The Road to El Dorado: Wikis


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The Road to El Dorado

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Eric "Bibo" Bergeron
Don C. Paul
Produced by Brook Breton
Bonne Radford
Written by Ted Elliott
Terry Rossio
Starring Kevin Kline
Kenneth Branagh
Armand Assante
Edward James Olmos
Rosie Perez
and Jim Cummings
Music by Hans Zimmer
John Powell
Elton John
Tim Rice
Editing by John Carnochan
Dan Molina
Studio Stardust Pictures
Distributed by DreamWorks
Release date(s) March 21, 2000 (2000-03-21)
Running time 89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $95 Million
Gross revenue Domestic:

The Road to El Dorado is a 2000 American animated comedy film by DreamWorks. The soundtrack features songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, music team from The Lion King.

The movie begins in 16th century (1519) Seville (in the south of Spain) and tells about two men named Tulio and Miguel. During a dice game using loaded dice, they win a map that purportedly shows the location of the legendary city of gold in the New World. However, their cheating is soon discovered and as a result, they end up as stowaways on Hernán Cortés' fleet to conquer Mexico. They are discovered, but manage to escape in a boat with Cortés' prize war horse and eventually discover the hidden city of El Dorado where they are mistaken for gods.

El Dorado is portrayed as a utopian civilization that combines facts of the Aztecs, Maya, Incas, and Atlantis.

The soundtrack was released as the album The Road to El Dorado; however, in some instances (such as "The Trail We Blaze"), the songs have been altered musically and vocally from the way they appeared in the film. The video game tie-in, released on PlayStation and PC, was named Gold & Glory: The Road to El Dorado.



The creation of The Road to El Dorado was a challenge for the studio because DreamWorks had devoted most of its creative efforts to its previous animated film, The Prince of Egypt. Tom Hulce was previously considered to do the voice of either Tulio or Miguel.


In Spain 1519, two wanted con artists, Miguel (Kenneth Branagh) and Tulio (Kevin Kline), win a map purportedly to the city of gold, El Dorado along with a large number of other valuables by cheating at a game of dice (though the map itself was won fairly). Chased by an angry bull and the city's guards, the two inadvertently hide themselves on the ship belonging to Hernán Cortés and his troops as they set off to the New World. They manage to escape to a rowboat, inadvertently bringing along Cortés' horse, Altivo, and eventually end up ashore on the New World, where Miguel recognizes landmarks shown on the map. The three follow the map and end up where the map marks the entrance to El Dorado, but find only an enscribed monolith waiting for them. As they try to determine what to do next, a young tribal woman is chased by a group of guards, and Miguel and Tulio step in to protect her. The guards believe the two to be gods as shown on the monolith, and escort them along with the woman along a river cavern to El Dorado, truly a city made out of gold.

Miguel and Tulio are introduced to the city's elders, Chief Tannabok (Edward James Olmos) and high priest Tzekel-Kan (Armand Assante). After appearing to stop the eruption of a nearby volcano by their words only, Miguel and Tulio are proclaimed to be gods despite Tzekel-Kan's suspicions, and are treated luxuriously. The woman they rescued from the guards, Chel (Rosie Perez), rapidly becomes aware of Miguel and Tulio's charade. She offers her silence and assistance and, in exchange, she is not punished for attempting to steal gold from the city and offered a trip back to "wherever you come from". After the night of a feast prepared by Chief Tannabok to honor them, Miguel and Tulio are shocked to find that Tzekel-Kan is ready to offer a human sacrifice, and insist that it be stopped, stating they will take the gold instead as their tribute. The two quickly conceive of a plan, and convince Chief Tannabok to build them a boat over the next few days so that the "gods" may return along with their tribute. While Tulio plans to wait out those days in their provided villa, Chel urges Miguel to go explore the city, allowing her to get romantically closer to Tulio.

