Kronk’s New Groove is a direct-to-video Disney spin-off no one asked for. The Emperor’s New Groove is one of the most underrated movies of the Post-Renaissance, but a sequel without Kuzco as the lead was an odd choice. My brother and I enjoyed the Disney Channel animated series The Emperor’s New School right away, but I think we were thrown off by the movie’s title. I agree that Yzma’s loveable henchman Kronk was a great comic relief and scene stealer, but an entire movie is too much. Though a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes is a bit harsh considering the animation is about as good. David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, and Wendie Malick all return, but Patrick Warburton is promoted to main character. Kuzco only shows up to pause the movie and voice his opinion.
Pacha, Chicha, Tipo, Chaca, and their newborn are mostly around for moral support. Kronk is a reformed cook loved by all the villagers who visit Mudka’s Meat Hut. Focusing on Kronk means plenty of squirrel speak and shoulder angel & devil moments. The plot revolves around Kronk seeking approval from his disapproving Papi voiced by John Mahoney. His goal is getting a house on a hill, a wife, and children, but he already lost those things. The sequel is mostly flashbacks that Kronk tells to the deadpan waitress from the first movie. In his last film role, John Fiedler was given more attention as the elderly Rudy who got thrown out of the palace. The first flashback shows Kronk finding Yzma who still has a cat tail. She makes him sell phony youth potion that unintentionally swindles old people out of their retirement home on a hill.
Kronk gives up the house once he figures out what happened. I liked the second flashback a bit more since it’s where Kronk finds love. Even though Miss Birdwell isn’t the love interest I was expecting. She’s a competitive camp counselor strangely voiced by Tracey Ullman. Although they bond over cooking, Kronk gives her up to protect Tipo. The bonkers climax sees everyone including Kuzco try to help please Papi, but the moral is being happy with what you have. Songs like “Be True to Your Groove” are reminiscent of Kuzco’s theme song, but Yzma’s “Like a Million” feels like an out of place musical song. “Let’s Groove” is a poppy song for a pop culture heavy sequence between Kronk and Miss Birdwell. Since I have a soft spot for the franchise, Kronk’s New Groove earns a mild thumbs up from me.
Preceded by: The Emperor’s New Groove
2 thoughts on “Be True to Your Groove”
So many adaptations of The Emperor’s New Clothes had been done already I actually tuned out by the Disney adaptation. I’m sure both films have their positives. A 0 rating on Rotten Tomatoes is definitely too harsh.
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They were never meant to be adaptations, but the original is a lot more worth seeing. Despite how forgiving I am with the sequel.
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