s New Groove” is a very similar sounding audio track. There’s a bit more oomph on the LFE track, but nothing that’s going to make your pant legs vibrate with the sonic bombardment. As with the original it tends to be a bit dialogue heavy and keeps the majority of the sounds up in the front. There is some times when the surrounds get to be used, and they’re used well, but as with its predecessor, expect a very front heavy presentation
Extras wise, this is Disney’s MOST disappointing animated release. There are NO extras on the Blu-ray disc at ALL. What Disney has done is just left us with whatever extras were there on the original DVD’s stuffed into the combo pack and left it at that. It appears that no effort was given at all to transfer the extras over, even in SD, to the Blu-ray. While most of the extras were in SD anyways and would have just been a port, it would have been nice to have the commentary track ON the Blu-ray instead of having to pop in the DVD to listen to it.
As with all these releases, treat the original movie as the one you’re buying it for and the DTV sequel as just another extra. You’ll be much happier in the long run. But BUY THIS you must! One of my favorite and light hearted Disney animated titles it just begs to be owned by every serious Disney collector. Fun for all ages its well-crafted humor and sizzling chemistry make this a treat for everyone. It won’t be hailed as the latest Disney demo disc, but it is well with the audio/video upgrade and I wouldn’t hesitate on picking it up as soon as possible.
Starring: David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, Patrick Warburton
Directed by: Mark Dindal : Saul Blinkoff, Elliot M. Bour
Written by: Chris Murphy, Mark Dindal : Michael LaBash, Anthony Leondis
Aspect Ratio: 1.68:1 AVC, 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1 Spanish, French DD 5.1
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Runtime: 78 minutes : 72 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Buy The Emperor's New Groove/Kronk's New Groove Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Buy It
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