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The Mouse's New Clothes, er, Groove
March 23, 2012 8:11 AM   Subscribe

The Sweatbox "the documentary Disney doesn't want you to see" (95-minute SLYT), was made when Sting wrote songs for "Kingdom of the Sun" and his filmmaker wife Trudie Styler got insider access to the production. What? You say there was no Disney movie "Kingdom of the Sun"? I meant "The Emperor's New Groove". Rarely has the decline of an Institution been better documented.
This may or may not be Disney property and may or may not be taken down any minute, but it has survived on YouTube for over 48 hours after getting blogged-about a dozen times.
posted by oneswellfoop (97 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
Article on how Kingdom of the Sun became Emperor's New Groove: Part 1, Part 2.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:23 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't watch the video right now, but I do have a couple of comments. First, "The Emperor's New Groove" is one of the Robots family's favorite animated movies. Our cat is even named Yzma. Second, I heard somewhere that Sting felt he was too old to do the high-energy main number, so they hired... Tom Jones!
posted by No Robots at 8:30 AM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


oneswellfoop: "This may or may not be Disney property and may or may not be taken down any minute, but it has survived on YouTube for over 48 hours after getting blogged-about a dozen times."

Thanks for the warning. Downloading!
posted by zarq at 8:36 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I only watched the first few minutes to see Sting sitting in a parlour, sipping a cup of tea and playing chess with a guitar in his lap. The image was so unsurprising it was almost cliche.
posted by slogger at 8:38 AM on March 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


LLAMA FACE!
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:47 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Emperor's New Groove is much better/funnier than it has any right to be. It's like all the creators got all despairingly drunk and went "Ha ha ha ha ha oh god we are so fucked and over budget but hey this whiskey is awesome OH SCREW IT BRING OUT THE LLAMAS AND BORSCHT BELT JOKES"


Yay, I'm a llama again! ...Wait.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:53 AM on March 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


Judging from its quality, Disney apparently doesn't want me to see John Carter either.
posted by Trurl at 9:01 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, you posted this while I was writing my own post about it.
posted by hippybear at 9:01 AM on March 23, 2012


I watched this last night. I was pretty amazed they could make such sweeping changes to the story of an animated movie. It looks like the process is, write dialog, record it with real actors, do very rough animations, then screen that for execs and repeat.

It's great how Sting goes from "working on Disney movies was a childhood dream" to "this movie is emblematic of everything wrong with society and I want off". And then he ended up getting nominated for an Oscar.

And you want to see a great example of spin? Check out this article on the score from the time. "When news struck of the total changes in production, Sting decided to stay on board and write new material for The Emperor's New Groove. Shaiman, however, jumped ship and left the studio in an understandable panic. They turned to trusted veteran John Debney to step in and, in just a matter of a few weeks, adapt Sting's new material into his score. " The documentary makes it pretty clear that Shaiman was fired and his reaction is more like "this sucks but at least I get paid".
posted by smackfu at 9:02 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, I didn't realize that the film was shot by Sting's wife. That explains why the documentary followed him on vacation to the Himalayas. I thought that was rather excessive.
posted by smackfu at 9:07 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


They turned to trusted veteran John Debney to step in and, in just a matter of a few weeks, adapt Sting's new material into his score.

This kind of insane schedule is surprisingly common.

Ironically, Debney's last-minute-replacement work for Cutthroat Island is considered the best work of his career.
posted by Trurl at 9:09 AM on March 23, 2012


I didn't realize that the film was shot by Sting's wife.

In my heart of hearts, I know that Trudie Styler's passport lists as her occupation "Sting's wife".
posted by Trurl at 9:09 AM on March 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


Despite it's horrible title change, reading the article Stitcherbeast links to pretty much makes it sound, to me, at least, that the changes made were the right ones. The problem seems to be that it shouldn't have been allowed to get to be such a mess to begin with and it only got to be that way because people had such faith in "the person who brought you The Lion King." Ask all the injured Spider-Men how that worked out with Julie Taymor.

