Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
 
In Stores Now
 
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Emperor’s New Groove/ Kronk’s New Groove + Lilo & Stitch/Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch (Disney Blu-rays)

Emperor’s New Groove (2000)/ Kronk’s New Groove + Lilo & Stitch/Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch (Disney Blu-rays)

 

Picture: B+/B/B+/B     Sound: B+/B/B+/B     Extras: D/C+     Films: B+/B-/B/C

 

After hits like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Beauty & the Beast no doubt Disney suffered a bit in the early 2000’s as seemingly creative ideas went unnoticed or underwhelmed.  Two examples of this are The Emperor’s New Groove and Lilo & Stitch.  I would put these films in the unnoticed/underwhelmed category as they by no means are horribly uninspiring films, but rather they did not have the gusto of the past greats.

 

The Emperor’s New Groove is a play on the tale of The Emperor’s New Clothing as we are taken on a tale in which a spoiled emperor (of an Inca kingdom) named Kuzco (voiced by David Spade) is transformed by a scheming witch into a llama.  Yzma (voiced by the late great Eartha Kit) is Kuzco’s former advisor who wishes to overtake Kuzco’s kingdom.  Through her use of potions and dimwitted henchman Kronk (voiced by the brilliant Patrick Warburton) a plan that was meant to eliminate Kuzco goes amiss and has our spoiled emperor transformed into a llama.  John Goodman joins the cast, voicing Pacha a portly peasant who Kuzco’s rule has done little to help and potentially left homeless.  Begrudgingly Pacha and Kuzco set out on a journey to reclaim his throne and get back to his old self.  Along the way Pacha and Kuzco struggle to see eye to eye, but there remains a glimmer of hope that Kuzco may still become a better man and in turn emperor.

 

The film is fun, fasted paced, wonderfully animated and has an edgy sense of humor and creativity that sadly when unnoticed by many.  It is by no means the classic stylings of say Aladdin or Beauty & the Beast, but is brilliant in its own right.  From the wonderfully talented and diverse voice cast to the infusion of modern sensibilities into a classic tale, The Emperor’s New Groove is an underappreciated film that holds a strong place in the Disney library.

 

The Emperor’s New Groove spurned a not as inspiring direct to home video sequel entitled Kronk’s New Groove.  In this tale, Kronk (again voiced by Patrick Warburton) worries about winning the affections and approval of his father (voiced by John Mahoney of Frasier).  Kronk’s father presumably wants Kronk to have a wife and kids and a great big house on the hill; but Kronk always had other ambitions, like his culinary abilities.  Kuzco (voiced by David Spade) narrates the tale as we are taken through some flashbacks that show Kronk could have had what his father wanted for him, but gave it up in place of friendship, love, honesty, and much more.

 

Overall, Kronk’s New Groove plays like a direct to video sequel and whereas it invites back the original voice cast it is neither as inspiring nor creative as the original.  Whereas Warburton’s Kronk is very funny, his quips are better served in small doses that breakup a scene.

 

Lilo & Stitch gave Disney fans across the world the beloved character of Stitch; a mischievous alien with a hunger for food, surfing, and rock and roll.  Whereas Stitch is very beloved the film itself is merely mediocre and again does not get much attention in the Disney Universe.  This is not to say the film was a flop, as it brought in a ton of money and in turn spin-off films and television series.

 

The tale of Lilo & Stitch is one somewhat like that of ET as Stitch arrives on planet earth and is taken in by a small child.  The difference here is that Stitch in actuality is an intergalactic science experiment (626) who is being hunted down by some other aliens.  Stitch is mistaken for a dog (tucking in his protruding alien parts) and is quickly adopted by Lilo.  Lilo discovers that Stitch is much more than he appears, but loves him anyway; and Stitch loves her.  Together the two have a host of good times, but Stitch continues to be hunted down by his creator Dr. Jumba Jookiba and Agent Pleakley.

 

The film is fun and again (like Emperor) is not bad, just not a Disney classic.  It holds up well, remaining fun and creative.

 

The direct to video sequel Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch has a Glitch is actually the second sequel as there was another entitled The Stitch Movie, which for some reason Disney chose not to include in this set.  Lilo & Stitch 2 has the duo joining a hula competition that Lilo is determined to win.  Lilo’s mother had won the competition and Lilo finds it her duty to honor her past.  While Lilo worries about the hula Stitch has his own issues as he has begun having seizures; which we discover are due to Dr Jumba having (when he created Stitch) never been able to fully charge Stitch’s energy molecules.  It is up to Dr Jumba to create a fusion chamber and save Stitch from certain death; though Jumba does not have all of the proper parts to build said machine. Lilo (this time around voiced by Dakota Fanning) is so preoccupied with the hula competition she fails to notice her friend is in trouble; actually blaming him for practices gone bad.  It becomes a race against the clock as Stitch’s energy molecules diminish.

 

Again this is a mediocre sequel that is over the top and has some surface level life lesson about friendship that isn’t all too great. I am sure a fun time for kids, but nothing much more in terms of inspiring, story building content.

 

The technical features on all four of these films are essentially the same, though the animation style of both of the original films are obviously better.  The image on all four films is presented in a 1080p AVC Encoded image that boast bright colors, framing/inky black levels, slid contrast, and an overall crisp image.  Again the sequels do not live up to the originals as they somewhat seem like cheap Disney Channel animated series, but the same HD quality is there even if the animation efforts are not.  There are issues with banding throughout the films that aren’t overly distracting, but there never the less.  The sound is a nice 5.1 DTS-MA (Master Audio) lossless track that uses all speakers and brings music and life to all of the films.

 

 

Sadly the extras that are included on the 3rd disc of Lilo & Stitch are merely a direct copy of those found on the previous DVD and nothing new to Blu-ray.  Those extras include:

 

·         The Origin of Stitch

o        Merely recaps the film

·         Trailers

·         Audio Commentaries

·         ‘Your Ohana’ Music Video

·         Lilo & Stitch Island Adventure Games

·         More games

·         Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride song

·         Disneypedia: Hawaii – The Islands of Aloha

·         ‘Burning Love’ behind the scenes with Wynona

 

No extras were ported over for Emperor’s New Groove and there is in fact a ton out there.

 

 

-   Michael P. Dougherty II


Marketplace

 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com