Review: Road to Eldorado


Dreamworks is an animation studio primarily known for its 3D animation. Classic films such as the “Shrek” franchise, “How to Train Your Dragon”, and “Boss Baby” all use the usual Dreamworks animation style. However, around the turn of the twenty-first century, Dreamworks still produced many two-dimensional films. One of said films is “The Road to El Dorado”. Does this movie hold up to modern Dreamworks, or does it fall flat?

Our movie stars Miguel and Tulio, a cunning pair of miscreants set in Spain in the year 1519. After gambling and winning a map to the elusive “City of Gold,” they accidentally stow away on a ship to the Americas. With nowhere else to turn, the two (now accompanied by their horse Altivo) decide to follow the map into the great unknown. 

From the get-go, “The Road to El Dorado” greets you kindly with amazing musical numbers. They persist throughout the movie and, although not sung by the duo’s actual voice actors, star musical talent like Elton John. These songs fit the mood of the movie perfectly, and you can tell exactly what the composers wanted you to feel when you listen to them. The sound design in this movie is top-notch. 

The plot is nothing to sneeze at either. Once the two arrive at the titular El Dorado, they’re faced with the reality that most of the City of Gold revere them as gods. Now they have to keep up the act for long enough to escape the city with heaps of gold. It’s funny to see how Miguel and Tulio keep up with trying to be gods, usually stumbling into and out of scenarios by chance. I have mostly no problems with this plot premise except for the weird consistency issues with what the society deems a god. Miguel and Tulio merely seem like they’re performing godlike feats with their natural aptitude for luck, whereas the high priest of El Dorado can literally summon apparitions and animate giant stone animals. It’s clear that the high priest has significantly more demonstrable godlike abilities than the main duo’s happenstance miracles. Small gripe, but a gripe nonetheless.

The visual style of the film is stunning. I have a distinct soft spot for this style of 2D animation, so I may be biased. However, I think anyone could watch the movie and agree that the animation is fantastic. The way water is animated is very appealing to me, and I think it’s impressive that they managed to animate a horse so fluidly in so many scenes of the film. The incorporation of 3D assets is mostly seamless as well, although some scenes date the film when it comes to things like that. All in all, the visuals check out.

In the end, The Road to El Dorado is a wonderful film to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. The animation and plot draw you in, the music keeps you entertained, and the comedy gets you to come back. Amazing movie that I would revisit in a heartbeat.

Overall: 9/10

Categories: Entertainment, Opinion

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