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Good Movies For Small Children - The Emperor's New Groove

Updated on October 6, 2015

Great Kids Movies

When it comes to finding good, wholesome, intelligent, entertainment for children, especially young kids, most people’s first thoughts turn to Walt Disney and the list of Disney movie classics from over the years, especially the ones remembered fondly from childhood. However, many of the most classic Disney fairy tales contain very scary or disturbing scenes or plot points that may frighten young children, or be otherwise inappropriate for young kids.

The recently re-released Snow White, for example, includes a scary witch pondering the murder of Snow White, plus the very creepy scene where the same witch morphs from her old woman disguise into the witch all the while cackling evilly just moments after Snow White takes a bite of the poisoned apple. Even very young children know that something isn’t right and can take a lot of scary feelings away.

Fortunately, there are many great kids movies out there for concerned parents looking for good entertainment for their children.

Emperor’s New Groove DVD

The Emperor’s New Groove is not one of those classic Disney movies that adults grew up with and that parents enjoyed when they were children. Rather, it is one of Disney’s modern hit-or-miss attempts at creating animated films for children of all ages. Fortunately, this 2000 movie is one of their hits.

Best described as an action-adventure story, this movie moves fast enough to hold older kid's attention spans with plenty of colorful action and animals for younger kiddos. Most of the "danger" in the story comes from the Emperor himself who learns that being self-absorbed is a hollow existence. Fortunately, it does so without ever getting preachy or teary about it.

Well done voice acting, plus an imaginative story, and solid colorful animation are the strong points of this new Disney classic, making it a good movie for caring parents to share with their children.

The plot centers around spoiled and selfish, Emperor Kuzco, voiced by David Spade, and Pacha, voiced by John Goodman. Pacha, is a peasant farmer with a wife, two kids, and home that has been in his family for generations. The story is set in motion when Kuzco informs Pacha that he will be destroying his home to build his summer palace, and then subsequently fires his long-term advisor Yzma. Yzma’s henchman Kronk mixes up some poison and accidentally turns the Emperor into a llama instead and we’re off.

Emperor's New Groove Cartoon Movie for Children

The character of Yzma is old and withered and some kids may be put off by her appearance, so this is something to judge right away. If they can't handle her, its best to just move on, because she makes up a lot of the movie.

Otherwise, Yzma’s actions never add up to actually being scary. The closest possible moment to being scary is near the end when Yzma is transformed in a puff of smoke and a deep, sinster laugh comes out. However, the tension is diffused seconds later, when it turns out Yzma has been turned into a cute little kitten.

There is one potential "Next Chapter" spot near the beginning of the movie when Kuzco ends up surrounded by scary faced jaguars who roar, growl, and jump. Otherwise, it's all fairly tame.

As with most movies, small children may not understand the conflict of the movie, and ask various questions about WHY something is happening. As always, use your best parenting judgment, but consider downplaying the conflicts and keeping them small in scope. “They’re wrestling because they both want that bottle,” tends to work better than, “Yzma is trying to keep Kuzco from changing from a llama back into the Emperor so that she can be Emperor and Kuzco won’t be able to tell on her,” or whatever.

Along the way, there is plenty of “good stuff” for kids, though most of them soak up neither as much of that or the “bad stuff” in movies as parents, children’s advocates, or parents like to think. There is the lesson of being honest (not going back on your word), having friends, and treating people right.

Most importantly for youngsters, there is plenty of action, brightly colored scenery, and plenty of jokes that kiddos will understand.

The Emperor’s New Groove makes a great addition to the home children’s library of movies.


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    • profile image

      monika ubartaite 5 years ago

      me and my sister loved it.

    • profile image

      Person 5 years ago

      my childern loved this movie and they love the tv show 'The Emperors

      New School'

    • Hub Llama profile image

      Hub Llama 7 years ago from Denver, CO


      My intention had been to write a series of these hubs with one dedicated to each movie, hence the title. However, I have not been able to get back to doing so. Hopefully, you at least enjoyed this particular review.


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      Jessica Ojeda 7 years ago

      Your title is misleading since it says "movies" and not "movie." I expected a list of movies and not just one.

    • shanekruger profile image

      shanekruger 8 years ago

      WOW! I really enjoy your article