The story elements from what would have been Kingdom of the Sun were taken and made into a movie that, while not brilliant, pretty much works, and the ones that seem pretty stupid and using story elements that we've seen multiple times were shucked off.

The Prince and the Pauper elements sound stupid, I have no idea how you could salvage the fact that the character who is supposed to be our hero sells out his entire civilization when being blackmailed (even if he's saving his own skin, that just doesn't work), and making Yzma's motivation vanity (rather than a power grab) is the just continuing one of the worst part of all the many problem female characters in Disney have had over the years.

I'm sure the whole project was horrifying to work on, but from a distance, other than completely start from scratch, I have no idea how it could have turned out much better. The Emperor's New Groove is not only a better movie than it has any right to be, it's better (or at least as good as) than the Disney films that came out at that time: Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan. That it came from such a mess is, to me, pretty impressive.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:12 AM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


her occupation "Sting's wife".
Considering her previous gig was "Sting's wife's best friend", I'd say she advanced.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:14 AM on March 23, 2012 [31 favorites]


her occupation "Sting's wife".
Considering her previous gig was "Sting's wife's best friend", I'd say she advanced.


OH, SNAP!

Damn I felt that one all the way over here.
posted by Naberius at 9:18 AM on March 23, 2012 [18 favorites]


The title of this movie alone was enough to make me skip it. I am surprised to hear it isn't actually terrible!
posted by Hoopo at 9:19 AM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Trudie Styler's DVD credits include:

DVDs

Trudie Styler's Warrior Yoga Starring Trudie Styler (2009)
Trudie Styler's Core Strength Pilates Starring Trudie Styler (2009)
Trudie Styler's Cardio Dance Flow Starring Trudie Styler (2009)
Trudie Styler's Mind Body Collection (Boxset) (2010)
Pure Sculpt Starring Trudie Styler (2010)
Trudie Styler's Sculpt & Tone Ballet Starring Trudie Styler and James D Silva (2010)
posted by Optamystic at 9:23 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ironically, Debney's last-minute-replacement work for Cutthroat Island is considered the best work of his career.

The fact that Cutthroat Island is considered the best work of anyone's career is genuinely shocking to me.

Also, The Emperor's New Groove is awesome, and if you disagree you are wrong at a subatomic level.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:23 AM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


The title of this movie alone was enough to make me skip it. I am surprised to hear it isn't actually terrible!

When it first came out I groaned at the title. But my daughter was 10 years old, so I considered it my fatherly duty to take her and endure the pain. I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was fun, and funny, and smart and witty. I've seen it several times since, and it really holds up!
posted by The Deej at 9:24 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's a good movie, but here in Canada I always switch on the French dub to avoid David Spade's annoying persona.

Interesting link, by the way, and I hope it stays up! Total 90s timeslip.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:24 AM on March 23, 2012


while not brilliant, pretty much works

That's deeply unfair to The Emperor's New Groove. It's far and away the funniest cartoon Disney has ever made, and the first rule of comedy is that comedy is harder than drama. Groove is a goddamned sidesplitter. Seriously, if you see this movie and your reaction is "that's not funny," you are a sad, sad person and probably dead inside.
posted by mightygodking at 9:25 AM on March 23, 2012 [12 favorites]


The title of this movie alone was enough to make me skip it. I am surprised to hear it isn't actually terrible!

It's so not-terrible that it's actually kind of fantastic. Far more irreverent than you'd expect from a Disney cartoon.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:25 AM on March 23, 2012


Incredible. What kills me are the backgrounds. The originals were beautiful and dignified. And then:
"We've been very busy the last two or three months, and we've redesigned the city, and the village, and we're getting a lot more caricature into the art direction now. We thought it'd be fun if, like, the city was like an Incan version of Las Vegas."
Barf.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:26 AM on March 23, 2012


What kills me are the backgrounds. The originals were beautiful and dignified.

