Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Official Image: Andrew Garfield In Martin Scorsese's 'Silence' First Official Image: Andrew Garfield In Martin Scorsese's 'Silence' Joss Whedon Shot An Alternate ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Ending Where [Redacted] Doesn’t Die & Much More Joss Whedon Shot An Alternate ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Ending Where [Redacted] Doesn’t Die & Much More First Look: Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, And More In 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' First Look: Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, And More In 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' First Look: Harley Quinn & The Entire 'Suicide Squad' Cast In Full Costume First Look: Harley Quinn & The Entire 'Suicide Squad' Cast In Full Costume Director Josh Trank Reportedly Fired From His ‘Star Wars’ Film For “Erratic" Behavior On The ‘Fantastic Four’ Set Director Josh Trank Reportedly Fired From His ‘Star Wars’ Film For “Erratic" Behavior On The ‘Fantastic Four’ Set Robert Downey Jr. Trashes Indie Moviemaking, Fires Back Over Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Superhero Diss Robert Downey Jr. Trashes Indie Moviemaking, Fires Back Over Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Superhero Diss 8 Westerns Not Set In The Old West 8 Westerns Not Set In The Old West First Look: Clear Photos Of Ben Affleck In Costume From 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Look: Clear Photos Of Ben Affleck In Costume From 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Kristen Stewart Says "Hollywood Is Disgustingly Sexist," Questions When Actresses Decide To Go Nude Kristen Stewart Says "Hollywood Is Disgustingly Sexist," Questions When Actresses Decide To Go Nude Warner Bros' DC Comics' Franchise Is Reportedly A Big Movie Universe Without A Clear Leader Warner Bros' DC Comics' Franchise Is Reportedly A Big Movie Universe Without A Clear Leader Data On Netflix Original Programming Reveals Everyone Is Watching 'Daredevil,' Not Tuning Into 'Bloodline' Data On Netflix Original Programming Reveals Everyone Is Watching 'Daredevil,' Not Tuning Into 'Bloodline' Rumor: Asa Butterfield Is The Frontrunner To Play Marvel's Spider-Man Rumor: Asa Butterfield Is The Frontrunner To Play Marvel's Spider-Man Ranked: All The Characters Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe Ranked: All The Characters Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel & More To Star In Xavier Dolan's Next Film 'Only The End Of The World' Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel & More To Star In Xavier Dolan's Next Film 'Only The End Of The World' Cannes: New Images From 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender And Marion Cotillard Cannes: New Images From 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender And Marion Cotillard New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season Best To Worst: Every Marvel Movie Ranked Best To Worst: Every Marvel Movie Ranked

Watch: Unreleased Documentary 'The Sweatbox' About The Troubled Production Of Disney's 'The Emperor's New Groove'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 23, 2012 at 10:21AM

Though they end up on screen as cheery, bright eyed films for the whole family to enjoy, the truth is that behind the scenes, bringing an animated film to life is an arduous, exhausting journey. Freed from the constraints and demands of live action filmmaking in which you have a set script and a short window of time to make it happen, animation studios will routinely spend months and years developing, tweaking, editing and refining a project before voicework and production begins. But few films faced when Disney went through on 2000's "The Emperor's New Groove."
8
The Emperor's New Groove

Though they end up on screen as cheery, bright eyed films for the whole family to enjoy, the truth is that behind the scenes, bringing an animated film to life is an arduous, exhausting journey. Freed from the constraints and demands of live action filmmaking in which you have a set script and a short window of time to make it happen, animation studios will routinely spend months and years developing, tweaking, editing and refining a project before voicework and production begins. But few films faced when Disney went through on 2000's "The Emperor's New Groove."

You can find a more detailed version of what happened with a quick Google search, but we'll give you the condensed version. Originally planned to be a musical entitled "The Kingdom Of The Sun," the film had Roger Allers ("The Lion King") directing with Sting contributing six songs, in what was an Incan retelling of Mark Twain's "The Prince & The Pauper." However, the film wound up falling behind schedule, and worried about early poor test scores, and fearing the story wasn't original enough, Mark Dindal ("Cats Don't Dance") was brought in to try and liven up the story. With a release date looming, the pressure increased on Allers and when he asked for an extension of six months to year, he was denied, and he quit the picture.

Disney then put the project on hold, temporarily assigned the animations to work on the "Rhapsody In Blue" sequence for "Fantasia 2000," and Dindal along with producer Randy Fullmer and writers Chris Williams and David Reynolds, completely reworked the project and story into the movie you know today. Because Sting had written specific songs for the first version, they all had to be dropped, with only one left that usable (all the songs are available on the soundtrack).

Needless to say it was a dramatic tale, with lots of tension and headbutting between the creative teams and the studio. However, Sting's wife Trudie Styler -- a movie producer and filmmaker -- was there to capture it all from beginning to end, and the result is "The Sweatbox." The feature length documentary has been kept out of site by Disney for years, with no release on home video, though it did screen at TIFF in 2002. And we doubt it will be released any time soon (if ever). However, someone has upload the whole thing to YouTube and it's a pretty fascinating look at what really goes on behind closed doors. Watch it below before it gets yanked. 

This article is related to: Walt Disney Pictures


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates