Premiered in: The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
Voiced By: Eartha Kitt
If The Emperor’s New Groove is guilty of one thing it’s that it is too much of a cartoon than any other Disney Animated film before it. Not to say that it’s a bad movie by any means. It has a vast array of comedy the likes of which makes it all but impossible not to laugh at least once throughout the entirety of the film but that’s what also makes it a, if you’ll pardon the pun, llama amongst sheep. The Emperor’s New Groove is visually stunning and there’s always something to snicker or laugh at and this isn’t made any better by its villain, Yzma.
An advisor and likely guardian of Emperor Kuzco during his youth, Yzma is akin to Jafar if Jafar were not only absolutely mad to such a degree that a certain hatter is almost envious, but a master alchemist of incredible skill. However, whereas Jafar is an alchemist of differing skills, Yzma’s main talent resides in her potions of which vary from the average but always fatal poisons to those that can transfigure an individual to any known species of animal on earth. Upon her being dismissed by Kuzco after being caught yet again at attempting to rule in his stead while he was otherwise distracted, with his groove if you must know, Yzma set to kill Kuzco in the most convoluted way possible before deciding to poison him instead.
Unfortunately, she got the poison mixed up and ended up turning him into a llama instead and immediately set her minion Kronk to get rid of him. As a minion, Kronk isn’t a bad one per say, at least if one is a good person. In all actuality, he’s a more buff version of Wiggins from Pochahontas but with the perk of actual having a conscience in the form of an angel and devil that appears on his shoulders whenever he’s having a moral dilemma. However, despite being an incredible chef and able to speak the language of squirrels, Kronk is a bit… dim. That and he literally speaks to his shoulder angel and devil aloud and in real time where those nearby can see and watch and be dumbfounded by an apparently one-sided conversation.
Ultimately, Yzma’s fate is one of, if not the absolute, funniest outcomes for any Disney Villain to date. In their attempt to get the potion that will turn Kuzco back into a human, which results in a few palace guards being turned into animals, poor Yzma meets a similar fate as she tries to keep the cure away from Kuzco and inadvertently turns herself into a kitten. A cute, fluffy little kitten with a voice reminiscent of a trio of chipmunks but a kitten nonetheless. Yet her fate is made all the worse for her when she is sentenced to serve in her ex-minion’s scout troop and learn how to speak squirrel. You think seeing cat’s play piano is something worth spreading across the internet, try watching a cat try and speak squirrel.
Overall, Yzma is… different… from most other Disney Villains and I have no doubt in my mind that she would get along with the likes of the Queen of Hearts for both are equally mad in their own particularly demented fashions. Yzma’s one true fault, or at least the one that stands out the most to me, is that she can never simply do things up front or, as most would call it, the easy way. She has what I refer to as the scientist’s method of conceiving a plan that meets the same result as the layman’s. Yet whereas the layman can get the job done in the quickest way possible, the scientist will come up with a series of steps that are obscenely unnecessary. Still, eccentric as she is, Yzma is easily amongst the top five of the most hilarious Disney Villains if only for her over-the-top outfits. I mean, look at that thing down there. What is that, what even is that?