Nic’s Review (01/03/2014):
For some reason I can’t explain, I have a soft spot for ‘El Dorado’. Perhaps I remember it fondly from when I was younger. Or perhaps I admire its ambition. In any case, despite its poor reputation, I really enjoyed ‘El Dorado’.
Of the three DreamWorks films I’ve reviewed thus far, it has the greatest sense of fun. In stark contrast with the darkly themed ‘Prince of Egypt’, what comes to the forefront in this film is the idea of everlasting friendship, in the vein of Pixar’s favourite moral, and Tulio and Miguel are infectiously likeable as a duo of ragtag Spaniards on the greedy quest for endless riches in the city of gold. In addition both characters transformations are clear cut and well paced, and even their ultimate decisions are unpredictable, only further cementing the moral of the film.
And the songs! Why don’t you make films like this anymore DreamWorks?
The songs are so catchy they instantly bring up a healthy dose of nostalgia. As stated above, this film represents an ambitious, experimenting studio, who focussed on stories that didn’t necessarily appeal to children, but dared to be different. Pixar did this for over a decade more but, it seems, with the exception of the childish humour characteristic of DreamWorks since ‘Antz’, ‘El Dorado’ has the vestiges of class.
Its historical reveration provides it with a mystical setting Pixar didn’t find until ‘Brave’. And what kid cares about the myth of El Dorado, anyway?
Or who knew about the Mesoamerican ballgame, a major plot point, which is real and survives to the modern day?
I haven’t got far into my marathon yet, but from memory it seems DreamWorks’ more recent films have been oversimplified and kiddified. Also missing from the present day: traditional animation. God, I miss it. It isn’t even that good here, in fact it’s probably the most rushed rendition of cel animation I’ve ever seen, but it still reminds me that not everything had to be 3D once.
Now of course, it’s not all perfect. In addition to the rushed animation, the plot sags a bit towards the end and the climax is barely more than a blink in the narrative but honestly its poor score on Rotten Tomatoes is far from deserved.
Daniel’s Review (18/02/2016):
‘The Road to El Dorado’ is an adventure based film, with the film’s two main leads, Tulio and Miguel. These two brothers set sail for an adventure of a lifetime, after winning a map titled “El Dorado” after rolling a lucky seven.
‘The Road to El Dorado’ suffers from a mediocre story and some bland characters. While I did enjoy the two brothers interacting with each other over getting out of situations in a comedic way and their crazy scheming plans, the other characters are forgettable and bland. The villain’s motif and character is an odd choice, as the character becomes a villain after being unsatisfied by the two God’s demands.
However, the film is humorous in places, I never quite cared about these characters, despite the animation being colourful and vibrant, and the action sequences executed brilliantly at times.
‘The Road to El Dorado’ is a fine family flick, kids will like it, more than the adults, but there is some fun to be had, in a sometimes muddled story.