Not sure if this is a very early version of Kronk or a character that never got to be, but still!
The Emperor’s New Groove- Concept Art
KINGDOM OF THE SUN
The Emperor’s New Groove was a 2000 animated film in which a very egocentrical leader of the Inka Empire is turned into a Llama by Yzma the sorceress and her slow yet adorable sidekick Kronk. He encounters a nice peasant man Pacha, who agrees to help him, and in the journey he learns about friendship and that the world does not rotate around himself. We all know the story and love it, right? Besides being an incredibly entertaining and HILLARIOUS film.
Originally this film was gonna be called Kingdom of the Sun, and later Kingdom in the Sun. Among those on the production team were supervising animator Andreas Deja, who was in charge of the character of Yzma, and pop musician Sting, who, in the wake of Elton John’s success with The Lion King’s soundtrack, had been convinced to write several songs for the film.
The story in Kingdom of the Sun was going to be based on Twain’s novel of The Prince and the Pauper. In which a greedy, selfish emperor (voiced by Spade) who finds a peasant (voiced by Owen Wilson) who looks just like him; the emperor swaps places with the peasant for fun. However, the evil witch Yzma has plans to summon a dark spirit named Supai and capture the sun so that she may retain her youth forever (the sun gives her wrinkles, so she surmises that living in a world of darkness would prevent her from wrinkling). Discovering the switch between the prince and the peasant, Yzma turns the real emperor into a llama and threatens to reveal the pauper’s identity unless he obeys her. The emperor-llama learns humility in his new form, and even comes to love a girl llama-herder. Together, the girl and the llama set out to undo the witch’s plans.
So doing a recapitulation, Kuzco/Spade was in the story all along, there was no Pacha/ John Goodman and instead of him we had two characters: the llama herder girl and the peasant/Wilson. Also no swap and no Prince and the Pauper story. When did it change most of its story and the name to The Emperor’s New Groove? The title of the film is derived from that of the popular Danish fairy tale The Emperor’s New Clothes. They both share the personality of a self-obsessed ruler who puts himself first to the detriment of his own people, which is also based on the fairy-tale. Thus turning the film into The Emperor’s New Groove.