But that's the point. Beautiful and dignified doesn't work when you're writing a comedy. They turned a drama - and, let's be honest, a Disney drama that was rote to say the least - into a comedy. Comedy requires a different setting than a drama does! This isn't some sort of sin!
posted by mightygodking at 9:32 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Emperor's New Groove is not only a better movie than it has any right to be, it's better (or at least as good as) than the Disney films that came out at that time: Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan.

Hey, now. Hercules was brilliant because it was Disney using its own machine to take down its own machine. I haven't seen anything that meta ever, especially out of a huge self-preservation syndicate like Disney. I'm surprised it was ever made, even made it past the first screening, let alone was actually released for the public to see.
posted by hippybear at 9:33 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, obligatory:

Why do we even have that lever?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:34 AM on March 23, 2012 [18 favorites]


(I agree with you about all those others though. Ick. Except for maybe Pocahontas, which despite its fucking with history was a pretty beautiful movie.)
posted by hippybear at 9:34 AM on March 23, 2012


WRONG LEVER!
posted by cereselle at 9:35 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


The fact that Cutthroat Island is considered the best work of anyone's career is genuinely shocking to me.

I can't speak for the movie itself, but the score itself is massively respected within film score nerd circles.

Also, The Emperor's New Groove is awesome, and if you disagree you are wrong at a subatomic level.

Agreed. "Why do we even have that lever?"
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:35 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


But that's the point. Beautiful and dignified doesn't work when you're writing a comedy. They turned a drama - and, let's be honest, a Disney drama that was rote to say the least - into a comedy. Comedy requires a different setting than a drama does! This isn't some sort of sin!

Yes. And that's why all the '30s Disney movies are complete shit, while the '90s ones are classics.

Right.

Never mind the whole taking-a-dump-on-a-foreign-culture thing.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:38 AM on March 23, 2012


And wow! This documentary is actually a pretty great example of how stress affects people. Randy Fullmer goes from solid brown to grey in his beard pretty quickly.

Either that or he was so busy with the movie that he didn't have the 10 minutes required for Just For Men anymore.
posted by hippybear at 9:41 AM on March 23, 2012


mightygodking: you're right about my unfair word choice. Though I obviously didn't like it as much as you, I do think it was pretty funny and meant to recommend it with my comment. I suppose I was using "brilliant" in the way I imagine Roger Allers would use it -- as describing a capital-S serious movie.

I actually didn't see New Groove when it came out based solely on the title (and thinking I didn't like David Spade when it turns out, I pretty much almost always do) and only caught it later because I found an episode of the spin off cartoon enjoyable (so maybe to some, my opinion on comedy shouldn't be trusted at all) and wondered what the original was all about.

And while I'm correcting myself, hippybear, Hercules was why I added the "at least as good as" condition.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:41 AM on March 23, 2012


Trudie Styler's DVD credits include...

To be fair, now, her producer credits include A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrells.

But...yeah.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:44 AM on March 23, 2012


Never mind the whole taking-a-dump-on-a-foreign-culture thing.

I don't see how ENG's cheerful pseudo-Inca backdrop is any less offensive than KOTS's attempt to turn that culture into a majestically Otherized, fantasy-magical Never Never Land.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:45 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Er, more offensive. Whatever. (turns baseball cap backwards, skateboards out of the thread while eating a pizza)
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:45 AM on March 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


And that's why all the '30s Disney movies are complete shit, while the '90s ones are classics.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. A good comedy isn't necessarily better than a good drama (and all of the '30s and '40s Disney movies are great family-friendly dramedies). Nobody is trying to say that Emperor's New Groove is better or worse than Snow White, or for that matter Disney's best efforts earlier in the decade like Lion King or Beauty and the Beast (again, both essentially dramedies, like 90% of Disney's animated output).

The point is that complaining that a comedy isn't doing what a drama does is silly, because they're not trying to do the same thing - and the argument in favour of the change from Kingdom of the Sun to Emperor's New Groove is that they had a shitty dramedy and they could turn it into a good comedy with some work.