Tzekel-Kan, finding Miguel playing ball with children in the streets, organizes a Mesoamerican ballgame match between them and the city's best players in the hopes that they will prove skilled enough to provide a modest challenge to the two. Miguel and Tulio quickly find themselves outmatched until Chel replaces the ball with a rolled-up armadillo that allows them to cheat and win the game. However, Tzekel-Kan catches a small cut on Miguel's forehead and is finally convinced that they are not gods, as gods don't bleed. Chel and Tulio are found kissing by Miguel, and thinking that Chel means more to Tulio than freindship Miguel is breaking up with his friend. Later Tzekel-Kan brings to life a giant stone jaguar statue and chases Miguel and Tulio around the city, eventually leading them to the edge of a cliff overlooking a giant whirlpool. Miguel and Tulio use their con tactics to fake an argument and, in the resulting chaos, both Tzekel-Kan and the jaguar statue fall into the whirlpool. When he emerges from the whirlpool, Tzekel-Kan finds himself far outside El Dorado at the feet of Cortés and his men. Cortés threatens him and asks where he got his gold earrings. Tzekel-Kan notices the way that Cortés and his man stand are similar to the stances of the real Gods in the monolith; believing that they are the true Gods, he begins to lead them to El Dorado.

Though Miguel and Tulio are safe, the two wish to go separate ways: Tulio desires to leave the city with Chel and the gold, while Miguel opts to stay along with Altivo. Though they each are certain of what they want, they are reluctant to part ways. With the boat completed, Tulio and Chel prepare to depart as they say their tearful goodbyes to Miguel and the people of the city. Then, Altivo spots smoke on the horizon, and a messenger informs Chief Tannabok that Cortés is approaching the city. Though Tannabok is ready to fight, Miguel warns him that the people of El Dorado could not defend against Cortés's forces. Tulio comes up with a plan to topple the statue at the river's mouth in order to create enough wave force to propel the boat and collapse the pillars supporting the cavern entrance, as to seal the entrance to El Dorado forever and keep its population safe. As Tulio and Chel depart, their sails catch and fail to catch enough wind to allow the boat to clear the falling statue; Miguel forgoes his chance to stay in the city and jumps onto the boat with Altivo's help to pull the sails free, allowing the boat to clear the statue. Tulio's plan works as expected, though the boat and all their gold is lost as it collapses the pillars. Tulio, Miguel, and Chel reunite, and while disappointed about losing the gold, are happy to be alive and friends again, and they set off on Altivo, who still happens to be clad in golden horseshoes, towards their next adventure. Cortés, his army, and Tzekel-Kan later reach the sealed passage. Believing that there is in fact no El Dorado, Cortés and his men capture Tzekel-Kan and depart.



Tulio: the practical and logical of the pair. Initially, he only cares about the gold, but after falling in love with Chel, he comes to respect the people of El Dorado. Tulio is one of the protagonists in the film.

Miguel: the sensitive and artistic of the pair. He falls in love with El Dorado and its people, but ultimately gives them up for friendship. Miguel is the other protagonist in the film.

Tzekel-Kan: The Mad Priest of El Dorado and the main antagonist of the film. Though arrogant, self-centered, bloodthirsty, power-hungry and sadistic, he is also charismatic and comical. Tzekel-Kan rules over El Dorado with an iron fist. He competes with the Chief trying to please the "gods", but after Miguel stands up to him, he learns that Miguel and Tulio are in fact mortals and connives to destroy them. After returning from his alleged demise in the climax, he teams up with Cortés to capture the citizens of El Dorado, but is captured by Cortés after his plot is foiled. His final fate is unknown, although it is implied that he was to be sold as a slave.

Chief Tannabok: A good-hearted family man and the chief of the city. He works out that Miguel and Tulio are not gods, but is grateful enough to keep their secret.

Chel: Sassy, resourceful, attractive, and curvaceous, she is not fooled by the two "gods" for very long. Later on she becomes attracted to Tulio. She is cunning and seductive, and knows what to do to get what she desires. She becomes the love of Tulio.

