A True Gem More People Should Know About: The Road to El Dorado

It has come to my attention that not a lot of people have heard of or seen Dreamworks’ The Road to El Dorado. This is a downright shame and I’m here today to promote it and all of its awesomeness!

If you’re looking for a movie that is fun, colorful, hilarious, heartfelt, and has an amazing soundtrack, then do I have the movie for you! The Road to El Dorado is all of these and so much more. It came out in 2000, but I didn’t see it until a couple years ago, and it immediately became one of my all-time favorite movies. This is a movie where the characters really make it go from a good movie to a fantastic one. The main characters, Miguel and Tulio, are two street scammers in Spain with the dream of being rich and living an adventurous life. They wind up in El Dorado, the City of Gold, and are mistaken by the Aztecs as their deities. It’s so much fun and only an hour and a half and it’s on Netflix, so I really think y’all should check it out sometime.

If you have seen it before, let me know which character is your favorite or if you have a favorite moment! If you’ve never seen it, what are some of your other favorite Dreamworks animated movies? Personally, my favorite is probably Rise of the Guardians, but How to Train Your Dragon is also a great one. And as always, have a great day!

35 Comments on “A True Gem More People Should Know About: The Road to El Dorado”

  1. It’s also available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99 if that’s your video ecosystem.

  2. THIS IS THE BEST!!! I love this movie so much. I squeed so hard when I saw a Miguel and Tulio at Phoenix Comicon.

    I would have said “that’s my favorite”, but then you mentioned “Rise of the Guardians”. If I *had* to pick a true favorite, though, I’d have to go with “El Dorado”, considering how many times I’ve just busted into “It’s Tough to be a God” around the house.

  3. Yessssssss. Gonna have to go with Tulio as favorite character because I kind of AM Tulio. El Dorado and Prince of Egypt are tied for favorite Dreamworks movies, though.

  4. Excellent movie, I enjoyed it very much. Now you’ve mentioned it, I’ll have to watch again.

  5. I liked that movie back in my younger days. A real gem that doesn’t get enough respect and attention is my FAVORITE Disney movie of all time, “The Emperor’s New Groove.”

  6. Ah, this movie is great. Also a DreamWorks gem: Megamind. And I second John Siebelink’s Emperor’s New Groove suggestion – my favourite animated movie of all time.

  7. This is definitely one of my favorites. It’s just…. gorgeous. And ridiculous.

    I fell in love with it not even five minutes in. But then, I love ridiculous hammy swordfights.

  8. I really enjoyed this movie. I also find it hilarious.

    Every time I watch it I am surprised that they were allowed to have one of their heroes to get a blow job in a Kids movie!

  9. I’ve been a fan of this one for years. I suspect you’d enjoy it even more if you watch some of the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby “Road” movies to see what they were riffing on. So many fun lines! I show it on party days in my Spanish classes (hey–it connects, they’re from Spain and in “Mexico”). I don’t know if I can pick a favorite character. Maybe Altivo? (the horse)

  10. I’ll watch it some time soon. In the mean time, I would like to put a word here for “Trollhunters”, also in Netflix. It is from the amazing brain of Guillermo del Toro. If someone does not know what that means (hard to believe, but stranger things have been known to happen), please, have a look and you might see why I am mentioning this here. Loved your podcast. Hope your dad gets that book out soon. I’m waiting for it!

  11. I will second Trollhunters. In one episode, the main character has to give a spanish presentation for class. Problem is that he is currently three inches tall. So he pretends to be sick and teleconferences in from a doll house.

  12. “Stars! … Can’t do it… Not today.” ranks among my favorite movie quotes to just throw into regular conversation.

  13. Road to Eldorado is excellent
    And of course the classic “Both? Both. Both is good”

    But I adore Dreamworks’ Prince of Egypt. I’m not religious, but I love this retelling of the Moses story and the music is absolutely fantastic. Such an underrated but excellent animated movie.

    The other good non-Disney stuff from my childhood was by Don Bluth- land before time, American tail, etc. So good.

  14. Chel, voiced by Rosie Perez is my favorite character. I can’t decide between Miguel and Tulio, just like I don’t think I could choose between Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline. Tulio, seems to be a more decent fellow to begin with, but we really see more of a character arc for Miguel.

  15. There is much good in Road to El Dorado, yes. For Dreamworks animation, I am torn between Prince of Egypt (“Through Heaven’s Eyes” is an amazing song) and Shrek (though I would have gone in some different directions with the sequels).

