Top positive review
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Kronk won't get a "nostril flare of total rejection" from me
on December 13, 2005
For starters, I haven't seen The Emperor's New Groove, so I'm pretty much judging this sequel on its own merits. I liked a lot of things about Kronk's New Groove - maybe I would have enjoyed it less if I could judge it against the first movie, but maybe not. The only real negative about this one is its length - the credits start rolling after a mere 67 minutes, and that qualifies as short in my book. In a way, though, the length speaks to the whole aura of the film. Kronk's New Groove isn't about trying to impress you with the latest supercool animation techniques or framing an epic story that will be talked about for decades to come. I think it's just trying to entertain and, to some extent, deliver a wholesome message, and it does it in a fairly laid-back manner.
Kronk (Patrick Warburton) is now a chef (and, lest we forget, chief delivery boy) at a popular diner, his henchman days all in his past. He's pretty happy with his job and all of his friends there in town. Then, from out of the blue, he learns that his Papi is coming for a visit. Kronk has always dreamed of the day when his father would tell him he's proud of him - but Papi's hopes for his son involve a wife and kids and a big house on the hill (and no cooking). The kicker is the fact that Kronk actually had a house and a girl - sort of - for a while. Cue the flashbacks. First, we see Kronk get the big house on the hill after naively helping that dastardly Yzma (the still-meowlicious Eartha Kitt) with another one of her schemes. Then we watch what happens when he meets the woman of his dreams, Ms. Birdwell (Tracey Ullman) at Camp Chippamuka. Doing the right thing in the end, though, costs him both the house and the girl. So what happens when Papi finally arrives? What doesn't happen, as comic mischief ensues? If you're wondering about Emperor Kuzco, he does manage to insert himself into the film every so often - even though this movie really isn't about him at all.
There are some funny bits in this film. There's a good helping of your basic, physical humor that youngsters will like, but the jokes I enjoyed the most were ones that a lot of youngsters probably won't "get." In the case of one joke, the writer went way, way, way out of his way to deliver a grimace-worthy play on words that most folks under twenty probably won't even notice. Then there's the big dance scene with Kronk and his girl grooving to some vintage Earth, Wind, and Fire - it's just one pop culture reference after another. I loved it, but kids will probably just react to all the funny dancing going on.
Kronk's New Groove isn't going to set a new bar for animated movies, but it's a good, funny film that entertained this adult and will surely entertain the youngsters it's basically aimed at. The special features are fairly good, as well. The behind-the-scenes featurette is child-oriented, and it's pretty funny in its own right. Meanwhile, the two games, one of which puts you inside Kronk's mind, are decent and easy enough for a kid to understand and enjoy. The DVD also comes with a plethora of sneak peeks at upcoming Disney movies. Disney may not have hit a home run this time around, but Kronk's New Groove is certainly a solid double into the gap.