The Road to El Dorado
Tulio (Kevin Kline) and Miguel (Kenneth Branagh), a pair of two-bit con men, believe they have found their path to fortune and glory when they win a map to El Dorado, the legendary City of Gold. After a daring escape from the Spanish explorer Cortes – with the help of a clever warhorse named Altivo – they find their way to El Dorado, only to find their troubles are just beginning. Proclaimed as gods by the High Priest (Armand Assante), who is using their arrival to take control of the city, Tulio and Miguel have to sustain the ruse with the aid of the beautiful native Chel (Rosie Perez), who matches them con-for-con. But even as they fulfill their dreams of gold, their friendship – and the very fate of El Dorado – hang in the balance.
Like Butch and Sundance, Tulio and Miguel help preserve the comic outlaw “buddy” film. These two Spanish adventurers maintain the same camaraderie that Hope and Crosby had for each other in “Road to Morocco,” “Road to Rio,” and the rest. You remember, where Bing put Bob in danger for financial profit, only to change heart and rescue his hapless comrade before the final credits.
With the use of several songs by Elton John to liven the action, DreamWorks enters the land of Disney once again, proving that you don’t have to wear mouse ears to make an entertaining animated film. Parents should be warned, however, that these characters, much like those played by Bing and Bob in their “Road” pictures, are scammers, scallywags and thieves. But underneath they show regard for human life and for friendship.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the film for all ages, due to its sexuality. This film is rated PG, but it has more sensuality than most animated films. Some of the content such as an implied sexual situation played for laughs is inappropriate for small children. This may be an attempt to appeal to the adult audience. As if there wasn’t enough sensuality in movies, now we get it from cartoons! Language also pushes the envelope with comments like “holy ship.” This movie gets the Dove Seal for ages 12 and up.