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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DreamWorks First Animated Gold
I gotta tell you, when it comes to non-Disney animated flicks, I usually passed in the past. Don Bluth did some breakaway stuff in the early eighties and there have been the occasional gems outside of the box like The Iron Giant. But before it hit paydirt with Shrek, DreamWorks animation department wasn't getting my money or my interest. I actually bought this movie on...
Published on November 30, 2005 by Mr. Sinister

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57 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pay attention to rating - adult themes, but otherwise ok
For me, the story on the whole is pretty good and the people (especially the two main characters and their horse, but others as well) are quite funny. I was a little frustrated with parts of it, and I didn't really care much for the leading lady, but on the whole, I was entertained. For an adult, I'd say go ahead and buy. But before buying it for your children, just be...
Published on September 28, 2003


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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DreamWorks First Animated Gold, November 30, 2005
By 
Mr. Sinister (El Cajon, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Road to El Dorado (DVD)
I gotta tell you, when it comes to non-Disney animated flicks, I usually passed in the past. Don Bluth did some breakaway stuff in the early eighties and there have been the occasional gems outside of the box like The Iron Giant. But before it hit paydirt with Shrek, DreamWorks animation department wasn't getting my money or my interest. I actually bought this movie on DVD as a last-minute stocking stuffer for my younger daughter and now its a family favorite. Tulio and Miguel...two 16th century con-artist sheisters who win a treasure map to the fabled City Of Gold - El Dorado hidden somewhere in the new world. Formulaic? So some reviewers say. I disagree. This movie is hysterically funny. Kenneth Branaugh and Kevin Kline are classic...and Rosie Perez is the sexiest animated character since Jessica Rabbit hit the big screen all those years ago. Some say that this isn't geared for children...and I gotta admit that there is a little bit of sexual tension going on here and there, but nothing to outlandish. Overall even the Elton John songs are catchy and you'll find yourself humming along if you're not careful. Renewed my faith in non-Disney animation.

Dig It!
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exploring the Road to El Dorado, November 14, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Road to El Dorado (DVD)
I first saw DreamWork's second animated film (after "The Prince Of Egypt") in theatrical relaese and, much like the recent Fox Animation film Titan AE and Warners' "The Iron Giant", realised that here was yet another feature that had been totally marketed in the wrong way. Expecting some serious "Pocahontas"-like drama based around the time of Cortez, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that this was a a colorful, exciting and very funny romp, with the comedy paring of Kevin Kline and Ken Branagh sheer chemisty. Their interaction is a joy to take part it, and I was swept along the story until it reached it's logical conclusion (after all, this is still partly a kids movie)! The only real weak links were Rosie Perez's Chel, who's character was just not drawn in enough detail (excuse the pun!) and the placing of a ballad towards the end of the film. Otherwise the songs (by Elton John and Tim Rice) zips the story along lke Phil Collins did for "Tarzan", the only other drawback was that the song "16th Century Man" from the soundtrack CD is not included in the film (but is a better song than "The Trail We Blaze"). This DVD special edition includes, like "Prince Of Egypt" and "Chicken Run", a director commentary, trailers and a "Making of", allowing the viewer to explore this underrated film in more detail. A hark back to the "Road To..." movies of the Hope and Crosby era, "Road to El Dorado" is more than well worth adding to your animation collection. Ditto "Titan AE" and "The Iron Giant", all Disney-standard features in spirit if not name!
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57 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pay attention to rating - adult themes, but otherwise ok, September 28, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Road to El Dorado (DVD)
For me, the story on the whole is pretty good and the people (especially the two main characters and their horse, but others as well) are quite funny. I was a little frustrated with parts of it, and I didn't really care much for the leading lady, but on the whole, I was entertained. For an adult, I'd say go ahead and buy. But before buying it for your children, just be aware that the PG rating is for a some pretty frightening supernatural scenes near the end, a "mooning" scene, and a suggested sex scene.
To give you a better idea of what the sex scene is all about, it goes something like this: The leading lady seduces one of the main characters in order to keep him from following the other main character, she massages his shoulders from behind as he sits on a sofa, she puts her hands far down the back of his shirt (at one point, he yells "ow!"), he resists her and they switch places, but she tells him that she is "free now" and pulls her hair aside from her shoulders to expose them better, then he gives in and massages her shoulders as a drunken smile comes over his face, then the scene cuts to something else, but it later returns to their voices and an empty sofa where, on hearing the voice of the villain, she pops up from the floor all worried about being found with him, she pulls her leg over 'something' to sit up, then he sits up with the drunken smile still, and she straightens his clothes and shoos him to meet his visitor -- they are clothed all along (her always rather scantily anyway), but they were obviously laying on the floor, and she was fairly obviously laying on top of him. Also, it may be inconsequential to some, but the suggested sex is outside of marriage or a present love relationship of any kind in the movie. Gotta say I was pretty shocked at this being in an animated DreamWorks film (PG-rating and all), even though the two do end up inlove which then didn't seem believable as there was not much more to their relationship than a mutual friendship of convenience.
If you don't mind your kids seeing that (and you won't always know if a child totally missed it, is curious but just doesn't want to discuss it, or for an older kid, has a pretty good idea and is now being influenced by its acceptability in the film) or the scary supernatural scene, I'd say go ahead and buy because it's worth seeing otherwise. But don't let Hollywood desensitize you (or other reviewers bully you) into thinking you have to accept what makes you uncomfortable or you're just an old prude -- think for yourself and use your own best judgment ESPECIALLY when it comes to your kids.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Adventure Tale, February 16, 2006
This review is from: Road to El Dorado (DVD)
I really enjoyed watching "The Road to El Dorado." It's full of adventure that every young boy enjoys to watch. Unfortunately, I'm almost thirty, and the real reason I bought this flick was for my four-year-old daughter to enjoy. She liked it well enough, but it has many themes in it that are a little bit over her young head. Also, there are a couple of words in it(hell and crap), that some parents may not want their youngsters hearing.