Hernán Cortés: the ambitious leader of the Spanish armies, Cortés is hell-bent on conquering the New World and enslaving the people of El Dorado. Miguel and Tulio get on his bad side as the film begins. He teams up with Tzekel-Kan to accomplish his goal, but is disillusioned when Miguel and Tulio foil his plan. Despite his daunting presence, Cortés serves as a minor antagonist in the film.

Altivo: The horse that was once supposedly owned by Cortés. Now owned by Miguel. The horse is expressive, cynical, and self aware. He also has a severe weakness for apples. He can express himself by his body language.


Crew Position
Directed by Eric "Bibo" Bergeron
Don C. Paul
Jeffrey Katzenberg uncredited
Produced by Bonne Radford
Brooke Breton
Written by Ted Elliott
Terry Rossio
Executive Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg
Songs by Elton John
Tim Rice
Original Score by Hans Zimmer
John Powell
Co-Executive Producer Bill Damaschke
Production Designer Christian Schellewald
Vicky Jenson
Art Directors Raymond Zibach
Paul Lasaine
Wendell Luebbe
Film Editor John Carnochan
Dan Molina
Vicki Hiatt
Lynne Southerland
Artistic Supervisors Ronnie Del Carmen & Jeff Snow (Story supervisors)
Lorenzo Martinez & Damon O'Bierne (Layout supervisors)
Kevin Turcotte (Background supervisors)
Kristof Serrand (Animation/Final Line supervisor)
Dan Phillips (Digital supervisor)
Bud Myrick (3D Effects supervisor)
Stephen Wood (2D Effects supervisor)
Jane Gotts (2D Digital Effects supervisor)
Character Designers Carlos Grangel
Nicholas Marlet
Tony Siruno
Senior Supervising Animators James Baxter (Tulio)
David Brewster (Miguel)
Supervising Animators William Salazar (Tulio)
Serguei Kouchnerov & Bob Scott (Miguel) Kathy Zielinski (Tzekel-Kan)
Frans Vischer (Chief)
Kristof Serrand
Rodolphe Guenoden (Chel) (Altivo & Cortes)
Nicholas Marlet (Armadillo)
Sylvain Deboissy (Jaguar)
Patrick Mate (Sailors & Ball Players)
Erik Schmidt (Miscellaneous)
Additional Sequences Directed by David Silverman
Will Finn
Production Manager Jill Hooper
Mark Swift

Annie Awards

Result Award Winner/Nominee Recipient(s)
NOMINATED Animated Theatrical Feature
NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Storyboarding Jeff Snow (Story supervisor)
NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Production Design Christian Schellewald (Production Designer)
NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Character Animation David Brewster (Senior Supervising Animator - Miguel)
NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Character Animation Rodolphe Guendonen (Supervising Animator - Chel)
NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Effects Animation Doug Ikeler (Effects Lead - Crashing the Gate)
NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Voice Acting Armand Assante ("Tzekel-Kan")
NOMINATED Individual Achievement in Music Hans Zimmer (Music)
John Powell (Music)

Box office

The film opened at #2 at the North American box office making $12.8 million USD in its opening weekend, behind Erin Brokovich, which was on its third consecutive week at the top spot.


External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Road to El Dorado is a 2000 animated movie about two thieves, Miguel and Tulio, who accidentally stow away on a ship bound for the New World. They escape the ship with a horse, and wash up on the shores of Mexico. They eventually discover El Dorado, the city of gold, where they are mistaken for gods.

Directed by Eric Bergeron. Written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio
They came for the gold... they stayed for the adventure.



  • If I believed in fate, I wouldn't be playing with loaded dice.
  • I will give you the honor of a quick and painless death. [Grabs a tiny dagger, pauses.] But not with that.
  • You drank the sea water, didn't you?
  • Your horse bit me in the butt!
  • Hello, is this your rock? Sorry, we were just looking. We're tourists. Tou-rists. We lost our group. May we go now?
  • Miguel, you know that little voice people have that tells them to quit when they're ahead? You don't have one!
  • Now if you'll excuse me, I have to gloat over my gold.
  • We are working a con, walking the razor's edge. On one side, gold. On the other side… [Gestures at mural of human sacrifice] …painful, agonizing failure!
  • Alright, cards on the table. I want you to come to Spain with me and Miguel. Especially me. Mostly me. Only me. Forget Miguel.
  • Take that, you big Tzekel-Kan cat creep!
  • You're not a god? You lied to me? How dare you!
  • You gave me loaded dice?
  • [sees that their longboat could collide with Cortez's warship] Holy SHIP!


