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Background information
Feature films The Emperor's New Groove
Kronk's New Groove
Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse
Short films
Television programs House of Mouse
The Emperor's New School
It's a Small World: The Animated Series (cameo)
Video games The Emperor's New Groove
Disney INFINITY series (townsperson)
Park attractions Villains Tonight
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
Midship Detective Agency (cameo)
Portrayed by
Portrayed by
Animators Nik Ranieri
Phil Young
Tim Allen
James Baker
Marc Smith
Mark Pudleiner
Andreas Wessel-Therhorn
As a human
Dan Tanaka
Marcia Kimura Dougherty
Lee Dunkman
Elizabeth S. Watasin
Daniel Yoontaek Lim
Patricia Ann Billings-Malone
Gizella Maros
Benoit Meurzec
Phirum Sou
Nicolas Ruedy
As a llama
Edward R. Gutierrez
Emily Jiuliano
Dietz Toshio Ichishita
Yoon Sook Nam
David Recinos
Mary-Jean Repchuk
Regina Conroy
Cliff Freitas
Steve Lenze
James A. Harris
Mi Yul Lee
Teresita Quezada-Geer
John R. Walsh
Jason Peltz
Kevin A. Barber
James W. Elston
Perry Farinola
Peter Raymundo
Sarah Mercey
Voice David Spade (films series)[1]
J.P. Manoux (The Emperor's New School, House of Mouse, video game)[2][3]
James Arnold Taylor (various merchandise)
Performance model
Inspiration Arthur "the Fonz" Fonzerelli from Happy Days
The Emperor from the "Emperor's New Clothes"
The Inca Emperor
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name Emperor Kuzco
Other names
Personality (previously): Extremely selfish, snobby, uncaring, lazy, comically conceited, ignorant, whiney, greedy, narcissistic, sarcastic, cowardly, stubborn
(later): Mostly nice, loyal, good-natured, still ignorant, fun-loving, polite, well-meaning, caring, funny, hilarious, still comically conceited
Appearance Human form: Slender, handsome, 18 years old, medium skin, black long hair and thick eyebrows, black/brown eyes
Llama form: Thin, gangly llama with shaggy fur; black colored fur matching the color of his human hair on the head, ears, neck and tail, with long red body fur. Beige/cream colored fur on the face and inner ears, as well as the legs under the fetlocks/hocks; cloven hooves.
Occupation Emperor
Student at Kuzco Academy (formerly)
Alignment Neutral, later good
Goal To become human from his llama form (movie; succeeded)
To become Emperor again (series; succeeded)
Home His palace
Relatives Unnamed father (presumed deceased)
Yzma (foster mother; formerly)
Allies Pacha, Kronk, Chicha, Chaca, Tipo, Yupi, Birdwell, Bucky the Squirrel, Malina, Guaka, Merlin
Enemies Yzma, Kronk (formerly), Ramon, Pacha (formerly)
Likes Malina, power (formerly), riches (formerly), dancing to his theme song, being the star, himself
Dislikes Being touched (sometimes), waterfalls, scorpions, jaguars, bats, pillbugs
Powers and abilities
Fate Gets turned back into a human, and builds a summer home on the hill next to Pacha's (movie).
After graduating Kuzco Academy, Kuzco regains his throne, officially becomes Emperor and wins the heart of his true love, Malina (2006-08 television series).
Quote "No touchy."
"Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh."
"Boom, baby!"
"It's all about me!"
"Llama face!"

Kuzco (also known as Emperor Kuzco; pronounced KOOZ-ko) is the protagonist of Disney's 2000 film The Emperor's New Groove and its 2006-08 television series.


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 as arrogant, comically conceited, selfish, cocky, sarcastic teenager, albeit with a sense of flair, style and pizazz. His nature was such that he once had an old man thrown out of the window (but not killing him) simply because Kuzco blamed him for "ruining his groove" in the opening song (when Kuzco bumped into him due to not being aware of his surroundings), as well as sadistically taunting Pacha with the destruction of the latter's village before having him escorted out when revealing his plans to create Kuzcotopia. He also was initially unwilling to marry any girls who didn't meet his image, often bluntly and rudely dismissing them, as evidenced by the opening of the movie where he had to choose the bride, and refused them just from brief glances. It is implied that this personality stemmed from the fact that Yzma practically raised him from childhood. 

