The Road to El Dorado
|The Road to El Dorado|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Eric "Bibo" Bergeron
|Produced by||Brook Breton
|Written by||Additional dialogue:
|Screenplay by||Ted Elliott
|Narrated by||Elton John|
Edward James Olmos
|Music by||Hans Zimmer
Tim Rice (lyrics)
|Editing by||John Carnochan
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures|
|Running time||89 minutes|
The Road to El Dorado is a 2000 American animated adventure musical comedy film directed by Eric "Bibo" Bergeron and Will Finn, with additional sequences by Don Paul and David Silverman, starring Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, and Rosie Pérez, and produced by DreamWorks. The soundtrack features songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, as well as composer Hans Zimmer, the music team from Disney's The Lion King.
The movie begins in 16th century Seville, Spain, and tells about two men named Tulio and Miguel. During a dice game using loaded dice, they win a map that supposedly shows the location of El Dorado, the legendary city of gold in the New World. However, their cheating is soon discovered and as a result, they end up as stowaways on Hernán Cortés' fleet to conquer Mexico. They are discovered, but manage to escape in a boat with Cortés' prize war horse and eventually discover the hidden city of El Dorado where they are mistaken for gods. It is inspired by Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King.
In Spain 1519, two con artists, Tulio (Kevin Kline) and Miguel (Kenneth Branagh) win a map to the legendary City of Gold, El Dorado, in a rigged gambling match (though ironically they end up winning the map fairly). After being accused of cheating with loaded dice, the two evade capture while being chased by a bull and hide in barrels, which are shortly loaded onto one of the ships to be led by Hernán Cortés (Jim Cummings) to the New World. During the trip, they are caught as stowaways, but manage to break free and take a rowboat with the help of Cortés' horse, Altivo (Frank Welker). They land at an unknown shore at the edge of Mexico, and Miguel begins to recognize landmarks stated on the map. The map leads them to a totem marker outside of a waterfall where a young woman approaches them, chased by a number of guards. The guards see the image of Tulio and Miguel riding Altivo as the same on the totem, and believing them to be gods, escort them and the woman under the falls and into El Dorado, truly a city made of gold.
Tulio and Miguel are brought to the city's elders, Chief Tannabok (Edward James Olmos) and wicked high priest Tzekel-Kan (Armand Assante). While Tannabok warmly welcomes them to the city, Tzekel-Kan mainly sees them as a way to enhance his own standing. Tzekel-Kan also believes that with the arrival of the gods comes "The Year of the Jaguar", a year in which the city will be purged of all wicked people. Tulio and Miguel begin to argue on what to do. Everyone is convinced they are gods when as a volcano is beginning to erupt, Tulio yells at Miguel to stop, and the volcano suddenly stops. After celebrations offered by both Tannabok and Tzekel-Kan, the two are taken to private quarters along with the woman they met earlier, Chel (Rosie Pérez), who has seen through their ploy but offers to help maintain it as long as they give her a share of the gold and take her with them when they leave. Tulio tells Tannabok the next day that they are only here for a visit, but will need a boat to leave the city with the gifts the city has showered upon them.
Tannabok says it will take them at least three days to construct a vessel to carry both them and the gifts given to them by the people of El Dorado. Chel encourages Miguel to continue to explore the city, allowing her to become closer to Tulio. Miguel finds the streets empty and sees and old man being punished by a guard, who tells him Tzekel-Kan had ordered the streets cleared to prepare for a sacrifice by gods orders. Miguel begins playing a guitar and begins to bond with the people. When Tzekel-Kan sees Miguel playing a ball game with children, he demands that the gods play against the city's best players. During the match, Tulio and Miguel are clearly over-matched, but Chel replaces the ball with an armadillo named Bibo, allowing the two to cheat and win the game. However, when Tzekel-Kan offers to have the defeated players put to death and tell them they must punish the wicked, Miguel sees that no one there is evil and orders him to leave the city saying the gods will speak for themselves.
As he is leaving, Tzekel-Kan sees a small cut on Miguel's forehead, and realizes that they are not gods because gods do not bleed. Tzekel-Kan conjures a giant stone jaguar to chase them through the city. Tulio and Miguel manage to outwit the stone jaguar, causing both it and Tzekel-Kan to fall into a giant whirlpool, thought to be the entrance to Xibalba, the spirit world. Tzekel-Kan comes to outside El Dorado, where Cortés and his men are searching for gold. Thinking Cortés is a true god, Tzekel-Kan quickly offers to lead them to El Dorado. With their boat completed and loaded with treasures, Tulio is ready to leave but Miguel announces that he will be staying because he finds the city peaceful. As Tulio and Chel start to leave, they spot smoke on the horizon, realizing that Cortés and his men are approaching the city with the help from Tzekel-Kan. To protect the city from the Spanish troops, Tulio determines they can use the boat to slam against rock formations under the waterfall path that will cave in and block access to the city.
