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20 Facts About ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’ The Latino Movie That Came Before ‘Coco’

Long before Disney came out with “Coco” there was a chart topping animated film about an Incan emperor who became a Llama. Of course, the movie was primarily made of a white cast and creators but, most kids of the early 2000s will remember the Disney hit movie. The film Kuzco a snobby and spoiled Llama who learns about himself when he is turned into an animal has tons of facts and trivia of note!

Check out facts you missed from the movie!

1. Kuzco’s name has ancient roots.

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The movies main character was named after the ancient capital of the Incas, Cuzco.

2. Kuzco is the second Disney protagonist to be of indigenous descent.

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Kuzco is from the Incan empire. Pocahontas is Disney’s first Indigenous princess and and the third is Kenai from “Brother Bear.”

3. . It’s the first time a Disney animated film featured a pregnant woman.

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Pacha’s wife, Chicha, is pregnant for most of the movie. Chicha is portrayed as a wise and loving mother whose capable of solving most problems that come her way.

4. Patrick Warburton improvised Kronk’s hummed theme song.

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While Kronk is carrying Kuzco on the way to the waterfall, he hums a little song. Disney’s legal department made Warburton sign all rights to the humming composition over to them.

5. Inside jokes were rampant in the movie.

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In the scene where Pacha carries Kuzco through the jungle, Pacha and Kuzco argue about Kuzco’s low blood sugar. It’s a joke rooted in David Spade’s hypoglycemia.

6. Pacha has a name of meaning.

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In the Incan language, Pacha’s name means “earth.” Fitting considering how kind and down to earth he is. 

7. David Mamet thinks the film is one of Disney’s most innovate.

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Famed playwright David Mamet who wrote The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and The Verdict (1982) once said he considers the script for this film to be one of Hollywood’s most brilliantly innovative.

8. There’s a “Wizard of Oz” reference you missed!

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In the scene where Kuzco and Pacha search for potions, Pacha says, “Lions, tigers, bears…” when they find a potion for humans and find that  it is missing Yzma says “oh my.”

9. The movie is filled with subtle visual jokes.

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When Yzma pours poison into the cactus plant, after Kuzco’s neck transforms, the cactus transforms into the shape of a llama. Later, when Kronk tries to hide i Kuzco in the bag, the camera pulls back and shows a painting of two figures pointing at Kronk.

Later, when bridge falsl into the river, the word DAMN can be seen falling among the individual slats of wood.

10. Yzma usually wears purple.

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The color which is typically associated with madness and royalty. It represents what Yzma is and what she wants to be. 

11. In the scene where Kronk lights a pair of candles the holder is made of a figure.

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The figure is meant to symbolize one of the original characters for  early versions of the film. The character was meant to be an assistant to Kuzco that was eventually axed from the script. 

12. The dinner utensils are shaped like animals.

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In the scene where Kuzco and Pacha go to eat at the diner, the saltshakers on the table are shaped like llamas.

13. David Spade was a bit old for his characters age.

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Spade who was in his mid-thirties at the time of filming, was giving his voice to Kuzco who was seventeen-years old.

14. The big secret of the film wasn’t a secret.

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The location of Yzma’s lab was supposed to be a secret but nearly ever major character in the film knows where it is.

15. Kronks spinach puffs are actually empanadas.

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Most Latinos will recognize the delicious treats as empanadas. But to ensure the word was understood, Disney went with the word “puff” because it is the closest word in the English language to describe an empanada. 

16. Yzma was a rarity for women.

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She’s one of the few female Disney Villains to be physically fought in a Disney movie.

17. John Fielder played the voice of the Old Man who gets kicked out of the temple.

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Fielder was a voice actor who worked on Winnie the Pooh and The Fox and the Hound. It was his only film where he voiced a human character.

18. Apparently they really wanted a white man as the lead.

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Owen Wilson was originally going to voice Pacha.

19. There’s funny coincidence with a children’s book about an Incan boy in Peru.

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The 1952 Children’s novel “Secret of the Andes” about an Incan boy in Peru, features a llama named Misty, the same name as Pacha’s llama.

20. Kuzco has more than one disorder.

Disney

Along with having hypoglycemia, Kuzco also expresses his dislike for being touched by others, indicating that he has haphephobia (a fear of being touched).


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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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