He is also very ignorant, as he went into a jungle out of stupidity and arrogance, the latter due to believing that as Emperor, he has a good sense of direction (which he clearly didn't) and he thinks all of his notable traits don't make him arrogant or an egomaniac (which he then starts to ponder). He also has no idea that gifts are free. He can also be sneaky and manipulative at times, as he convinced Pacha that he had changed his mind in order to get him to take him back to the palace, only to go back on his promise when the palace was in view, and was even willing to let Pacha die so he could get what he wanted. He also was vengeful, as he implied during the aforementioned incident that he did this partially as revenge for his perceived role of cursing and kidnapping him, and that he originally intended that, when they actually arrived at the palace, he would have him imprisoned for said role. His sarcastic demeanor is especially evident shortly after learning he had been turned into a llama and planned to get back to the castle on foot: when Pacha tried to negotiate with him, Kuzco lured him close with a "secret," then when Pacha came as close as he could, Kuzco then proceeded to yell that he doesn't make deals with peasants. His sarcasm was also shown earlier when he told the final bride "And let me guess, you have a great personality" when refusing her.

However, throughout his journey with Pacha, he soon realizes his mistakes and becomes more caring, loving, loyal and brave. He also begins to care more for others as shown when he chooses to save Pacha from falling off his palace instead of getting the human potion. Although he is still somewhat self-centered, but not as much as before.

He is also very gullible. One particular time was when Yzma secretly gave him fortune cookies and made all the fortune's come true. Then, he fell for the fortune that said he'll turn into a sloth unless he gives the kingdom to Yzma. Even though Malina kept giving hard-core, concrete evidence that it was a trick, he still didn't believe her.

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 his feelings, but tries her best to keep them 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. Eventually, Kuzco and Malina officially become a couple in the series finale episode "Graduation Groove".


The Emperor's New Groove

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 (after Kronk inadvertently gave her the idea).


Kuzco as a llama

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, Kuzco, upon realizing what happened, accused Pacha of turning him into a llama and then kidnapping him. He then (foolishly) travels through the jungle, despite Pacha's insistence that it's a very bad idea to do so at night. Ultimately, his advice proved to be sound due to nearly being killed by a pack of Jaguars, with Pacha saving him at the last minute (although they ended up falling into a river and then falling over a waterfall with sharp rocks at the bottom, Kuzco apparently being resigned to his fate, and undergoing an incident where he regained consciousness just as Pacha was about to undergo CPR, causing Kuzco to mistake Pacha for trying to kiss him in disgust). Pacha decides to help him get back to the palace, although only under the condition that he 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, also summoning her royal guard under the premise that they were responsible for killing Kuzco (despite the llama being Kuzco), transforming most of them into animals, and Kuzco undergoing further transformations while trying to get the potion (Tortoise, songbird, whale, and eventually Llama again, causing him to briefly celebrate becoming a llama again before remembering that the point was to become human again). 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.

House of Mouse

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.

Kronk's New Groove

Kuzco with Marge & Tina

Kuzco with Marge and Tina in Kronk's New Groove.

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, alongside performing to the reprise of "Be True To Your Groove"). Throughout the film, Kuzco pops in and out to give comments on the scene in question.

The Emperor's New School


Kuzco as he appears in The Emperor's New School.

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 regains 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. Kuzco and Malina also become an official couple.

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".

Disney Parks


Kuzco (in his human form) poses for a photo at Disneyland Paris.

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.

Villains Tonight

In the show on board the Disney Magic and Disney Dream, Kuzco has a brief cameo as a llama at the end of Yzma's song "Yzmopolis", running away from Yzma and Kronk.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

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.

International Dubbers

Language Voice Actor
Arabic الصوت الثاني
Bulgarian Александър Воронов
Cantonese 黄子華 (Dayo Wong)
Catalan Óscar Muñoz
Danish Mads Vangsø
Dutch Roeland Fernhout (Netherlands)

Dimitri Leue (Flemish)

German Michael Herbig
Greek Παντελής Καναράκης
English David Spade
European Spanish Ángel Garó
French Didier Gustin (France)

Marc-André Coallier (Quebec)

Finnish Jarkko Tamminen
Icelandic Luca Bizzarri
Hebrew עידו מוסרי
Hungarian Fekete Zoltán
Japanese 藤原竜也 (Fujiwara Tatsuya)
Latin American Spanish Jesús Barrero
Mandarin 曾國城 (Zeng Cheng Guo)
Norwegian Jon Øigarden
Polish Maciej Stuhr
Portuguese Peter Michael
Romanian Radu Grigore
Russian Алексей Федотов
Swedish Figge Norling


