I had a fun idea to write about my favorite film from each year all the way back to 2000. So with that in mind I introduce you to my new mini series “21st Century”.
The Road to El Dorado (2000)
Directed by: Bibo Bergeron
Starring: Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Rosie Perez and Edward James Olmos
Technically Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was my favorite film of 2000, but seeing as I already wrote about that masterpiece here, we’ll move on to number 2.
I remember walking home from school when I was in 4th or 5th grade. I always went to my grandmas, grabbed a bag of Better Made BBQ Chips (Better Made please sponser me) and put on The Road to El Dorado. I must’ve watched this movie from start to finish almost 20 times the year it came out.
Miguel and Tulio are two smooth talking scoundrels living in Spain in the 1500’s. When they win a map to the fabled city of gold, El Dorado, they embark on a journey to claim riches unheard of. After arriving in El Dorado, the two Spaniards are mistaken for ancient gods by the natives of Mexico and with help of Chel, one of the natives, they try to con their way out of the city with a mountain of gold in tow. All the while the spiritual leader, Tzekel-Kan, and the cities Chief both try to win the “gods” favor.
There were a lot of animated movies coming out around this time that were kind of underrated including El Dorado. Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Planet, The Prince of Egypt and The Iron Giant (one of the greatest movies ever made) all come to mind. Not that these movies were shunned or disliked, but I feel that none of them come to mind when people start talking about animated films. Most people go straight for the late 80’s/ early 90’s Disney slate or Pixar gets brought up. These late 90’s. early 2000’s animated movies had a very quite and humble tone to them and I find them all to be quite charming.
El Dorado is a lot of fun from start to finish, but it’s also kind of stressful and very, very horny. That’s a lot of elements packed into a kids movie so I’ll go through them.
I’ll start with how much fun I have every time I watch this movie. Miguel and Tulio are an interesting choice for a kids movie’s protagonists. They’re kinda scummy and greedy, they’re basically criminals. But they’re also very funny and charming and the dynamic between the two of them is so much fun to watch. Miguel is the fun loving musician. He’s a bit of an air head and a dreamer and is very clearly the one with a heart of gold. Tulio on the other hand plays kind of an adult role. He’s not overly grim or brooding, in fact he’s a lot of fun too, but whenever it’s time for the two of them to make the decision, Tulio is the voice of reason. Not that I ever want this movie to be adapted in live action, but they are 100% Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in animated form. It’s wonderful. After being caught cheating, escaping a crusaders ship and traversing the jungles of Mexico to find the city of gold I’ve already had enough fun for a full movie and that’s all just in the first act. There’s still the night of celebration, the fun ball game and the escape from the city. So much entertainment crammed into one little movie.
In a way, The Road to El Dorado is a heist film. Miguel and Tulio try to get in and out of El Dorado with all the cities gold. That means the film has a good amount of intensity to it. Miguel and Tulio are posing as gods and the films villain, Tzekel Kan, is basically the pope of El Dorado. He desperately wishes to please the “gods” and earn their favor and he does this by constantly trying to sacrifice citizens of the city. It’s a lot to balance and I think the film does it pretty well, but the two thieves have to maintain the illusion that they are divine while convincing Kan not to murder a bunch of innocent people. All that while they scheme to steal all the gold. It’s a surprisingly tense movie.
I’m not gunna get into it too deep, but this movie is horny af. Chel is a sexy, curvy babe and the movie knows how hot she is. There are a lot of scenes between her and Tulio that I’m still kind of surprised made it into a kids movie. I’m like 80% sure she blows him at one point… anyways Chel’s super hot. That is all.
It’s not the most amazing movie of the year (that title belongs to Crouching Tiger.), but this movie has a special place in my heart. Right before I wrote up this article I watched it again (as I do before writing any article on a movie) and was just beaming the whole time. It holds up as an easy to watch, fun animated movie that doesn’t get enough praise.
Oh also ELTON JOHN DID THE MUSIC!!! Come on now… if that doesn’t sell you on it then nothing will.
Other great films in 2000: Unbreakable, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Shanghai Noon and Almost Famous