There is a plethora of underrated animations that are out of the Disney realm. The Last Unicorn, The Iron Giant, Atlantis and Brother Bear to name a few. The Road to El Dorado is another one of these animations that is horribly underrated.
Set in Spain in the 1500’s, two con artists Miguel and Tulio win a map to the land of El Dorado. They decide to try and find the city of gold. They find the city through fortuitous circumstances. When they arrive they are mistakenly recognised as Gods and is worshipped by the whole El Dorado civilization. They both try and plan to escape the city with a ship full of gold. After a while though, some people start to get suspicious and Miguel starts to become enamored by the city and doesn’t want to leave.
The Road to El Dorado is really astonishing to me to why it isn’t recognised as much as it should be. The soundtrack is fantastic, written and performed by Sir Elton John. The songs are catchy and upbeat and even though controversial, these are just as good as The Lion King songs performed by Elton John. The animation is full of colour and it is a great example of the aesthetic of early 2000’s animation. Also the characters interact well and the script is funny. It is not just funny for children but for adults too. Animation works best when it caters to both audiences.
The animation is good, the character are amazing and the soundtrack is perfect for this colourful adventure. So why isn’t this film applauded as much as it should be? Probably because of the boom of animation post millennium. Disney Pixar arguably was at its peak and Shrek was released a year after. In the same year, Chicken Run, Dinosaur, Emperor’s New Groove, Pokemon 2000 and Rugrats in Paris was released. It seems that in this period animation was hugely popular and it was getting lost in the shuffle. Re-Watching it 17 years later, The Road to El Dorado is a amazing piece of animation that is massively underappreciated.
The two leading voice actors of Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh should be enough to sell you on the film but the whole exciting adventure of travelling to the colourful world of El Dorado is really a joy to watch. Along with the magnificent soundtrack that will keep you humming the songs for the next few weeks. The Road to El Dorado is one of the most underrated animations ever made and watch it now and you’ll understand how good it is.