Kuzco (also known as Emperor Kuzco) is the main protagonist of Disney's 2000 film the Emperor's New Groove and its 2006-08 television series. In the 2005 sequel Kronk's New Groove, he serves as the director and his role as the main character is taken by Kronk, the film's reformed secondary antagonist.
Kuzco is the emperor of the Kuzconian Empire in Peru. Not much is known about his past except in The Emperor's New School episode "Father O Mine", where Kuzco's real father appears in a flashback. He is a strong, muscular man, and was emperor before Kuzco. According to Kuzco and Yzma, he was lost at sea on a trip when Kuzco was just a baby; thereby granting the throne to Kuzco. Since Yzma claims to have raised Kuzco, it is possible his mother passed away as well. It is revealed that Kuzco and his father share two things: a llama birthmark and the same necklace. In another episode, it is revealed that Kuzco has a fear of frogs after a traumatic childhood experience with them as a baby. In another, it is discovered that Kuzco's favorite food is Mudka's Meat Mug which is the only thing he orders.
At first, Kuzco was very self-centered, thinking that everyone should be put below him, because he is the Emperor. Kuzco is forced by law to graduate from "Kuzco Academy," a school that he paid for, in order to stay Emperor. Yzma and Kronk continually plot to make sure that Kuzco fails his class and he doesn't become Emperor. Kuzco's catchphrases are "No touchy!", "Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh!, uh-huh, uh-huh", "Boo-ya!", "Boom, baby, boom!", and "It's all about me!".
He is 18 years old. He has shoulder-length black hair. His occupation is an Emperor and a student at Kuzco Academy. He wears emperor clothing: a red-and-yellow robe and a golden emperor crown. He also has aqua earrings on his ears.
Kuzco is initially portrayed as a spoiled, selfish, cocky, rude, sarcastic teenager, albeit with a sense of flair, style, and pizazz. It is implied that this personality stemmed from the fact that Yzma practically raised him from childhood.
However, after Yzma turns him into llama and he gets lost and is forced to go on journey with Pacha, he soon realizes his mistakes and becomes more caring, loving, loyal and brave. He is still somewhat self-centered, but not as much as before.
He has a not-so-secret crush on a local village girl named Malina. She is another reason why Kuzco's selfish ways died down a bit. She has shown to return the feelings but tries her best to keep it under wraps. The two shared a kiss in The Emperor's New School Musical with Malina obviously enjoying it. She also acts as Kuzco's confident several times, although she's the one to ask him what the problem is.
Kuzco is the young ruler of an unnamed Incan kingdom. He is known for being selfish and vain, and enjoys dancing to his own theme music every morning. Recently, Yzma, his royal adviser, has been ruling the kingdom behind his back. Kuzco decides to fire her for this, despite the many loyal years she's served. Soon enough, Kuzco summoned the village leader named Pacha, to discuss the building of Kuzcotopia, a summer getaway for himself. Kuzco reveals his plans to destroy Pacha's village to make way for his getaway. Meanwhile, Yzma and her lackey Kronk are in their secret lab, thinking of ways to murder Kuzco.
She planned to invite him for dinner and poison his drink. That night at dinner, Kronk accidentally pours extract of llama in Kuzco's drink instead. Kuzco is turned into a llama and knocked unconscious by Kronk. Yzma then sends her minion to finish the job by throwing him over a waterfall. Kronk accidentally loses Kuzco, and the llama emperor ends up on Pacha's cart. When Kuzco awakens, Pacha decides to help him get back to the palace, hoping he'll change his mind about Kuzcotopia.
After a while, Kuzco claims he has changed his mind, but the moment the palace is in plain sight, he tells Pacha the truth, revealing that he was going to proceed with Kuzcotopia. After their fight destroys the bridge to the palace, Kuzco and Pacha are forced to take a longer route. Meanwhile, Yzma announces Kuzco dead and takes over the kingdom. While wallowing in the lap of luxury, Kronk accidentally confesses about not killing Kuzco. The villains then go out on a hunt for him. At a local restaurant, Pacha learns about Yzma's plan and rushes to tell Kuzco.
The emperor denies Pacha's claims and makes way for Yzma and Kronk, only to overhear them discussing that they are seeking to kill him, and that the kingdom does not miss him. Kuzco realizes Pacha was right, but Pacha has left. With no hope of returning home, Kuzco accepts his fate and seeks out a herd of llamas. However, Pacha appears and forgives Kuzco. A race to the palace begins and ends at Yzma's lab. Kuzco desperately searches for the human potion but Yzma arrives and battles the heroes. During the fight, Yzma is transformed into a cat, and Kuzco retrieves the vial. Kuzco becomes human again and sets out to redeem himself, building a small summer cabin on the hill next to Pacha's home and become part of Pacha's family at the peasant's invitation. Meanwhile, outdoorsman Kronk becomes a scout leader, with kitten Yzma forced to be a member of the troop.
Kuzco, in his llama form, made a few cameos in House of Mouse. In the episode "Ask Von Drake", he asks Ludwig Von Drake which potion can turn him into a human. He can also be seen during the opening theme. In Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, Kuzco tells Mickey that he wishes that he wasn't a "dumb ol' llama" anymore.
In Kronk's New Groove, Kuzco acts like the director of Kronk's movie and breaks the fourth wall by talking to the audience. He admits he has changed: "I'm nice now. Didn't you see the first movie?" However, he remains self-centered; near the end of the movie, he shows up in women's clothing, claiming he is Kronk's wife, announcing, "You like how I weaseled my way into this movie?" (this is Kuzco's only appearance in Kronk's starring film). Throughout the film, Kuzco pops in and out to give comments on the scene in question.
