Kuzco (aka Emperor Kuzco) is the main character in Disney's The Emperor's New Groove, and The Emperor's New School.
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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 villain. He is the sassy ruler who always loves to put the groove in his step. As Emperor, Kuzco starts out as lazy and self center. Kuzco is primarily focused on how attractive a person is and their popularity. His life is dictated by his "groove" or the "rhythm in which he lives". But all that changes when he becomes good friends with Pacha, who teaches him the value of friendship and honestly.


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. Since Yzma claims to have raised Kuzco, it is possible his mother passed away as well. It's also implied that since Yzma is the one who raised him is part of the reason for Kuzco's negative personality traits. 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.


At first, Kuzco was very self-centered, thinking that everyone should be put below him, because he is the 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!, 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 as arrogant, comically conceited, selfish, cocky, sarcastic teenager, albeit with a sense of flair, style and pizazz. His nature was such that he once had Rudy, an old man thrown out of the window (but not killing him) simply because Kuzco blamed him for "ruining his groove" in the opening song (when Kuzco bumped into him due to not being aware of his surroundings), as well as sadistically taunting Pacha with the destruction of the latter's village before having him escorted out when revealing his plans to create Kuzcotopia. He also was initially unwilling to marry any girls who didn't meet his image, often bluntly and rudely dismissing them, as evidenced by the opening of the movie where he had to choose the bride, and refused them just from brief glances. It is implied that this personality stemmed from the fact that Yzma practically raised him from childhood. However, it is also shown that his selfish ways were a cover up for his yearning for a family, which he never had.

He is also very ignorant, as he went into a jungle out of stupidity and arrogance, due to believing that as Emperor, he has a good sense of direction (which he clearly didn't) and he thinks all of his notable traits don't make him arrogant or an egomaniac (which he then starts to ponder). He also has no idea that gifts are free. He can also be sneaky and manipulative at times, as he convinced Pacha that he had changed his mind in order to get him to take him back to the palace, only to go back on his promise when the palace was in view, and was even willing to let Pacha die so he could get what he wanted.

He also was vengeful, as he implied during the aforementioned incident that he did this partially as revenge for his perceived role of cursing and kidnapping him, and that he originally intended that, when they actually arrived at the palace, he would have him imprisoned for life. His sarcastic demeanor is especially evident shortly after learning he had been turned into a llama and planned to get back to the palace on foot: when Pacha tried to negotiate with him, Kuzco lured him close with a "secret", then when Pacha came as close as he could, Kuzco then proceeded to yell that he doesn't make deals with peasants. His sarcasm was also shown earlier when he told the final bride "And let me guess, you have a great personality" when refusing her.

However, throughout his journey with Pacha, he soon realizes his mistakes and becomes more caring, loving, loyal and brave. He also begins to care more for others as shown when he chooses to save Pacha from falling off his palace instead of getting the human potion. Although he is still somewhat self-centered, but not as much as before.

He is also very gullible. One particular time was when Yzma secretly gave him fortune cookies and made all the fortune's come true. Then, he fell for the fortune that said he'll turn into a sloth unless he gives the kingdom to Yzma. Even though Malina kept giving hard-core, concrete evidence that it was a trick, he still didn't believe her.

Kuzco is also shown to be afraid of ending up on his own after his experience as a llama and his adventures with Pacha, as revealed in the episode "The Mystery of Micchu Pachu", when he hears the tale of another emperor with a backstory just like his, only the emperor ended up alone and friendless.

He has a not-so-secret crush on a local village girl named Malina. She is another reason why Kuzco's selfish ways died down a bit. She has shown to return his feelings, but tries her best to keep them 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. Eventually, Kuzco and Malina officially become a couple in the series finale episode "Graduation Groove".


Kuzco is a slender, handsome, 18 years old boy. He has black long hair and black thick eyebrows. He has brown eyes, wears a red and yellow robe. He also wears a yellow emperor crown with black sandals, and aqua earrings.

Llama Form

As a Llama. Kuzco is shown as a thin, gangly llama with shaggy fur; black colored fur matching the color of his human hair on the head. He also has brown ears, neck and tail, with long red body fur. Beige/cream colored fur on the face and inner ears, as well as the legs under the fetlocks/hocks; and cloven hooves.

