The Road to El Dorado 2 is a 2020 animated adventure comedy film. It is a sequel to the 2000 film The Road to El Dorado.
In 1533 (fourteen years after the first movie) the Spanish have conquered the "New World" and established the colony of New Spain. The colony's first governor, Hernando Cortez, in the interest of spreading Christianity, requests that a number of clergy be sent to convert the 'local heathens.' Back in Spain, Sister Catalina is an orphan who grew up on the streets before being taken in by the local nuns, led by Mother Superior Erauso. Catalina is a constant headache to Erauso, as she is not fond of the devout lifestyle, preferring to spend her days singing, playing instruments, and performing tricks (like juggling and acrobatics) for the locals. Delighted by the idea of being rid of her, Mother Erauso tries to convince Catalina to journey to New Spain with a small group of her fellow sisters who are accompanying the monks requested by Cortez. Intrigued by Erauso's promises of adventure and excitement, Catalina agrees and sets sail for New Spain. On the journey across the Atlantic, Catalina clashes with the leader of her fellow nuns, the pious Maria, and the firebrand head of the missionaries, Father Fernandez, due to her frivolous attitude toward her duties as a nun, and her flirtatious behavior toward a handsome sailor. However, her youthful spirit impresses the kindly Father Vidal, who's approach to his work as a missionary is far less heavy handed than Father Fernandez's.
Upon arriving in New Spain, the monks and nuns set out for Mexico City in a heavily guarded convoy (as attacks by the natives against religious figures are on the rise). As the convoy spends the next several days hiking through the jungle, Catalina continues to draw the ire of her fellow travelers with her adventurous and carefree spirit. Her recklessness particularly annoys the leader of the troops, Captain Gallego. Father Vidal takes it upon himself to keep Catalina out of trouble, and the pair develops a father-daughter-like bond. One night, after making camp, the group is attacked by a group of men dressed like jaguars. In the chaos, Catalina manages to save Sister Maria from one of the attackers through her quick thinking, earning her Maria's grudging respect. Gallego and the other soldiers manage to drive off the rest of the attackers. The next day, the convoy arrives in a small native village where they are greeted by a scarred, older native named Zolin, the patriarch of the village. Zolin reveals that the local priest who had built a church in the village was kidnapped by the "Jaguars who walk like men", so Father Fernandez decides to have the convoy rest in the village for a few days in order to set up a new convent, despite Captain Gallego's misgivings.
Over the next several days, the priests and nuns clean up the village's neglected church while resuming religious ceremonies like baptism and confession. Catalina quickly grows bored with the routine, and begins sneaking away to explore the jungle around the village. On one of her excursions she saves a young native boy from a snake, who she quickly befriends. The boy shows her his small statue of the Aztec goddess Mictecacihuatl, which Catalina finds beautiful, but promises to keep it a secret since such icons have been forbidden. The next day, the majority of the priests and nuns prepare to move on, but Father Fernandez announces his intentions to stay behind and "purify" the village. He then produces the statue that the little boy had shown Catalina, and accuses the natives of clinging to their "false idols." A horrified Catalina is forced to watch as the statue is destroyed and the young boy is severely whipped for his transgression. After the sickening spectacle, Catalina is further enraged to learn that Gallego intends to leave her behind in the village under Fernandez (having no desire to have her travel with him and his men again). Father Vidal tries to get Gallego to change his mind, but only manages to get himself chosen to remain behind as well. Nonetheless, Catalina, intent on not remaining under the iron hand of Fernandez, steals a set of armor and dons it, impersonating one of the soldiers so she can depart with the rest of the convoy.
Catalina's ruse seems to work as she departs the village. After the company makes camp for the night, however, she is confronted by Gallego, who reveals that he knows of her deception and yanks the helmet from her head and prepares to strike her. Before he can do so, the camp is attacked once again by the men dressed as jaguars. While Gallego and his men struggle to fend off their assailants, Catalina flees into the jungle, but is pursued and captured by one of the mysterious men. After passing out, Catalina awakens locked in a stone room. Her captor arrives shortly after, and Catalina attacks him. In the process of their scuffle, the man's mask falls off revealing him to be Miguel. Shocked at seeing that he is European, Catalina ceases her resistance, and Miguel asks that she refrain from attacking anyone else until they have had a chance to explain what is going on. Miguel leads her out of the room and reveals an entire community of natives that have taken refuge in an old temple, and explains that he and his friend, Tulio, arrived in the New World years ago and became good friends with many of its native peoples. When the Spanish arrived and began conquering them, Miguel and Tulio helped set up the community in the temple where the natives can worship and live in peace without fear of reprisal. Catalina questions Miguel's claims that they only want to live in peace, pointing out that it is Miguel and his followers who have been attacking the Spanish. Miguel claims that the attacks are merely to scare the Spanish away from the temple.
