Road to El Dorado is a 2000 American Animated movie made by Dreamworks. All and all, I wasn’t excpeting a lot out of this movie and that is pretty much what I took away from it, it was ok to tepid. I didn’t dislike it but I can’t say I liked it either.
The story follows two Spanish con-men, Miguel (Hamlet) and Tulio (Phoebus). They get a map to El Dorado and managed to get there. When they reach the city they are worshiped as Gods. They go along with the rouse to get a lot gold and have a little adventure. They meet a thief named Chel (Rosie Perez) who knows the truth but goes along with them and helps them out with understanding whatever Pan-Mesoamerican culture this movie is going for.
Miguel and Tulio pit the chief and the high priest named, Tzekel-Kan against each other and convince them get build them a boat. The High Chief who apparently just wants to sacrifice things to them finds out they are not gods and then attacks with some bullshit magic and them teams up with the conquistadors, but Miguel and Tulio managed to save the city from the Spaniards but they lose most of the gold but it’s cool because they are off to have more adventures in sequels that were scrapped because this movie was bomb at the box office.
First off, this movie should have annoyed me more because I took one course in college on Meso-American cultures so I’m pretty sure that makes me an expert of the subject, but seriously aside from a general look and the mention of Xiabalba, which is the Mayan netherworld and the ball game which in the Popol Voh the Hero twins do play, there isn’t a lot cultural integrity. It’s like the creators has some basic knowledge but no enough for even a half accurate portrayal. To be fair it’s not Mayan but there some strong urging that it is kinda is. Basically it’s like an Epcot pavilion, an approximation at depicting a different country/culture at it’s most basic. And gold is wasn’t really highly regarded in Meso-American culture, they liked Jade especially for the Olmec and the Maya. In fact word for gold in Aztec is teocuitlatl which means excrements of the gods. Any back to the movie….. tangent done.
The characters in this movie are all fairly likable, I didn’t have a problem with them. I wish we could have gotten to know Tulio and Miguel’s friendship origins, or Chel’s backstory or what is the deal with the high priest, he really lacked a strong motivation. We get a basis for the characters but nothing really concrete and you could make the argument that it’s for the plot that they need to sacrifice in-depth characterization but the plot and pacing were not strong, they could have added lines here or there but maybe they were saving it for sequels but did we really need 5 minutes stretchs of nothing happening like them walking to El Dorado or the ballgame at the expense of one line about why Chel wanted out of the city? Or did I miss that? It’s a nitpick as I liked the main characters well enough. The Armadillo was the best though at least we got to learn its origins and I liked the horse.
Speaking of the scene where they walk the road to El Dorado, the songs are forgettable. I know Elton John and Tim Rice did them but I really don’t remember any of them. The characters only sing one song, “It’s tough to be a God” which I can’t recall and it’s not like I wrote this review within a few days of watching it. I recall it being bright and cute but that’s it. The other songs I know were there but I couldn’t say anything about the lyrics or melodies. Is being forgettable worse than being bad?
Then there is the animation which is really good, almost too good for the comedic tone of the film. It’s bright and colorful but they are trying very hard to make it pretty which is distracting. It should have either been a a live action movie or been goofier in the animation. Maybe hollywood should re-boot it of course if they did Miguel and Tulio would be dark and brooding which would ruin it but that what Hollywood does so whatever, seriously though Hollywood don’t, what you’re doing is bad, you should just stop.
The Road to El Dorado is at best is okay-ish and at worse tepid. It’s not bad enough to be memorable but for a fun little adventure movie it’s ok.Follow thehunchblog