Background information
Feature films The Emperor's New Groove
Kronk's New Groove
Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse (cameo)
Television programs House of Mouse
The Emperor's New School
It's a Small World: The Animated Series (cameo)
Video games The Emperor's New Groove
Park attractions Villains Tonight
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
Midship Detective Agency (cameo)
Portrayed by
Portrayed by
Animators Nik Ranieri
Phil Young
Tim Allen
James Baker
Voice David Spade[1]
J.P. Manoux[2][3]
Performance model
Inspiration Arthur "the Fonz" Fonzerelli from Happy Days
The Emperor from "The Emperor's New Clothes"
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name Emperor Kuzco
Other names
Personality Initially selfish, greedy, rude, narcissistic, sarcastic, cowardly, stubborn, streetwise, later mostly nice but still spoiled
Appearance Slender, handsome, 18y ears old, both black long hair and thick eyebrows, brown eyes, red and yellow robe, yellow emperor crown, black sandals, aqua earrings
Occupation Emperor
Student at Kuzco Academy
Affiliations Neutral, later good
Goal To become human from his llama form (movie), to become Emperor again (series)
Home His palace
Relatives Unnamed father (presumed deceased)
Yzma (foster mother; formerly)
Allies Pacha, Kronk, Chicha, Chaca, Tipo, Yupi, Birdwell, Bucky the Squirrel, Malina, Guaka, Merlin
Minions Palace Guards
Enemies Yzma, Kronk (formerly), Ramon, Hades
Likes Malina, power (formerly), riches (formerly), dancing to his theme song, and being the star.
Dislikes Being touched (sometimes), waterfalls, scorpions, jaguars, and bats.
Powers and abilities
Fate Gets turned back into a human and builds a summer home on the hill next to Pacha's (The Emperor's New Groove), After graduating Kuzco Academy, Kuzco regains his throne and officially becomes emperor (The Emperor's New School)
Quote "No touchy."
"Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh."
"Boom, baby!"
"It's all about me!"

Kuzco (also known as Emperor Kuzco) is the main character of The Emperor's New Groove and The Emperor's New School. In Kronk's New Groove, he serves as the director, and his role as the main character is taken by Kronk, the film's reformed secondary antagonist. He was voiced by David Spade in the films and by J.P. Manoux in the video games, television series, and the Disney theme parks. He is the sassy ruler who always loves to put the groove in his step.


Kuzco is the emperor of the Kuzconian Empire in Peru. Not much is known about his past except in The Emperor's New School episode "Father O Mine", where Kuzco's real father appears in a flashback. He is a strong, muscular man, and was emperor before Kuzco. According to Kuzco and Yzma, he was lost at sea on a trip when Kuzco was just a baby; thereby granting the throne to Kuzco. It is revealed that Kuzco and his father share two things: a llama birthmark and the same necklace. In another episode, it is revealed that Kuzco has a fear of frogs after a traumatic childhood experience with them as a baby. In another, it is discovered that Kuzco's favorite food is Mudka's Meat Mug which is the only thing he orders.


Kuzco is very self-centered, thinking that everyone should be put below him, because he is "Emperor". Kuzco is forced by law to graduate from "Kuzco Academy," a school, that he paid for, in order to stay Emperor. Yzma and Kronk continually plot to make sure that Kuzco fails his class and he doesn't become Emperor. Kuzco's catchphrases are "No touchy!", "Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh!", "Boo-ya!", "Boom, baby, boom!", and "It's all about me!".

He is 18 years old. He has shoulder-length black hair. His occupation is an Emperor and a student at Kuzco Academy. He wears emperor clothing: a red-and-yellow robe and a golden emperor crown. He also has aqua earrings on his ears.

Kuzco is initially portrayed as a spoiled, selfish, cocky, rude, sarcastic teenager, albeit with a sense of flair and pizazz. It is implied that this personality stemmed from the fact that Yzma practically raised him from childhood.

He has a not-so-secret crush on a local village girl named Malina. It is truly because of her that Kuzco's selfish ways died down a bit. She has shown to return the feelings but tries her best to keep it under wraps. The two shared a kiss in The Emperor's New School Musical with Malina obviously enjoying it. She also acts as Kuzco's confident several times although she's the one to ask him what the problem is.


The Emperor's New Groove


Kuzco as a llama

Kuzco is the young ruler of an unnamed Incan kingdom. He is known for being selfish and vain, and enjoys dancing to his own theme music every morning. Recently, Yzma, his royal adviser, has been ruling the kingdom behind his back. Kuzco decides to fire her for this, despite the many loyal years she's served. Soon enough, Kuzco summoned the village leader named Pacha, to discuss the building of Kuzcotopia, a summer getaway for himself. Kuzco reveals his plans to destroy Pacha's village to make way for his getaway. Meanwhile, Yzma and her lackey Kronk are in their secret lab, thinking of ways to murder Kuzco.

