The film follows the main character, Emperor Kuzco, as he is transformed into a llama by his advisor, Yzma. Because no one knows who he really is, he is stranded in a jungle alone with his only chance of reclaiming his title of Emperor is by getting help from one of the town’s peasants named Pacha. The duo must get Kuzco back to the throne before Yzma tracks them down and kills them both.
Kuzco is very selfish at the beginning of the film, only caring about himself and treating others very poorly. So who was the inspiration behind this main character? Well, the creators have released some information regarding the animated movie, which gives us a bit of insight.
Vulture just released an article on the “oral history of The Emperor’s New Groove”, which dives into the history of the underrated film, including the inspiration behind some of the characters in the animated film.
Executive Producer, Don Hahn, said the following when discussing the inspiration behind the main character, Kuzco. Hahn explained that when thinking about the main character, Kuzco, he asked the other creators what would happen if Donald Trump was on a farm in Nebraska?
It’s embarrassing to say now, but we actually said, ‘What if you took Donald Trump and put him on a farm in Nebraska? What would that be like?’
Because Donald Trump was the only guy we could think of that was this vain, out-of-control guy.
Also within the Vulture article, the creators discussed a never-released documentary on the making of the animated comedy, The Emperor’s New Groove, titled The Sweatbox, which you can read more about here.
The Emperor’s New Groove
If you’ve never seen the Disney animated film, The Emperor’s New Groove, the official description reads:
Arrogant young Emperor Kuzco is transformed into a llama by his power-hungry advisor — the devious diva Yzma. Stranded in the jungle, Kuzco’s only chance to get back home and reclaim the high life rests with a good-hearted peasant named Pacha. Together, they must return Kuzco to the throne before Yzma tracks them down and finishes him off.
Both The Emperor’s New Groove and its sequel, Kronk’s New Groove, are streaming on Disney+. Additionally, The Emperor’s New School, a television series based on the film, is also available. If you aren’t yet signed up for the streaming service you can get started here.
Are you surprised to hear that Kuzco was inspired by Donald Trump? Let us know in the comments below.