It’s time for another Disney+ battle. This week we are comparing and contrasting one of the most popular films from the Disney Revival with a hidden gem from Disney’s Experimental Age of Animation. Let’s take a look at “Wreck-It Ralph” versus “The Emperor’s New Groove.”


Both of the main characters are bad guys. Ralph is a video game villain who wants to be seen as a hero just once, but the only thing he knows how to do is “wreck.” He invades other video games until he ends up in situation where his wrecking ways end up helping him save another game. Meanwhile, Kuzco is a selfish emperor looking to take over a plot of land. He doesn’t care about anyone or anything else until he ends up as llama when his trusted advisor tries to kill him, but her henchman mixes of the potions. Eventually, Kuzco is able to stop his former advisor with the help of the man whose land he was trying to take. Both are bad guys turned good, but I like Ralph’s story better. Point to “Wreck-It Ralph.”

Wreck-It Ralph 1 | The Emperor’s New Groove 0


The main villain of “Wreck-It Ralph” is actually King Candy. He first appears as the benevolent ruler of the racing game until it’s revealed that he is actually Turbo he famously left his game forcing it to be shut down. Turbo has now dethroned the real star of the game Vanellope and made her into a glitch. In contrast, the villain of “The Emperor’s New Groove” is Yzma, Kuzco’s former advisor who tried to kill him but accidentally turned him into a llama. She goes on a mission to finish the job she started but ends up failing every time. She’s still more evil than King Candy. Point to “The Emperor’s New Groove.”

Wreck-It Ralph 1 | The Emperor’s New Groove 1


Ralph’s fellow video game characters all stand out. A lot of classic characters show up but the ones created for the film steal the show. Lt. Calhoun and Fix-It Felix are phenomenal in their supporting roles and the other racers in Vanellope’s game are a lot of fun. There are fewer stand out supporting characters in “The Emperor’s New Groove,” but Pacha and Kronk both make up for the lack of quantity with some quality support. They are more fun to see on screen than Kuzco and Yzma. Point to “The Emperor’s New Groove.”

Wreck-It Ralph 1 | The Emperor’s New Groove 2


Both of these films have good scores. Neither is outstanding, but both do an amazing job of furthering the plot of each film. As for standout songs, the Rihanna hit “Shut Up and Drive” remains incredibly memorable on its own, but it doesn’t necessarily make me think about “Wreck-It Ralph” when I hear it. The song is great and fits the film, but it would be great on its own and feels like a song that simply was added because it works. The “Kuzco” song at the beginning of “The Emperor’s New Groove” is awesome and clearly written for the film. Point to “The Emperor’s New Groove.”

Wreck-It Ralph 1 | The Emperor’s New Groove 3


Both of these films are incredibly memorable. I love seeing Ralph’s fight with the other characters in “Fix-It Felix,” the villains meeting, Ralph in Lt. Calhoun’s game, Ralph helping and then turning on Vanellope and Ralph eventually risking everything to be the hero by doing the very thing that makes him a bad guy. As for “The Emperor’s New Groove,” I love the “Kuzco” song, everything involving Kronk, Pacha helping Kuzco and the wrong lever causing Yzma to fall. Both are great, but I find “Wreck-It Ralph” a little more memorable. Point to “Wreck-It Ralph.”

Wreck-It Ralph 2 | The Emperor’s New Groove 3

“The Emperor’s New Groove” wins this battle, but it was a very tough choice. “Wreck-It Ralph” remains my favorite film from Disney’s Revival Era while “The Emperor’s New Groove” remains my second film from Disney’s Experimental Age of Animation. I think there’s a lot there for both of them. But I want to know which do you prefer?

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Jeremy Brown

Jeremy has been a big Disney fan since he was a kid growing up during the Disney Renaissance. One day he hopes to go to every Disney Park in the world.

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