When you’re searching for gold, you want to beat other prospectors. And DreamWorks has done just that with its tale of two 16th-century con men (Branagh and Kline) who stumble on a Latin American Shangri-la. Just as the studio’s ”Antz” beat the Disney-Pixar tale ”A Bug’s Life” to theaters in 1998, ”El Dorado” will beat Disney’s own Latin-flavored opus — ”The Emperor’s New Groove” (formerly titled ”Kingdom of the Sun”), slated for late fall 2000.
”The only comparison is they’re set on the same continent,” says codirector Bergeron, who shouldered quite a bit of the film after Finn departed, evidently amicably (DreamWorks exec Jeffrey Katzenberg — nemesis of his former Disney boss, Michael Eisner — served as a de facto fourth director). One thoroughly un-Disney aspect of this PG-rated film is the brief animated nudity when the Kline and Branagh characters skinny-dip in a hot-spring tub — one of several ambiguously gay moments between the buddies.
”There was a lot of me saying to Kevin, ‘What’s the plan now, darling?”’ says Branagh. ”But they cut the ‘darling’s out, actually. Jeffrey would say, ‘I don’t think you can say ”darling.” I’d say, ‘It’s affectionate.’ He’d say, ‘Yeah, yeah. Different kind of audience.”’ BUZZ FACTOR: 5
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