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"New Groove" Plays New Tune

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  • Robert Schmidt
    Indian Comics Irregular #48 Formerly known as Kingdom of the Sun, Disney s The Emperor s New Groove is the latest movie to feature Native people. In it
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 29 5:00 AM
      Indian Comics Irregular #48

      Formerly known as "Kingdom of the Sun," Disney's "The Emperor's New
      Groove" is the latest movie to feature Native people. In it the
      self-absorbed emperor Kuzco of an Inca-like kingdom gets turned into
      a llama. He must struggle to regain his position and, naturally,
      learn some humility along the way.

      A couple of comments suggest the movie's quality:

      · "'The Emperor's New Groove' is a delightful, effervescent
      morality tale for children with such wit and sophistication that
      adults are likely to be enchanted as well." (Kevin Thomas, LA Times,

      · "Director Mark Dindal ('Cats Don't Dance') and the animation
      gurus at Disney bring us the holiday entry of 'The Emperor's New
      Groove,' which is, simply put, the best animated film in years."
      (John Sylva, rec.arts.movies.reviews)

      Best of all, "Groove" hasn't received the same scathing attacks as
      the similar Road to El Dorado. To verify this, I searched the Net
      and couldn't find one posting accusing the movie of stereotyping or
      racism. It's more evidence of what I've said before: that the
      criticism of these movies is about what's on the screen, not about
      political correctness.

      More Fantasy Fiction

      Here's a summary of the best "What if?" fiction I've read about
      Native people:

      · "Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus"--Orson
      Scott Card. Time travelers persuade Columbus to treat the Caribbean
      Indians as humans.

      · "The Court-Martial of George Armstrong Custer"--Douglas Smith.
      As the lone survivor of Little Big Horn, Custer goes on trial for

      · "Apacheria"--Jake Page. A singleminded leader forges the Apache
      into an unstoppable army of freedom fighters.

      · "The Sleeping Serpent"--short story by Pamela Sargent in "The
      Way It Wasn't: Great Science Fiction Stories of Alternate History."
      The Mongol Empire reaches America--but will it conquer the Natives or
      vice versa?

      · "For Want of a Nail"--Robert Sobel. If the colonists had lost
      the American Revolution, the Indians arguably would be better off.

      For more on the best Indian-themed books, visit

      Best Indian Comic Ever?

      Written by Steve Englehart in the early '80s, the COYOTE graphic
      novel and comic book series is one of the best about Native
      Americans. As advisor Todd Tamanend Clark puts it, "In its early
      issues (before its artistic deterioration), COYOTE was the most
      radical Native comic so far written. Coyote often thought and spoke
      somewhat akin to an AIM activist, with talk of invaders,
      Eurocentrism, Christianity as merely another myth, etc."

      More Positive Reviews

      We recently received a rave review from Blackfire
      (http://www.blackfire.net), the talented Navajo musical group.
      "Peace Party is inspirational, educational, and revolutionary," is
      how they termed it. We hope to feature Blackfire, Casper of Hopiland,
      and other Native performers in our next edition.

      Another who loved the comics is Victor Rocha (Pechanga), who said
      simply, "They're beautiful." Victor was impressed enough to join our
      Board of Advisors. To see his excellent compendium of Indian news,
      visit http://www.pechanga.net.

      Rob Schmidt
      Blue Corn Comics
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