The Road to El Dorado

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The Road to El Dorado is a 2000 DreamWorks animated film about two thieves, Miguel and Tulio, who accidentally stow away on a ship bound for the New World. They escape the ship with a horse, and wash up on the shores of South America. They eventually discover El Dorado, the city of gold, where they are mistaken for gods. This film is released March 31, 2000.

It is based on the 1994 book Conquest: Montezuma, Cortés and the Fall of Old Mexico by Hugh Thomas.

Directed by Eric Bergeron. Written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio
They came for the gold... they stayed for the adventure.


  • If I believed in fate, I wouldn't be playing with loaded dice!


  • [While cutting down vines] The trail that we'll blaze... [Vines fall to reveal a rock wall, and Miguel points to the distance to the left] THAT trail that we'll blaze!


  • Behold! As the prophecies foretold, the time of judgment is now! Citizens, did I not predict that the gods would come to us?

Chief Tannabok[edit]

  • Big smile - like you mean it!


  • My crew was as carefully chosen as the disciples of Christ, and I will not tolerate stowaways. You will be flogged. And when we port into Cuba to re-supply, God willing, you will be flogged some more. And then enslaved on the sugar plantations for the rest of your miserable lives. To the brig.


Miguel: You fight like my sister!
Tulio: I've fought your sister - that is a compliment!
Miguel: Blaggard!
Tulio: Heathen! [trips and falls to the ground] Not the face, not the face!

[While running for their lives, they come to the edge of a roof, quite a distance from the waterfront.]
Miguel: I'll bet we can make that.
Tulio: Two pesetas says we can't.
Miguel: You're OOOOOOONNNNNNN! [They jump of the edge and land in two barrels] You lose. [Tulio flips two pesetas into Miguel's barrel]
[Almost immediately, ropes are thrown around the two barrels and they are hoisted into the air.]
Tulio: What's happening here?
Miguel: We're both in barrels. That's the extent of my knowledge.

Tulio: Alright. In the dead of night, you and I grab some provisions, hijack one of those... longboats... and then, we... row back to Spain like there's no mañana!
Miguel: Back to Spain?
Tulio: Yeah.
Miguel: [uncertainly] In a rowboat?
Tulio: You got it!
Miguel: [sarcastically] Oh, great. Sensational. And that's your plan, is it?
Tulio: That's... pretty much it.
Miguel: [Feigning delight] Well, I like it! So, how do we get on deck?
Tulio: [pause] In the dead of night, you and I grab some provisions, hijack one of those... longboats...
Miguel: [bored; sarcastic] Oh, great!
Tulio: [annoyed] Well, then, what's your idea, smart guy?!
Miguel: [annoyed] Wha-wha-what do you mean? You're the one who comes up with the plans!

Miguel: Altivo! Hey, Altivo! You want the nice apple? Come and get it! But, you have to do a trick for me first! All you have to do, is find a pry bar. It's a long piece of iron with a hooky thing at the end.
Tulio: Miguel, you're talking to a HORSE!
Miguel: Yes, that's it Altivo. Find the pry bar!
Tulio: Yes, "find the pry bar". He doesn't understand "pry bar"! He's a dumb horse, there's no way he'd--
[Altivo drops keys into the brig]
Tulio: Well. It's not a pry bar.

Tulio: Did any of the supplies make it?
Miguel: Well, um, yes and no.
[Altivo is shown eating the few supplies that made it into the boat.]
Tulio: [sarcastically] Oh... GREAT!
Miguel: Tulio, look on the positive side. At least things can't get...
[Thunder claps and rain falls.]
Tulio: Excuse me, were... were you going to say "worse"?
Miguel: No.
Tulio: No?
Miguel: No.
Tulio: You sure?
Miguel: No. Absolutely. I've revised that whole... thing.
Tulio: We're at least in a rowboat.
Migule: Yes, in a rowboat, you miss nothing.
[Unnoticed by Miguel and Tulio, Altivo nervously watches the sharks following the boat.]

[Miguel and Tulio are stranded in the boat, together with Altivo]
Miguel: Tulio, did you ever imagine it would end like this?
Tulio: [Pause] The horse is a surprise.
Miguel: Any... regrets?
Tulio: Besides dying? Yeah. I never... had enough... gold.
Miguel: My regret, besides dying, is... our greatest adventure is over before it began, and no one will even remember us.
Tulio: Well, if it's any consolation, Miguel, you... made my life... an adventure.
Miguel: And if it's any consolation, Tulio, you made my life... rich.
[Altivo snorts in irritation; the boat has been drifting near land the whole time.]

Tulio: Apparently, El Dorado is native for... "Great... Big... ROCK!!!" [silence, as "ROCK!!!" echoes] Hey, but I tell you what: I'm feeling generous, so you can have my share!
Miguel: Tulio, you don't think, Cortes could've gotten here before us and, and-
Tulio: And what? Taken all the really big rocks? The scoundrel!

