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The Emperor’s New Groove
Emperor Kuzco thought he had it all: he had money, and everyone in his kingdom did every little thing that he wanted. He wasn’t necessarily nice about his requests, but he didn’t care about anyone else’s needs or feelings, as long as his own wishes were fulfilled. He demonstrates this perfectly when he summons the villager, Pacha, to his palace, basically to have fun telling him he is wrecking his family’s home of generations in order to make room for his own royal summer getaway. His personal adviser, Yzma (who is just as selfish and cruel), has officially had it with him belittling her and tries to kill him. The wrong poison is used and he is mistakenly changed into a llama. Yzma’s charmingly handsome, yet ditzy assistant, Kronk, is supposed to take him out of town to “finish the job”, but he loses him. Things get even more interesting when Kuzco is found by Pacha, far away from the palace. The Emperor thinks he can just order Pacha to return him home, but Pacha is determined to make a deal to keep his family’s home. The trip to the palace will take days, and he needs to convince this selfish, whiny man to do the right thing, all while being chase by Yzma and Kronk.
This bizarre, yet hysterical adventure teaches Kuzco about the value of friendship as well as what it truly means to be a good leader. Money and power may be nice, but true friendship and loyalty are priceless. After all, no one wants to help out someone who is selfish and cruel, but if your dear friend is in trouble, you are willing to bend over backwards to get them the help they need.
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Kuzco: Will you take a look at that? Pretty pathetic, huh? Well, you’ll never believe this, but that llama you’re looking at was once a human being. And not just any human being. That guy was an emperor. A rich, powerful ball of charisma. Oh, yeah! This is his story. Well, actually, my story. That’s right… I’m that llama. The name is Kuzco… Emperor Kuzco. I was the world’s nicest guy and they ruined my life for no reason. Oh, is that hard to believe? Look, I’ll tell you what. You go back a ways, you know, before I was a llama, and this will all make sense.
Yzma: It is no concern of mine whether or not your family has… what was it again?
Peasant: Umm… food?
Yzma: Ha! You really should have thought of that before you became peasants!
Kuzco: Oh, and by the way, you’re fired.
Yzma: Fired? W-W-What do you mean, “fired”?
[Kuzco snaps his finger and a servant comes in and writes down Yzma’s “pink slip”]
Kuzco: Um, how else can I say it? “You’re being let go.” “Your department’s being downsized.” “You’re part of an outplacement.” “We’re going in a different direction.” “We’re not picking up your option.” Take your pick. I got more.
(plotting ways to kill Kuzco) Yzma: Ah, how shall I do it? Oh, I know. I’ll turn him into a flea, a harmless, little flea, and then I’ll put that flea in a box, and then I’ll put that box inside of another box, and then I’ll mail that box to myself, and when it arrives…I’ll smash it with a hammer! It’s brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, I tell you! Genius, I say! …Or, to save on postage, I’ll just poison him with this!
[after telling Pacha that he intends to destroy Pacha’s villiage and build “Kuzcotopia”]
Pacha: But, but, um, where will *we* live?
Kuzco: Hmm. Don’t know, don’t care. How’s that?
Pacha: Someday you’re gonna wind up all alone, and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.
Kuzco: Okay, I admit it. Maybe I wasn’t as nice as I should have been. But, Yzma, do you really want to kill me?
Yzma: Just think of it as you’re being let go, that your life’s going in a different direction, that your body’s part of a permanent outplacement.
Kronk: Hey, that’s kinda like what he said to you when you got fired.
Yzma: I know. It’s called a “cruel irony”, like my dependence on you.
Kuzco: Look, I’m sorry for tossing you out the window earlier. Old Man: Oh, it’s not the first time I was tossed out of a window, and it won’t be the last. What can I say? I’m a rebel.