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🤩 20 Facts About ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’

Long before Disney came out with “Coco” there was a chart-topping animated film about an Incan emperor who became a Llama. Of course, the movie was primarily made of a white cast and creators but, most kids of the early 2000s will remember the Disney hit movie. The film Kuzco a snobby and spoiled Llama who learns about himself when he is turned into an animal has tons of facts and trivia of note!

1. The movie was going to be called “Kingdom of The Sun”

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In 1994, Roger Allers the director behind the film “The Lion King” started working on a few ideas he had for a classic Disney style epic set in the ancient Incan Empire called “Kingdom of the Sun”. The film was actually supposed to be an Incan spin of the Mark Twain book “Prince and The Pauper” where an Incan emperor accidentally switches places with a commoner who looked like him. In the original plan for the story, the Incan emperor meets his doppelganger and switches places with him for fun only to run into trouble when a royal sorceress discovers the switch and turns the emperor into a llama.

2. A Documentary was made about the film.

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Production for “Kingdom of the Sun” which later became “The Emperor’s New Groove” was quite the mess.  It was originally going to be a musical and Disney had brought Sting on to compose and produce 6 songs for the movie. It was meant to keep up with the success of “The Lion King which had songs created by Elton John. As part of his negotiations for the film, Sting was able to get producers to agree to allow his wife Trudie Styler to make a documentary about the film’s production. The film was ultimately called “The Sweatbox” and followed the various ups and downs of the film’s production. 

3. Yzma has a song that you can find online.

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Yzma’s song “Snuff Out The Light” can still be found online. Eartha Kitt had lent her voice to the track which narrates Yzma’s jealous and desire to take over Kuzco’s position of power in the kingdom. In the song, she sings about zapping out the light in the kingdom and welcoming in demons and beasts that love and thrive in the darkness. The song also was meant to give audiences a better look into Yzma’s background and origin story. In the original film, Yzma’s father was supposed to be a royal mortician who trained her to use magic to prolong her life. 

4. The film isn’t based on The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Fans of the film often mistake the movie for being inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson book “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Yep, the Hans Christian Anderson who inspried various other Disney feature films including “Frozen” and “The Little Mermaid.Funnily Enough, “The Emporer’s Groove” is not inspired by the Anderson tale. Actually, the similar phrasing the two titles of the stories are just plain old coincidental. The single and only running theme that can be mistaken for the same is the theme that the arrogance of royalty is a problem. Other than that, the two stories are completely not the same!

5. The movie is filled with subtle visual jokes.

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Disney fans know that the big brand’s movies might be geared towards kids but have pretty clever jokes for adults as well. This fact is easy to see all throughout “Emperor’s New Groove” which is so funny, we have tow under if it wasn’t really just made for adults. When Yzma pours poison into the cactus plant, after Kuzco’s neck transforms, the cactus transforms into the shape of a llama. Later, when Kronk tries to hide  Kuzco in the bag, the camera pulls back and shows a painting of two figures pointing at Kronk. Later, when bridge falls into the river, the word DAMN can be seen falling among the individual slats of wood.

6. Apparently, they really wanted a white man as the lead.

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Despite the fact that Kusco is a Peruvian character, Disney seemed to have its heart set on casting a popular white male character. In fact, Owen Wilson was originally going to voice Pacha. He was supposed to be a very lowly peasant, who wasn’t even the strong character who was a leader of his village that he turned out to be in the film. In the original plans for the film, Pacha was supposed to meet the Emperor betrothed, Nina who was going to be voiced by Carla Gugino. Pacha and Nina would ultimately fall in love. It’s all pretty bizarre and insane.

7. Kronks spinach puffs aren’t what some might think.

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Ah Kronk’s famous spinach puffs. Not actually spinach puffs, but more like empanadas. Most Latinos will recognize the delicious treats as empanadas but the word isn’t totally recognizable to those outside of the Latin community or unfamiliar with their cuisine and culture. To ensure the word was understood by all of its audience members, Disney decided to use the word”puff” because they believed it was the closest word in the English language to describe an empanada. So if you’re ever interested in recreating Kronk’s beloved pastry dish, be sure to follow up with a recipe for empanadas that have spinach inside.