Never mind the whole taking-a-dump-on-a-foreign-culture thing.

Wait, what? Are we now complaining that Groove is racist, too?
posted by mightygodking at 9:45 AM on March 23, 2012


The Emperor's New Groove currently holds an 85% "Certified Fresh" approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it made money when you count worldwide totals, and while it wasn't the blockbuster everyone expected from the maker of the Lion King, it was sufficient for Disney to pull the trigger on a direct-to-video sequel and an animated series, both of which were fairly successful in their own rights.

You could have just as easily made a documentary called, "Some Executives Make Some Weird Decisions But It All Turns Out More or Less OK," but I guess that wouldn't be as dramatic as "Sweatbox."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:46 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, ENG is a fantastic movie. David Spade's annoying voice/presona is pretty much perfect, Kronk is fabulous, the diner scene is great, etc, etc. Pathos and slap-sticky physical humor blended together.

"I've been turned into a cow, can I go home now?"
posted by Windopaene at 9:48 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well IIRC the "sweatbox" in question is the name for the screening room where the executives rip apart the movie, so that seems pretty appropriate.
posted by smackfu at 9:49 AM on March 23, 2012


Hercules was brilliant because it was Disney using its own machine to take down its own machine.

Hippybear, what do you mean?
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 9:49 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought Emperor's New Groove was the funniest thing I had ever seen, but I saw it while peaking on acid, and I refuse to see it again, because it can't possibly live up to how I remember it.
posted by empath at 9:51 AM on March 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


The term "sweat box" dates back to the days when Walt Disney would hold screenings of works in progress in a small hot theater and then critique their work. It describes both the conditions of the screening room and the pressure those making the film were under.

It's a specific word having to do with animation production and is entirely appropriate as a title for this movie, which went into the sweat box and came out as something entirely different.
posted by hippybear at 9:51 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


The original draft was doomed because it didn't have Patrick Warburton as Kronk.

Kronk: Did you eat the acorn?
Junior Chipmunk Class: Squeaker, squeak, squeak, squeakin'?
Kronk: You owe me a new acorn.
Junior Chipmunk Class: Squeak squeak squeak, squeak, squeaker...

We still use that phrase around our house.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:51 AM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wait, what? Are we now complaining that Groove is racist, too?

Yes.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:54 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hercules was brilliant because it was Disney using its own machine to take down its own machine.

Hippybear, what do you mean?


I haven't seen it in a few years, but my memory of it is that it has a major subtext about branding and marketing and over-marketing and over-promotion to the point where the thing being promoted becomes a pop-culture icon and caricature of itself. Pretty much what Disney did with every film it was releasing at the time.
posted by hippybear at 9:54 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also: I wish Eartha Kitt was my aunt and took me on wonderful adventures.
posted by Trurl at 9:56 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Okay, I know I've already done my out-of-context quote for the thread, but seriously, the way the film is completely unafraid to take even the barest notion of continuity and turn it into a gag is fantastic.

*After a chase scene, Kuzco and Pacha drop the villains into a canyon and continue to the castle, only to find Yzma and Kronk waiting for them, in true cliched-bad-guy fashion*

Kuzco: No! It can't be! How did you get back here before us?
Yzma: *looks triumphant, and then suddenly puzzled* Ah... uh... how did we, Kronk?
Kronk: (pulls down a map of the chase, which shows the villains falling into the canyon and then reappearing at the castle) Well, you got me. By all accounts it doesn't make sense.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:01 AM on March 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


IDK, I'd say ENG is one of the least offensive/racist/paternalistic Disney films centered in a foreign culture, primarily because there's no Superstar White Savior anywhere in the cast. Everyone - hero, antihero, villain, bumbling henchman - is a native Andean, and aside from the silliness of their names, I can't really see any native traditions being egregiously misrepresented or otherwise shat upon.
posted by elizardbits at 10:05 AM on March 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


Hercules was brilliant because it was Disney using its own machine to take down its own machine.

