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Back to 'El Dorado'

May 01, 2000

In his bilious and sarcastic defense of "The Road to El Dorado" (Counterpunch Letters, April 17), Scott Claus inappropriately and in a self-flattering manner compares "Road" to such classics as "Snow White," "Pinocchio" and "Peter Pan." These films were adapted from classic literature. "Pinocchio," in particular, was written by an Italian journalist as a parody of the Italy and the times he lived in.

"The Road to El Dorado" bears no such pedigree. Its "original story" is a bizarre mishmash of legend (El Dorado), history (Cortez), Hollywood anachronism (the Hope-Crosby pretensions with their concomitant "white man's burden"), pop culture, sex and obligatory pyrotechnics, resulting in yet another overproduced and unsatisfying big-budget film that lost its way in the making.

Yes, if scrutinized through contemporary and politically correct eyes, the Disney films Claus cites are rife with objectionable images and stereotypes. However, the Disney versions can be contextualized as zeitgeists of their respective eras. If "The Road to El Dorado" were made 50 years ago, Claus could use the same excuse. But it wasn't, and therefore it should bear responsibility for any rehashing of stereotypes and not just finger point into the past.

RAYMIE MUZQUIZ

South Pasadena

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