Miguel: Tulio! Tulio, we've done it!
Tulio: Is that the map?
Miguel: It's all right here!
Tulio: You still have the map?
Miguel: The whistling rock! The stream!
Tulio: You kept the map but you couldn't manage to grab a little more FOOD?!
Miguel: Even those mountains! You said it yourself, it could be possible, and it is! It really is the map to El Dorado!
Tulio: [Pause] You drank sea water, didn't you?
Miguel: [Frustrated] Oh, come on!
Tulio: I'm not "coming on"! I wouldn't set foot in that jungle for a million pesetas!
[Tulio starts to head back to the rowboat; Miguel gets an idea.]
Miguel: How about... a hundred million?
Tulio: [Stops] What's that?
Miguel: Well, I just thought, that since El Dorado's the city of gold...
Tulio: What's your point?
Miguel: You know, dust, nuggets, bricks. A temple, where you could pluck gold from the very walls, but you don't want go! So let's go back to the boat and row back to Spain! After all, it worked so well last time.
[Miguel pretends to head back to the boat; Tulio changes his mind and hurriedly stops him.]
Tulio: Waaa- Wait! New plan. We find the City of Gold. We take the gold... and then go back to Spain.
Miguel: And buy Spain!

Tulio: Miguel and Tulio!
Miguel: Tulio and Miguel!
Together: Mighty and powerful Gods!
Chel: Hello.
[both squeal; Chel bursts out laughing]
Tulio: Depart, mortal, before we strike you with a lightning bolt!
Miguel: Beware the wrath of the gods! Begone! [mimics lightning bolt] Ck-ck!
Chel: [calmly] Save it for the High Priest, honey, you're gonna need it.
Miguel: Ck-ck!
Tulio: Miguel, it's not working.
Miguel: Ck-ck!
Tulio: Miguel! We've been caught.
Miguel: Ck-ck...
Chel: Oh, no. Don't worry about me. "My only wish is to serve the gods." Remember?
Tulio: How?
Chel: Well, you guys both want the gold and you don't want to get caught, right? You're gonna need help.
Miguel: Why do you think we need your help?
Chel: [mimics Miguel's lightning sound] Are you serious?

Chel: Oh, then I suppose you'll be wanting these back? [produces Tulio's dice in her hand]
Tulio: [pats pockets, shocked] Hey... how'd you get those?
Miguel: [raising eyebrows] Where was she keeping them?

Tulio: The little voice, remember? Remember the little voice? Well, just for a second, imagine that you have one. What would it be saying about Chel?
Miguel: Uuuuum... [purrs]
Tulio: No, no! Listen, we are partners.
Miguel: We're partners.
Tulio: And we have a plan, remember?
Miguel: Get the gold, go back to Spain.
Tulio: Yes! And we are pretending to be Gods. Now, put Chel in the mix. What does the voice say? Listen carefully.
Miguel: Chel is... off limits?
Tulio: Bravo! Chel is off limits!

[Tzekel-Kan starts to perform a human sacrifice.]
Tulio: STOP! This is not a proper tribute!
[Miguel rescues the intended victim and drags him to safety.]
Tzekel-Kan: [Surprised] You do not want the tribute?
Miguel: No no, we want tribute. It's just that, um... Tulio, tell him.
Tulio: The stars are not in position for this tribute!
Miguel: Like he said! Stars! Can't do it. Not today.
Tzekel-Kan: [Uncertain] Perhaps it is possible that I... misread the heavens.
Miguiel: Don't worry about it! To err is human! To forgive!

Tulio: [After he and Miguel tell the chief that they intend to stay in El Dorado for three days so that a boat can be built for them, Tulio is tossing gold ear rings in his hands and looking worried] No. Three days is not fine. This is a real... [he hands the gold ear rings to Chel] These are the ones.
Chel: [accepts them from Tulio] Thank you.
Tulio: Problem. [Turns to Miguel sitting on a chair] Miguel, how are we going to keep this up for three days?
Miguel: [Gets off the chair looking exasperated at Tulio's concern] You worry too much.
Tulio: No, I worry exactly the right amount! You can never worry too much! We just have to lie low.
Miguel: [Looks out at a view of the city in awe] But Tulio, this place is amazing. I mean, I wonder what's-
Tulio: [cuts him off] NO! Don't even move!
Miguel: Tulio...
Tulio: You're moving! [He and Miguel scuffle until Miguel groans in protest] Just stand there!
Miguel: [frozen in shock] For three days?! [he topples over]
Tulio: Yes! Exactly! For three days! Don't even breath! All right?
Miguel: [gets up and brushes his sleeve clean] All right. We lie low.
Tulio: Na-ah-ah-ah! Promise?
Miguel: Yeah, yeah, yeah, all right, all right, all right.
Tulio: [sighs in relief] Great. Good. Okay. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to... [tickles Chel] ...gloat over my gold. [he kisses a small gold statue happily]

Tzekel-Kan: My lords? Hello?
Chel: The High Priest! What's he gonna think if he finds one of the Gods like this with me?
Tulio: Uh, "Lucky God"?
Chel: Just-- just-- just... [frustratedly fixes Tulio's hair]
Tzekel-Kan: Hello?
[Chel kicks Tulio toward Tzekel-Kan]
Tulio: WHOA! Oh, Tzekel-Kan! What brings you here?
Tzekel-Kan: I humbly request to have an audience with you, my lord.
Tulio: Lord, yes. What can I do for you?
Tzekel-Kan: My lord, I have just seen Lord Miguel out among the people.
Tulio: Really?!
Tzekel-Kan: If I may be so bold as to offer some advice?
[Chel signals Tulio to cut Tzekel-Kan off]
Tulio: [misreads Chel's signal] Alright, shoot.
Chel: [facepalms and groans in frustration]
Tzekel-Kan: My lord, you are perfect.
Tulio: Oh. Well, go on.
Tzekel-Kan: But in your perfection, you cannot know how imperfect humans are. [begins to conjure menacing images] Like snakes, they are spineless and slippery. They are as untrustworthy as rats, stealing and cheating, with no remorse. [takes a bite out of a conjured pear then spits it out] Spinning webs of lies, like SPIDERS! [Crushes a conjured spider in his hand]
Tulio: [nauseated] Stop it! That's disgusting!
Tzekel-Kan: [makes the conjured images vanish] They're beyond disgusting!
Tulio: Yeah, yeah! Way beyond!
Tzekel-Kan: Then we're in agreement, I shall think the proper preparations. Now, do you wish to have your victims bound to altar, or would you prefer them free range? And will you devour their essence whole, or piece-by-piece?
Tulio: [pause] Tzek, you lost me.
Tzekel-Kan: My Lord, these people will not respect if they do not fear you.
Tulio: And, of course, we will make them fear us, by, uh...
Tzekel-Kan: By sacrifice! As it is prophesied, the history of the Age of the Jaguar will be written in...
Tulio: Ink?
Tzekel-Kan: Blood!
Tulio: Blood! Oh! Oh, yes. This is very important stuff. I should tell Lord Miguel about this blood issue right away. [to Chel] Come on, honey. Let's go.
Tzekel-Kan: [Relieved] Finally, we're connecting.

Tulio: What... do you think... you're doing?!
Miguel: [chuckles] Laying low?
Tulio: [growls to himself in frustration] Look, change of plan: We need to grab what we can, and get outta here, now!
Miguel: What?! Why?!
Tulio: Because the High Priest is NUTS!

Miguel: We need a miracle.
Tulio: No, we need to cheat!

[When confronted by Tzekel-Kan, Miguel and Tulio begin to use their con tactics to fake an argument]
Tulio: You're not a God? You lied to me? How dare you?!
Miguel: Hey, it was his stupid plan!
Tulio: My plan was that we should lie low! But your plan was to run off and be all "Oh, look at me, look at me, I'm a God!"
Miguel: That's not true!
Tulio: No? Who are you kidding?! You're buying your own con!
Miguel: At least I'm not dating mine!
Tulio: I-- Ooh, low blow. Listen, Mr. High and Mighty. We'd both be sailing out of here with a mountain of gold if you had just listened to me!
Miguel: Well, you've got the precious gold and Chel! So what do you need me for?!
Tulio: Well, maybe I don't need you anymore!
Miguel: Well, then, why don't you just go back to Spain, and I'll stay here, and we'll both get what we want?!
[They start slapping each other]
Tulio: Fine with me, pal!
Miguel: Fine with me, too!
Tulio Fine!
Miguel: Okay!
[They both punch Tzekel-Kan in the face]

[Tzekel-Kan has been found by the Spanish after being banished from the city. He planned to lead them to El Dorado, but Miguel and Tulio flooded the main tunnel entrance and collapsed it. Surveying the blank wall of stone, pools of water and piles of rock, Cortes looks at Tzekel-Kan in disgust.]
Cortes: You lying heathen. There is nothing here at all.
Tzekel-Kan: No. Wait, wait-
Cortes: [Kicks Tzekel-Kan into the water] Men, seize him!
Tzekel-Kan: What?!
[Spanish soldiers seize hold of Tzekel-Kan's arms.]
Cortes: There is no El Dorado here. Onward, men!
[Cortes and his men move on. As Tzekel-Kan is dragged away with them, he notices Chel waving to him cheekily.]
Tzekel-Kan: Wait! No, wait! WAAAAIIIIIIIT!

About The Road to El Dorado[edit]

  • The problem, obviously, was that the milieu that Jeffrey had chosen - no less than the near-annihilation of the Mezo-American peoples and the destruction of their culture - didn't really lend itself to a flat-out comedy, we thought. There had to be enough depth in these characters to allow us to do a story which would allow for some real drama - tragedy, even.
And the original story acknowledged the fundamental tragedy of the milieu - the city of El Dorado (which wasn't even the mythical El Dorado, it was just the first city Tulio and Miguel found, which they mistakenly believed was El Dorado) was not saved. The people ended up abandoning it to Cortes, and vanishing into the jungles - the people survived (barely), but the culture did not. This was also accurate to history - Cortes encountered a number of abandoned cities on his way to Tenochtitlan (capital of the Aztec empire), and was our answer to the question 'What happened to the Mayans'.
  • Ted Elliot [1]


External links[edit]

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