8. Kuzco’s name has ancient roots.

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Kuzco, the main character of “Emperor’s New Groove” was named after the ancient capital of the Incas, Cuzco. His name was based on the Capital of the Inca Empire which, at the time, was located in the modern-day country of Peru. The city was located on the crossroads of the corners of all four of the major cities of the Incan Empire. But’s it’s not just Kuszco’s name that’s drawn from history. Pacha’s name also has a historical reference as well. In the Incan language, which is called Quechua, Pacha means Earth. It’s a name that fits Pacha’s character pretty well when you consider that he’s the one that brings Kuzco down to earth in terms of perspective.

10. Kuzco is the second Disney protagonist to be of indigenous descent and Sting worked to save indigenous elements of the film.

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Kuzco is from the Incan empire. Pocahontas is Disney’s first Indigenous princess and the third is Kenai from “Brother Bear.” Disney hasn’t always done indigenous portrayals well, but when it came to “Emperor’s New Groove” Sting made sure they didn’t mess it up. In the original ending of the final, the final draft had Kuzco build his home amusement park on a hill that a rain forest had been on. Sting took a strong pass on the end and wrote Disney a letter saying “You do this, I’m resigning because this is exactly the opposite of what I stand for. I’ve spent 20 years trying to defend the rights of indigenous people and you’re just marching over them to build a theme park. I will not be party to this.”

11. It’s the first time a Disney animated film featured a pregnant woman.

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In the Disney movie, Kuzco’s sidekick, and really saving grace, Pacha is married to a strong and confident woman named Chicha. Her character is clever and wise and also the mother of two other children who are constantly running around and creating chaos. Still, Pacha’s wife, Chicha, handles all of this while pregnant for most of the movie and it isn’t until the very end of the film that she has hers and Pacha’s child. Chicha is portrayed as a wise and loving mother whose capable of solving most problems that come her way. She’s a great figure for kids to look up to.

12. Patrick Warburton improvised Kronk’s hummed theme song.

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“Emperor’s New Groove” let a bit of room for improvisation for its actors of the film. In a great scene from the movie, Patrick Warburton, who portrayed the somewhat dense character Kronk’s, improvised a song that the character hums in the film. In the scene in the film, Kronk has captured Kuzco and carries him towards a massive waterfall. During their treck, he hums a little song that is pretty clever and funny. To make sure they wouldn’t have any problems with the film rights, Disney’s legal department made Warburton sign all rights to the humming composition over to them.

13. Inside jokes were rampant in the movie.

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Disney has quite a few inside jokes peppered all throughout most of its films and their 2000 film “Emperor’s New Groove” is no different. In fact, inside jokes amongst the film’s cast and crew run rampant throughout the movie. One hilarious example comes in the scene where Pacha carries Kuzco through the jungle. By this point, Pacha and Kuzco have yet to truly rub off on each other they way that they do towards the end of the film, in the movie scene they both argue about Kuzco’s low blood sugar. It’s a joke rooted in David Spade’s hypoglycemia.

14. There’s a “Wizard of Oz” reference you missed!

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In the third act of the film  Kuzco and Pacha search for potions. During the scene, Pacha says, “Lions, tigers, bears…” when they find a potion for humans and find that  it is missing Yzma says “oh my.” It’s a scene that the director of the film actually completely hated and didn’t want to see make it to the screen. Unfortunately for them, they were pressured to include the inside joke by the head of Disney Feature Animation Thomas Schumacher. The joke is a bit contrived and dad joke-like but it is kind of a fun reference to a film classic.

15. Yzma usually wears purple.

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The color which is typically associated with madness and royalty. It represents what Yzma is and what she wants to be. Another little fun fact about Yzma is that Barbara Streisand almost took on her voice. She’s one of the most well-known performers of era and is known for her voice, but she had never done voice acting. The actress was almost cast in the role of the film’s great big villain but the role ended up being given to Eartha Kitt. The reason for Kitt’s casting is still unknown but her take on the villain was loved by the creators of the film.

16. You better believe there’s a Citizen Kane reference.

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In the scene where Kuzco is in Kronk’s bag, there’s a pretty hilarious reference to Citizen Kane. The scene sees Kronk trying his best to make the most out of life while attempting to kill of Kuzco who is llama form. While walking the streets with Kuzco in the bag he wears on his back, he starts humming a very similar soundtrack to Mission Impossible. The scene also includes a Citizen Kane reference in which Kronk starts to second-guess his mission of killing Kuzco by sending him over a waterfall. The scene zooms out and shows a monkey eating a bug. It’s a lot like the scene in Citizen Kane when a clouded building is zoomed out of to reveal a group of monkeys snacking on bugs.

