The Road to El Dorado

The Road to El Dorado Image
Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: When they win a map to El Dorado, the famous City of Gold, Tulio (Kline) and Miguel (Branagh), two down-on-their-luck con men, believe they are on the road to riches.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
  1. It has a jokey irreverence that keeps it from teetering over the edge to absurdity.
  2. The DreamWorks team continues to give Disney a run for their money.
  3. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    63
    This is one Road whose gold apparently got paved over.
  4. The package would be more enticing if it didn't fall so squarely into overused Hollywood formulas.
  5. Reasonably diverting, but don't count on it lingering in your memory.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. Oct 23, 2010
    10
    an excellent cartoon movie for kids
  2. Jun 21, 2013
    10
    Simply put, an underrated animated classic. Good humor for both adults and children, great action, awsome animation and even some socialSimply put, an underrated animated classic. Good humor for both adults and children, great action, awsome animation and even some social commentary regarding religion. This is a must see movie. Collapse
  3. SarahJ
    Mar 8, 2009
    10
    It's one of my favourite cartoons and I can't find any significant flaws in it.
  4. May 13, 2013
    7
    While Road to El Dorado is not a super strong flick I liked it and am glad I saw it. It is a bit more edgy than your average animated kidsWhile Road to El Dorado is not a super strong flick I liked it and am glad I saw it. It is a bit more edgy than your average animated kids film. There is some great animation especially on the backgrounds. Some good humor from some likeable characters. Plus, you get a couple good songs. If you have some time to kill and this flick is On Demand, like it is right now until 5/30, check it out. While it may not be as hilarious as something like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels its characters and humor are good enough to make this worth a watch. Expand
  5. Oct 5, 2011
    7
    "The Road to El Dorado" is like watching a animated Indiana Jones (2 of them) flying around and arousing traps and entertainment to the"The Road to El Dorado" is like watching a animated Indiana Jones (2 of them) flying around and arousing traps and entertainment to the audience. The movie may move quite linear, but in the end its zesty and thrilling. Expand
  6. Apr 17, 2016
    4
    An animated combo of the old Bob Hope--Bing Crosby "Road" pictures and "The Man Who Would Be King," DreamWorks' third major feature cartoon,An animated combo of the old Bob Hope--Bing Crosby "Road" pictures and "The Man Who Would Be King," DreamWorks' third major feature cartoon, "The Road to El Dorado," is a strained and pallid concoction that won't fire the collective imaginations of modern children.

    Five years in production, epic buddy picture went through two sets of directors and numerous evolving concepts, arriving finally at a middle ground between outright romp and a serious take on the arrival of the conquistadors in the New World. Subject matter is rife with possibilities, even for a moppet-oriented effort that obviously isn’t going to grapple with such heavy themes as conquest and subjugation. “Pocahontas” showed that it is possible to tread this sensitive terrain with a degree of balance and sensitivity in terms that kids can grasp.

    But whenever “El Dorado” threatens to get serious, it backs off, retreating into loud shenanigans between its two mischievous heroes, complete with annoyingly anachronistic mannerisms such as high-fiving and shouts of “Yes!”; vampy scheming on the part of its heroine, who looks and sounds like a Las Vegas tart; rambunctious action sequences and montage-oriented musical numbers that tend to center on general concepts (“The Trail We Blaze,” “It’s Tough to Be a God”) rather than on immediate emotions.

    First quarter-hour introduces dark-haired Tulio (voiced by Kevin Kline) and blond-maned Miguel (Kenneth Branagh) as Spanish rascals who delight in creating scrapes and extricating themselves with devilish aplomb. After one prank too many, however, they find themselves trapped in barrels and placed aboard one of Cortes’ ships headed across the Atlantic in 1519. With Cortes’ noble horse, they escape in a lifeboat and finally wash up on a beautiful beach bordered by jungle.

    Quickly captured by imposing bronze-skinned natives, the boys think their goose is cooked upon arrival at the fabled city of gold, El Dorado. But the coming of such “gods,” as they are perceived to be, has been prophesied, and, after a bit of lucky shuffling and hocus-pocus, Tulio and Miguel are installed in exclusive quarters atop one of the city’s many pyramids. Local babe Chel (Rosie Perez) is on to their game and blackmails the flummoxed pair into including her in their plan to escape El Dorado with a bounty of gold, courtesy of a large boat to be built especially for them.

    Although there is a local chief (Edward James Olmos), he, along with the rest of the community, is dominated by high priest Tzekel-Kan (Armand Assante), a commanding figure who pays elaborate homage to the white strangers at first but gradually becomes skeptical of their presumed divinity. The severe holy man is especially offended by the newcomers’ oh-so-sensitive objections to human sacrifice, first when they prevent an execution, and later after the “gods” manage to win a furious ball game and then insist that the losers, contrary to custom, be spared. In a direct lift from the film “The Man Who Would Be King,” Tzekel-Kan realizes that the visitors are just human beings after all when Miguel bleeds from a cut.

    Far too much time is devoted to the two charlatans’ silly arguments about if and how they’re going to pull off their charade, and to contretemps concerning Chel, whom they declare to be off-limits romantically but who manages to come between them nevertheless. By contrast, one of the script’s more promising elements — Miguel’s sudden surge of feeling for the local citizens and their gentle lifestyle when he mingles with them, to the consternation of his anxious partner — is given unduly short shrift. Even if “the allure of the primitive” reps a cliche in the adventure/exploration genre, a bit more time devoted to it would have brought the setting and its inhabitants more to the foreground; as it is, there is no individuation among the native people.

    Kline and Branagh (last paired in “Wild Wild West”) give boisterous, spirited readings to their characters, even if Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio’s script provides them with few shadings or interesting traits. Assante registers strongly as the powerful priest.

    But the Chel character is so contemporary, and in a vulgar way to boot, as to be incredible and off-putting, and Perez’s urbanite voicing doesn’t help. Even Chel’s motivation is unbelievable: El Dorado is presented as a Shangri-La–like paradise, and no one in this sealed-off city would even know about another place to which he or she would want to flee.

    Visual design as overseen by directors Eric “Bibo” Bergeron and Don Paul is colorful, sometimes attractive but never breathtaking. Animation, compositions and editing favor dramatic angles and fluidly changing perspectives that keep things interesting, while the characters are more commonly conceived; a few elements, notably the gold, are rendered with near-photographic realism. The animals on view comprehendingly participate in human endeavors but aren’t anthropomorphized in traditional Disney fashion
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  7. Mar 16, 2015
    0
    What's not to love about a movie that shows you how to laugh about the spanish conquest of Mexico which resulted in the death of millions ofWhat's not to love about a movie that shows you how to laugh about the spanish conquest of Mexico which resulted in the death of millions of innocent people at the tip of spanish swords? What's next? One of these about the holocaust? This is unfortunately what this movie is, a tragic event in world history turned into animated entertainment. The movie further perpetuates the negative slander of the spanish against the natives as cruel savages. Truly an offensive movie for anyone who knows anything about history. Expand

See all 12 User Reviews

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