In The Emperor's New School, Kuzco must go to Kuzco Academy, a school he instituted and financed. He must pass all his classes to remain emperor, but Yzma and Kronk are out to make sure he fails. If he fails even one class, he will not be emperor, and Yzma will take over the empire. He is still self-centered. In the series Kuzco develops a love interest, named Malina. Like the film, he often breaks the forth wall by pausing the episode and interacting with the viewers.
Kuzco's character is further explored through the series. He can be rather whiny and easily jealous of anyone who gets a small amount of glory or attention. At the start of every episode, Kuzco would interact with the viewers and shout "Theme music!" which begins the show. In the middle of the shows, he would begin the session "Kuzco's Doodles" where he poorly sketches something reflecting whatever's going on in the scene. Since he was kicked out of his palace, Kuzco now resides with Pacha and Chicha. However, Chicha openly dislikes Kuzco's traits such as him feeling Chicha should act as a servant.
In the series finale "Graduation Groove", Kuzco regain his rightful place as the emperor. He even allows Pacha and his family to move into the palace. He also makes Kronk his royal advisor, and demotes Yzma to his assistant.
Other animated productions
Kuzco does not actually appear in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (as that film was made long before his), but animation of him dancing from The Emperor's New Groove is included on the main menu of Disc 2 of the Vista Series DVD release of the film.
Kuzco, as a llama, makes a brief non-speaking cameo appearance alongside Pacha in the It's a Small World: The Animated Series episode "Up and Down".
Kuzco is currently a rare meet and greet character only making occasional appearances.
On the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships, Kuzco can be seen with Pacha in the Magic Portholes in some of the guest staterooms. Kuzco in his llama form also makes a cameo appearance in Yzma's stateroom in the interactive game Midship Detective Agency.
In 2013, Kuzco appeared (in his human form's theme park debut, as well as in his llama form) in Disneyland Paris as part of the Disney Dreamers Everywhere! events for meet-and-greets.
Kuzco is featured in the interactive game at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. In the game, Kuzco is tasked with guiding the park guests in a quest to defeat Yzma before she can take over Adventureland.
- Kuzco tends to self-disclose:
- The animators of the Emperor's New Groove thought that Kuzco has so many similarities to his voice actor David Spade.
- Emperor Kuzco has many similarities to Prince Naveen from The Princess and the Frog:
- Both are royal, but are looked at as immature and irresponsible.
- Both are in Disney movies based on classic fairy tales, and being the ones taking on the role of being the one transformed.
- Both were transformed into animals by the villains of the film.
- They both originally trusted the movies' main villain.
- Due to their own selfishness, their loved ones turn on them.
- In the beginning of their stories, they are both very conceited and narcissistic, they both don't care about others to get what they want.
- Their egotistical personalities are changed for the better by the hardworking characters who they later grow close to.
- They both have reformed, more responsible, and humble personalities by the end of the film.
- Kuzco is the second Disney protagonist to be of Native American descent (Inca, in Kuzco's case), with the first being Pocahontas and the third being Kenai.
- Kuzco also shares some similarities with Wreck-It Ralph: both at the beginning seem to have bad personalities, try to gain the respect from the people that used to see them as enemies - Pacha's family for Kuzco, and the Nicelanders and later Vanellope for Ralph - and then finally and literally learn to enjoy their lives by the end of the film. Also, both of them show their final remorse after betraying his main fellow (Pacha for Kuzco and Vanellope for Ralph), both manage to turn the main antagonist's main henchman into good (Kuzco does so with Kronk, while Ralph does so with Sour Bill) and both of them save the life or the goodness of the people they betrayed or confronted before.
- Kuzco also shares some similarities to the Marvel Comics character Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man.
- Both were the heads of a spanning area of influence by inheritance (Kuzco was the reigning Emperor of the Kuzco Empire, while Stark was the head of Stark Enterprises)
- Both characters possessed extremely bad vices, yet managed to reform although retained a few of their bad vices (including narcissism) even after reforming after a life-changing event (Kuzco by being turned into a Llama, and Tony Stark by being held captive in the Middle East and having an electromagnetic device installed on his heart to prevent shrapnel from making contact with his heart and killing him).
- Coincidentally, both changes were unintentionally engineered by people who acted as the closest thing to parents in an attempt to betray them and take over their position (Kuzco by Yzma trying to murder him as revenge for firing him, and Tony Stark by Obadiah Stane engineering his being held hostage).
- Kuzco is also similar to Isidoro Cañones, an Argentinian comic book character, since they are both Latinos who enjoy living a life of excesses and vices and often have to pay the consequences. They also both have morality chains in the form of a heavy set native Latino (Pacha and Patoruzu).
- ↑ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005450/
- ↑ http://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/characters/The-Emperors-New-Groove/Kuzco/
- ↑ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002262/
|The Emperor's New Groove|
Characters: Kuzco | Pacha | Yzma | Kronk | Bucky the Squirrel | Chicha | Chaca | Birdwell | Papi | Tipo | Yupi | Rudy | Azma | Malina | Guaca | Dirk Brock | Moxie | Mr. Flaco Moleguaco | Kavo | Ozker | Ramon | Yatta | Hucua | Supai | Mick, Bowie and Lemmy | Mata |Jaguars | Incan Palace Guards