Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Yzma: Zero to Hero

Yzma is NOT the villain in The Emperor’s New Groove. She is the hero of the story. Let me explain why.

At the beginning of the movie, the trajectory Kuzco was moving towards would have destroyed his empire. If Yzma didn’t prevent him from taking Pacha's village, he would have kept driving out more people from his kingdom for the next several birthdays. It would have kept escalating until the people revolted and dethrone the king, resulting in the destruction of a kingdom. It is easy to see the citizens were becoming frustrated with the Emperor, like his potential brides, Pacha, Chicha, and more. The only people that were loyal to him were the servants to the emperor. Without Yzma's intervention, he would not have become the compassionate character we see at the end of the movie.

After Kuzko fires her, she becomes determined to save the kingdom. So, like any hero, she ventures on a quest to set things right and teach a bad guy a lesson. She knows that she has to remove him from power because of his dedicated army that serves the emperor. So she transforms him to a llama to gain power and better utilize the kingdom in ways he could never. 

Unlike Kuzco, she already learned the importance of teamwork. Like every Disney heroine she has a sidekick Kronk. She relies on him to help her become empress. She may seem verbally abusive, but Kronk has never given her an indication that it bothered him. She is like your grandma who becomes blunter with age. You just do your best to help them because they are still have good intentions, like removing an evil emperor. Also, to support this claim when her soldiers’ become animals

Employee asks: “I turned into a cow. can I go home?”

Yzma response: “You’re excused”.

That is a great employer! How does Kuzko treat his people? He fires his trusted advisor (Yzma) and insults potential queens by saying “Let me guess you have a great personality”.

She is not afraid of hard work. She is willing to go chase after her mistakes even at her fragile age. Compare that to Kuzko at the beginning of the movie who is young and healthy but utterly lazy, having his servants feed him 

and throws his subjects out the window. 

Yet we see Yzma crawl through the mud to save her kingdom, 

keeps up with physical activity by smashing statues with a hammer,


and she eats healthily. 

She is a scientist that stopped world hunger. Let’s examine what we already know about her abilities. We know that these potions can change matter. We see humans change into creatures of various sizes. Kuzko's height and weight changes from going to a medium sized lama, to a small bird, to a heavy whale that causes a flood when it lands in water. Meaning his weight changes. 

One possible use these potions have is changing small bugs into livestock. She most likely been feeding her people with these potions. Even at the diner Kuzko and Pacha go to escape from Yzma, the edible bugs are large probably due to Yzma’s potions. She is feeding the hungry.

In the words of Harvey Dent from The Dark Knight "You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." Yzma has lived longer than most and she may see herself as the villain and you may as well, but without Yzma's heroism many people would have perished. 

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