Miguel introduces Catalina to his friend, Tulio and Tulio's wife, Chel, along with their children. Tulio chides Miguel for allowing Catalina out of her prison, but Miguel insists that Catalina can be "brought around." Still suspicious of Miguel and the whole village, Catalina demands to see the priest that Zolin claims the Jaguar men captured, but both Miguel and Tulio deny they have taken any other captives other than her (as Miguel was afraid that Catalina had been taken by the soldiers against her will). However, Tulio adamantly refuses Catalina's request that she be allowed to leave, fearing she might reveal the temple's existence to the Spanish. Nonetheless, Catalina is allowed to wander the village freely, with the exception of the temple itself, which Tulio insists in forbidden to Europeans due to its holy importance for the natives. Over the course of next several days, Catalina lives among the natives. Despite her initial mistrust, she finds herself drawn to the life in the village, as she is free to do what she likes and does not have to suffer under the expectations of a nun or woman. She finds content in joining groups of natives who travel into the jungle to gather food, and learns under one of the native women, Xiliana, how to survive in the jungle. The two women become swift friends. Meanwhile, Catalina bonds with Tulio's children, as well as Chel, to whom Catalina reveals some of her past as an orphan and a nun. She and Miguel also grow closer due to their shared love of music and adventure, and Miguel reveals that he saw Catalina agree to keep the young native boy's statue a secret, and that this was his reason for believing she could be reasoned with.
One day, while storing away food, Catalina passes by the entrance to the forbidden temple and her curiosity gets the better of her. She enters and discovers a gigantic statue of Mictecacihuatl, as well as an altar covered in dried blood. Horrified, she almost flees when she hears cries for help and follows them to a cell where she finds Father Zambrano, the priest from Zolin's village. Zambrano begs that Catalina release him, claiming that the natives plan to sacrifice him to Mictecacihuatl, who is the goddess of the underworld. Catalina agrees and manages to free him before the pair flees. Using her newly gained skills to navigate the jungle, Catalina brings Zambrano back to Zolin's village. It is revealed that Gallego has since returned from Mexico city with even more soldiers to "subdue the rebellious natives" in the area, and Father Fernandez has established a strict, theocratic rule over the village, punishing any who oppose him or violate his 'laws.' At first, Fernandez is grateful toward Catalina for freeing Father Zambrano, but when Zambrano reveals the existence of the temple and the statue of Mictecacihuatl, Fernandez demands that Catalina lead Gallego and the soldiers to the temple in order to destroy the statue. Realizing that Fernandez intends to brutalize the people she has come to call friends, Catalina refuses. However, Zolin reveals that he knows the location of the temple and offers to lead the Spaniards to it. Fernandez orders Catalina's imprisonment.
In the village's stockade, Catalina is thrown into a cell next to Father Vidal, who had spoken out against Fernandez's harsh treatment of the natives that they had been 'sent to save.' Realizing that she has made a terrible mistake and betrayed her friends, Catalina sinks into despair, but is reminded by Vidal that everyone is human and make mistakes. Her spirits lifted by his words, Catalina attempts to find a way to escape. The pair are visited by Sister Maria, who has also grown disillusioned with Fernandez for turning the village into his 'own personal fiefdom.' After some convincing by Catalina, Maria abandons her pious bearing briefly to distract a guard while retrieving the keys to the cells to free Catalina and Vidal. Catalina runs off to warn the temple while Father Vidal and Maria rally the priests and villagers to rise up against the soldiers who have remained behind in the village. Meanwhile, Miguel and Tulio learn from a scout of the approaching Spaniards, and prepare a series of booby traps and surprises to try and frighten off the superstitious soldiers. After realizing that Catalina is missing, Tulio and Miguel assume she has betrayed them, leaving Miguel heartbroken. Catalina races through the jungle and manages to arrive at the temple just as the soldiers begin their assault. Several of the traps go off as planned, either capturing or frightening off many of the soldiers. However, Gallego, Fernandez, Zolin, and a few remaining troops push on. Miguel and Tulio attempts to rally the villagers, but many are captured by the better armed troops.
