The Road to El Dorado & The Prince of Egypt

Otherwise known as: DreamWorks Animated Features On Netflix That I’d Missed As A Kid

As it turns out, The Road To El Dorado is hilarious. I don’t know if I’d just set a low bar for wit, being a kids movie, or if it was the Campari granita I was crunching on, but I had a super great time. That the horse stuck around as character! That the music was by Elton John and Tim Rice feat. Hans Zimmer! Stage darlings Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline as these adorable optimist/pessimist partners conning their way out of & into adventures and each other’s hearts! A gift, this movie.

Also, a surprisingly sophisticated attitude toward religion? The gods are real, but also they’re fake, but also people already know that, but also there is magic, but also the most powerful sort is rooted within the community itself and the love they show each other — this is pretty impressive stuff for PG! It’s contradictory and so human, and that’s the sort of truth I know.

A more straightforward approach with the spiritual, The Prince of Egypt has a sacred text sincerity note before we even hit the title card. I’m going to trust them that it reflects the story of Moses as told in several religions, and gosh, it’s certainly beautiful enough to feel like a special sort of art. Wonderful songs and absolutely gorgeous animation, painting-like frames that you nearly want to pause and gaze at for a moment to soak in all the richness.

And once again, a fully ridiculous cast: Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, Martin Short. “What on earth!” – me looking at the IMDb page after I couldn’t shake the feeling that The Queen was voicing The Queen. But if we’re going to give out an award for Most Distinctive in this line-up, it’s going to Jeff Goldblum, who either imbues animated characters with his physical presence just with his voice, or the animation happened after the fact and the artists just couldn’t resist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s