She planned to invite him for dinner and poison his drink. That night at dinner, Kronk accidentally pours extract of llama in Kuzco's drink instead. Kuzco is turned into a llama and knocked unconscious by Kronk. Yzma then sends her minion to finish the job by throwing him over a waterfall. Kronk accidentally loses Kuzco, and the llama emperor ends up on Pacha's cart. When Kuzco awakens, Pacha decides to help him get back to the palace, hoping he'll change his mind about Kuzcotopia.

After a while, Kuzco claims he has changed his mind, but the moment the palace is in plain sight, he tells Pacha the truth, revealing that he was going to proceed with Kuzcotopia. After their fight destroys the bridge to the palace, Kuzco and Pacha are forced to take a longer route. Meanwhile, Yzma announces Kuzco dead and takes over the kingdom. While wallowing in the lap of luxury, Kronk accidentally confesses about not killing Kuzco. The villains then go out on a hunt for him. At a local restaurant, Pacha learns about Yzma's plan and rushes to tell Kuzco.

The emperor denies Pacha's claims and makes way for Yzma and Kronk, only to overhear them discussing that they are seeking to kill him, and that the kingdom does not miss him. Kuzco realizes Pacha was right, but Pacha has left. With no hope of returning home, Kuzco accepts his fate and seeks out a herd of llamas. However, Pacha appears and forgives Kuzco. A race to the palace begins and ends at Yzma's lab. Kuzco desperately searches for the human potion but Yzma arrives and battles the heroes. During the fight, Yzma is transformed into a cat, and Kuzco retrieves the vial. Kuzco becomes human again and sets out to redeem himself, building a small summer cabin on the hill next to Pacha's home at the peasant's invitation. Meanwhile, outdoorsman Kronk becomes a scout leader, with kitten Yzma forced to be a member of the troop.

House of Mouse


Kuzco with Ludwig Von Drake in House of Mouse.

Kuzco, in his llama form, made a few cameos in House of Mouse. In the episode "Ask Von Drake", he asks Ludwig Von Drake which potion can turn him into a human. He can also be seen during the opening theme. In Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, Kuzco tells Mickey that he wishes that he wasn't a "dumb ol' llama" anymore.

Kronk's New Groove

In Kronk's New Groove, Kuzco acts like the director of Kronk's movie and breaks the fourth wall by talking to the audience. He admits he has changed: "I'm nice now. Didn't you see the first movie?" However, he remains self-centered; near the end of the movie, he shows up in women's clothing, claiming he is Kronk's wife, announcing, "You like how I weaseled my way into this movie?"  (this is Kuzco's only appearance in Kronk's starring film). Throughout the film, Kuzco pops in and out to give comments on the scene in question.

The Emperor's New School


Kuzco as he appears in The Emperor's New School.

In The Emperor's New School, Kuzco must go to Kuzco Academy, a school he instituted and financed. He must pass all his classes to remain emperor, but Yzma and Kronk are out to make sure he fails. If he fails even one class, he will not be emperor, and Yzma will take over the empire. He is still self-centered. In the series Kuzco develops a love interest, named Malina. Like the film, he often breaks the forth wall by pausing the episode and interacting with the viewers.

Kuzco's character is further explored through the series. He can be rather whiny and easily jealous of anyone who gets a small amount of glory or attention. At the start of every episode, Kuzco would interact with the viewers and shout "Theme music!" which begins the show. In the middle of the shows, he would begin the session "Kuzco's Doodles" where he poorly sketches something reflecting whatever's going on in the scene. Since he was kicked out of his palace, Kuzco now resides with Pacha and Chicha. However, Chicha openly dislikes Kuzco's traits such as him feeling Chicha should act as a servant.

In the series finale "Graduation Groove", Kuzco regain his rightful place as the emperor. He even allows Pacha and his family to move into the palace. He also makes Kronk his royal advisor, and demotes Yzma to his assistant.

Other animated productions

Kuzco does not actually appear in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (as that film was made long before his), but animation of him dancing from The Emperor's New Groove is included on the main menu of Disc 2 of the Vista Series DVD release of the film.

Kuzco, as a llama, makes a brief non-speaking cameo appearance alongside Pacha in the It's a Small World: The Animated Series episode "Up and Down".

Disney Parks


Kuzco (in his human form) poses for a photo at Disneyland Paris.

Kuzco is currently a rare meet and greet character only making occasional appearances.

On the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships, Kuzco can be seen with Pacha in the Magic Portholes in some of the guest staterooms. Kuzco in his llama form also makes a cameo appearance in Yzma's stateroom in the interactive game Midship Detective Agency.