  • Alright, Cuba!
  • So uh, how... how's the escape plan coming?
  • [While cutting down vines] The trail that we'll blaze... [Vines fall to reveal a rock wall, and Miguel points to the distance to the left] THAT trail that we'll blaze!
  • [After Tulio stops the volcano] Don't make me start it up again, 'cause I will.
  • Tulio relax. All you have to do is smile, act godly, and follow my lead.
  • Here’s an order: take the day off!
  • [to Tzekel Kan] The gods are speaking for themselves now. This city and these people have no need for you anymore! There will be no sacrifices. Not now, not ever.
  • Not bad for my first commandment, huh?
  • Vertical ascension requires a lot more rope.
  • Well, isn't king kind of a step down from god?


  • And so dawns the age of the Jaguar. Happy New Year.
  • Smile while you can.
  • Do you wish to have your victims bound to an altar, or would you prefer them free range? And will you be devouring their essence whole, or piece-by-piece?
  • Crush them into the dust!
  • As the… gods… command.
  • I know what you are. And I know what you are not. And you are not gods!

Chief Tannabok

  • Big smile - like you mean it!
  • [as Miguel and Tulio ask for a boat to leave on] Oh, we expected you to be staying with us for the next… thousand years.
  • Hey. To "err" is human.


  • Cortes: My crew was as carefully chosen as the disciples of Christ, and I will not tolerate stowaways. You will be flogged. And when we port into Cuba to re-supply, God willing, you will be flogged some more. And then enslaved on the sugar plantations for the rest of your miserable lives.
  • Chel: My only wish is to serve the gods.


Miguel: You fight like my sister!
Tulio: I've fought your sister - that is a compliment!
Miguel: Blackguard!
Tulio: Heathen!

[While running for their lives, they come to the edge of a roof, quite a distance from the waterfront.]
Miguel: I'll bet we can make that.
Tulio: Two pesetas says we can't.
Miguel: You're on! [They jump of the edge and land in two barrels] You lose. [Tulio flips two pesetas into Miguel's barrel]

Tulio: What's happening here?
Miguel: We're both in barrels. That's the extent of my knowledge.

Tulio: All right. In the dead of night, you and I grab some provisions, hijack one of those... longboats... and then, we... row back to Spain like there's no mañana!
Miguel: Back to Spain, yeah?
Tulio: Yeah.
Miguel: [uncertainly] In... a rowboat.
Tulio: Yeah!
Miguel: [sarcastically] Great. Sensational. And that's your plan, is it?
Tulio: That's... pretty much it.
Miguel: [truly delighted] Well, I like it! So, how do we get on deck?
Tulio: [pause] In the dead of night, you and I grab some provisions, hijack one of those... longboats...
Miguel: [bored] Oh, great...
Tulio: [annoyed] Well, then, what's YOUR idea, smart guy?!

Miguel: Altivo! Hey, Altivo! You want the nice apple? Come and get it! But, you have to do a trick for me first! All you have to do, is find a pry bar. It's a long piece of iron with a hooky thing at the end.
Tulio: Miguel, you're talking to a horse!
Miguel: Yes, that's it Altivo. Find the pry bar!
Tulio: Yes, "find the pry bar". He doesn't understand "pry bar"! He's a dumb horse, there's no way he'd--
[Altivo drops keys into the brig]
Tulio: Well. It's not a pry bar.