Disney was satirizing Nike and its glorification of athletes as heroes, not specifically Disney. The satire is not terribly subtle.

And, of course, that's doubly ironic.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:13 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Disney may have had Nike as a target, but it was spraying all over itself with the whole marketing thing. It was impossible for me or anyone I know who has seen it not to miss the fact that Disney overmarkets itself in exactly the same way, I guess, that Nike does with athletes.
posted by hippybear at 10:17 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Trudie Styler's DVD credits include [some shite]

But she also produced Moon so it evens out.
posted by ninebelow at 10:24 AM on March 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


ENG is by far my favorite Disney movie--the casting is perfect. I wish they would do more buddy films and fewer sappy romances. Also! In ENG having talks animals actually makes sense within the context of the plot, which is a nice change. How can you not love a malevolent kitten?
posted by orrnyereg at 10:29 AM on March 23, 2012


Don't forget Patrick
Warburton basically making his voice-acting career as Kronk, the bestest Well-Meaningly Incompetent Evil Minion. Without ENG there would be no Brock Samson, and also no Kronk, and the world would be a sadder, lonelier place.

Not to mention Eartha Kitt(!) as Yzma has the greatest scene in all of Disney film, with a threat I use regularly.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:37 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Overheard on an elevator in Vancouver a few years back:

"Working for Disney is the worst, padlocked to your work station and force-fed shitty pizza every four hours or so."
posted by philip-random at 10:38 AM on March 23, 2012


*runs through thread high-fiving everyone who liked ENG*

"Don't tell me. We're about to go over a huge waterfall."
"Yep."
"Sharp rocks at the bottom?"
"Most likely."
"Bring it on."
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:54 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


BOOOOO-YAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaa

*splash*
posted by nicebookrack at 11:02 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Bewaaaaaarrrrreeee the groove" is my favorite random line in history.

And I say "No Touchy!" far more often than should be necessary for a 300lb 40 year old.


I really want to see these docs on what went wrong with Ratatouille and Brave in 10 years too. Projects with troubled history, but turn out great are a fascinating subject.
posted by DigDoug at 11:19 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really want to see these docs on what went wrong with Ratatouille and Brave in 10 years too. Projects with troubled history, but turn out great are a fascinating subject.

The Wizard of Oz, Apocalypse Now, and The Usual Suspects were all like this. There's a story about the sound guy stomping off of The Usual Suspects, muttering "this is the worst piece of shit I've ever worked on."

As John Landis once said, there's zero correlation between how fun a movie is to make and how good the movie is.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:24 AM on March 23, 2012


I love, love, love ENG, and so do my kids. We had the PC version of the game and even though it was not a great game by any stretch of the imagination we all loved it, too. You played as llama Kuzco and in one of the challenges had to spit grapes at an annoying kid. Classic.
posted by Biblio at 11:32 AM on March 23, 2012


Yzma: It is no concern of mine whether or not your family has... what was it again?
Peasant: Umm... food?
Yzma: Ha! You really should have thought of that before you became peasants!
posted by shakespeherian at 11:39 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: If you disagree you are wrong at a subatomic level.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 11:43 AM on March 23, 2012


According to wikipedia, this was finished and shown at a film festival, but never released and apparently owned by Disney. I'm guessing the only reason it got shown is because it's Sting's wife.
posted by smackfu at 11:45 AM on March 23, 2012


As John Landis once said, there's zero correlation between how fun a movie is to make and how good the movie is.

There's truth in this statement but he's the last filmmaker on earth who should be saying it.
posted by philip-random at 11:50 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing the only reason it got shown is because it's Sting's wife.

As noted above, the shot of Sting playing chess while holding a guitar is just goofy. Now it all makes sense.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:53 AM on March 23, 2012


As John Landis once said, there's zero correlation between how fun a movie is to make and how good the movie is.

