- “K-U-Z-C-O, Kuzco Kuzco go go!”
Malina is the deuteragonist in The Emperor's New School. She is one of Kuzco and Kronk's closest friends and Kuzco's love interest, as well as Kuzco Academy's school council president and one of their cheerleaders. After her graduation, Malina becomes a reporter at Kuzconian Times.
Malina is a young woman of the slender, slightly petite figure. She has olive skin, big bright onyx eyes, and long black hair. According to Kuzco, Malina is the most attractive girl he knows.
Her main outfit was her high school uniform, which included black sandals, dark red long stockings under a red skirt with a long golden belt a white shirt with golden designs, and a red headband. She also wears large golden earrings.
Malina is a very smart person who usually acts calm, reasonable, and somewhat serious, the latter sometimes scaring Kuzco and Kronk. Printing the Academy's news scroll and being enthusiastic at adventures, her curiosity at discovering the truth of the events is one of her main traits, sometimes leading her to commit daring actions that require considerable bravery. Malina is very open at seeing new things, seeing their differences but respect them as she thinks all things/beings complement each other.
Though she can act sometimes bossy, Malina is often very assertive, empathetic and calm at others, helping and encouraging her friends when they are in trouble. Having a very high moral mindset, her actions are usually a foil against Kuzco's wild intentions. However, Malina can do things very reproachable and be somewhat hypocrite, including her greedy nature.
Malina is a straight-A student, which is apparently a requirement for the cheerleading squad. Though unknown why she was initially driven to excel almost everything to the point of having a nervous breakdown if she didn't do something "excellent". This even makes Malina do things immoral and risky, such as in "Picture This!", she had a bad yearbook photo of herself which led her stealing all the yearbooks and destroy them, and when one was placed in a time capsule buried in a temple, she nearly had herself, Kuzco and Kronk trapped. After escaping she finally comes to her senses and felt guilty for putting her friends in danger for one bad picture.
Malina likes Kuzco's fun-loving, caring nature but disliking his big ego and selfishness, especially because he will be the emperor after graduation. She usually tries to show Kuzco the correct decision to take, though he rarely listens at least it is very urgent. Somehow, Malina seems to know what Kuzco is thinking and easily finds out what he does. It has been proved that Malina reciprocates Kuzco's romantic feelings despite often rejecting his attempts to dating her, feeling jealous when Kuzco appears to be interested in someone else (whenever it is truth or he is doing it for other reasons). Though reluctant to initially admit her feelings, Malina officially began dating Kuzco at the end of the series, seen embracing each other.
Role in the series
In one episode, it is shown that the Devil Malina is usually tied up by the Angel Malina which explains why she usually does "good". Her curiosity and harmonic nature often make others comfortable, though she can be reckless at certain situations.
Malina is set with a challenge before her: Get Kuzco to do the right thing by often trying to reason with him about cheating, going over-egoistic, hurting someone's feelings by his arrogant attitude, make superstitions that make no sense for his personal gain, etc. Malina sometimes spies on Kuzco because she wants to help him graduate and learn how to become a good emperor.
In the 2nd season, Malina shows that she isn't as perfect as most people think. For example, she is sometimes bossy, shows greed according to Kuzco in the episode "Gold Fools", and her often curiosity even made her do reproachable acts. Melina also has a serious face referred to as the 'The Stare' by Kuzco and Kronk.
Malina had an incredibly strong sense of winning every contest she enters by any means, which first appeared in the episode "The Emperor's New Tuber" in which she was determined to fill all the spots on the Whack-A-Weasel arcade game on the high scoreboard with her name (the last person on the list was Yzma). Also, both her devil and angel sides encouraged her to cheat in the potato growing contest despite her angel side was supposed to "tell her not to do it", even responding she wasn't about to lose her record.
Melina often uses Kuzco's crush to get him to do the right thing. It has been proved that Malina likes Kuzco, seeming to look forward to a date with Kuzco that she had originally accepted reluctantly and in the episode "The Emperor's New School Musical," she admitted that she was beginning to kinda like him. In "Everyone Loves Kuzco", after Kuzco was infected with a cutie potion, the two went on an actual date; afterward, she flirts with him and got ditched by Kuzco. In "Come Fly With Me," while Kuzco was spying on Malina, she does admit that she has feelings for him, but his ego annoys her at times and is why she helps him to change. In "Kuzco's Little Secret", it is stated that she does like Kuzco but annoyed that he doesn't think about others. Also in this episode, she gets jealous when she thinks he has a girlfriend.
Later in "Auction Action," Kuzco uses Yatta to make Malina jealous, causing the latter to use Kronk. and having an argument between the two in which she admits again that she does like Kuzco, much to her own annoyance as she then lowers her head stating. Eventually in the series finale "Graduation Groove", Kuzco and Malina officially become a couple and are seen going on a date, where they are shown to be embracing each other.
- The name "Malina" is of Hawaiian, Hebrew, or Slavic origin. The Hebrew meaning is "from the tower", the Hawaiian is "sooting" or "peace", and the Slavic is "raspberry".
- Malina is possibly inspired by Mata, Kuzco's planned love interest from the original film.
- She is the only major character from the franchise who wasn't introduced in the movies.
- Her family's hut is on the very same hill Kuzco built his summer home at the end of the movie.
- The high academical ranking requirement for the cheerleading squad which Melina belongs to is a twist to most stereotypical "airheaded" cheerleaders.
- Malina sometimes goes camping with her mother and her sister.
- Similar to Kuzco's Wompy, Malina has a pink rabbit stuffed animal named Floopy which she carries on trips. At the end of the episode "The Mystery of Micchu Pachu", it shows a picture of Kuzco, Malina, Wompy, and Floopy.
- In "Oops, All Doodles", it is revealed that Malina's doodles are drawn in a super deformed anime-style.