Friday, January 2, 2015

WBI: Kronk

I shall be frank: in the coming days we are going to have to deal with a lot of henchmen who are stupid, who are ugly, who are nothing more than muscles to be used as pawns by more glorious villains along the strata.

That’s why we’re going to do Kronk now.

(Note: This only has to do with the film The Emperor’s New Groove, and not The Emperor’s New School or Kronk’s New Groove because I haven’t seen the former and he’s less villainous than I need him to be in the latter.)

Photo Credit:
Kronk is this year’s model of henchman for Yzma, ex-counselor to Emperor Kuzco, and her assistant as she takes out her anger at being fired on stone busts of his head. After accidentally suggesting Yzma take out her fury on Kuzco himself, he crafts a magnificent dinner for Yzma and the emperor, which fails when Kuzco is turned into a llama, when he is supposed to be dead. Kronk’s conscience prevents him from murdering Kuzco, and instead ships him off with a villager (again, on accident). Yzma takes control of the throne, but begins to tour nearby villages when Kronk admits he didn’t actually kill Kuzco. Kronk is an excellent navigator and carries Yzma camel-back through the jungle, helps her find Kuzco, and tails him back to the palace (although by all accounts their speed doesn’t make sense). Kronk’s conscience forbids him from helping Yzma any longer and he inadvertently assists in her capture as a cat. He then retires and becomes a scout leader, teaching children to speak squirrel.

WBI Profile

Classification :: Θ234@
Role :: Henchman (serves Yzma)
Motivation :: idealism (guided by his conscience), psychology (limited intelligence), insubordination (serves Yzma)
Bonus :: name (Kronk!)

Click Me to Big Me!

A Study

likeable—despite his crimes, he has a genuine personality, he’s kind, respectful, and he makes me want to smile.

morally ambiguous—Kronk’s conscience plays a role as two distinct characters: an angel and devil. His boss is evil, but Kronk is swayed by both right and wrong.

dim—I don’t find this completely accurate, but in many situations Kronk fails to recognize the mood of a situation and sometimes behaves inappropriately in context.

perceptive—true, Kronk doesn’t pick up on many of Yzma’s intentions, but he also speaks squirrel and makes the awkward dinner party survivable. He fills in where he’s needed.

gullible—even though he’s perceptive, he also trusts people at their word, and in his line of work that doesn’t put him in a good place.

obedient (mostly)—if Kronk isn’t faced by a sudden bout of conscience, he will do what he is told, end of story. His gullibility doesn’t necessarily let him think critically about what he’s being asked to do.

innocent—part of Kronk’s charm is his innocence: even though he works for Yzma he is still authentic and good deep down, which makes his blind obedience softer for usthan it might be for others.

talented—Kronk is the one who does stuff in the movie; he cooks, he speaks squirrel, he plays with kids, he’s athletic. He’s special.

forgiving—this isn’t a grudge-holder we’re dealing with; where Yzma wants revenge he constantly looks to the future and takes each day as it comes.

funny—he is the most hilarious character in the movie. And yeah, there are other amazing jokes, but Kronk is the one who makes me smile.

changes—at the end of TENG, you’ll notice that it’s actually Kronk who gets the closest to killing Yzma, and if she weren’t so skinny, it might have worked. He, like Kuzco, ends up a different person.

important—though he’s simple, he matters just as much as Kuzco, Yzma, or Pacha. You could not kill Kronk partway through and expect things to be okay.

not motivated by money—this is going last because I think it’s one of Kronk’s most distinguishing features; although Kronk is getting paid, he never once lets on the idea that his actions spring from a desire for more money. His intentions, if misguided, are purer.

Big Idea

promote charm—I think one of my favorite parts of the movie is when Kronk kisses Chicha’s hand and gives her a brilliant smile, despite the fact that she has just sent his boss shooting out of the house to become an impromptu piñata, and suggests they do this again sometime. He isn’t a ball of evilness and scorn, like Yzma; he wants to welcome people into his life and enjoy them.

balance good and evil—Kronk is the only one who has a discussion with his conscience. Even though he works for said ball of evilness and scorn, part of what makes us root for Kronk is we want to see his choices match up with his character, so that we know that he has redeemed himself despite the tempting one-armed handstands of the Shoulder Devil.

humor helps—admittedly, most of the time when Henchmen are used to make the audience laugh, it is at the expense of their own intelligence. I don’t think Kronk particularly defies the norm, but his humor does add to his aforementioned charm and likeability, which adds to our desire to see him embrace goodness at last.

make it more than money—again, Kronk gets paid, but he sees his job as so much more than a paycheck. So many Henchmen leave their loyalties to the person that pays them, but Kronk embraces relationships and skills with a far greater fervor than he does money. This also makes him a little more endearing to us, and makes us watch him a little more closely.

And the quote?

I love Kronk. I LOVE KRONK SO MUCH! But what do you think of him as a villain? Would you write a character like him? What would you change about him?


  1. Yay, WBI is back! I have to admit, I've only seen this film in Tumblr gifs, which means it's essentially limited to the last gif and reaction tags, ahaha. It seems like a cool film from what you've said -- should watch this soon!

    1. Yes! Took me a while to get the motivation but I got there eventually! XD But don't worry, it is an awesome film. Even though it was probably made with eight-year-olds in mind I watched it by myself in my living room two months ago and then my dad stopped in and watched for a while too. It's worth it!

  2. I love Kronk, too! I agree that he's so funny and even though he sometimes does bad things, he really is good at heart, which actually makes him quite likeable. The only thing I don't like about him is that he falls into the cliche of being the dumb henchmen/sidekick. Why can't sidekicks/henchman be smart for once?

    Also, The Emperor's New Groove is such a funny movie! I think it's one of those really underrated Disney movies, which is sad.

    1. He's a great character, right? :D I hate that most henchmen are dumb too, but I feel like, at least in the literary world, they decide that if you're smart enough to make rational decisions then you're probably not working for anybody else. :/

      It's absolutely underrated, but there are some of us who still really enjoy it!

  3. I have never seen the film, just the GIFs (same as Alyssa).

    But I'm happy WBI is back for 2015! :)

    1. You and Alyssa are missing out, let me tell you. ROUND UP YOUR HUMANS AND WATCH IT.

      And yes! Much excitement!


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