Catalina sneaks into the village and finds Xiliana, who she helps rescue a group of captured villagers, including Chel and Tulio's children. After doing so, Catalina and Chel head for the temple. Miguel and Tulio make one final effort to scare off Fernandez and his followers, but their attempt to impersonate angry spirits fails when Gallego sees through the ruse. After being captured, the former con-men are stunned to see that Zolin has led the Spaniards to the temple. Zolin is revealed to be a former member of the temple community who grew disillusioned with hiding out from the invaders. Zolin privately reveals to Miguel and Tulio that he believes if the Spaniards destroy the statue, then Mictecacihuatl will send a curse that will decimate the Spaniards and leave the natives in control once again. While Fernandez and Gallego prepare to destroy the statue with gunpowder, Catalina and Chel manage to over come the few soldiers left guarding the entrance, and free Miguel and Tulio. The four then confront Zolin, Gallego, and Fernandez just as they are about to light the fuse. Catalina accuses Fernandez of seeking to increase his own personal power rather than spread the word of God. At first Fernandez defends his decisions, but Catalina eloquently denounces Fernandez's missionary efforts as heavy-handed and cruel, in contravention to the love that Christ had preached toward all men, even unbelievers. Fernandez begins to questions himself, but a furious Gallego grabs the torch from his hand and lights the powder.
The powder goes off, destroying the statue, and bringing the temple roof down. In the ensuing collapse, Zolin is killed. Catalina, Miguel, Tulio, Chel, Zolin, and Gallego managed to escape, however. As the survivors looks back at the ruined temple, Gallego takes advantage of their distraction to grab his flintlock pistol and prepares to shoot Catalina in a rage. However, before he can do so, Miguel jumps in front of her and takes the bullet. Infuriated, Catalina attacks Gallego, while Tulio and Chel attend the wounded Miguel. Gallego engages in a vicious sword duel with Catalina, but his superior military training shows, and he soon overpowers her. Before he can strike the killing blow, however, he is stopped by the arrival of Xiliana and several armed natives, who hold him at bow point. Gallego grudgingly surrenders. Suddenly, a green apparition arises from the ruins of the temple, revealed to be the spirit of Zolin who posses Father Fernandez. Fernandez (Zolin) speaks briefly and cryptically to Catalina, praising her bravery and spirit, before grabbing a terrified Gallego and pulling him into the temple rubble, never to be seen again. The natives celebrate their victory.
Several days later, Miguel has recovered, the bullet having merely grazed his ribs. The natives decide to continue to live in the ruins, and even perhaps rebuild the temple someday. Father Vidal takes over the mission at the nearby village, encouraging a more tolerant view that Christianity and the old native beliefs can coincide together, saying to Catalina:
"The word of God is truth, we only have to speak it faithfully and it will find listeners. If we force it upon them it loses all meaning."Though he offers Catalina a place in the convent, she declines, expressing her desire to travel the New World instead and seek out adventure. Vidal accepts this, and even agrees to release Catalina from her vows as a nun. Catalina says farewell to her friends at the temple, but before departing, asks Miguel to come with her. Miguel agrees, and shares a fond farewell with Tulio (who chooses remain behind with his family, stating that they are the 'only treasure' he needs). As Catalina and Miguel depart, they are followed by a young colt, who escapes from one of the stables. However, the colt is called back by the neigh of its father, who is revealed to be an older Altivo who has found a mare and had a family of his own.
- Karla Sousa as Catalina, a free spirited orphan and nun who seeks a life of adventure rather than piety.
- Kenneth Branagh as Miguel
- Kevin Kline as Tulio
- Rosie Perez as Chel
- Jim Cummings as Hernando Cortez
- Maria Doyle Kennedy as Mother Superior Erauso
- Eva Mendes as Maria
- Jeremy Irons as Father Fernandez
- Giancarlo Esposito as Father Vidal
- Javier Bardem as Captain Gallego
- Steven Michael Quezada as Zolin
- Penelope Cruz as Xiliana
- Anthony Brophy as Father Zambrano
- The protagonist, Catalina, is based on a real life person, Catalina de Erauso, who was known as the Lieutenant Nun because she had run away from a convent and spent years masquerading as a man in the army, reaching the rank of lieutenant by the time she retired.