The Emperor's New Groove

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, by apologizing to Rudy, building a small summer cabin on the hill next to Pacha's home and become part of Pacha's family at the peasant's invitation. Meanwhile, outdoorsman Kronk becomes a scout leader, with kitten Yzma forced to be a member of the troop.

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, alongside performing to the reprise of "Be True To Your Groove"). Throughout the film, Kuzco pops in and out to give comments on the scene in question.

Film Appearances

Mickey's Magical Christmas

In Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, Kuzco tells Mickey Mouse that he wishes that he wasn't a "dumb ol' llama" anymore.

TV Show Appearances

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.

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.

It's a Small World the animated series

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".

Video Games

The Emperor's New Groove (video game)
Kingdom of Hearts 3

Kuzco, along with Kida and Jim Hawkins, are all set to reappear in the upcoming game Kingdom Hearts III, meaning that the films The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis, and Treasure Planet will be among the films to be featured in the game. Here, Kuzco will still be voiced by J.P. Manoux as Disney cannot afford the rights to have David Spade to voice him. It's currently unknown if any other character from this film (Pacha, Yzma, Kronk, etc.) will appear in this game.


  • "No touchy".
  • "Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh"
  • Boo-ya!"
  • "Boom, baby!"
  • "It's all about me!"










Bucky the Squirrel




Mickey Mouse

Donald Duck

Goofy Goof





Knownable Relatives

  • Pacha (Surrogate Father/Best Friend)
  • Chicha (Surrogate Mother)
  • Chaca (Surrogate Little Sister)
  • Tipo (Surrogate Little Brother)
  • Yupi (Second Surrogate Little Brother)
  • Kronk (Second Best Friend)
  • Rudy (Friend)
  • Yzma (Foster Mother/#1 Arch Enemy)


  • The animators of the Emperor's New Groove thought that Kuzco has so many similarities to his voice actor, David Spade.
  • Kuzco is the second Disney protagonist to be of Native American descent (Inca, in Kuzco's case), with the first being Pocahontas and the third being Kenai.
  • Kuzco's name is derived from the Incan city Cusco.
  • Kuzco tends to self-disclose.
  • Kavo sometimes pronounces Kuzco's name as "Cuss-Co".
  • In one episode of the TV series, he changes back into a llama to help Santa Claus deliver Christmas presents and to pretend to be the mascot for his school.
  • In the series finale, Graduation Groove, Kuzco was going to be reunited with his parents, but since the writers had trouble with the script, it was changed.
  • Kuzco is apparently ambidextrous, as he writes with his right hand as a human, and with his left as a llama.
  • Kuzco does not like being touched by others, indicating he has haphephobia (the fear of being touched). However, he doesn't mind Malina touching him. This is probably because he likes her.
  • Kuzco's skin is darker in the movie poster.
  • Kuzco's original name in Kingdom of the Sun was Manco.

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 in Disney movies are 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, including that 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, along with having more responsible, and humble personalities by the end of the film.

Kuzco also shares some similarities with Wreck-It Ralph.

  • Both at the beginning seem to have bad personalities.
  • Both try to gain the respect from the people that used to see them as enemies. (For Kuzco : Pacha's family and Rudy. Whereas for Ralph : the Nicelanders and later Vanellope)
  • Both 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 (For Kuzco : Pacha. Whereas for Ralph : Vanellope)
  • Both manage to turn the main villains main henchman from bad to good. (For Kuzco : Kronk. Whereas for Ralph : Sour Bill)
  • Both of them save the life or the goodness of the people they betrayed or confronted before.

Kuzco shares some similarities to the Marvel Comics character Tony Stark aka Iron Man.

  • Both were the heads of a spanning area of influence by inheritance (For Kuzco : being the Emperor of the Kuzco Empire. Whereas for Tony Stark : he was the head of Stark Enterprises)
  • Both possess 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. (For Kuzco : by being turned into a Llama. Whereas 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. (For Kuzco : it was his female advisor, Yzma who was trying to murder him as revenge for being fire by him. Whereas for Tony Stark : it was Obadiah Stane who was engineering his while being held hostage)

Voice Actors

  • Japanese : Tatsuya Fujiwara (First Film), Shotaro Morikubo (Second film & TV series)
  • English : David Spade (Films), J.P. Manoux (House of Mouse – Present)

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