Jungle
The Emperor's New Groove / Kronk's New Groove: Two-Movie Collection
Did You Know?

David Spade guest starred on Father Of The Pride, an animated prime time show starring John Goodman (Pacha). He also starred in Just Shoot Me alongside Wendie Malick who voiced John Goodman's wife in The Emperor's New Groove. Spade also starred opposite Patrick Warburton (Kronk) in the sitcom Rules of Engagement.

The Emperor’s New Groove, though it suffered tremendously at the box office, is still one of my favorite Disney films. David Spade is nearly flawless as the pompous self absorbed Emperor whose only real competition in the film is Patrick Warburton’s Kronk. Both have some comedy gold line deliveries like “Squeak, squeak, squeaker squeakin” and “Lama Face”. Sure, on paper there’s nothing much funny about the lines above, but with the two actors voices suited perfect for their roles, the lines become undeniably memorable.

I wish I could say that I loved the sequel, Kronk’s New Groove, a decidedly true to its form, direct to video mess. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Disney straight to video sequel that I liked and this one doesn’t even try to change my mind about it, and I was pretty excited about seeing it since I’d never seen it before. Oh well.

Kronk is now living a peaceful life as a Fry Cook and Head Delivery Boy. The people know him, love him, and they trust him. All of these factors make it great for Yzma to lure Kronk back into her clutches so that she can sell a miracle cure all to the people with Kronk as her trustworthy salesman.

The film was a like a bad after school special about the troubles involved in drug use, peer pressure, confidence issues, but wait, this isn’t the only plot in the film. No, Kronk is also trying to impress his Father, who is coming to town and who has never been pleased with Kronk, but wait, There’s still another plot to be had. Kronk falls in love.

Seriously? The film is 72 minutes long. How much of these plots are we actually going to be able to hash out without making them come off as nothing more then generic drivel, further reducing the film itself to just a jumbled mess of idea’s with no real direction? Answer: We aren’t.

The whole idea that you’re getting more bang for your buck with Disney’s double packaging is a great concept. I plan on buying The Rescuers double pack as that is a bonafide double hit, but this? The only thing beneficial about it is that the first film looks great, sounds great too. One thing I did not like about the packaging is that the two DVD versions of the film are stacked rather then having a second location so that they aren’t on top of one another. Come on Disney, if you can afford to buy out Marvel and Pixar you can afford to give us, even the lowliest of films, a more quality case for our movies.

PICTURE QUALITY:
This is going to move towards fence sitting territory. Both films have their issues. For me, the first film becomes something absolutely different then I saw it in theaters or watched it on DVD. The characters are completely perfect with their sharp outlines, vibrant color, flawless texture, but the backdrops in some scenes look bizarre. I was reminded of the old Frank Frazetta and or Ralph Bakshi animations where the backdrops in the animation looked distant, even in a weird way, green screen-like. Mind you, this film is nowhere near that kind of creative, but you get image. It’s strange and the backdrops look poorly at times, but it’s definitely an experience that will either heighten or lessen your experience. For me, I thought it looked pretty cool.

Other then that both films sport a very vibrant color scheme, line definition is razor sharp on all characters, and aside from some obvious aliasing I didn’t really think it was bad. Sure, it’s not the magnificence of say Peter Pan or Pinocchio, but what could you expect from a Disney film in the death  throes of the studio’s hand drawn style (at the time).

AUDIO QUALITY:
This aspect of the film has always been great. When I owned the film on DVD it came with a DTS audio track that blew my mind. The opening theme music seemed in house, the dialogue was great offering up moments of multi-channel dialogue, and the LFE output was decent enough to not be overpowering. This DTS MA is twice as good on both films, as you could imagine. One of the sell points for this set.

BONUS FEATURES:
You’ll find all of the same bonus features from the original releases here, kind of. The Blu-Ray does not feature the bonus features. Yup, you heard me right. The only way to access the bonus features is to pop in the DVD’s, that includes commentary as well. Hmm. Why offer up a Blu-Ray that doesn’t offer up at least the commentary track? On top of that this brings me back to the problem where the DVD’s are sitting one on top of the other. Should the discs rotate while in the case during travel or after taking a fall isn’t the top disc in danger of becoming scratched? You lose your DVD copy of either film and you lose your bonus features. Just something to think about. 

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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