- “And let's not forget Yzma's right-hand man. Every decade or so, she gets a new one. This year's model is called Kronk.”
- ―Kuzco introducing Kronk to the audience[src]
Kronker "Kronk" Pepikrankenitz is the (former) secondary antagonist of Disney's 2000 animated feature film The Emperor's New Groove, and the titular main protagonist of 2005's Kronk's New Groove. Kronk often serves as Yzma's hapless henchman, but he is genuinely good-hearted and friendly at his core.
Kronk starts as Yzma's loyal assistant, regardless of her constant abuse, helping her where she's too old or unwilling to do things herself. He is often shown to be oblivious, devoid of common sense or otherwise not very intelligent, which leaves him easily susceptible to Yzma's orders. Despite working for Yzma, Kronk's is a genuinely kind person, and enjoys helping those around him. His loyalty to Yzma seems to stem largely from being a people pleaser, regardless of the people in question.
Kronk has a tendency to converse with smaller angel and devil personifications of himself when faced with a moral dilemma, though these manifestations of his conscience solely in his mind.
Kronk's capable of incredible superhuman athletics, such as running from a school to his house and back in mere seconds, and running up a mountain (while having a seat tied to his body with Yzma riding atop). Through the series, it's learned that Kronk comes from a family of athletic health and fitness advocates. It was revealed in The Emperor's New School episode "Oops, All Doodles" that Kronk has a talent for drawing, he also knows how to speak and understand "Squirrelese".
Kronk's greatest skill however is his talent as a chef, able to pickup whatever recipe is required at the time. He takes particular pride in his spinach puffs, which caused him to betray Yzma after she insulted them out of frustration.
Kronk's first appearance features him standing alongside Yzma, being introduced as her latest bodyguard.
While helping Yzma supply her stone Kuzco heads for her to smash after she was fired, he thought that the emperor would have turned out better and that it's better that she's taking out her anger on the stone heads instead of the real Kuzco, inadvertently inspiring Yzma to get rid of Kuzco.
During their dinner with the emperor, Kronk put what was supposed to be the poison in one of the drinks and served the poisoned drink to Kuzco. However, he was distracted when his spinach puffs were still in the oven, so he went back to the kitchen to save them while Kuzco and Yzma talked about him. After he came with the spinach puffs, he couldn't remember which drink to serve Kuzco (and he ran out of "poison"), so he improvised with water from a nearby vase and made shaken poison margaritas. After giving everyone their drinks, Kronk secretly warned Yzma not to drink the poison. She secretly threw hers into a cactus while he faked drinking his. Just when it looked like their plan worked, Kuzco suddenly comes back up and starts changing into a llama. After some difficulty, Yzma managed to get Kronk to knock Kuzco unconscious. After wondering what went wrong, Yzma checked the vial and realized that the "poison" was actually extracted of llama potion. Kronk then states that she should relabel her potions before being ordered to "Take him out of town and finish the job" (though they had time for dessert and a quick cup of coffee).
He tries to do this by putting Kuzco's unconscious form in a bag and dumping said bag into a canal that lead to a precariously long drop. Before he could do this, however, his angel and devil appear on his shoulders, both of whom argued on whether or not he should walk away or act to save Kuzco. Making up his mind, Kronk then decides to save Kuzco from going over the edge. Later, as Kronk descends down a flight of stairs, he trips on a cat and drops the bag, which lands on Pacha's cart just as he's setting off for his village. Seeing this, Kronk tries to go after Pacha, but is too late to stop him before he disappears into the crowd. After losing Pacha, Kronk hopes that his failure to kill Kuzco doesn't come back to haunt him.
Ironically, this does come back to haunt him when he tells Yzma that Kuzco is still alive, and so the latter decides to set off to find Kuzco so he can be killed properly. However, despite searching nearly every village around the palace, they are unable to find Kuzco until they run into Bucky the Squirrel, who Kronk can talk to due to having once been a Junior Chipmunk. After finding out about a "talking llama" from the squirrel, the pair set off to find Kuzco again.
Along the way, they get lost and soon stop at Mudka's Meat Hut, where Pacha and the disguised Kuzco are also dining. While there, Kronk encounters Pacha, but has trouble remembering where he saw him before. Later, when Yzma expresses distaste for the items on the menu, he decides to go to talk to the Irate Chef about making special orders. The Chef, however, outraged by all the requests, decides to quit on the spot, and Kronk soon finds himself taking over the job, much to Yzma's frustration.
Near the end of the movie, when Yzma tossed Kronk a dagger so he could finish off Kuzco and Pacha, his devil appears on his shoulder but his angel's late-appearing. While trying to bring the angel on his shoulder on what's happening, to the confusion of onlookers, Yzma interrupts him and starts belittling him for being unable to do simple tasks. To add insult to injury, she revealed that she hated his spinach puffs. Kronk then began to break down in tears. His devil side was all for attacking Yzma, his angel assured him that "from above, the wicked shall receive their just reward." Kronk looked up and spotted a chandelier conveniently placed above Yzma. He proceeded to cut the rope holding it up, causing the chandelier to land on top of her, but Yzma survives because she's so thin that she passed through it. Yzma then drops him in a trap door, but he later emerges alive and well when he opened a portal hole while finding his way out, accidentally crushing Yzma who turns into a cat before she could take the antidote to turn herself back to human. Kronk marveled at the odds of the trapdoor leading to that porthole. At the end of the film, he recruits her to be a part of his squirrel scouts.