In 2013, Kuzco appeared (in his human form's theme park debut, as well as in his llama form) in Disneyland Paris as part of the Disney Dreamers Everywhere! events for meet-and-greets.

Villains Tonight

On the show on board the Disney Magic, Kuzco has a brief cameo as a llama at the end of Yzma's song "Yzmopolis", running away from Yzma and Kronk.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

Kuzco is featured in the interactive game at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. In the game, Kuzco must guide the park guests in a quest to defeat Yzma before she can take over Adventureland.


  • Kuzco tends to self-disclose:
    • He doesn't like cheese on his potatoes, as revealed in the first film.
    • Kuzco's name is a reference to the ancient Incan city of Cusco, which fits because he is one.
    • His favorite treat is a Meat Mug.
    • He has an obsession with "funny hats" and "fancy pants".
    • He has a fear of gravity.
    • He has a plush doll named Wampy.
    • He once joined the basketball team...but failed to win any games.
    • He has a fondness for chinchillas, he adopted one called "Fuzzy-co" in the episode "Kuzco's Little Secret".
    • He hates vegetables.
    • He once went out on a date with Yatta.
    • He loves disco music, though it wasn't supposed to be invented in his time.
    • He dislikes Pajama Llama, who is Kronk's favorite character.
    • He is a skilled yo-yoer.
    • He once fell in love with Yzma in disguise in Cool Summer.
    • He plays the kazoo.
    • He has a fear of red eyed tree frogs.
    • He was on Papa Santos's naughty list in A Giftmas Story, but helped him deliver gifts and was forgiven.
    • He has been turned into a llama three times, in the movie, in A Giftmas Story, and in Emperor's New School Spirit.
    • He wears rainbow underpants which Guaca gave him as a birthday present, and also wears underpants with his face on them.
    • His rival is Ramon.
    • He hates festivals of all sorts.
    • He hates most Holidays, except for Kuzco Allegiance Day. He most notably hates Christmas and Carnival.
    • He loves pizza, oddly enough with cheese, even if he stated his detest for it in the movie.
    • His father was lost at sea when Kuzco was only a baby.
    • He often skips school for ridiculous reasons such as his birthday, his unbirthday, the anniversary of his birthday, and his half birthday.
    • He loves karaoke, even if it wasn't supposed to be invented in his time. He could just love singing.
  • The animators of the Emperor's New Groove thought that Kuzco has so many similarities to his voice actor David Spade.
  • Emperor Kuzco has many similarities to Prince Naveen from The Princess and the Frog:
    • Both are royal, but are looked at as immature and irresponsible.
    • Both are in Disney movies based on classic fairy tales, and being the ones taking on the role of being the one transformed.
    • Both were transformed into animals by the villains of the film.
    • They both originally trusted the movies' main villain.
    • Due to their own selfishness, their loved ones turn on them.
    • In the beginning of their stories, they are both very conceited and narcissistic, they both don't care about others to get what they want.
    • Their egotistical personalities are changed for the better by the hardworking characters who they later grow close to.
    • They both have reformed, more responsible, and humble personalities by the end of the film.
  • Kuzco is the second Disney protagonist to be of Native American descent, with the first being Pocahontas and the third being Kenai.
    • Although Kuzco is actually an Inca.
  • Kuzco also shares some similarities with Wreck-It Ralph: both at the beginning seem to have bad personalities, try to gain the respect from the people that used to see them as enemies - Pacha's family for Kuzco, and the Nicelanders and later Vanellope for Ralph - and then finally and literally learn to enjoy their lives by the end of the film. Also, both of them show their final remorse after betraying his main fellow (Pacha for Kuzco and Vanellope for Ralph), both manage to turn the main antagonist's main henchman into good (Kuzco does so with Kronk, while Ralph does so with Sour Bill) and both of them save the life or the goodness of the people they betrayed or confronted before.
  • Kuzco also shares some similarities to the Marvel Comics character Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man.
    • Both were the heads of a spanning area of influence by inheritance (Kuzco was the reigning Emperor of the Kuzco Empire, while Stark was the head of Stark Enterprises)
    • Both characters possessed extremely bad vices, yet managed to reform although retained a few of their bad vices (including narcissism) even after reforming after a life-changing event (Kuzco by being turned into a Llama, and Tony Stark by being held captive in the Middle East and having an electromagnetic device installed on his heart to prevent shrapnel from making contact with his heart and killing him).
      • Coincidentally, both changes were unintentionally engineered by people who acted as the closest thing to parents in an attempt to betray them and take over their position (Kuzco by Yzma trying to murder him as revenge for firing him, and Tony Stark by Obadiah Stane engineering his being held hostage).


The Disney Wiki and Disney Fan Fiction Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Kuzco.



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