Nonsense. If that were true, Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise would never have won all those Oscars.
posted by The World Famous at 12:31 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, it's not the first time I was tossed out of a window, and it won't be the last. What can I say? I'm a rebel.

Love this movie.

We actually did a Lion King day recently, when the 3D version hit the theaters. We went to the zoo, spent way too long making awwww noises at the three new lion cubs there, and then saw the Lion King. It was amazing.

And yet, given the choice between having another beautiful, grandiose, poignant, epic film (which by all accounts, Kingdom of the Sun was not really on its way to becoming (I mean, seriously... lassoing the sun?)) and ENG, I'd definitely pick the Groove. Lion King I've seen... umm... twice since it came out. ENG was the default doing-nothing afternoon DVD for a long time.

I mean, come on... Kronk doing his own sneaking-around theme music? There's just no end to the brilliance of that.
posted by MrVisible at 12:37 PM on March 23, 2012


My shoulder angel!
posted by shakespeherian at 12:43 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Working for Disney is the worst, padlocked to your work station and force-fed shitty pizza every four hours or so."

They have a legitimate point. With all their cash-flow, they make some really mediocre-to-bad pizza...
posted by mikelieman at 1:41 PM on March 23, 2012


If Emperor's New Groove had a better title, it'd have been a significant hit.
posted by incessant at 2:11 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've seen this movie eight or nine times, at least, and I my daughter is still a baby! It was just for me! Glorious film. Everything works, and it's only 80 minutes.
posted by smoke at 2:56 PM on March 23, 2012


The only Disney movies that I still watch sometimes are The Rescuers Down Under, Jungle Book, and Emperor's New Groove, and I'd say without reservation that ENG is the best of them. If I had seen it without any branding I'd have sworn it wasn't a Disney movie at all.
posted by Huck500 at 3:17 PM on March 23, 2012


I just think it's important to point out that while Sting is holding a guitar and playing chess he is also drinking tea out of a fancy china cup.
posted by moxiedoll at 4:03 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]



As noted above, the shot of Sting playing chess while holding a guitar is just goofy.


If you make a video where you are sitting around a table singing a madrigal with yourself I reserve the right to never take you seriously ever again.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:20 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure if they would've left the title Kingdom of the Sun, they would've had to leave in all those parts with the cutting out the still beating hearts of all the sacrificial victims. To me, David Spade's annoying persona MADE that movie, in the same way that James Woods, as Hades, made Hercules a movie worth watching
posted by Redhush at 4:51 PM on March 23, 2012


in the same way that James Woods, as Hades, made Hercules a movie worth watching

:O

Now look what you did. I have to go download it immediately.
posted by elizardbits at 5:01 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yzma made me completely forget Catwoman; it is now, for me, the defining career role for Eartha Kitt
posted by briank at 5:15 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


This thread is giving me a serious crisis of faith. On one hand, the taste of the average MeFite is usually excellent, and I've rarely been led astray by listening to the Hive Mind's opinion about movies, television, music, or other media.

On the flip side , you're all recommending a movie with David Spade in it. Worse, you tell me it's excellent.

*hunkers in corner, rocks back and forth*
posted by lekvar at 5:45 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess think of it as if a comet is about to hit earth and for the longest time it's the most horrid thing to see in the sky, but for one split second you look up and its beautiful. A moment later you remember it's terrible and move on, but someone captured that beautiful moment in a Disney movie. That's kind of like Spade's performance in the movie.
posted by Atreides at 5:55 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, Eartha Kitt is amazing. Exhibit A: the aforementioned lab scene.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:58 PM on March 23, 2012


Update: the video has been removed.
posted by pts at 6:22 PM on March 23, 2012


So, I downloaded the flv at work. 524mb. I can upload it somewhere on Monday. Is there a Youtube alternative I can up it to?
posted by zarq at 6:39 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aren't all the cool pirate kids using Youku these days?
posted by nicebookrack at 8:24 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK, I'm skipping all the quotes from ENG now that I'm convinced that it's well worth checking out, but seriously, does it compare well to Lilo and Stitch, because God DAMN, do I love that movie, so much so that I have not dared to watch any of the sequels.
posted by maudlin at 8:55 PM on March 23, 2012


