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The Sweatbox (2005)

You might be looking at that poster and wonder if you might have missed a Disney movie. Don’t worry, you haven’t. This was the original title of the Emperor’s New Groove. It is a documentary that was only shown once publicly after which Disney decided to put it in the vault. Somehow a work copy has found its way on the internet (at the time of writing is still available on Vimeo) and I couldn’t pass the chance to watch something Disney doesn’t want people to see.

The Sweatbox documentary review

If you read the title you probably have crazy ideas about Disney using people who color their movies working in poor conditions, but it’s not about that at all. The Sweatbox is the name of the original studio that was used by Walt Disney where he’d watch movies and it would get extremely hot there. Does it get hot in this documentary as well? Well, not really although it does show that making a movie can be a very tough process. This documentary looks into the creation of The Emperor’s New Groove and was made by Trudie Styler, who was allowed all access when her husband, Sting, was asked to make music for the film. It means we do see a lot of him in the studio writing and recording, but several of the animators are interviewed too. They tell about the characters they’ve drawn with passion and you can see how tough it is on them when parts they have worked on for months get cut.

It’s always tempting to watch something you are not supposed to and I quite enjoyed this look into the Disney kitchen. I do wonder though why Disney decided not to release this as it doesn’t really have any big shocks. The movie might have changed a lot since the original idea, but if you follow the creation of movies there are enough examples of changes being made. Creating something sometimes means you have to destroy something to get a better result. The Emperor’s New Groove was a movie I liked a lot (loved the humor and lack of any “princess” stuff) and seeing how that movie came into existence was fascinating.

Score: 8

Category: Movies
  • AndyWatchesMovies says:

    If this is still on Vimeo later tonight I’m going to try to watch it.

    April 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm
    • Nostra says:

      It’s been up some days, so I hope you were able to give it a look.

      April 18, 2012 at 8:43 am
  • Pete says:

    Shame, I’m saddened to hear it isn’t all about dishing the dirt on the Mouse House.

    April 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I think there is a documentary about it though that does do this, but I can’t recall the name.

      April 18, 2012 at 8:46 am
  • rtm says:

    I haven’t seen ‘Emperor’s New Groove’ yet, so I probably should see that first?

    April 18, 2012 at 5:50 am
    • Nostra says:

      It’s not really necessary as they explain what has been cut. It might make it even more interesting to watch the movie after this documentary.

      April 18, 2012 at 8:47 am
  • Amy Moss says:

    This sounds really interesting Nostra, I’d heard about the problems with Emperor’s New Groove/Kingdom of the Sun but didn’t realise it was in a documentary too. May check it out if a stumble across it, thanks!

    April 18, 2012 at 7:51 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Be quick before it gets pulled from Vimeo!

      April 19, 2012 at 9:36 am
  • sanclementejedi says:

    Interesting find, I may have to check this out. I recently had the pleasure? of watching another film Disney does not want you to see Song of the South and that was certainly something.

    April 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Knowing this was another one that was in the vault I watched that a couple of weeks ago. I can understand the reason why although I thought it would be extremely shocking, which it wasn’t.

      April 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm
  • sanclementejedi says:

    Yeah that film certainly is racist but in an uncle tom sort of way. But in some respects Uncle Remus is the smartest/nicest guy in the whole film. The film itself was sort of meh

    April 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, it wasn’t that special…crazy though that they still use the song so much!

      April 21, 2012 at 9:55 pm
  • Raghav says:

    Great find… Checking Vimeo to see if it still exists.

    April 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Hope it’s still up for you!

      April 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm

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