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The Road to El Dorado Theatrical release poster Directed by Eric "Bibo" Bergeron Don Paul Produced by Brook Breton Bonne Radford Written by Philip LaZebnik Screenplay by Ted Elliott Terry Rossio Story by Hugh Thomas (book) Starring Kevin Kline Kenneth Branagh Armand Assante Edward James Olmos Rosie Perez and Jim Cummings Music by Songs: Elton John Tim Rice (lyrics) Score: Hans Zimmer John Powell Editing by John Carnochan Dan Molina Studio DreamWorks Animation Stardust Pictures Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures Release date(s) March 31, 2000 (2000-03-31) Running time 89 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $95 Million Gross revenue Domestic: $50,863,742 Foreign: $25,568,985 Worldwide: $76,432,727[1] The Road to El Dorado is a 2000 American animated comedy film by DreamWorks Animation. The soundtrack features songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, music team from The Lion King. The movie begins in 16th century (1519) Seville (in the south of Spain) and tells about two men named Tulio and Miguel. During a dice game using loaded dice, they win a map that purportedly shows the location of the legendary city of gold in the New World. However, their cheating is soon discovered and as a result, they end up as stowaways on Hernán Cortés' fleet to conquer Mexico. They are discovered, but manage to escape in a boat with Cortés' prize war horse and eventually discover the hidden city of El Dorado where they are mistaken for gods. It is inspired by Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King. El Dorado is portrayed as a utopian civilization that combines facets of the Aztecs, Maya, Incas, and Atlantis. The soundtrack was released as the album The Road to El Dorado; however, in some instances (such as "The Trail We Blaze"), the songs have been altered musically and vocally from the way they appeared in the film. The video game tie-in, released on PlayStation and PC, was named Gold & Glory: The Road to El Dorado. Contents 1 Production 2 Plot 3 Cast and characters 4 Crew 5 Annie Awards 6 Reception 7 Box office 8 References 9 External links // Production The creation of The Road to El Dorado was a challenge for the studio because DreamWorks Animation had devoted most of its creative efforts to its previous animated film, The Prince of Egypt. Plot The film begins with the depiction of the origin of El Dorado the City of Gold by the narrator (voiced by Elton John). In Spain 1519, two wanted con artists, Tulio (voiced by Kevin Kline) and Miguel (voiced by Kenneth Branagh), win a map purportedly to El Dorado along with a large number of other valuables by cheating at a game of dice (though the map itself was won fairly). Chased by an angry bull and the city's guards, the two inadvertently hide themselves on the ship belonging to Hernán Cortés and his troops as they set off to the New World. The two are captured and brought to Cortés (voiced by Jim Cummings). Cortés is displeased with the stowaways he gained and plans to give them to the plantation owners when his fleet resupplies in Cuba|. Cortés has them sent to the Brig, but manage to escape to via rowboat inadvertently bringing along Cortés' horse Altivo (vocal effects provided by Frank Welker) and eventually end up ashore on the New World, where Miguel recognizes landmarks shown on the map. The three follow the map and end up where the map marks the entrance to El Dorado, but find only an enscribed monolith waiting for them. As they try to determine what to do next, a young tribal woman is chased by a group of guards, and Tulio and Miguel step in to protect her. The guards believe the two to be gods as shown on the monolith, and escort them along with the woman along a river cavern to El Dorado, truly a city made out of gold. Tulio and Miguel are introduced to the city's elders, Chief Tannabok (Edward James Olmos) and high priest Tzekel-Kan (Armand Assante). After appearing to stop the eruption of a nearby volcano by their words only, Tulio and Miguel are proclaimed to be gods despite Tzekel-Kan's suspicions, and are treated luxuriously. The woman they rescued from the guards, Chel (Rosie Perez), rapidly becomes aware of Tulio and Miguel's charade. She offers her silence and assistance and, in exchange, she is not punished for attempting to steal gold from the city and offered a trip back to "wherever you come from". After the night of a feast prepared by Chief Tannabok to honor them, Miguel and Tulio are shocked to find that Tzekel-Kan is ready to offer a human sacrifice, and insist that it be stopped, stating they will take the gold instead as their tribute. The two quickly conceive of a plan, and convince Chief Tannabok to build them a boat over the next few days so that the "gods" may return along with their tribute. While Tulio plans to wait out those days in their provided villa, Chel urges Miguel to go explore the city, allowing her to get romantically closer to Tulio. Tzekel-Kan, finding Miguel playing ball with children in the streets, organizes a Mesoamerican ballgame match between them and the city's best players in the hopes that they will prove skilled enough to provide a modest challenge to the two. Miguel and Tulio quickly find themselves outmatched until Chel replaces the ball with a rolled-up armadillo that allows them to cheat and win the game. However, Tzekel-Kan catches a small cut on Miguel's forehead and is finally convinced that they are not