17. Yzma was a rarity for women.

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Disney has done a lot to distort the image of women it’s films. More often than not, it’s princesses are white, slender and patriarchaly perfect. Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, Rapunzel are just a few characters that fall into this understanding of how Disney likes it’s women. Even it’s female characters of color, ones like Pocahontas, Taina and Mulan take on physical attributions that are considered just right in the Disney sphere. Rarely do women get to play the part of the villain in their films. It’s why Yzma’s role as an incredibly awful villain is so interesting and refreshing to watch. In the film, she’s one of the few female Disney Villains to be physically fought in a Disney movie.

18. John Fielder is in it.

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John Fiedler has had a long a prominent career in the world of voice acting for years. Fiedler was a voice actor who worked on Winnie the Pooh and The Fox and the Hound. Emperor’s New Groove was his only film where he voiced a human character. In “The Emperor’s New Groove” the voice actor took on the role of Old Man who gets kicked out of the temple. Fiedler died five years later at the Lillian Booth Actors’ Home in Englewood in New Jersey. He was 80 years old and had just finished recording his lines for Piglet in “Pooh’s Heffalump Movie.”

19. David Mamet thinks the film is one of Disney’s most innovate.

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Famed playwright David Mamet who wrote The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and The Verdict (1982) turned out to be a big fan of the film’s script. The American playwright and film director once said that “Emperor’s New Groove” was the “most brilliantly innovative which Hollywood has produced in recent years.” Still, despite Mamet’s original opinions about the original script, “Emperor’s New Groove” had a box office debut with gains that were quite a bit lower than the ones previous Disney Feature Animation productions released during the 90s. Despite its critical acclaim it was pretty much a big Disney flop.


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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

There’s no denying that the world looks a lot different now than it did in 1947. And while the list of all of the positive changes that the decades stretching between now and then have done for the world and minorities, a recent campaign is also highlighting the ways in which our current president could take some notes on certain values the United States held dear during this time. Particularly ones that had been pressed for by one of our former presidents.

As part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy” effort, he worked to promote positive and healthy relations between the United States in Latin American countries.

At the time Rooseveltaimed to ensure that the North, Central and South American countries avoided breaking under the influence of Axis countries during World War II. As part of this campaign, Roosevelt comissioned a Spanish and a Portuguese version of the U.S. national anthem. According to Time Magazine he also “recruited Hollywood to participate in this Good Neighbor Policy; Walt Disney went on goodwill tour of South America, hoping to find a new market for his films, and ended up producing two movies inspired by the trip: Saludos Amigos (1942) and The Three Caballeros (1944). The Brazilian star Carmen Miranda also got a boost, and her role in The Gang’s All Here made her even more famous in the U.S. And alongside these cross-cultural exchanges, the U.S. government decided it needed an anthem that could reach Spanish speakers.”

According to NPR, Clotilde Arias, wrote wrote the translation at the end of World War II, was born in the small Peruvian city, Iquitos in 1901 and moved to New York City to become a composer when she was 22-years-old. Her version of the anthem is now part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Now in an effort to support Latino communities affected by the coronavirus, the non-profit We Are All Human Foundation’s Hispanic Star campaign commissioned the a remake of the song.

Hoping to raise awareness of its Hispanic Recovery Plan and efforts to help to connect Hispanic small businesses and workers with resources during the pandemic, the campaign brought the old recording from obscurity.

For the song, the 2019 winner of the singing competition La Voz,  Jeidimar Rijos, performed “El Pendón Estrellado.” Or, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

The song has already received quite a bit of comments and support on Youtube.

Hang in there, fam. We can only get through this together.

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These Online Botanicas Will Satisfy The Bruja In You

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These Online Botanicas Will Satisfy The Bruja In You

With young Latinxs reclaiming the bruja identity, the demand for access to novenas, herbs and other specially crafted ritual tools has grown tremendously. Luckily, these Latinx-owned online botanicas have made it easy for brujas, or anyone who wants to dive deeper into the practice, to get their hands on the goods. Whether you’re looking to conjure up more cash flow or secure some extra protection from those pesky mal de ojos, these shops have the magia you need.

