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Villain Overview
That's it, Kronk! That's it! I'll get rid of Kuzco! Hahahaha! (Kronk: The real Kuzco?) Ha- Of course, the real Kuzco! Don't you see? It's perfect! With him out of the way, and no heir to the throne, I'll take over and rule the empire! Brilliant!
~ Yzma plotting her revenge against Kuzco.
Ah, how shall I do it? Oh, I know. I'll turn him into a flea. A harmless little flea. Then I'll put that flea inside of a box, and then I'll put that box inside of another box, and then I'll mail that box to myself. And when it arrives, I'll smash it with a hammer! It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, I tell you! Genius, I say!
~ Yzma plotting to kill Kuzco.
It's called a cruel irony... like my dependence on you.
~ Yzma to Kronk.

Yzma is the main antagonist of Disney's The Emperor's New Groove franchise. She serves as the main antagonist of Disney's 40th full-length animated feature film The Emperor's New Groove, its television series The Emperor's New School, and the sole antagonist of its 2005 sequel The Emperor's New Groove 2: Kronk's New Groove. She is a hideous old woman who wants to usurp the throne by murdering Emperor Kuzco as revenge for him firing her as his adviser. She also has a strong, but rather dimwitted henchman named Kronk. She is also a rather diabolical, intelligent and manipulative alchemist who concocts various potions and unguents. She also appears in other media as a cat.

She was voiced by the late Eartha Kitt, who also played Vexus in My Life as a Teenage Robot, Agatha K. Plummer in Harriet the Spy, and Catwoman in the 1966 Batman television series episode "Dressed to Kill". While as a cat, she was voiced by Mark Dindal, who also voiced Max in Cats Don't Dance.

Personality

Yzma is seen to be malicious, unpleasant, but comically eccentric, often calling herself beautiful even though all other characters in the series consider her appearance revolting. She is a complicated and impenetrable thinker; one example was her original plan to kill Emperor Kuzco (which was to turn Kuzco into a flea, put him into a box, put that box into another box, mail it to herself, and when it arrived, in her own words "I'LL SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER!!!").

Yzma is described to be "scary beyond all reason". Yzma's color theme was stated to be purple, being that purple is a color often associated with evil. Purple is also the color of royalty, showing Yzma's ambition to be an oppressive empress. Additionally, purple carries connotations of madness, alluding to her insane lust for power. Her character is also surrounded with animals like snakes and cats, which are considered to be signs of evil in numerous religions throughout the world.

Yzma is also shown to be quite intellectual and knowledgeable in chemistry. However, she can also be somewhat unqualified and incompetent with it, as she accidentally uses extract of llama on Kuzco, thinking that it was poison due to mislabeling (that was Kronk's doing).

Biography

The Emperor's New Groove

Yzma was originally Emperor Kuzco's royal adviser. However, Kuzco did not like the fact that she apparently did most of the governing behind his back, so he decides to fire her. Yzma furiously planned to dispose of the emperor and rule the empire in his place by poisoning him. This backfires when Kronk accidentally mixes up vials in between the poison and a potion that turns the drinker into a llama, resulting in Kuzco becoming such an animal.

After Kronk incapacitates Kuzco, Yzma orders Kronk to take him out of the city and dispose of him. The next day, after being informed of Kuzco's "death", Yzma arranges a (very half-heartedly) funeral for him, and quickly concludes it by replacing Kuzco's image with her own and establishing herself as the new ruler of the empire. When Kronk lets it slip that he let Kuzco live and get carted away by a local peasant, Yzma and Kronk set out to silence Kuzco for good before word can get out that he is still alive.

She follows Kuzco into the jungle, and finally catches up with him in her lab. She attempts to kill him and his ally Pacha, but her plan backfires again when she accidentally drinks one of her potions, transforming her into a harmless kitten. At first she gains the upper hand and grabs the human potion before Pacha and Kuzco could grab it, only for it to be knocked out of her hands into Pacha's when Kronk opened his trapped door and crushed her. In the end, she is placed in Kronk's Junior Chipmunks class.

Kronk's New Groove

After returning to a human form (with the exception of a cat tail), Yzma finds Kronk and tells him that she is no longer evil and involves him in a plan to sell youth potion to the old people. Unbeknownst to Kronk or the old people, the "youth potion" is simply an addictive snake oil. As soon as Kronk figures this out, he and Rudy inform everyone as they are about to elect Yzma emperor. The old folks chase Yzma and corner her on a bridge above a river full of alligators. However, Yzma drinks a potion to transform into a cute bunny rabbit, so that no one will want to attack her. However, she is then caught and taken away by a falcon.

At the end of the film, Yzma is shown to be taken to the bird's nest, where its two eggs hatch and the chicks lunge to attack her before the credits roll.

The Emperor's New School

In this TV spinoff, Yzma (having survived her encounter with various hawk chicks and regained her human form) once again plots to take the throne from Kuzco. The show's premise is that Kuzco must attend school and pass all of his classes in order to remain Emperor. If he fails even one class, he will be unable to retake the throne. In order to make Kuzco fail, Yzma poses as Principal Amzy, the principal of Kuzco Academy. With the assistance of Kronk, she comes up with various schemes (most involve potions that transform Kuzco into an animal, similarly to the film) in order to make Kuzco fail one of his classes. Several episodes reveal members of Yzma's family, including her mother Amza who (according to Yzma) nags her incessantly, forcing Yzma to carry out her plots. Yzma also apparently has siblings, as she has two nephews: Zim and Zam.

Once Kuzco became emperor again in the series' finale "Graduation Groove", Yzma was demoted to Kronk's secretary by Kuzco's order.

Trivia

  • Yzma was originally written as the main antagonist of the cancelled Disney animated film Kingdom of the Sun, where she would have been a necromancer attempting to summon Supei, the Incan god of darkness, to block out the sun and plunge the world into eternal night. When the project was scrapped, elements of it, including Yzma, were recycled for The Emperor's New Groove.
  • Yzma is one of the few female Disney Villains to be physically fought in their respective debut films.
    • She is also currently the last female villain to go against a male protagonist.
  • She is ranked #14 in the Top 30 Disney Villains.
  • Yzma's transformation into a cat is a possible tribute to her late voice actor Eartha Kitt back when she played Catwoman in the 1960s Batman series.
  • In the Descendants universe, Yzma has two children (Yzla and Zevon) with the latter somehow being more deranged and evil than Yzma herself.
  • It is claimed that Yzma's main color is purple because it is a color that represents madness. True to life, purple is considered to be a less likable color in some cultures. An example of this would be that purple is seen as the color of death in Japan.
  • Barbra Streisand was originally considered for the role of Yzma.
  • Yzma largely serves as a dark parallel to Emperor Kuzco. They are both destined to become an emperor for their selfish benefits. However, after realizing that Yzma is planned to kill him, Kuzco finally learned his lesson and promised to become a better emperor. On the other hand, Yzma failed to learn the error of her ways and let her anger be her downfall as her determined behavior and never tolerate her failure leading her to get transformed into a cat and forced to be a squirrel scout. Thus, Yzma serves as an example of what Kuzco would have become if he had allowed his selfishness to consume him.

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