The city residents pull down a large statue to create a wave to propel the boat, but Tulio cannot get the sails up to give the boat enough speed to avoid the statue. Miguel forgoes his chance to stay in the city and jumps into the boat with Altivo to finish hoisting the sails. The boat clears the statue in time, and Tulio's plan is successful; though the boat and its treasures are lost, the entrance to El Dorado is sealed for good. Tulio, Miguel, and Altivo hide as Tzekel-Kan brings Cortés and his men towards the waterfall. Once Tzekal-Kan finds out that the entrance has been blocked, an angry Cortés takes this as a lie. Cortés and his men then march away with a humiliated Tzekel-Kan in their hands. Tulio and Miguel though disappointed they lost their treasure, take off in a different direction for a new adventure, unaware that Altivo still wears the golden horseshoes he was outfitted with in the city.
- Kevin Kline as Tulio, one of the con artists who pretend to be gods so they can get gold. He is the planner who wanted to leave El Dorado with the treasure.
- Kenneth Branagh as Miguel, one of the con artists who pretend to be gods so they can get gold. He is the fun-loving one who wants to stay in El Dorado.
- Rosie Pérez as Chel, a young native from El Dorado who discovers Tulio and Miguel's con and decides to play along. In exchange, she'll go to Spain.
- Jim Cummings as Hernán Cortés, the merciless and ambitious leader of the expedition to find the ancient South American empires.
- Armand Assante as Tzekel-Kan, the fanatically vicious high priest who has a religious fixation for human sacrifices.
- Edward James Olmos as Chief Edjo Tannabok, the kind chief who welcomes Tulio and Miguel.
- Tobin Bell as Zaragoza, the original owner of the map, which he loses to Tulio and Miguel when gambling with them.
- Frank Welker as Altivo, Cortés' horse who ends up teaming up with Tulio and Miguel.
- In a silent role, Bibo, an armadillo that travels with Miguel and Tulio after they saved him from a snake.
The filmmakers drew much inspiration for the characters of Miguel and Tulio from those of the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby 'Road' films. "The buddy relationship (between the duo) is the very heart of the story. They need each other because they’re both pretty inept. They're opposites — Tulio is the schemer and Miguel is the dreamer. Their camaraderie adds to the adventure; you almost don’t need to know where they’re going or what they’re after, because the fun is in the journey.", remarked one of the film's producers, Bonne Radford. Unusually for an animated film, both Kline and Branagh recorded their lines in the same studio room together, in order for the two to achieve more realistic chemistry. This proved difficult for the audio team.
The film received mixed reviews from critics; it currently holds a 49% "rotten" rating out of 101 reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, with 49 positive reviews, making this the first DreamWorks animated film to earn a "rotten" rating; the consensus states: "Predictable story and thin characters made the movie flat."
In contrast, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times commented that it was "bright and zesty," having enjoyed it as a simple comedic farce, while Joel Siegel, on Good Morning America called it "solid gold," claiming the film was "paved with laughs."
The film earned $12,846,652 on opening weekend at #2, behind Erin Brockovich's third weekend. The film closed on June 29, 2000, after earning $50,863,742 domestically and $25,568,985 overseas for a worldwide total of $76,432,727. Based on its total gross, The Road to El Dorado was a box office bomb, not able to recoup its $95 million budget.
|Animated Theatrical Feature||Nominated|
|Individual Achievement in Storyboarding||Jeff Snow (Story supervisor)||Nominated|
|Individual Achievement in Production Design||Christian Schellewald (Production Designer)||Nominated|
|Individual Achievement in Character Animation||David Brewster (Senior Supervising animator - Miguel)||Nominated|
|Individual Achievement in Character Animation||Rodolphe Guendonen (Supervising Animator - Chel)||Nominated|
|Individual Achievement in Effects Animation||Doug Ikeler (Effects Lead - Crashing the Gate)||Nominated|
|Individual Achievement in Voice Acting||Armand Assante ("Tzekel-Kan")||Nominated|
|Individual Achievement in Music||Hans Zimmer (Music)
John Powell (Music)
The Road to El Dorado was released on DVD and VHS on December 12, 2000.
The original score was composed by Hans Zimmer and John Powell and performed by Zimmer, whilst the original songs were written by Tim Rice and Elton John and performed by Elton John. The song "It's Tough to be a God" is a duet performed between John and Randy Newman. Its soundtrack was released as an album with the same name; however, in some instances (such as "The Trail We Blaze"), the songs have been altered musically and vocally from the way they appeared in the film. A "Cast & Crew Special Edition" recording of the soundtrack exists, but was never released to the public. It includes the theatrical versions of the songs, including "It's Tough to be a God" recorded by Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh, and several of the score tracks by Hans Zimmer.
- "The Road to El Dorado". DreamWorks. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- The Road to El Dorado at Rotten Tomatoes
- Clinton, Paul (April 3, 2000). "Review: Little gold in this 'El Dorado'". CNN. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- Ebert, Roger (March 31, 2000). "The Road To El Dorado". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for March 31-April 2, 2000". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. 2000-04-03. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
- The Road to El Dorado at Box Office Mojo
- "Legacy: 28th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2000)". The Annie Awards. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
- "Gold and Glory: The Road to El Dorado". Gamespot. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
- DeMott, Rick (December 13, 2000). "The Road To El Dorado Leads To Home Video". Animation World Network. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Road to El Dorado|
- Official website
- The Road to El Dorado at the Internet Movie Database
- The Road to El Dorado at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- The Road to El Dorado at allmovie
- The Road to El Dorado at Box Office Mojo
- The Road to El Dorado at Rotten Tomatoes