The Emperor’s New Groove: Kronk on Kronk
The Emperor’s New Groove: Focusing on Kronk
It’s not a new trend, but “oral history” is a journalistic feature where a writer or a team of journalists cover a story from soup to nuts.
And several Disney projects and features have received that treatment. It’s the kind of journalism many writers aspire to, stretching the writer’s legs if you will.
When it is done well, oral history does a great service to those looking to know — in-depth — about a subject. Any subject.
Case in point: The Emperor’s New Groove.
‘We’ll Never Make That Kind of Movie Again’
Of course, I want you to take the time to imbibe this cosmically enjoyable journalism, but I do want to point out a few quotes from my favorite Disney actor, Patrick Warburton.
Really, this guy is my favorite.
In a world where dads can watch a lot of junk over and over and over, anything with Warburton deeply intoning, “Squeak, squeak, squeakedly squeak, squeak,” is outstanding.
Urgent llamagram: Most underrated #DisneyAnimation sequel = #KronksNewGroove. "Oh yeah! I was living the dream…" Thank you @paddywarbucks for allowing this dad a respite from a lot of bad (really bad) YouTube programming. Carry on. "Now where was I?" pic.twitter.com/oZaAK8PIp8
— John Bishop (@jmbishopjr) January 2, 2021
And I thought it funny to learn that Kronk’s characterization came from this guy, “Chris” from Roxanne:
Who is also this guy, “Slider,” in Top Gun:
The Story Behind Kronk
Storyboard Artist Chris Williams told Vulture:
I’d seen the Steve Martin movie, Roxanne. That guy — the fireman. I think the actor’s name is Rick Rossovich. He also gets beat up by the Terminator. Poor Rick Rossovich probably doesn’t know what a huge influence he was on Kronk. I had storyboarded this sample scene: The Emperor’s guards were coming to kick people out of the town. And Pacha — at that point it was still a younger Pacha — went to confront the guards, and there was one guard who was sort of the precursor to Kronk. Pacha tried to distract him by getting him to talk about his physique and how fit he looked. And the guard went down this rabbit hole of talking about his exercise regimen and got lost in it. He said the key was “DEPD: Discipline, Exercise, and Proper Diet.” It was so weird that it killed. It was bonkers. But I felt like, A window is opening here at Disney Feature Animation that is not going to stay open very long.
David Reynolds, screenwriter, added:
I laughed so hard at that guy. I said, “You know who that is?…That’s Patrick Warburton.” And everybody said, “Who’s that?” I go, “You know, the guy from Seinfeld. He plays Puddy.”
And, my man — himself — Patrick Warburton added:
I remember thinking to myself, when I was looking at some of this dialogue, Kronk, is he an ogre, a giant, a robot, a monster? I’m not really sure. Oh, Kronk is a person. Okay. What I was able to decipher was that he was a henchman, but something of a reticent henchman, not so aggressive or nasty. He liked to cook. And I thought, “Well, okay, he’s not deep and gravelly.” As an actor, you’re always looking for different options. I went with one where I just thought … I brought his voice [speaks in a whispery Kronk voice] right down here, a little more whispery. And he’d get [voice breaks] excited about stuff. There’s something kind of sweet about that.
— patrick warburton (@paddywarbucks) December 16, 2020
Kronk absolutely makes the movie for me.
And, of course, Warburton makes the article for me, too.