It's not much like Lilo and Stitch. ENG has a much higher snark factor (nearly as much as a good MeFi thread). And it's all good.
posted by SPrintF at 9:19 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow I'm so glad I downloaded this at work too. Probably also can't share it with anyone until Monday given bandwidth though. I'm curious who exactly uploaded this to YouTube and what the story is there.
posted by zachlipton at 10:45 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


the thing with david spade is that in this movie, he's written as a complete jerk and a turd of human and he stays sort of bitchy and spoiled through out. it was written so spectacularly for spade. i feel like this is his best role.

as to kronk and yzma - i'd watch an entire "pinky and the brain" style show surrounding them - her trying to be constantly evil, him perfecting his spinach puffs while accidentally trampling her plans.
posted by nadawi at 1:09 AM on March 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


The video is down.

:(
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:21 AM on March 24, 2012


Thank you mefi, I had never seen ENG and needed some entertainment. Despite Spade's normal obnoxiousness this made for a very enjoyable Friday night.
posted by Doctor Force at 6:56 AM on March 24, 2012


I love Hercules.... songs are great IMO. Woods is... Woods!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 7:03 AM on March 24, 2012


I don't even dislike David Spade, but he is so perfectly suited as Kuzco in ENG that it's hard for me now to watch him in other roles and not imagine him as a crankyllama instead.

I mean it, look at Spade's filmography and mentally replace him with a llama. Suddenly the world is so much more entertaining!
posted by nicebookrack at 10:26 AM on March 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Greatest Disney Documentary You May Never See, available here.
posted by metaplectic at 11:04 AM on March 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Update: the video has been removed.
Someone's put it up on Vimeo (with a download option)
[480×360, 312 MB mp4 file]
posted by blueberry at 10:25 PM on March 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm watching this now (I scooped it off of YouTube before they took it down) and enjoying it very much. Thanks for posting it!
posted by not_on_display at 5:42 PM on March 26, 2012


I watched this last night on Vimeo and it seemed completely unremarkable to me. This kind of flailing is standard in moviemaking. The difference her was they did a lot of flailing with a production unit up and running but otherwise... it was like every movie I've ever been involved in. In fact everyone seemed to be behaving rather well (on camera, anyway).
posted by unSane at 5:01 AM on April 6, 2012


That just shows how insular the movie business is.
posted by smackfu at 6:54 AM on April 6, 2012


Essentially they had a story problem (which is almost always the problem). In live action these problems are usually (not always) sorted out in pre-production. But animation is a different business, not least because there are a bunch of animators on payroll. It's pretty standard to tear the movie apart while it's being made - Andrew Stanton scheduled masses of reshoot time on JOHN CARTER just because he was used to that process.

A friend of mine who's worked on Disney/Pixar stuff and sent me this link last night says: "We burned through three or four directors on Toy Story 2... I've nevr actually made the films I was hired to work on, based on the script I got at the start. Worst was probably Super Mario, that changed scripts, distributors, ballooned in budget by about 4x and all on the basis of ONE meeting -- when principal photography was already under way! Notably, a primary culprit was BIG SHOT EXECUTIVE NAME REDACTED. And the ~4.5 directors were a big help :)

I know it's hard to believe but they were probably making the right decisions all along. NEW GROOVE was a pretty good flick... if they hadn't played 52-pick-up the way they did we'd probably all be moaning about what a disaster KINGDOM OF/IN THE SUN was.
posted by unSane at 8:19 AM on April 6, 2012


Emperor's New Groove was at one point a free movie on our cable system, and after exhausting all the other free movies, our kids finally watched it. They, and we, were prepared for the worst but they were cracking up almost the whole time which almost no other movie has succeeded in doing.
posted by cell divide at 8:28 AM on April 6, 2012


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