That being said, this is a great film for older children to watch. Much like "Atlantis: The Lost Empire," "El Dorado" has plenty of action and even a little suspense that will definitely trigger the imaginations of youngsters who dream of being pirates, Indiana Jones, treasure hunters, etc.

The story begins with Miguel and Tulio, two generally low-brow scalawags trying to cheat their way to riches in a game of dice. They gain a map in their victory but are quickly found out to be cheats. They hide in barrels in order to get away from the authorities and those that they had cheated, but are placed on a ship headed for the New World. They manage to escape at sea and find themselves beached at El Dorado, the legendary city of gold. They are mistaken for gods and are treated as such. Along the way, they stockpile as many of the natives' riches that they can, but in the end, they must make a huge moral decision that leads to a swashbuckling conclusion.

With the voice talents of Kevin Kline, Rosie Perez, Edward James Olmos, and the wonderful Kenneth Branagh, "The Road To El Dorado" is essentially a buddy flick for the younger crowd, though this oldster found himself enjoying this film quite a bit. The music, by Elton John and Tim Rice, is ultimately forgettable, but the score, by Hans Zimmer, is much more memorable.

Pick this flick up for your older kids. Younger children may not catch the bulk of the humor in this film, but the comedy provided by Altivo, a horse, is sure to get some laughs out of them.

Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys adventure films like all of the Indiana Jones flicks and even "The Goonies."
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Not A Child's Movie, June 8, 2004
By 
Junette Oscar (Cherry Point, NC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Road to El Dorado (DVD)
There are loads of underlying adult themes even though the overall moral of the story is excellent for children to learn about. There is a sexual scene, though not graphic, but I wouldn't want my children seeing it, especially in the light that it is portrayed in. There are scenes of drunken partying, the resulting hangover, and other tiny stuff like that.
But do make a note of this: the movie is an excellent movie! It is hilarious, and is one of the rare cartoons that you can really dissect and discuss as if it were literature. The animation is excellent; I've never seen a cartoon so accurately portray human facial and body expression like this movie. You will appreciate how much detail is given to the animation, plot, and to the unity of the entire film: everything is explained.
It's a definite must for your collection, but again, I would not recommend it for any child under 11.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Entertaining Animated Movie Since "The Lion King"!!, May 14, 2000
By A Customer
I've been to see it five times so far, and I'd gladly see it again. It is extremely entertaining and the animation is breathtaking! The humor is hilarious and the action is great! There is also alot of emotion to it, and I cried when Tulio and Miguel's friendship almost ended. The score and music was great, and I rushed out to buy the soundtrack. I enjoyed this film as much as The Lion King, and Disney had better watch their backs because DreamWorks has made a very impressive movie here. I highly recommend it to all age groups. On my fifth veiwing I saw it with a 3-year-old, an 8-year-old, a ten-year-old, and their 42-year-old father (I'm 15). All of them loved it and laughed at all the gags, proving that all age groups will enjoy this film. The next time you go to the movies, whether you have kids or not, The Road to El Dorado is probably the best film playing.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ..., January 20, 2001
This review is from: The Road to El Dorado (DVD)
...I chose to miss this movie in theatres based on its poor reviews. However, when looking for a family movie to watch on our new DVD player, I could no longer resist the idea of characters voiced by Kevin Kline and Kenneth Brannagh. We (2 adults and a 2 1/2 year old) watched this movie from beginning to end twice that weekend. It is visually stunning, the plot is great as is the moral (friendship over personal gain). The songs are forgettable, that's true. (But the songs in Disney movies now try so hard to get radio play that they are no longer for a kid audience either. If Disney's our benchmark, they're up to par.) In general, this movie is much better than anything Disney has put out since the Lion King. Notably, except for the use of the word "hell" twice (which my 2 year old could do without - bare backsides in the context of taking a bath as in the movie are not considered sexual content in my house), this movie is far less violent than sections of most all of the Disney movies. In all, I feel lucky to have found this movie and feel it's unfortunate that critics seem to have kept so many of us from seeing this great family movie...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, visually beautiful, and a kid's introduction to Mayan culture, March 24, 2007
By 
Tuisto (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Road to El Dorado (DVD)
Wow, I wouldn't add another review of this movie except that some of the posted ones are sooo bizarre!

We first rented this movie when my daughter was maybe 5 and loved it. There are several sequences where the color and animation are just stunning, and the buddy-movie plot in a historical setting is very funny and (somewhat) educational at the same time. The story involves two Spanish con-artists, Tulio and Miguel, who are accidental stowaways on Cortez' ship and end up in El Dorado, where they are received as gods. Although no specific location for El Dorado is identified and story elements are borrowed broadly from Meso-American culture, the imagery is largely Mayan, and the woman with bigger dreams who helps our Spanish heros is named Chel, no doubt taken from the Mayan goddess Ix Chel.

I find it bizarre that some reviewers find a few seconds (literally) of rear nudity of cartoon characters who are bathing to be objectionable for children. Children are likely to be last ones who think this is unusual. And the suggestion that there is implicit sex in this movie is even stranger, unless you are talking about the fact that children are depicted in some scenes (and we all know where children come from!) Adults can read what they want into the relationship of Tulio and Chel, but I had no problem with my daughter seeing this either when she was 5 or now that she is 8.

A more serious issue than the sex that isn't there is the theme of human sacrifice. This was indeed hard to explain to my 5-year-old, but certainly no worse than many other 'kids' movies, and much easier than explaining the daily news. The actual implied deaths in the movie are limited (if I recall completely) to an anonymous skull on the beach and the sadistic priest's assistant, whom one understands to be murdered in a cutaway scene that shows no actual violence. The scene in which heros Tulio and Miguel are being pursued by a giant stone jaguar was a little scary to my 5-year-old, but is viewed as fairly tame now that she is 8. Overall, it's a far less violent movie than things like Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the ubiquitous shoot-em-up TV cartoons (or old cartoon standards like Huck Hound and Road Runner). It is certainly less violent than most of the Bible or kids' movies based on it such as Prince of Egypt. More importantly, the message is clearly anti-violent, and the off-screen violence is not glorified as something noble, ethical, patriotic, or the will of God.

A historical element that was more difficult for a 5-year-old to comprehend than why there was human sacrifice is why the Spanish were received as gods, and what exactly that meant. Sometimes it's good to be forced to explain theologcical concepts and how they vary among cultures to 5-year-olds. It can help sharpen your own understanding or ability to communicate it.