Miguel: Hey, look on the positive side! At least things can't get-- [thunder rumbles and rain pours down]
Tulio: Excuse me, were you about to say "worse?" Huh?
Miguel: No.
Tulio: No?
Miguel: No. Absolutely. I've revised that whole... thing.

[Miguel and Tulio are stranded in the boat, together with Altivo]
Miguel: Tulio, did you ever imagine it would end like this?
Tulio: [Pause] The horse is a surprise.
Miguel: Any... regrets?
Tulio: Besides dying? Yeah. I never... had enough... gold.
Miguel: My regret, besides dying, is... our greatest adventure is over before it began, and no one will even remember us.
Tulio: Well, if it's any consolation, Miguel, you... made my life... an adventure.
Miguel: And if it's any consolation, Tulio, you made my life... rich.

[after seeing a skeleton on the beach]
Tulio: All those in favor of getting back in the boat, say aye.
Miguel: Aye!
Tulio: Aye!
[Altivo snorts]

Tulio: Apparently, El Dorado is native for... "Great... Big... ROCK!!!" [silence, as "ROCK!!!" echoes] Hey, but I tell you what: I'm feeling generous, so you can have my share!
Miguel: Tulio, you don't think, Cortes could've gotten here before us and, and--
Tulio: And what? Taken all the really big rocks? The scoundrel!

Tulio: [sighs] Well, it was nice working with you, partner.
Miguel: Tulio, I just want you to know... I'm sorry about that girl in Barcelona.
Tulio: Sor-- you-- you...

Tulio: Miguel and Tulio!
Miguel: Tulio and Miguel!
Together: Mighty and powerful gods!
Chel: Hello.
[both squeal]

Tulio: Back mortal, before we strike you with a lightning bolt!
Chel: [calmly] Save it for the High Priest, honey, you're gonna need it.

Chel: Oh, then I suppose you'll be wanting these back? [produces Tulio's dice in her hand]
Tulio: [pats pockets, shocked] Hey... how'd you get those?
Miguel: [raising eyebrows] Where was she keeping them?

Tulio: The little voice, remember? Remember the little voice? Well, just for a moment, imagine that you have one. Now, what would it be saying about Chel?
Miguel: Uuuuum... [purrs]

Tulio: Hey, Chel, what's going on?
Chel: It's not gonna be good.
Tulio: Thank you.

[Tzekel-Kan starts to perform a human sacrifice.]
Tulio: Stop! This is not a proper tribute!
[Miguel rescues the intended victim and drags him to safety.]
Tzekel-Kan: You do not want the tribute?
Miguel: No no, we want tribute. It's just that, um... Tulio, tell him.
Tulio: The stars are not in position for this tribute!
Miguel: Like he said! Stars! … Can't do it… Not today.

Miguel: You worry too much.
Tulio: No, I worry exactly the right amount. You can never worry too much!

Chel: Go ahead. I'll cover for you.
Miguel: Oh, yeah, thanks. So, what happened to Altivo? [He ducks out of sight.]
Chel: I dunno.
Tulio: [Approaching] Hey, what happened to Miguel?
Chel: I dunno.
Tulio: Oh my God, he's gone! He's loose! What am I gonna do?!

Tulio: I'm not really sure I trust you.
Chel: Mmm… I'm not really asking you to trust me, am I?
Tulio: Hmm… 'kay.

Chel: The High Priest? What's he gonna think if he finds one of the gods like this with me?
Tulio: Uh, "Lucky God"?

Tzekel-Kan: The history of the age of the Jaguar will be written in...
Tulio: Ink?
Tzekel-Kan: Blood!

Tulio: What… do you think… you're doing?!
Miguel: [chuckles] Laying low?

Miguel: Well don't blame me!

Miguel: We need a miracle.
Tulio: No, we need to cheat!

Tulio: My plan was that we should lie low! But your plan was to run off and be all "Oh, look at me, look at me, I'm a god!"
Miguel: That's not true!
Tulio: No? Who are you kidding? You're buying your own con!
Miguel: At least I'm not dating mine!
Tulio: I-- Ooh, low blow.


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