Friday, August 5, 2011

Life, Movies, and the Gospel: The Emperor's New Groove

Okay, let's start with the fact that I love movies.  Movies in general.  I especially love Disney movies, and I lean more towards animated movies than live action.  Comedy, especially satiric and smart-aleck, has a special place in my heart.  (By the way, if you ever need to identify a stand-up comic, I've probably listened to all of them.  Eddie Izzard and Jeff Dunham are some of my favorites, in case anybody was interested.)

Anyway, if you put all these facts together, you'll probably arrive at a movie called The Emperor's New Groove.

I just love this movie because it doesn't take itself too seriously.  It's got an obvious family flick turn to it, mixed with teenage sarcasm, goofy animation, and a good message.

Enter Kuzco.  He's that brilliantly smiling guy in the picture above.  Also, he's the Llama in the video.  Yeah, long story.  As you can see in the picture, this movie is all about HIM  He's the emperor, and his way goes.  Incredibly self-centered, he doesn't really care about anyone else.  After all, why should he?  He can do whatever he wants to whoever wants on the slightest whim.  Unfortunately, his ex-Vizier, Yzma, doesn't exactly see it that way.  After he fires her, she turns him into a llama in an attempt to kill him.  He's lost in the kingdom, and is found by Pacha, a peasant whose land Kuzco tried to seize to build his summer house.  He agrees to lead Kuzco back to the palace, on the condition that his land is not seized.  With Yzma and her muscle-bound assistant Kronk in hot pursuit, comedy ensues.  Along the way, Kuzco learns that he really isn't all powerful.  He can't do everything himself.  What's more, his heart is softened a bit, and he really learns the value of friendship.

As the movie goes on, one message stands out.  We're not really important. Sure, we all have problems, but with the power of friendship, we're able to defeat them.  With our friends, anything can be defeated.

However, I think there's an even more important lesson to learn, that of humility.  Instead of being stuck-up and full of ourselves, being proud, we should just let go and be humble.  If Kuzco had not been so proud in the first place, he would have had no problems. 

But then again, if he hadn't been proud, we wouldn't have a lesson.  Or, for that matter, one of my favorite Disney films.

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