MousePlanet has an interesting article about a documentary made about the making of "The Emperor's New Groove" that focuses all the way back to when it was originally called "The Kingdom of the Sun". There's no way we're going to find out if it was better, although it is my belief it probably would have since TENG is one of my least favorite Disney films, but one thing is sure... it sounded really interesting.
The 87 minute documentary was known as "The Sweatbox" and unfortunately is not available for viewing. It sounds like a literal example of how to let Suits screw up a story. So what was "The Kingdom Of The Sun" about? How was it different than "The Emperor's New Groove"?
I'll let Wade Sampson describe it:
"Pacha, the peasant llama herder, was not a heavyset middle-aged married man but a carefree, good-hearted 18-year-old who was a dead ringer for Emperor Manco. (In the final version, the character is renamed Kuzco following Fullmer's horrified discovery of the Japanese slang term "omanco" that politely translates into the word "vagina.") A young Owen Wilson provides the voice for Pacha.
Sting wrote "Walk the Llama Llama" that Pacha was to sing as he led his trio of llamas down the mountainside and into the marketplace. There was concern that Hartley's clever lyrics were too sophisticated for an unsophisticated peasant boy who would never use words and phrases like "panorama" and "the perfect fashion statement."
Manco (voiced by David Spade) had grown bored with being ruler of his mountain kingdom so when he discovers the kindly llama herder who is his doppelganger, he decides to get away from his duties of state by switching places. Unfortunately, a sorceress named Yzma who has her own agenda turns Manco into a llama who cannot talk so Pacha must continue the masquerade.
The situation becomes more complicated when Manco's betroved, the handmaiden Nina, finds the arrogant and haughty emperor is now kind and funny. She finds herself drawn to the seemingly transformed emperor. Pacha also finds himself falling in love with Nina even though she is promised to the emperor.
Sting wrote "One Day She'll Love Me" that was to appear midway through the movie where Pacha and Nina are at a party at the palace and the two teens fight their growing attraction to one another.
Yzma had once been an incredible beauty in the Incan royal court. However, time and the sun have cruelly robbed her of her good looks. Yzma begins dabbling in the dark arts in an attempt to revive her beauty although she firmly believes it is the sun that has robbed her of her beauty.
She wants to snuff out all light on earth by unleashing the demon, Supai who is a force of darkness, to block out the sun. In a world locked in perpetual darkness, Yzma feels that her great beauty will finally be restored."
Like the sound of that? There's more. Go over to MousePlanet and give it a look. Also for your perusal is an older article about "The Sweatbox" over in the Fox News archives.