As fabulous as female antagonist Yzma is in The Emperor’s New Groove, Chicha is one of the unforgotten heroes of Disney’s sidelined film. Chicha is the pregnant wife of Pacha, and can arguably called one of the driving forces of the film. Pacha is dedicated to his family, and much of that stems from Chicha’s equally vigorous dedication and care for her home. She’s one of disney’s few South American characters, and their only significant Peruvian female protagonist.
Her detractors might call her a stereotyped female character placed in the ‘mother’ role. This is not without reason. Her greatness is somewhat equated to how she builds up Pacha, how her strength is a fuel for him. In both the film (and the sequel media, if you’ve seen that), is how she’s a kind and caring woman.
At times in the film it seems like Chicha is a missed opportunity. In someways she’s a foil to the childless, emaciated Yzma, but even that suggests that for women there’s either the maternal path or the non-maternal path, and one is decidedly good, the other bad. However, it must be remembered that we’re still fourteen years away from Frozen, and eleven years from Chicha’s pan-whacking successor Rapunzel.
I’m aware I haven’t sold Chicha as one of Disney’s most fabulous female characters, but she is an example of a female that could have done more. One could say that both Yzma and Chicha were done a disservice by Disney making them such polar opposites. However, I hope if anything you try giving the Emperor’s New Groove another watch, or a first watch if you haven’t done so already. It’s not like any of the other Disney films from that era, and it’s a total hoot and a half.