Wow, this movie was released 13 years ago and only NOW I’ve seen it for the first time!
Why waste any more time? Let’s see what I have to say about this film!
What’s the story? This DreamWorks Animation film features two con artists, Tulio and Miguel, voiced by Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh, respectively. They live their lives conning people, escaping from the authorities, doing the usual con-people stuff, etc.
During one of their scuffles with the authorities, they hide on Conquistador Cortés’ ship and are soon after discovered and held prisoner. They then, (quite miraculously, in my opinion), escape and end up on an island that claims to be the home of the city of gold, El Dorado.
They set off in pursuit for this opulent city and the rest of the movie deals with their experiences in El Dorado!
So, do I like this movie? Ehh…..not really!
Ok, why don’t I like the movie that much? Let’s first examine the story more closely. Now some of you may be wondering, “How did they know how to get to El Dorado when they ended up on that island?”. Well, during one of their loaded dice scams, they won a map to El Dorado from Jigsaw of the Saw films.
Well, actually they won it from a character who was voiced by Jigsaw of the Saw films.
Now my question is, why does this guy have a map to El Dorado and not care about it? Does he not believe in it? If he DOES believe in it, why would he lay it as a wager for a lousy dice game and not just go find the golden city himself? And if he DOESN’T believe in it, then why does he have it in the first place? Did he just find it at a 16th century flea market and decided to keep it in case he needs to re-earn his gambled income? So many answers, and so little questions!
Ok, assuming we understood that previous predicament; now that Tulio and Miguel have the map, they forget about it for a while because they’re busy escaping from the authorities. The only time they remember that they have possession of the map is when they wash ashore on THE SAME ISLAND THAT IS PRINTED ON THE MAP! WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THAT HAPPENING?! I’m sorry, that’s just too much chance for me to handle!
Ok, assuming we understood even THAT predicament; why is the name of this movie, The Road to El Dorado? It’s so misleading! We can understand the word, “road”, in two ways. The first way is that there’s a physical road that our main characters have to follow to reach the golden city; and that is FALSE! They actually have to traverse a river’s waters to get to the city!
And the second way is that the word, “road”, refers to the journey that our main characters made to get to the golden city; and that is MISLEADING ALSO! The main characters didn’t go on ANY journey to find the place! They miraculously washed ashore on the island, in question! And from the journey from the shore of the island to the golden city itself takes place DURING ONE SONG SEGMENT! A MERE 5-8 MINUTE SONG SEGMENT IS THE SPAN OF TIME THAT IT TAKES OUR CHARACTERS TO FIND EL DORADO! MOVIE, YOU SERIOUSLY NEED A TITLE CHANGE!
Ok, let’s move on to the voice acting. The voice acting…fluctuates between being considered good by me and being considered bad by me. There are scenes where I’m like, “Oh, Kevin Kline, that was good!” and then other scenes where I’m like, “Oh, Kevin Kline, what’s wrong with you?”. There are scenes where I’m like, “Oh, Kenneth Branagh, you ain’t that bad!” and there are scenes where I’m like, “Oh, Kenneth Branagh, is that really you?”. And don’t get me started on the voices of the citizens of El Dorado. I didn’t like any of their voices!
Next are the songs! I don’t like any of them! It’s Tough to be a God tries hard to be crafty and catchy, but still fails in its endeavor. Elton John and Tim Rice should have stopped working on animated films after writing Be Prepared!
Finally, we come to the animation and this is the only category that I have something good to say! The movie is so artistically beautiful, detailed, colorful, vibrant, and just gorgeous to look at! DreamWorks Animation used to have an AMAZING traditional hand-drawn animation style; I wish they’d do another film this way instead of making them all CGI films!
So, is the animation the only thing I loved about this movie? Umm…yeah…oh wait, this movie also has my favorite line ever!
All in all, I’m glad that I saw this movie, mostly for the animation; but the story, voice actors, and songs quite disappointed me. This is the only DreamWorks Animation film, till date, to not make a profit at the box office, and I can sure see why! It took me 13 years to see this movie, and it’ll probably take me another decade before I decide to re-watch it!