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The Musical Road
Legendary recording artist Elton John serves as the musical narrative voice of "The Road to El Dorado," propelling the story via six original songs heard in the film, written by John and Tim Rice.

Katzenberg offers, "We wanted the songs sung by Elton to be the heart and soul of the movie—not only helping to tell the story, but revealing what's happening beneath the surface."

Hans Zimmer composed the score, marking his first collaboration with John and Rice since their Oscar-winning triumph "The Lion King." Joining the team for this film is composer John Powell, who worked with Zimmer on the score.

"Having Elton, Tim and Hans together again on a movie is a dream for me," states Katzenberg, another "Lion King" alumnus. "To get to work with these guys is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I feel extremely lucky that it's happened to me twice."

"The reason I loved doing ‘The Lion King' and wanted to be a part of this film is the rapport I have with Jeffrey Katzenberg," Elton John says. "He's inspirational; he makes me feel a part of the team, not just in terms of the music, but the film as a whole. He's always willing to listen to what I think about the movie. Of course, then I have to let him say what he thinks about the music," John laughs.

"I wanted to do another animated film," he continues. "Of course, I'm lucky. I write the melodies, so compared to Tim, I have the easy job. Animation is a long process—the story evolves, the jokes change, the songs switch scenes…and through all that, Tim is rewriting lyrics. But it was just delightful to work with Jeffrey, Tim and Hans again. We have tremendous respect for one another, so it was truly a team effort."

The first song heard in the movie is the opening theme "El Dorado," which accompanies the vividly colorful creation of the mythical city. "It needed to be a majestical, up-tempo song to really catch your attention at the start of the film," says John. "Lyrically, it tells the story of how El Dorado was formed as a glorious gift from the gods, which visually matches the incredible opening of the movie done by the animators."

Before we can explore El Dorado, however, we first meet up with Tulio and Miguel in 16th-century Spain, where they are caught cheating in a dice game, putting the story in motion. The settings of the story in Spain and El Dorado had a strong influence on the songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, as well as the musical score compositions created by Hans Zimmer and John Powell.

"The music has to have an essence of the culture," John says. "All the songs in the movie are melodically linked because of their Latin roots."

"An interesting element of the music is that we have Spanish, Latin American and South American music intersecting in a harmonious way," Zimmer adds. "I love those musical styles, so it was great to do a little ‘knitting' between them. At the same time, it's not an anthropological study; it's a fun movie, so we used several instruments that didn't even exist in those days. It's a bit of a cheat, but that's the idea: to find the culture and then try to cross its borders for a broad audience."

Zimmer also broke tradition by not using a full orchestra for much of the scoring. The characters' individual themes are

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