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Walt Disney Home Video presents
Kronk's New Groove (2005)

"Yay! A 50-foot me!"
- Emperor Kuzco (David Spade)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: December 13, 2005

Stars: David Spade, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman
Other Stars: Eartha Kitt, Tracey Ullman
Director: Saul Andrew Blinkoff, Elliot M. Bour

MPAA Rating: G for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:14m:51s
Release Date: December 13, 2005
UPC: 786936242744
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ D+A-A- C+

DVD Review

One of the last of Disney's hand-drawn, animated features, 2000's theatrical release The Emperor's New Groove is a surprisingly funny, madcap comedy that is arguably their best offering of the decade. The normal slate of recognizable voices was on board, including David Spade, John Goodman, Patrick Warburton, and Eartha Kitt. For the new direct-to-DVD sequel, Kronk's New Groove, most of the vocal talent reprise their roles, which will please fans. (Frasier's John Mahoney and Tracey Ullman add their own unique touches as well.

Kronk's New Groove is pretty much what you'd expect from one of Disney's direct-to-DVD animated sequels: a nice way to reunite familiar characters in a film that can't measure up to the original. Kronk was arguably the funniest character in the original, a dimwitted thug with a heart of gold, easy to care about even though he was the villain's henchman. Planning a second movie around Kronk sounded like a great idea, but the result is a hit-and-miss affair that, like previous Disney sequels, is broken up into three stories blended together. Sort of.

Kronk (Warburton) is now estranged from his old boss, Yzma (Kitt), but he has told his father (Mahoney) that he has a lucrative job and is very successful. When Kronk finds out that his dad is coming for a visit, he freaks out. His dad's opinion of him means everything to Kronk, so he will stop at nothing to impress him. Kronk runs into Yzma one day at the diner where he works, and she rehires him to help distribute a potion that is supposed to make people eternally young. With Kronk as her salesman, Yzma and the big guy are soon rich, but can their success last?

Kronk then tells the story of a woman, Ms. Birdwell (Ullman), who was perfect for him; naturally, he lost her due to his penchant for doing anything it takes to win a competition. The two fell in love with each other at a chipmunk camp, but when the kids he was leading cheated to beat Ms. Birdwell's kids in a game, she was lost to Kronk forever.

Kronk's New Groove's first mistake is the use of a multi-story format. The earlier Disney sequels that went this route were flops, and with all of the original actors back for more potential hilarity, this is, unfortunately, a missed opportunity. The three separate stories might easily have worked coherently if they had been told as one tale.

Still, there are some very funny moments when the actors let loose and remind us of what made their characters funny in the first place, but these bits are few and far between. I have got to hand it to Patrick Warburton, who has yet to allow himself to be typecast as a result of his legendary Seinfeld role. He's been entertaining us for years since that show, whether it's his fine supporting work in films, or the impact his unique voice has had on Family Guy and the more kid-oriented Kim Possible. While there aren't many reasons to give Kronk's New Groove a spin in your DVD player, Warburton is surely one of them.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: D+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: This 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation is up to the high standards Disney has set for the medium. The colors are almost as bright and lively as they are in the original, theatrically released The Emperor's New Groove, which is a step up from many direct-to-DVD releases.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
English, French, Spanishyes
DTSEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: A pair of audio options is yours for the choosing, with both the Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS tracks sounding very good. The only difference is the slightly more aggressive bass coming from the DTS, but neither track is bass-heavy, so you really can't go wrong with either one. There is quite a bit of channel separation, and the clear dialogue works wonderfully with the rest of the sound effects and music in both mixes.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
9 Other Trailer(s) featuring Lady and the Tramp: 2-Disc Special Edition, The Wild, The Shaggy Dog, Bambi II, Leroy & Stitch, The Fox and the Hound 2, Valiant, Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin, The Emperor's New School
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Kronk's Brain Game
  2. Pyramid Scheme
Extras Review: There aren't a ton of extras here, but there are a few to keep the kids busy.

Kronk's Brain Game puts kids inside Kronk's head to help him complete three separate tasks before the arrival of his father. It isn't very complex, but it is surprisingly fun and can be challenging at times. Pyramid Scheme is a game show where you are playing for one of three characters' favorite charities by answering questions correctly to move up the pyramid. The questions aren't terribly difficult if you've watched the feature, and the entertaining animation sequences make it well worth a try.

There are also previews for other Disney DVD releases, as well as How to Cook a Movie, an eight-minute piece hosted by Patrick Warburton. He welcomes the film's directors, Saul Andrew Blinkoff and Elliot M. Bour, into the kitchen, where they discuss the production of Kronk's New Groove. They impart quite a lot of information in a short time, and this is a generally entertaining featurette.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

After hoping for something special, Kronk's New Groove is just the latest in a long line of sub par direct-to-DVD releases from Disney. Even another hilarious vocal performance by Patrick Warburton can't save the film, but the little ones in your family won't care, as the animation is fast-paced and exciting enough to entertain them. Disney's DVDs continue to impress technically with topnotch audio and video, and there are a few fun extras for the kids as well.

 


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