    Allow me, however, to put in a pitch for what may be my all-time favorite animated feature, Don Bluth’s Anastasia, which also has roots in Golden-Age Hollywood (yes, it turns out you can in fact do a kids’ movie with a genuine 24-karat Hepburn/Tracy snarky romance as its centerpiece), a fantastic female lead, Angela Lansbury where and when it counts, and possibly the best overall slate of songs in any animated family musical ever.

    More remarkably still, by all accounts (I have not seen it live, but I have the cast album), the recent Broadway stage version is better, notwithstanding booting the movie’s signature villain in favor of more three-dimensional historical drama. I am hoping like mad for a national touring version of this one.

  16. “We’re in barrels, that’s the extent of my knowledge.”

    Saw it fifteen years ago and I can still remember lines from the movie. Underrated I agree.

  17. Whenever someone in my house starts a sentence off with “apparently,” someone fills in “El Dorado is native for great. Big. Rock.”

    When we were taking one of my daughters to college the first time, we drove through an area that had a number of quarries. One of them was Eldorado Stone Company (it has since been taken over by another company). We’d like to believe the person who named the company was a fan of the film.

    The banter between Kline and Branagh in this film is top quality.

  18. I. Love. This. Movie. My brother and I are both in the back half of our 20s and STILL quote it. We annoy other family members with how much we love this movie.

  19. My favorite Dreamworks movie is Megamind. It’s not a movie that anyone would expect to be good–it was overshadowed by Despicable Me, a movie with ostensibly similar themes (but which was actually very different), coming out the same year. Megamind is really a superhero-themed romantic comedy, and its strength is that it has surprisingly deftly constructed characters. I remember hearing that the script was actually shopped around as a live-action rom-com aimed at adults, and I think it shows.

    How To Train Your Dragon is great too, though.

  20. I think I enjoyed it years ago too.

    But it’s received some heated criticism for making light of the context of genocide of native peoples, as well as other problems.

  21. Its a cute movie.

    There are a few cringeworthy scenes though. Basically, the natives are complete buffoons to fall for their nonsense, the chief then lets on that he knew but played along for… i was never clear as to why… and the high priest is a cardboard bloodythirsty savage, while the rest of the tribe are noble savages. Oh, sure, they sacrifice human lives to the gods, but they’re actually good, kind, sensible people… ?

    Also, the protagonists switch to “do the right thing” didnt quite make up for all the trouble they caused and could have caused.

    On the other hand, I now see where the intelligent horse “Max” in “Tangled” came from.

  22. “How to Train Your Dragon ” actually has one of the more sophisticated and morally complex plots compared to a lot of recent movies. And its fun to watch.

    “Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile” makes me laugh every time.

  23. Haven’t seen it, but the setup reminds me of “The Man Who Would Be King”, which is a fabulous movie.

  24. You’re so right! A lot of people haven’t seen this movie 😄 I absolutely love all Disney movies! This one was definitely a true gem like you said!

  25. “I will give you the honour of a quick and painless death.”
    *looks down*
    “But not with that.”

    I can quote it all day long. It’s one of the few movies that this entire family will sit down together to watch (The other being Nightmare before Christmas)

    my favorite character is probably the Chief Tani.

    favorite line? hmmm so many… but I love
    “Well don’t blame *me*!”
    “I blame youuuu”
    just for the way Kevin Kline says is.

    second best would be

    “Lord Tulio, may I speak frankly with you?”
    “Lord, yes”

  27. oh, my favorite Dreamworks movie is Over the Hedge – another movie that didn’t get enough love!

  28. I’m always astonished at how many folks have missed out on the DreamWorks/Pixar/Disney/Sony/Laika animated films. I have no idea what they are thinking in skipping them, but when there are studios that put out films that can make a grown man cry, film after film, they’re doing something right.

    Latest example for me? Coco.

    Also, too – most of what Studio Ghibli has released.

  29. Greg: “Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile” makes me laugh every time.
    Oh goodness, yes. I use the rhythm and intonation with situations myself, but I don’t think enough people would get it.

    We like this movie a lot in our house. Whitney: yes to Ghibli and Coco. I can get verklemt just thinking about Coco. I identify personally with both Lilo and Stitch. Kubo and the Two strings is gorgeous and touching.

    When my son was born 11 years ago a colleague said: “now you have an excuse to enjoy all those great Pixar movies.” I said “excuse? we already own almost all of the [extant] Pixar movies!”

  30. One correction. The natives are Mayans who hidden away, have survived the collapse of their civilization, not Aztecs