gods, as gods don't bleed. Chel and Tulio are found kissing by Miguel, and thinking that Chel means more to Tulio than their friendship, Miguel leaves with Altivo to remain in the city. Later Tzekel-Kan summons a giant stone jaguar statue by sacrificing his acolyte (voiced by Duncan Marjoribanks) and chases Miguel and Tulio around the city, eventually leading them to the edge of a cliff overlooking Xibalba. Tulio and Miguel use their con tactics to fake an argument and, in the resulting chaos, both Tzekel-Kan and the jaguar statue fall into Xibalba and the stone jaguar alone falls apart. When he emerges from Xibalba, Tzekel-Kan finds himself far outside El Dorado at the feet of Cortés and his men. Tzekel-Kan notices the way that Cortés and his man stand are similar to the stances of the real gods in the monolith. Cortés asks where he got his gold earrings. Believing that they are the true Gods, he begins to lead them to El Dorado. Though Tulio and Miguel are safe, the two wish to go separate ways: Tulio desires to leave the city with Chel and the gold, while Miguel opts to stay along with Altivo. Though they each are certain of what they want, they are reluctant to part ways. With the boat completed, Tulio and Chel prepare to depart as they say their tearful goodbyes to Miguel and the people of the city. Then, Altivo spots smoke on the horizon, and a messenger informs Chief Tannabok that Cortés is approaching the city, led by Tzekel-Kan. Though Tannabok is ready to fight and has his warriors prepare for battle, Miguel warns him that the people of El Dorado could not defend against Cortés's forces. Tulio comes up with a plan to topple the statue at the river's mouth in order to create enough wave force to propel the boat and collapse the pillars supporting the cavern entrance, as to seal the entrance to El Dorado forever and keep its population safe. As Tulio and Chel depart, their sails catch and fail to catch enough wind to allow the boat to clear the falling statue; Miguel forgoes his chance to stay in the city and jumps onto the boat with Altivo's help to pull the sails free, allowing the boat to clear the statue. Tulio's plan works as expected, though the boat and all their gold is lost as it collapses the pillars. Cortés, his army, and Tzekel-Kan arrive to find passage sealed. Believing that there is in fact no El Dorado, Cortés gets angry at Tzekel-Kan and has two of his men seize Tzekel-Kan and depart stating to the rest of his army that El Dorado is not here. Tulio, Miguel, and Chel reunite, and while disappointed about losing the gold, are happy to be alive and friends again, and they set off on Altivo, who still happens to be clad in golden horseshoes, towards their next adventure. Cast and characters Kevin Kline as Tulio: the practical and logical of the pair. Initially, he only cares about the gold, but after meeting Chel, he comes to respect the people of El Dorado. This respect eventually persuades him to sacrifice his gold to save the civilization. Tulio is the main protagonist in the film. Kenneth Branagh as Miguel; the sensitive and artistic of the pair. He falls in love with the people and culture of El Dorado, but ultimately gives them up for friendship. Miguel is the deuteragonist in the film. He is shown to have musical talent. Rosie Perez as Chel: Sassy, resourceful, attractive, and curvaceous, she is not fooled by the two "gods" for very long. Later on she becomes attracted to Tulio. She is cunning and seductive, and knows what to do to get what she desires. She travels with Tulio and Miguel in the end after finally leaving El Dorado. Chel is the tritagonist of the film. Armand Assante as Tzekel-Kan: The Mad Priest of El Dorado and the main antagonist of the film. Tzekel-Kan rules over El Dorado with an iron fist, and intensely enjoys human sacrifice. He competes with the Chief trying to please the "gods", but after Miguel stands up to him, he learns that Miguel and Tulio are in fact mortals and connives to destroy them. After returning from his alleged demise in the climax, he teams up with Cortés to capture the citizens of El Dorado, but is captured by the latter after his plot is foiled. His final fate is unknown. Edward James Olmos as Chief Tannabok: A good-hearted family man and the chief of the city. He works out that Tulio and Miguel are not gods, but in light of the good the two have done the city decides to keep their secret. Jim Cummings as Hernán Cortés: The ambitious leader of the Spanish armies and the secondary antagonist in the film. Cortés is hell-bent on conquering the New World and enslaving the people of El Dorado. Tulio and Miguel get on his bad side as the film begins. In the climax, he teams up with Tzekel-Kan to accomplish his goal, but is disillusioned when Tulio and Miguel foil his plan. Tobin Bell as Zaragoza: A sailor who loses bets to Tulio, who use loaded dice, at the beginning of the film. Zaragoza suspects this and insists Tulio use his dice in a bet over the map, but Tulio wins anyway and takes the map. Shortly after, however, he confirms Tulio's dice are loaded. Frank Welker as Altivo: The horse that was once supposedly owned by Cortés. Now owned by Miguel. The horse is expressive, cynical, and self aware, not to mention being more intelligent than both Miguel and Tulio. He also has a severe weakness for apples. He can express himself by his body language. Crew Crew Position Directed by Eric "Bibo" Bergeron Don Paul Jeffrey Katzenberg uncredited Produced by Bonne