1. The Flowerchild Bruja

You know you’ve received some real tesoro when you open your delivery and see the holographic cellophane. Unmistakable and unique products are what make The Flowerchild Bruja’s shop un cielo de flores. Garden Smudge Sticks adorned with colorful flowers and loose herbs packaged in clear hearts make this online botanica a must-visit if you’re looking to manifest more love and beauty into your life.

2. Brooklyn Brujeria

No forlorn-looking saints and pale stricken Marys here! Brookyn Brujeria offers a fresh and modern take on the classic bruja necessity of novena candles. At $10 a candle, you can enhance the vibrations and style of your space without blowing all your chavo. With intentions like Boss Bitch and F*ck Outta Here, these ain’t your abuelitas’ novenas.

3. The Hoodwitch Store

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Thank you for all of your love & support to those who have been readers and customers of @thehoodwitch over the years. ♥️You know truly how hard I work and that this is my livelihood and culture. Visual art and magic ARE my life and practice. Not a peach flavored “turquoise” glitter drink. My magic is in my blood, my magic is in my ability to bring life to my visions, it is creation & destruction. Over the last 6 years, I have been so honored and lucky to be featured in some of the largest media publications internationally not limited to Instagram. This is bigger than that and the creative team for Starbucks knew that. I have personally worked on consulting large companies in their design concepts this work comes naturally to me. “So what’s the big fuss?” My personal style has become synonymous with the visual aesthetic of my brand. No, I absolutely did not “invent” the crystal balls nor acrylic nails but What I created was a space for myself along with other POC to feel represented and have visual imagery that was representative of us. The colorful candles of my local botanicas, my gold jewelry, and my long nails clutching my crystals are certainly not “new” but to see them presented in a manner that I shared visually in this space was. Katherine de Vos Devine @devosdevine is a lawyer and art historian who wrote a powerful and insightful look as to what exactly is happening with this situation and we are sharing it in our story today because more than anything she truly gives the full tea of the situation. I can strip away the crystal balls, the nail art, and delete all of my beautifully curated photos but I will always be me, I will always be my grandmother’s voices and wisdom. I will create, and I will always know my value and my worth. I trust and believe that my ancestors and my guides are looking after me. These giants may have the money to bully artists, creatives, and small business but we know the truth and absolutely must not allow it. As a small business owner, I appreciate you standing with us in this uphill journey and even if it goes nowhere, at the end of the day I can laugh to myself knowing that Starbucks made a drink inspired by HW 🔮

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If you’re in the market for an obsidian scrying mirror, unique tarot decks or nail polish for your mystic manos, then The Hoodwitch Store is your one-stop bruja shop. Be sure to also check out the Bruja Bookshop tab, where you’ll find vintage, one-of-a-kind libros to up your witchy wisdom. The shop offers some rare finds en español as well. However, make sure you stay up to date on the latest inventory. These goods sell out fast!

4. House of Intuition

If you live in LA, you’ve most likely heard of House of Intuition. With four brick and mortar stores throughout the area, plus an online shop, it’s probably a wise investment to grab one of their “Success” intention candles. Their beautifully colored novenas aren’t the only reason to check out the shop, though. Seriously, this casa is staked with everything from crystals skulls, cauldrons and wands to a line called “Hair Mystics” featuring crystal-infused hair mists. You’ll be glad your intuition led you here.  

5. Lunar Magic Shop

Lunar Magic Shop is the super affordable and super thoughtful shop with some of our favorite bruja apparel. You will for sure want to grab the “My Mom Will Hex You” tee for the little one in your life or the “I Am My Own Sacred Place” one for yourself. While you’re at it, you might as well secure the “Motherhood”and “Student” crystal kit bags. This small shop definitely has the whole family’s brujeria needs in mind.

6. Curandera Press

While this shop is currently taking a small hiatus, they will re-launch on August 1. This gives us time to save up for a big vela haul. We could all use some divine intervention with lazy lovers and bad hair days, right? With Curandera Press’ “No Mas Amante Perezoso” and “Good Hair Day” velas, your prayers are answered. We’re excited to see what intentions they roll out next.

Read: In These Trying Times, Boricua Bruja Emilia Ortiz Provides A Digital Space For Healing

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