The Road to El Dorado
In this animated offering from DreamWorks, two con men -- Miguel (voiced by Kenneth Branagh) and Tulio (Kevin Kline) -- become stowaways on Cortez's ship from Spain. The pair somehow stumble upon El Dorado, a secret city of gold hidden behind a waterfall, and the city's inhabitants mistake the duo for gods. The story is original and often as engaging or exciting as the tales in Disney films. However, what's particularly refreshing here is that there is no one hero -- instead, a boisterous cast of supporting characters keeps the action moving forward.
As far as cartoons go, these animated actors are lively and fun. The vocal work by Kline and Branagh is particularly standout, though Branagh's British accent is a bit odd in this film. Their excellent work offsets the grating voice of Rosie Perez, who is badly cast as a sexy con woman.
As with most animated features, this one clocks in with a lean running time. The first 20 minutes are somewhat slow, but once the adventurous duo reach El Dorado, the pace quickens.
Mickey's not sweating the competition yet. This movie is pleasant enough, but Disney's still the gold standard in animated features.