Radford Brooke Breton Co-Producer Penney Finkelman Cox Sandra Rabins Based on the book Conquest: Montezuma, Cortés and the Fall of Old Mexico by Hugh Thomas Written by Philip LaZebnik Screenplay Ted Elliott Terry Rossio Executive Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg Songs by Elton John Tim Rice Original Score by Hans Zimmer John Powell Co-Executive Producer Bill Damaschke Production Designer Christian Schellewald Vicky Jenson Art Directors Raymond Zibach Paul Lasaine Wendell Luebbe Film Editor John Carnochan Dan Molina Vicki Hiatt Lynne Southerland Artistic Supervisors Ronnie Del Carmen & Jeff Snow (Story supervisors) Lorenzo Martinez & Damon O'Bierne (Layout supervisors) Kevin Turcotte (Background supervisors) Kristof Serrand (Animation/Final Line supervisor) Dan Phillips (Digital supervisor) Bud Myrick (3D Effects supervisor) Stephen Wood (2D Effects supervisor) Jane Gotts (2D Digital Effects supervisor) Character Designers Carlos Grangel Nicholas Marlet Tony Siruno Senior Supervising Animators James Baxter (Tulio) David Brewster (Miguel) Supervising Animators William Salazar (Tulio) Serguei Kouchnerov & Bob Scott (Miguel) Kathy Zielinski (Tzekel-Kan) Frans Vischer (Chief) Kristof Serrand Rodolphe Guenoden (Chel) (Altivo & Cortes) Nicholas Marlet (Armadillo) Sylvain Deboissy (Jaguar) Patrick Mate (Sailors & Ball Players) Erik Schmidt (Miscellaneous) Additional Sequences Directed by David Silverman Will Finn Production Manager Jill Hooper Mark Swift Annie Awards Result Award Winner/Nominee Recipient(s) NOMINATED Animated Theatrical Feature NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Storyboarding Jeff Snow (Story supervisor) NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Production Design Christian Schellewald (Production Designer) NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Character Animation David Brewster (Senior Supervising Animator - Miguel) NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Character Animation Rodolphe Guendonen (Supervising Animator - Chel) NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Effects Animation Doug Ikeler (Effects Lead - Crashing the Gate) NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Voice Acting Armand Assante ("Tzekel-Kan") NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Music Hans Zimmer (Music) John Powell (Music) Reception The film received mixed reviews from critics. It currently holds a 49% rating out of 101 reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, with 49 positive reviews, and 52 negative reviews. Critics said the predictable story and thin characters made for a flat film. Box office The film earned $12,846,652 on opening weekend, for a $3,992 average from 3,218 theaters. The film earned second place at the box office that weekend, behind Erin Brockovich. The film had a good hold in its second weekend, down only 29% to $9,085,803 and finishing in third place for a $2,819 average from 3,223 theaters. The film closed on June 29, 2000, after earning $50,863,742 domestically and $25,568,985 overseas for a worldwide total of $76,432,727. Produced on a $95 million budget, the film is considered a box office disappointment. References ^, Box Office Mojo External links Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Road to El Dorado Official Website The Road to El Dorado at the Big Cartoon DataBase The Road to El Dorado at the Internet Movie Database The Road to El Dorado at Allmovie The Road to El Dorado at Rotten Tomatoes v • d • e Tim Rice musicals The Likes of Us · Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat · Jesus Christ Superstar · Evita · Blondel · Chess · Cricket · Tycoon · Beauty and the Beast · Heathcliff · The Lion King · Aida · The Road to El Dorado · King David v • d • e DreamWorks Animation Computer-animated films Antz (1998) · Shrek (2001) · Shrek 2 (2004) · Shark Tale (2004) · Madagascar (2005) · Over the Hedge (2006) · Shrek the Third (2007) · Bee Movie (2007) · Kung Fu Panda (2008) · Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) · Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) · How to Train Your Dragon (2010) · Shrek Forever After (2010) · Megamind (2010) Traditionally animated films The Prince of Egypt (1998) · The Road to El Dorado (2000) · Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) · Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) Films produced with Aardman Animations Chicken Run (2000) · Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) · Flushed Away (2006) Upcoming films Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) · Puss in Boots (2011) · The Croods (2012) • Madagascar 3 (2012) • The Guardians of Childhood (2012) Computer-animated TV series Father of the Pride (2004–2005) · The Penguins of Madagascar (2008–present) Traditionally animated TV series Toonsylvania (1998) · Invasion America (1998) · Alienators: Evolution Continues (2001) · Neighbors from Hell (2010–present, with 20th Century Fox Television) Television specials Shrek the Halls (2007) · Merry Madagascar (2009) · Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special (2010) Direct-to-video Joseph: King of Dreams (2000) · The Penguins of Madagascar: Operation: DVD Premiere (2010) Shorts Shrek 4-D (2003) · The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2005) · Hammy's Boomerang Adventure (2006) · First Flight (2006) · Secrets of the Furious Five (2008)  · B.O.B.'s Big Break (2009) · Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon (2010)