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In one episode of the TV series, he changes back into a llama to help Santa Claus deliver Christmas presents.
  • Kuzco is apparently ambidextrous, as he writes with his right hand as a human, and with his left as a llama.
  • Kuzco doesn't like being touched by others, indicating he has haphephobia (the fear of being touched).
    • However, he doesn't mind Malina touching him. This is probably because he likes her, though.
  • Kuzco's skin is darker in the movie poster.
  • Kuzco has become the subject of a popular internet meme (much like Ariel) in which someone will claim that "Kuzco is [their] favorite Disney Princess".


The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Kuzco.



v - e - d

Films: The Emperor's New Groove | Kronk's New Groove
TV Series: The Emperor's New School | (Episode list)
Video Games: Video Game
Books: Disney's Wonderful World of Reading

Disney Parks

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom


Kuzco | Pacha | Yzma | Kronk | Bucky the Squirrel | Chicha | Chaca | Ms. Birdwell | Papi | Tipo | Yupi | Rudy | Azma | Malina | Guaca | Dirk Brock | Moxie | Mr. Flaco Moleguaco | Kavo | Ozker | Ramon | Yatta | Hucua | Supai | Mick, Bowie and Lemmy | Nina | Mata | Homework | Jaguars | Incan Palace Guards | Theme Song Guy


Season One: "Rabbit Face" | "Squeakend at Bucky's" | "Kuzco Fever" | "Empress Malina" | "The Adventures of Red-Eyed Tree Frog Man" | "Hungry, Hungry Llama" | "Only the Wrong Survive" | "Cart Wash" | "Battle of the Bots" | "Girls Behaving Oddly" | "The Lost Kids" | "The Big Fight" | "Kuzclone" | "Unfit to Print" | "The Emperor's New Pet" | "Peasant for a Day" | "Fortune Cookie Day" | "Gold Fools" | "The Mystery of Micchu Pachu" | "Oops, All Doodles" | "Chipmunky Business" | "Clash of the Familes" | "The New Kid" | "Officer Kronk" | "Kronk Moves In" | "Kuzcogarten" | "Evil and Eviler" | "The Bride of Kuzco" | "U.F.kuzcO" | "Attack Sub" | "The Yzma That Stole Kuzcoween" | "Monster Masquerade" | "Yzmopolis"
Season Two: "The Emperor's New Tuber" | "Room For Improvement" | "Cool Summer" | "Prisoner of Kuzcoban" | "Ramon's a Crowd" | "Guakumentary" | "Show Me the Monkey" | "Demon Llama" | "Picture This!" | "TV or Not TV" | "Kuz-Cop" | "How Now Sea Cow?" | "A Fair to Remember" | "Working Girl" | "Curse of the Moon Beast" | "Aww, Nuts!" | "The Emperor's New School Spirit" | "Card Wars" | "Mudka's Secret Recipe" | "The Emperor's New Home School" | "The Emperor's New School Musical" | "A Giftmas Story" | "No Man Is an Island" | "Vincent Van Guaka" | "Air Kuzco" | "Kronkenitza" | "Come Fly With Me" | "Project Poncho" | "Citizen Kronk" | "The Pajama Llama Dilemma" | "Yzma Be Gone" | "Last Ditch Effort" | "The Good, the Bad and the Kronk" | "Mudka's #13" | "Auction Action" | "The Astonishing Kuzco-Man" | "Guaka Rules" | "Malina's Big Break" | "Hotel Kuzco" | "Father O' Mine" | "Everyone Loves Kuzco" | "Puff Piece" | "Take My Advice" | "Yzbot" | "The Puma Whisperer" | "Kronk the Magnificent" | "Kamp Kuzco" | "Groove Remover" | "Overachiever's Club" | "The Emperor's New Show" | "Too Many Malinas" | "Faking the Grade" | "Eco Kuzco" | "Kuzcokazooza" | "Kuzco's Little Secret" | "Cornivale" | "Graduation Groove"


Perfect World and Reprise | Snuff Out The Light | My Funny Friend and Me | Be True To Your Groove and Reprise | Let's Groove | Feel Like a Million | Yzmopolis | Walk the Llama, Llama | K-U-Z-C-O


Mudka's Meat Hut | The Secret Lab | Kuzcotopia | South America | Peru

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