Tulio is one of the two main protagonists of DreamWorks' 3rd full-length animated feature The Road to El Dorado, the other being Miguel. He is one of two Spanish con artists, both of whom are first shown on a wanted poster. Tulio is the practical member of the duo and he has black hair in a ponytail (tied with a purple band), blue eyes, a goatee, and stubble and wears a blue shirt, a brown vest, green pants and brown shoes. They both intend to get gold from the city of El Dorado.
Tulio tends to be the more strategic, logical, and level-headed of the two protagonists. He takes a romantic interest with Chel. He is initially more interested in wealth and fame than adventure (a conflicting trait with Miguel), but has a good heart; he is willing enough to give up his gold in order to protect the citizens of El Dorado from Hernán Cortés's army.
In times of trouble, Tulio is usually the one who comes up with a clever plan. He tries his best to remain realistic in every situation in order to stay out of trouble. A quick thinker, he is able to use words and improvisational acting to his advantage (like Miguel), and although he and Miguel have opposite personalities, values and ideas, the two deeply care about each other, and are unable to stay mad at each other for long without feeling guilty. Even Tulio is easily approached by Chel's beauty (see Chel) and you can read Chel's to know how Chel captures Tulio's heart. Even Tulio is Chel's sweetheart, he never forgets his camaraderie with Miguel.
Role in Film
Both Tulio and Miguel are first seen on a wanted poster, presumably for their occupations: con artists. He is first seen rolling loaded dice (the number 7) to win a bet from a group of sailors. When a sailor, Zaragoza, bet the map to El Dorado, Tulio was disinterested, but quickly pressured into agreeing by Miguel. To make matters worse, the sailor demands Tulio use his (the sailor's) dice. Tulio ironically wins the bet, however the event ends on a sour note, as his (loaded) dice fall from his pocket, discovered by sailor. Tulio and Miguel fake a duel and eventually flee from trouble with the sailors (and the guards), only to be pursued by an angered bull, and eventually the townspeople, and the guards. The duo hide in a pair of barrels that end up being shipped onto Cortés ship that was destined to depart for the New World. The duo break free from their barrel confinement, only to be found by the sailors on board and consequently, are locked up in the brig.
Miguel uses an apple to convince Altivo, Cortés' horse, to find a pry bar to help them break free; only to be given a set of keys instead, much to Tulio's irritation. Tulio and Miguel then hijack a rowboat, rescue Altivo (who was trying to get the apple) from drowning, and intend to row off to Spain. After few days spent out at sea, with minimal, if no, rations or drinking water, they eventually find land. Overjoyed, they flee from their rowboat, only to be frightened at the sight of skeletons laying about on shore. As Tulio and Altivo run to the boat, Miguel spots a familiar landmark that matches the drawing depicted on the map of El Dorado. Angered at first, that Miguel had chosen to bring the map, Tulio is eventually persuaded by the thought of gold, that he agrees to join the overly excited Miguel on a journey to find the lost city. Meeting Bibo, an armadillo they managed to unintentionally rescue from a predatory snake, along the way, they find the journey to be perilous, facing various issues along the way (mostly Tulio). As they near their destination, Tulio becomes more enthused by the idea, however, once they manage to fall down a cliff, landing before the last landmark, he returns to his irritable self. Seeing nothing but the waterfall behind the last stone, he believes that they've travelled all that way for nothing.
Convinced that nothing lay beyond the stone, Tulio demanded Miguel get on the horse (Altivo), and intended to depart back the way they came, before a native runs into them: Chel. The guards, that had apparently been chasing her, corner the Spaniards, before forcing the group to follow them back to El Dorado. Initially, the pair are ecstatic, and amazed, that the legendary city exists, however their moods quickly change, once they expect to be executed. Once they reach the centre of the city, they are greeted by the high priest, Tzekel-Kan and Chief Tannabok, who, along with the citizens of El Dorado, believe the pair are gods. Tzekel-Kan demands the gods prove their glorious title, before Tulio pulls Miguel aside for a quick talk. Annoyed, by Miguel's proclamations, he attempts to think of a plan to get them out of their situation. Meanwhile, a volcano begins to erupt, frightening the surrounding people. Panicked, Miguel begins to smack Tulio in the head, only furthering his irritation, before he exclaims, "STOP!". By coincidence, the erupting volcano stops, and the people are convinced, by the sign, that they are truly gods. After being lead up to their temple, and seemingly left alone, Tulio and Miguel laugh, bewildered and amused that the people bought their faux identities. Later, Chel appears, only to make a deal to keep their scam a secret, only if she can join in. The pair, Tulio more so, reluctantly agree.
During their stay in El Dorado, Tulio becomes attracted to Chel (and Chel, Tulio), which eventually leads to them getting together, despite Tulio and Miguel having agreed that she was off-limits. Miguel eventually finds out, which cements his desire to stay in El Dorado, while Tulio wanted to return to Spain. However, when Cortés and his men are closing in on the city, Tulio comes up with a plan to knock down the pillars, which would help seal the entrance to El Dorado forever. Miguel joins them, last minute, and they successfully see through his plan, and run off with Chel and Altivo to find new adventures and a way back to Spain.
- 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.
- Antonio Banderas, Adam Sandler, John Cusack, Mel Gibson, Steve Martin and Henry Connick Jr. were all considered for the role of Tulio before Kevin Kline was cast.