From a historical perspective, the good chief/sadistic priest dichotomy is an overly simplistic view of how sacrifice functioned in meso-American cultures, but it seemed about right to introduce kids to an unsavory historical topic, and works in the plot as the standard good/evil conflict that many or most stories revolve around. There are other historical and cultural tidbits that may not all be exactly in the correct context, but nevertheless introduce kids and many adults to details of Mayan and broader meso-American culture. For example, the movie is appropriately set in 1519, the year when Cortez actually did set out (from Cuba, not Spain) to Mexico, and landed first on Cozumel, a major pilgrimage site for the temple of the goddess Ix Chel, before heading on to conquer the Aztecs. The movie features in fairly accurate way the ball game that was a central cultural element of Meso-American cultures and is a key element in the Mayan creation myth (Popol Vuh). In one scene, Miguel takes a turn as a voladore (a person who swings upside down suspended from a tall pole). I don't know if the Maya specifically had voladores, but they are a ubiquitous and colorful feature of Mexican tourist spots, including at Maya ruins.

I rented this movie a second time (and eventually bought it because I like it) this year to help my daughter understand who the Maya are (and were) before we took a family vacation to Cozumel. Although it might not be as accurate of a cultural depiction as the books I also got for her, it is safe to say that she was more easily engaged in the movie. Fortunately, she also got to meet real Maya and see how they live now. I took the movie along on our trip and watched it with the entire extended family, who all enjoyed it immensely and laughed frequently (ages 8-80).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely entertaining animated movie--and great DVD!, December 30, 2000
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Road to El Dorado (DVD)
This film was unjustly ignored in its theatrical run, but is worth owning on DVD for anyone who loves great animation. Dreamworks pulled out the stops for this one. It's a spectacular and fun-filled film that works not just for the kids (I have a 4 year old, and he loves it), but also for the adults. The banter between Miguel and Tulio, excellently voiced by Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branaugh, is always fun, and the side characters are also a hoot. In particular the bad guy is a twisted and amusingly sick character. Also, the music by Hans Zimmer is great, and Elton John's songs grow on you (many consider it one of his best albums of recent years).
As a DVD it's also a first class production. The picture and sound quality are outstanding, and it's packed with extras. There's a directors' commentary, a good making-of film, an Elton John music video, etc. If you like great animation, buy this one--you won't regret it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, July 20, 2004
By 
lotta_hada (Georgia, United States) - See all my reviews
As a MAJOR Disney fan from early on, I must say that I viewed this film with only moderate expectations. However, it delivered beautifully! For the most part, I've never cared a whole lot for the musical aspects of Disney-- and other children's-- films, but I have to say, I prefer Elton John's songs in this movie to Phil Collins' in Tarzan any day. I really enjoy "It's Tough to be a God" (sung by Miguel and Tulio) also, and that's rare, because as I said, I'm not big on songs in my movies. But this sequence is playful, colorful, and fun, with a great beat-- and you can dance to it!

I do take issue with the baring of the bottoms in one scene, and there were 2 or 3 cuss words in the film (mild ones, mind you) that I felt were unnecessary in a children's movie. Other reveiwers have pointed out the "suggested sex" scene, but I only viewed it as an off-camera make-out session, nothing more. Both characters were fully clothed, if not a little rumpled, and I see no reason to feel they were doing more.

I bought this movie for my niece, who is 6 years old now. She loves the movie now, but was very frightened by the Jaguar sequence when she was younger (3 or 4), and wouldn't watch the movie for a long time after the first viewing because of it. However, as an adult, I found the movie highly entertaining; Miguel and Tulio are a lot of fun, and I've even come around to Rosie Perez (Chel) thanks to this movie. At least in small doses. Chel was funny here, though, as was the banter between the two main characters (fantastic work by Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline). Fabulous voice work by everyone else as well (Armand Assante and Edward James Olmos were great!).

When it came out, this movie was up against The Emperor's New Groove. In my mind, this blows The Emperor out of the water, though that movie was enjoyable enough (rather cartoony for a Disney feature, but it got better on the second viewing).

In closing, The Road to El Dorado is gorgeous, funny, and entertaining, and I highly recommend it-- at least for those over 4 or 5 years of age. I believe Dreamworks really gave Disney a run for their money on this one.
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The Road to El Dorado
The Road to El Dorado by Will Finn (DVD - 2000)
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