Dreamworks a thon #3: The Road to El Dorado

Hello, Spongey here. Welcome back to dreamworks-a thon!

After Prince of egypt, Dreamworks tried another 2D animated film. Only this one is more like their usual output: it’s a comedy. But it’s also an adventure.

Sadly this one bombed at the box office, and got mixed reviews. But thankfully, it has gained a strong cult following.

But does it deserve it? I’ll tell you…

This, is The Road to El Dorado


It follows the adventures of Spaniards Tulio and Miguel as they try to con and cheat their way to fame and fortune. A game of chance earns them a Treasure Map which seems to point the way to El Dorado: the lost “City of Gold.”

The two (mis)adventurers stow away by accident on Cortez’s (yes, that Cortez) flagship, and their escape strands them in the New World with only Cortez’s horse and the treasure map for company. Seeking enough gold to “buy Spain”, they set off into the jungles of Central America, where they find the city…and the natives mistake them for gods. Hilarity ensues.

This movie can be summed up in one word: Fun. It’s just plain, fun. The pace is brisk, the characters have energy, and it’s full of adventure and comedy

it’s a very fun, breezing watch. It’s about 89 minutes, which is perfect for a movie like this. It takes the time to develop the story and characters, but it also moves fast and makes it  very easy to watch, in a good way

it’s not dreamworks best, but it still manages to be good. It was the start of their more comedic tone, which was cemented by their next film…but that’s for later

the story is fairly solid. Not life changing, or epic but good enough. Stuff unravels as the movie goes on and it comes to a predictable yet satisfying conclusion

but what’s interesting, is the basic premise. See, the creators of it had see many movies where the hero is upstaged by more interesting, funny sidekicks. So he thought, hey, why not make a movie all ABOUT the sidekick characters, and the hero is really some douche?

And that’s what we got. Two funny main characters, who end up being just as awesome as any hero. That’s why it ends up being as fun as it is.

Anyway, on to the other stuff. The animation is pretty good. Not breathtaking, but still very good. Doug walker had this little bit where he said the animation is “too good,” in that it could have been taken to a more cartoonish level, especially considering the comedic tone of the film.

Eh, I see that, but I was never thinking that. To each his own, I guess

then there are the songs by Elton John and tim rice…they’re okay, I guess. Really, I only remember 3 out of the like 6. and even then, they are simply alright. The only really great sng is “It’s tough be a god”, which boats insane visuals, but also a great beat. Granted it as odd, as it is sung by the characters while the rest at in the background but whatever

anyway, now for the small cast of characters

we got our heroes, miguel and tuilo, voiced by Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Knline. Tulio is the smart, senble one, while Miguel is the fun one. This cliché archtype works, as you see why are they friends, and they bounce off each other very well

they both end up being very funny con men, whose bond is well done, and they even have time to dive into these characters.

See, they end arguing  on if they should just take some gold and leave, or stay here and be gods forever. Of course Tulio is the one who wants to leave, and their opinions got stronger as the plot ramps up. It gets even worse since there’s a chick in the mix (i’ll explain her in a bit) but they end having to put that aside and realize the typical “they ain’t so different” stuff in order to save the day

yeah it may seem like they aren’t too special, but explaining is different from watching it. They do seem to develop in a subtle yet noticeable way. It’s very interesting and it adds to the interesting this movie has.

They are great “sidekick” characters who prove to be quite funny. Now, there’s Chel. I’d point out how hot she is, but many people have pointed this…including the movie-already

She’s one of the el dorado chicks, and right away she ends finding out their scam and wants it. Meaning, she wants to with them when she leaves. Of course they both fall in love, but they argee she is off limits..til chel and tulio cuddle up and this causes some friction and stuff. She’s fun and cool and while too complex, this has good chesmistiy with the others, and I quite liked her.

Then there’s our villain, Tzekel-Kan. Hes the high priest with a fetish for human sacrifices. He wants to bring about the year of the juagar, which involves purging the wicked and having the gods do sacrifices, our heroes aren’t up to this, and when he finds out their bluff…well shit happens

This guy is pretty cool. Not exactly complex, but he’s a lot fun with his whole sacrifice thing, and he was really cool.

And…like with prince of Egypt, that’s it. Yeah, the rest are just small guys. Hell there’s only three other note worthy ones. Like cortez’ horse who ends up with the two (voiced by Frank Welker, of course) who is on part with the horse from tangled, if you know what I mean

speaking Zortez, he’s voiced by Jim cummings (awesome) and really, he’s simply this cool dick hero, who doesn’t meet up with the two again, but he does end up trying to find el dorado, and our heroes have to try to stop him from finding it. So there’s that

And there’s the chief, voiced by Edward James olmos. Again, not much to say. He’s simply the chief and ends up having help stop the bad guy and stuff. He’s fun at points though

So…yeah, i’mn not ashmed that this one is really short. This is a smaller movie compared to POE and this has less to it, so I knew this one would be short

But I will mention this: at one point a guy is looking through a book, and breifly we see a boy fishing on a moon. I see what you did there dreamworks..

Anyway, I see why this has a big fanbase, as it has a very interesting concept, a solid plot, fun pace, good characters, and a pretty solid story. It’s a ton of fun with a lot of energy and it’s clear that they had fun making it.

It’s sad that this bombed, as they planned to make many sequels. I wish we could see those, but ah, the public is fickle.

Nonetheless, this is a fun dreamworks movie you should check out.

Grade: B+

See ya!


About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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One Response to Dreamworks a thon #3: The Road to El Dorado

  1. Pingback: Ranking the Animated Films of 2000 | A Taste of Spongey

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