{short description of image} to LAFILM.NET, if that is not too obvious.
Please distribute this URL as you see fit. By Ted Baldwin
The Road to El Dorado
Reviewed: 4/5/00

     Dreamworks' latest feature animation takes us into the jungles searching for the fabled city of Gold.

Nobody does Disney like Disney, but these guys are getting closer...


Copyright 2000 Ted BaldwinCopyright 2000 Ted BaldwinCopyright 2000 Ted BaldwinCopyright 2000 Ted Baldwin
 Five possible.
Tagline: They came for the gold... they stayed for the adventure.

That sorry statement is just about the only lame thing about The Road to El Dorado.

     I found myself laughing aloud a lot, sometimes without meaning to. Maybe I was just in the mood for it, but TRTED had some funny stuff in it, with a fast paced, low-key plot and animation design reminiscent of the glorious Fifties.

Tulio and Miguel, dicey con-men, go to the New World on sort of an escapist bent. Upon arrival in the jungles city of the titular quest, they set about being gods to the humble warrior inhabitants. Hanging about in El Dorado, planning to steal the gold and sail back to Spain, waiting for the construction of a boat to carry the loot, they disrupt the normal flow of sacrifice and mayhem, and make an enemy.

Tzekel-Kan, and expert in false gods, attends to their undoing - setting forces in motion that lead to his own. But you knew that would happen, right?

The relationship between Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline was nicely appointed. Makes you think they were in the room together when they acted this, but as we all know from Toy Story and the long-distance in time and space relationship between Tim Allen and Tom Hanks, it ain't necessarily so. Expression, interplay, tension - all of these were handled very well. And that is what makes a difference for the grown-ups who will have to sit through this now and until the end of time as we know it.

     El Dorado does not have any bloodshed in it at all, which is fine, but there is danger in a strange land. Maybe a little intense, but nothing really objectionable to kiddies who have some PARENTAL GUIDANCE, hint hint. Overall, surprisingly un-PC. I was all set to experience a complete trashing of Cortez and the Spanish conquerors, not that they don't need it, and they were depicted as being very not-very-nice, but their total on-screen time was about 35 seconds. Not a lot of conflict there. And determined menace does not always equate to evil.

     They did not delve into the horrors of the conquests, the genocides and all that other stuff, nor did they belabor the fact that the Spaniards did their share of it, too, besides the natives.

Have they abandoned, at least temporarily, the grand PC soapbox that has so vexed the entertainment end of films like Pocahontas, et al?

      As long as Elton John is singing and the characters are dancin' it really doesn't make any difference.
We don't got to these movies for history lessons, do we?

No.

We go to the Internet.
Here is link to a set of links to mysteries of ancient lands. Look at the "Tests of the Lords of Death" in particular.
Old gold.
Same site, parent page.
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Cortez conquered Tenochtitlan (Now Mexico City), but I did not find any references to him and El Dorado.
Pizarro's name came up in coincidence with it, but who knows.

For background, a nicely composed paper on Cortez.
Old gold. Copyright 2000 Ted Baldwin
The Old World sort of saw the New World like this. And who can blame them? What with inquisition, plagues, etc. Our history is fraught with visions of greener grass.
Main Cast
Armand Assante .... Tzekel-Kan
Kenneth Branagh .... Miguel
Kevin Kline .... Tulio
Edward James Olmos .... The Chief
Rosie Perez .... Chel
Augusta Chronicle --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The following is a free summary of a premium quality document from Northern Light's Special Collection.
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Title: LEGEND OF EL DORADO LEADS TO SACRED LAKE Summary: Incredible riches awaited whoever was bold enough and lucky enough to find the fabled city called El Dorado. The search for El Dorado became a quest for many bored young conquistadors in search of glory and adventure. Most perished in the jungles or mountains without ever realizing that El Dorado was not a city, but a man. As they plundered their way into South America, Spaniards and other Europeans were thrilled by the promise of great riches. Exaggerated accounts of El Dorado handed down by the sun-worshipping Chibeha Indians who lived in the 8,600-foot-foot high plateaus near present-day Bogota fired their imagination. The Chibeha tribe, it was said, venerated gold as the sun god's metal. They wore golden ornaments and for centuries had covered their buildings with sheets of the precious metal.



I didn't want to spend $2.95 to get this article, but if you do, go to www.northernlight.com and search for this title in their special collection...

The official website.
Amusing, isn't it?

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