This post is one week late; I’d meant to write about my favorite Disney love song right before Valentine’s Day, but didn’t get around to it last week. So, here it is: “One Day She’ll Love Me.”
You’re probably scratching your heads right now and wondering why that title doesn’t sound familiar to you, if you don’t already know the story behind this song or own the soundtrack for The Emperor’s New Groove. Yep, you read that right: The Emperor’s New Groove. Remember my list of favorite voice actors for Disney villains back in October, particularly the one about Eartha Kitt and her revised role as Yzma? This is another part of the long and fascinating story behind the making of Groove.
Back when Groove was titled “Kingdom of the Sun,” it was supposed to have a love story as one of its subplots, much like its fellow Disney musicals of the ’90’s. At that point, Pacha was a much younger man who looked exactly like Emperor Kuzco. So in this version of the movie, once they meet, Kuzco thinks it would be fun for them to switch places for the day. Unbeknownst to them, Yzma sees the switch and turns Kuzco into a llama, then forces Pacha to act as her puppet ruler so she won’t arrest and kill him for impersonating the emperor.
Meanwhile, Kuzco has been engaged to a handmaiden named Nina, who understandably hates him because he’s an arrogant, selfish little brat. Enter Pacha pretending to be Kuzco, and he’s not like that at all. Nina is confused by the change, but slowly starts to fall in love with him. Luckily for her, he falls in love with her too. Unluckily for both of them, he’s not the real emperor, and she doesn’t know that.
Disney hired Sting to write the songs for Kingdom of the Sun, and one of them is a beautiful song about Pacha and Nina trying to work out their feelings for each other. Pacha worries over how he can be with her when he’s not who he says he is, while Nina wonders if this change in “Kuzco” is genuine and she can allow herself to love him.
As you already know, if you’ve seen The Emperor’s New Groove, this storyline got completely cut from the movie as Pacha was changed to an older, married man and Nina was dropped from the script (unless you count the hilarious scene where Kuzco has to choose a bride for himself). So this song got cut too.
I don’t know whether or not Kingdom of the Sun would have turned out better than The Emperor’s New Groove if it hadn’t been changed into a comedy. Apparently, test audiences were not responding well to the footage and the company was pressed for time due to the merchandising contracts they had already set up, hence the severe changes to the story. I do know that Groove is one of my favorite Disney movies, but I also know that “One Day She’ll Love Me” is one of my favorite Disney love songs. It sounds pretty and I like how it conveys the feelings of the two lovers. They’re hesitant to show their affection to each other for different reasons, yet they’re both hoping that something miraculous will happen that can allow them to overcome their obstacles so they can be together. It left me feeling a little intrigued too, because really, pretending to be a powerful emperor and then falling in love with his future bride is a very, very BIG obstacle on the path to romance. How were Pacha and Nina supposed to have a happy ending together?
What do you guys think of this song?