Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: The Emperor’s New Groove

You guys, we are starting to get into random desperate topic time. You have been warned. Enjoy the ride.

So in the midst of all of the power outages and natural chaos that was Hurricane Sandy, I found myself frequently wallowing in my office, which had head, alongside my co-workers, their children, their children’s friends, their nieces, their sisters-in-law, their aunt-in-law, and ex-husbands. So as you can probably imagine, I got no work done. And when one of the kids turned on The Emperor’s New Groove, I totally gave up all attempts at work and sat and watched it.

But it got me thinking: Disney left out a heck of a lot of stuff about Incan religion. And while Disney isn’t exactly known for making factually-accurate movies, it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to give them a buy.

So the Incans (if I’m not confusing my native Latin American tribes) worshiped their emperors like gods. In the movie, Kuzco definitely gets that kind of treatment. But I what I found so interesting is how quickly they forgot about him and switched to Yzma. Well, I guess that Kuzco wasn’t the nicest person and the movie needed to keep itself moving, but still. Not to mention if Yzma got found out for trying to assassinate him, she would probably been sacrificed.

And speaking of sacrifices, there were no mentions of Incan religion in this movie. Granted, a religion that largely revolves around ritualistic sacrifice probably isn’t the best for a Disney movie, but it still could have been referenced a little bit. It would be like making a movie about the Amish without including anything about religion.

Bizarrely enough, the waitress in the restaurant says Mazel Tov, so I guess there can be Jewish Incans?

Finally, the llamas. While llamas were used as pack animals by the lower classes, to the upper classes they were a symbol of their nobility; llama figurines were buried with the dead. In addition, Urcuchillay, a multicolor llama deity, protected the animals and was worshiped by Incan herders.

So there you have it. If you feel like I’ve killed the movie a little, don’t be sad. I could have killed it for you like my college history professor killed it for me.

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