Miguel is one of the two main protagonists of DreamWorks' 3rd full-length animated feature The Road to El Dorado, the other being Tulio. He is one of two Spanish con artists, both of whom are first shown on a wanted poster. Miguel is the fun-loving member of the duo and he has blond hair and a Van Dyke beard, and wears a red shirt, golden-yellow pants, and brown shoes. They both intend to get gold from the city of El Dorado.
Miguel is free-spirited, fun-loving and adventurous, and although he is initially quite interested in getting gold from El Dorado, he is more interested in exploring the city itself, a contrasting personality trait to Tulio.
Miguel is a person with a strong sense of justice, but also an empathetic soul–as seen when he tries to save the citizens of El Dorado by banishing Tzekal-Kan. He is loyal to his friends and is willing to go to great length to help and protect them.
Although Tulio is usually the one who comes up with the plans, Miguel tends to come off as slightly dim-witted and fantasy-oriented. Although he tends to be the one to pull off Tulio's plans with ideas of his own–like when he got him and Tulio out of the brig so they could escape.
Miguel is a bit more sensitive and playful than Tulio. He plays the Lute, enjoys entertaining, cares for others, and is able to see the beauty and potential of the world around him. For example, Miguel has no problem standing up against Tzekel-Khan and ordering him to stop sacrificing the locals. He can, however, seem a bit over-confident, which often gets him into trouble. Although he and Tulio aren't particularly brave, they aren't exactly cowardly either. Although he can be a little too outgoing, he is Tulio's most precious friend in the whole world.
Role in Film
With Tulio, he, too, was seen on the same wanted poster, possibly for a con. He was playing some kind of string instrument trying to con people while Tulio uses loaded dice to compete with the sailors. When one of the sailors bet the map to El Dorado, Miguel was excited about the idea of an adventure and convinces the not-so-pleased Tulio to do it even with the sailor's dice. Even though Tulio ironically win, the loaded dice got discovered. Miguel and Tulio faked a duel against each other and ran around the city to escape the bull, the townspeople, and the guards. The duo hide in barrels and ended being taken aboard the ship that sets off to the new world. The duo were eventually discovered by the sailors and get thrown into the brig.
It was Miguel who uses an apple to persuade Altivo, the captain's horse, to get them the keys to the brig although Miguel meant to have him get the bar. In the dead of night, Miguel and Tulio hijacked a rowboat and ended up having to rescue and bring Altivo, who trying to get the apple, along with them. The trio eventually found land, but was frightened by the skeletons laying about. Miguel was about get on the boat when he notice the rock that looks like the symbol on the map to El Dorado, revealing that he still had the map. After convincing Tulio to follow the map to the city of gold, the trio went on the long journey through the jungle (meeting Bibo along the way). Eventually, they found the rock with the last symbol from the map. But seeing no city by the rock, Tulio concluded that there is no El Dorado and Miguel was dumbfounded.
But as they were leaving, Chel ran into them while trying to escape the guards. The guards take Miguel, Tulio, Chel, and Altivo to El Dorado, which turns out to be hidden behind the waterfall. Miguel and Tulio were amazed by the city's beauty. When they meet the chief and Tzekel-Kan, they learned that the citizens of El Dorado believed that they were gods who have come to live among them. Later, Chel meet up with them to make a deal to which they reluctantly agreed to. Miguel find Chel attractive, but Tulio tells Miguel that Chel's off-limits.
During their stay in El Dorado, Miguel grew to love the place and wants to stay there forever. When Tzekel-Kan demanded sacrifice, Miguel tells him that no more sacrifices are needed. When Cortes and men, being lead by Tzekel-Kan, were closing in, Miguel tells the chief that they're not able to stop them. So Tulio came up with an idea to knock the pillars to block the entrance to the city. When Tulio couldn't get the sail unstuck, Miguel and Altivo jump aboard and get the sail unstuck. When Tulio tells Miguel that he'll never see El Dorado if he doesn't get off the boat, Miguel just answered, "Am I really gonna let you have all the fun?" The plan worked although the team lost the pile of gold while knocking the pillars. But Miguel and Tulio are now partners again and Miguel was last seen riding off into the sunset with Chel and Tulio, likely to begin several more adventures.
- Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh actually recorded their lines together so that they could bounce off of each other--(which is rare; voice actors usually record their lines alone with someone else filling in the other characters). It worked splendidly.
- Denis Leary, Jim Carrey, David Schwimmer, Drew Carey, Matthew Broderick and Scott Weinger were all considered for the role of Miguel before Kenneth Branagh was cast.