The Road to Eldorado

Bomb Rating: 

Is animation where over-the-hill pop stars go to revive their careers or just to remind young people they actually once had them?

First of all, I need to hear Elton John songs like I need open-heart surgery. Is animation where over-the-hill pop stars go to revive their careers or just to remind young people they actually once had them? When are Elton John and Phil Collins going to sing a duet? Somebody let me know so I can toss myself in front of a bus.

"Road to El Dorado" is Dreamworks' answer to Disney. Apparently, Jeffrey Katzenberg was having his creative impulses crushed over there, so he had to leave. To judge by this film, there just wasn't enough stereotyping at Disney for Jeff's tastes.

The two main characters, Miguel (Kenneth Branagh) and Tulio (Kevin Kline), leave Spain and end up on a boat bound for El Dorado. Personally, I don't know that many British people named Miguel, but since Branagh's accent sounds like Prince Charles one minute and SeƱor Wences the next, who knows where he's from? Tulio, on the other hand, just sounds like Kevin Kline.

Of course, when they get to El Dorado, all the new characters have that Hispanic sound. There's Tzekel-Kan (Armand Assante), who wants to sacrifice everybody, the happy town Chief (Edward James Olmos), and the shifty-yet-beautiful peasant girl, Chel (Rosie Perez). Here's another thing: Why is everybody thin and lovely in Spain, but when they get to El Dorado, the Chief is the size of the old Orson Welles? Chief is the typical jolly, old wise man who looks like he's eaten whatever people Tzekel-Kan was unable to sacrifice.

You don't actually see it, but Chel and Tulio do the nasty. I'm just assuming this of course because Chel is a typical native and couldn't possibly be wearing underwear and they do something off-screen that we can't see. Maybe Katzenberg was unhappy about the amount of sex being had by the animated characters over at Disney. Maybe four-year-olds won't ask questions.

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