The Road to El Dorado | Chicago Reader

The Road to El Dorado

Two con men flee 16th-century Spain after winning a treasure map with loaded dice and stumble onto a gilded paradise where they're mistaken for omnipotent beings. Unfortunately for Elton John, he becomes the vacuous-sounding narrator of this animated musical as he delivers Tim Rice's ludicrously abstract song lyrics, but otherwise the movie is a pleasure. The characters' banter is fine, but the occasional jump cuts and other kinds of graphic and physical comedy are better. Most of the characters transcend their stereotypes, and whether the villainous high priest is a fanatic or a hypocrite is—to the writers' credit—left unresolved. Euphemisms fly, but allusions to sex between characters are unusually overt, one reason the movie seems less patronizing than many of its type. Directed by Eric Bergeron and Don Paul. 89 min.

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