“Emperor’s New Groove:” 15th Anniversary Celebration at the El Capitan

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Recently, as part of Oh My Disney’s annual Throwback Week at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, they celebrated the 15th Anniversary of the classic animated film “Emperor’s New Groove.”

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Theatergoers were treated to a night of Kuzcotainment including a Mickey Ear headband decorating station, trivia contest, spinach puffs (non-poisoned,) and costume contest.

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The heart of the evening was a hilarious panel with the film’s creators, including Executive Producer Don Hahn, Director Mark Dindal, Producer Randy Fullmer, Screenwriter David Reynolds, Head of Story Steve Anderson, and Story Writer Chris Williams.

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Some panel highlights:
–The Peruvian-influenced art direction was the only constant during the switch over from the originally planned/boarded “Kingdom of the Sun,” to the existing “Emperor’s New Groove.”
–“We learned very quickly that the best way to make a movie is to use up most of the money and most of the time, and then get some really wacky people and put them in a room and a good movie comes out.” –Randy Fullmer
–Steve Anderson had actually wanted to work on a different movie, called “Sweating Bullets,” which ended up as “Home on the Range.”
–“Sting had written a song or two for her (Eartha Kitt) in the first version, that was incredible, that we had to explain to Sting that we would no longer be using. And that was a bad moment, but we had a lot of bad moments.” –Randy Fullmer
–“This is actually like group therapy, fifteen years later.” –Don Hahn
–David Spade had grown a little tired by the time he was recording the second script. “We had embraced that we were incompetent, but it was new to him.” –Randy Fullmer
–“I remember I boarded that scene where the angel and devil Kronk were talking to each other, doing the one-armed pushups and all that, and it went over and it seemed like ‘this is actually going to be in the movie!…This movie can contain this!’ But then I remember another day, I pitched a scene that involved live-action footage of the space shuttle…and I could tell by their faces that it was not going to be in the movie. So I figured out one of the boundaries.” –Chris Williams
–They showed some clips from the documentary “The Sweatbox,” which recorded the struggle the film went through, from initial development to its eventual metamorphosis. As far as I know, it has never been released in its entirety, although it does pop up online from time to time.
–Adam West recorded a deleted character for the film.
–“It was a terror ride.” –Randy Fullmer
–“Physicians are standing by for Randy.” –Don Hahn

Jeanine resides in Southern California, pursuing the sort of lifestyle that makes her the envy of every 11-year-old she meets. She has been to every Disney theme park in the world and while she finds Tokyo DisneySea the Fairest Of Them All, Disneyland is her Home Park... and there is no place like home.

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