The Emperor's New Groove isn't the most popular Disney movie of all time, but it's certainly one of the most charming. The story is simple enough - a vapid emperor is transformed into a llama and must rely on a humble subject to regain his throne - but dedicated fans have peered between the lines to uncover new perspectives on the film.
There are tons of fan theories about The Emperor's New Groove out there, and some of them are more convincing than others. Whether they're about Kronk's true origins or the morality of turning people into animals, these entertaining conjectures will change the way you look at this Disney classic.
Yzma Is Immortal - And Actually The Good Guy In The Movie
According to Redditor /u/yay855's theory, Yzma might not be as bad as she seems. She's advised the royal familiy for generations, and her alchemical skills suggest she's using some sort of potion to make herself effectively immortal.
In comes Kuzco, the brattiest, most egotistical emperor to ever take the throne. It's stated that Yzma effectively raised Kuzco for most of his life, but he treats her like total garbage. She even tries to convince him not to build his ridiculous water park, but Kuzco fires her for it without a second thought. In fact, it's quite likely Kuzco would have torn down Pacha's home if Yzma hadn't turned him into a llama. Sure, she tries to off him, but mostly for the good of the empire.
Arguably, it's Yzma's actions that make Kuzco a better person in the end. He would have ruined the whole empire if she hadn't done something.925323Do you buy this?
Yzma Is A Serial Cougar
Early in the film, Kuzco mocks Yzma for having such a young "assistant," implying they're dating. What's more, he specifically mentions she gets a new assistant every 10 years or so, and that Kronk is just the most recent "model."
Maybe Yzma is simply attracted to handsome young men, and Kronk is just another in a long line of mindless booty calls.490220Do you buy this?
Yzma Made A Deal With Hades
This mammoth theory from Redditor /u/Amreiz is extremely well-sourced and much too long to break down in its entirety. It bridges The Emperor's New Groove with another Disney classic, Hercules, while also borrowing from ancient myth and history.
In a nutshell: Before the events of The Emperor's New Groove, Yzma was set to marry Kuzco's grandfather. Things didn't work out, so she created a potion to end her suffering. It backfired, so she devoted herself to the god of the underworld, Hades. Hades then commissioned Yzma's father, a royal chemist and mortician, to create the potion that would turn Hercules mortal. Connecting several dots, this leads to the conjecture that Yzma is actually an older, heartbroken Megara. After leaving South America (and a bad relationship with Kuzco's grandfather), she falls in love with Herc, experiences a terrible tragedy while they're married, and finally returns to her ancestral home to live the rest of her life as Yzma.
This theory may also explain why Yzma has a thing for dim, musclebound men.237416Do you buy this?
Kronk Is A Homunculus Designed By Yzma
Redditor /u/devilmachineyea put forth a theory that Kronk is actually a spirit forced into the body of a man and made into a servant by Yzma. The theory spawns from the fact Kronk is an enigma in the empire. He loves spinach puffs, which were impossible to make in South America until the Columbian exchange, and he's shown having an argument with a Christian angel and demon.
The theory explains this by arguing that Yzma has visited the Old World at some point in her life. Her possession of blown-glass vials is another hint she's traveled the globe, as blown glass was not available in the pre-Columbian Americas. It was during one of her trips abroad she learned how to create a homunculus slave, and poor Kronk is the result of her experiments.199385Do you buy this?