In the sequel, Emperor Kuzco narrates the story about Kronk, now chef and Head Delivery Boy of Mudka's Meat Hut, fretting over the upcoming visit of his father. Kronk's father always disapproved of young Kronk's culinary interests and wished that Kronk instead would settle down with a wife and a large house on a hill.
In a flashback, Kronk tells the story of how he almost had both of these. As an unwitting accomplice to Yzma's plan to sell snake oil as a youth potion, he makes enough money to buy the old folks' home from the old folks and put his large new home there; but then when he realizes they've sold everything they own in return for something which doesn't work, he gives his home back to them.
Kronk, as the camp counselor of the Junior Chipmunks at Camp Chippamunka, falls in love with his fellow counselor Ms. Birdwell; but The Junior Chipmunks and Ms. Birdwell's troops get fed up with Kronk and Birdwell's power-tripping on them. When one of his Chipmunks pulls a prank to win the camp championships and is caught, Kronk protects the boy at the cost of alienating his love.
Kronk's father, Papi, arrives, and confusion ensues as several supportive friends try to pass themselves off to him as Kronk's wife and kids. But in the end, Kronk realizes that his wealth is in his friendships. This is what finally wins his father's thumbs up.
In the credits, we're shown the photos of Kronk and Ms. Birdwell's honeymoon, including in Paris, Pisa, and Venice.
Kronk's once again Yzma's partner and still Kuzco's friend despite carrying out Yzma's constant plans to drug Kuzco with a transformation potion. By the final episode, Kronk is appointed Kuzco's new adviser (Yzma's old job), while Yzma becomes his helper (Kronk's old job).
It was shown that despite having some amount of hatred towards her, Kronk values his position as Yzma's lackey to some degree, as seen when she fired him on several occasions. He acts as Kuzco's sidekick, often partaking in his harebrained schemes. When working to destroy Kuzco, Kronk's conscience often gets in the way.
In the show, Kronk works at Mudka's Meat Hut most of the time as well. A running gag in the series involves Kronk forgetting Yzma's actually Principal Amzy in disguise. However, Kronk revealed in the show's finale "Graduation Groove" that he knew about three episodes prior to the said episode, and only pretended to forget.
Friendship aside, Kuzco does see Kronk as somewhat of a rival, as Kronk earns a lot of fame and glory with being the school's star athlete and bodybuilder.
Kronk appeared as a walk-around character when the film was released, though he's rare to encounter now.
In Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Kronk's featured in the Adventureland mission assisting Yzma in her plot to rule Adventureland. Kronk is ordered to implant potions in the village's food to turn everyone into alpacas. Kronk's conscience prevents him from doing it immediately and is attacked by the park guests. Kronk, believing they're after his recipe, retreats from the scene. He's later seen continuing his mission in his own kitchen and encounters the guests once again. He explains that he must follow Yzma's orders, leading to the guests battling him and eventually defeating him.
Kronk appears in Wonderful World of Animation as Yzma's henchman
In 2013, Kronk returned as a meet-and-greet character in Disneyland Paris as part of the Disney Dreamers Everywhere! events. On December 31st he appears alongside Yzma and his wonderful husband, Gaston in the French version of the attraction Disney Stars and Motorcars Parade. In 2017, Kronk, Yzma, and Gaston appeared during the Halloween Soirée event.
In Villains Tonight, Kronk's first seen in the "Yzmopolis" segment doing some backup vocals for his husband, Gaston's song performance. He's later seen with Iago in a talk show style segment. He's last seen with Yzma and the other villains performing the finale.
- Kronk's birthday is on November 27th.
- Kronk's design may have been inspired by his voice actor, Patrick Warburton, who has both a strong physique and stands at 6'3". Warburton is also known for portraying tall muscular characters, such as The Tick and Brock Samson from The Venture Brothers.
- Patrick Warburton improvised Kronk humming his theme music.
- Kronk's probably in his late 20s, as revealed in The Emperor's New Groove.
- In the TV series, though thought to be dim-witted by Yzma and Kuzco, Kronk is often shown to be surprisingly insightful when necessary.
- Kronk's spinach puffs are actually empanadas, a typical dish from Latin America, especially among Latin American natives such as the characters in the film. While Kronk made chicken and spinach empanadas, empanadas can also be made with a mixture of ham and cheese, but by far the most popular empanadas are the ones with grounded beef. The word "puff" is used in the film because it's the closest word in the English language to describe an empanada.
- Kronk being a native Latin American supreme chef whose specialty is empanadas makes him similar to La Chacha, a character from the Argentinian comic books "Patoruzu" and "Patoruzito".
- According to the book Disney Villains: The Secret Files, Yzma actually originally hired at least one large, dim-witted young man to serve as her minion (one of which's named Kandu) before hiring Kronk.
- In the movie, Kuzco reveals that Yzma hires a new minion once per decade, Given Kuzco's age, he would only have known one minion prior to Kronk.
- Unlike his boss Yzma, who has different outfits and her cat form, Kronk keeps his same blue outfit throughout the movie, except during the fake funeral, in which he wears black, during the secret lab scene, in which he wears a lab coat, and the search for Kuzco, when he wears a brown version of his main outfit.
- The most possible explanation to Kronk being Jewish is that he descends from a converso (a Jew who converted to Catholicism) or marrano (crypto-Jew) who married a native Incan.