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The Road to El Dorado

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The latest offering from the Dreamworks animation department owes a considerable debt to Disney (much of its staff and tunesmith Elton John are veterans of the Mouse House). However, The Road to El Dorado is at its most enjoyable when it borrows from the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby Road movies. A couple of bumbling Spanish con artists named Miguel (Kenneth Branagh) and Tulio (Kevin Kline) journey to Mexico as prisoners of Cortez. When they escape, the two discover a fabled city of gold. Because of a misinterpreted prophesy, the two are mistaken for gods, but they find themselves at the mercy of an enterprising local thief (Rosie Perez) who sees right through them. The teaming of the three leads is delightful, and a brisk pace and typically lush animation make up for some of the more irritating clichés (as with Aladdin, the villain is a self-serving magician). As it stands, The Road to El Dorado is often a breezy delight, but it would have been even more amusing if hadn't aped Uncle Walt as much. (PG) Rating: 6

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