Meet the existence of “The Sweatbox,” a making-of documentary about Disney’s “The Emperor’s New Groove” that Disney had financed but was so “awkwardly truthful” about how Disney movies are made, it was never officially released

‘We’ll Never Make That Kind of Movie Again’

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The story of the making of the 2000 movie The Emperor’s New Groove is actually the story of the making of three movies, only one of which can be legally seen today. First, there is The Kingdom of the Sun, an epic tale incorporating Inca myths, which was to be directed by The Lion King’s Roger Allers and would have starred Owen Wilson as a lowly llama herder bound to switch lives with a selfish, vain prince voiced by David Spade. The soundtrack was set to feature a whole series of songs written by Sting. The legendary Eartha Kitt would be the voice of a villainous sorceress determined to blot out the sun.

But af… Continue Reading (39 minute read)

8 thoughts on “Meet the existence of “The Sweatbox,” a making-of documentary about Disney’s “The Emperor’s New Groove” that Disney had financed but was so “awkwardly truthful” about how Disney movies are made, it was never officially released”

  1. Tekedi

    It’s a great doc. Very real, very fun. Lots of iconic unseen Ertha Kit lines from her scrapped performance in Kingdom In/of the sun.

  2. youvepissedmeoff

    This looks like a very interesting article. I’m going to bookmark it to read later, and then one day look at it when cleaning up old bookmarks and finally read it.

  3. gmiller89

    This seems to be the same thing as the into the unknown frozen II documentary on Disney+

  4. GeekAesthete

    I worked at a post-production company that made movie trailers when this was still in production. We got a lot of the assets for it early on when it was still being planned as a more traditional Disney film, we got the original music by Sting, and we worked on some early teasers that sold the movie very differently. Then they retooled the whole thing, and I think we all had a real wtf moment (at least, those of us who weren’t directly working on it — I was just an assistant fresh out of college).

    I like Emperor’s New Groove today, but it took me a little while to get used to it. Having seen early material when it was being shaped into Kingdom of the Sun, it intuitively felt like the wrong movie when I saw the final cut.

  5. Ricadoll

    Watching it now… my take on why it might be perceived as “awkwardly truthful” is that the people making these movies “for kids” are quite literally adults and it shows. They don’t edit out their swearing, their working relationship ups-and-downs, overall stress, or their everyday “human” qualities- it’s truly a documentary in that it shows just how difficult of a process making an animated movie can be without sugar coating it. That is likely the reason it’s not exactly promoted by Disney as a whole. I am happy for its existence, though! I want more of these for all Disney movies… 🙂

  6. ztwunder

    It’s a very interesting documentary. It was on YouTube when I watched it

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