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The Road to El Dorado (2000) Poster

Trivia

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Voice artists in animated movies usually record their parts alone, with no other actors or actresses in the studio with them. In a break with this tradition, Kevin Kline and Sir Kenneth Branagh recorded their dialogue together similar to when Disney's Aladdin (1992) had Jonathan Freeman record many of his scenes with Gilbert Gottfried.
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A series of sequels featuring Miguel, Tulio, Chel, Altivo, and even the armadillo going after other legends about gold was planned, similar to the Shrek (2001) film franchise, but following the disappointing box-office results, they were immediately cancelled.
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The armadillo that follows Miguel and Tulio throughout is named Bibo, after co-Director Bibo Bergeron.
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This is the first DreamWorks Animation movie not to earn a profit at the box-office.
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Tzekel-Kan's sacred book contains a picture of a man fishing from the moon, a take on DreamWorks' logo.
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The aesthetics of El Dorado and its inhabitants are a mixture of different pre-Hispanic cultures of Central America, in order to avoid connecting El Dorado to any particular geographical place. So, the buildings and temples are a composition of the Mixteco city of Mitla, in modern Oaxaca, Mexico, and the Mayan city of the Palenque. The features of the locals are distinctly Mayan, as well the murals and the Xibalba tradition. The weapons, attires, and human sacrifices customs are mostly of Aztec origin. Curiously, even though the inspiration comes from Central and Southern Mexico, the most widely accepted location for the real El Dorado legend was the Amazonian rain forest.
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This movie shares several attributes of its namesake, the "Road" comedies made famous by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby during the 1940s (which helps explain anachronisms, such as shared language, pop culture references, and lack of historical accuracy). In homage to the veteran comedians, during the song "It is Tough to be a God", Tulio and Miguel look into a rippling bowl of liquid. The reflection of Miguel briefly takes on the pronounced ears of Bing Crosby, while the reflection of Tulio morphs into the distinctive profile of Bob Hope.
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The story is inspired by Rudyard Kipling's "The Man Who Would Be King", featuring con men who try to trick the natives of an isolated city in Kafiristan, with disastrous results.
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The name of the Spanish General in the movie is Cortes, but in real-life, the man who tried to find El Dorado was Gonzalo Pizarro.
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The Backstreet Boys performed "Friends Never Say Goodbye" with Sir Elton John on the soundtrack, but not in the movie. In that same year, A.J. McLean could not perform with the other Backstreet Boys for London's Party in the Park concert tour because his grandfather had surgery. For that reason, Elton temporarily replaced him.
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In the Latin American Spanish version of the movie, Edward James Olmos also provides the voice of Chief Tanabok, Demián Bichir voices Tulio, Aleks Syntek, Miguel (they also sing "Qué Duro es ser Deidad" ("It's Tough to be a God")), while Manuel Mijares sings the rest of the songs.
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While Tulio, Miguel, and Altivo are lost at sea, a large shark comes up out of the water in the fashion of the classic Jaws book cover and movie poster. Jaws (1975) was directed by Steven Spielbeg, who is one of the co-founders and principals of DreamWorks, which produced this movie.
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In the first scene that Miguel and Tulio enter the city the horse, Altivo, also mouths "El Dorado".
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The producers wanted Antonio Banderas to voice the part of Tulio, but he refused the part for undisclosed reasons. He would go on to voice Puss in Boots in DreamWorks Animation's "Shrek" film series and its holiday television specials as well as the character's solo theatrical film.
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Under the working title El Dorado: City of Gold, the film was originally scheduled for release in fall of 1999.
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In late 1996, Tim Rice and Elton John were asked to compose seven songs, which they immediately worked on. In February 1999, before the release of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, it was announced that ten songs had been composed for El Dorado. It was also announced that the release date had been pushed to March 2000.
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Compared to everyone else in the movie, Tzecle-con has his teeth individually carved out instead of a white line. This was intended to make him appear more life like, thus more scary.
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Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh also teamed up for Barry Sonnenfeld's live-action Wild Wild West (1999) although this had started production several years earlier.
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Denis Leary and Jim Carrey were considered the role of Miguel.
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In 1989, scriptwriter Nicholas Kazan penned a " Cortes " screenplay which became the subject of a fierce bidding war. Producer Edward R. Pressman bought the rights and while it drew the attention of Mel Gibson and Andy Garcia, and directors such as Paul Verhoeven, Peter Weir and Werner Herzog, ultimately its $75m price tag was considered too uncommercial.
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Antonio Banderas and Adam Sandler were considered the role of Tulio.
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Martin Sheen and Christopher Walken were considered for the role of Chief.
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The name of the horse, Altivo, is generally interpreted as "proud" or "haughty" in modern Spanish. However, in older, more traditional usages, it means "high" or "elevated", possibly a reference to the heroes' "elevated" state to supposed godhood.
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In the Latin American dub, Demián Bichir voiced Tulio, this was the last time he dubbed a film.
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Jasmine Guy and Téa Leoni were considered for the role of Chel.
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Kelsey Grammer and James Garner were considered for the role of Tzekel-Kan.
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Goran Visnjic and Kevin Spacey were considered the role of Hernán Cortés.
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Kevin Kline and Sir Kenneth Branagh appeared in Wild Wild West (1999).
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

When Chel and Tulio are making out on the ground and suddenly stand up, she is quite far from his head which indicates that she was not kissing him on the mouth.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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