The Road To El Dorado’s Armadillo Was More Important Than We Thought
The Road to El Dorado is all about worshipping gods, pretending to be gods, and living like gods, but there actually weren’t any deities in the movie—or were there? Remember Bibo, the cute little armadillo who followed Miguel, Tulio, and Chel around? (Not to be confused with the movie’s co-director Eric “Bibo” Bergeron.) According to Reddit users xain1112 and consider_it_fun, the minor character in the film was actually a god in disguise.
Miguel and Tulio were too dim-witted to have successfully found a hidden city most thought was a myth, tricked a tribe of people into thinking they were gods, and escaped without dying at the hands of an evil high priest and/or conquistadors. They needed help, and that’s exactly what they got.
The Jungle Maze
The first time we see Bibo, it’s right when Miguel and Tulio venture into the jungle, hunting for the City of Gold. Both Reddit users posit the armadillo—who shouldn’t have even been in a jungle to begin with—was there as an unofficial tour guide. Because let’s face it, that map of theirs was a joke. The guys may have blazed a trail, but it seems highly unlikely they managed to find the giant rock in front of the hidden entrance on their own accord.
The Unlikely Saviour
This one part is actually my two-cents on the theory. Not more than three seconds after meeting Bibo, he’s about to be attacked by a snake. Then, Miguel cuts the tree branch at just the right moment and saves the armadillo. This could explain why Bibo suddenly started following them on their quest, as a type of thank-you for saving his life (even though he’s a god and arguably could’ve saved himself, but details, details).
The Volcanic Deception
When baddie Tzekel-Kan demands Miguel and Tulio prove their godly status, the con artist duo get into an argument while a volcano is about to erupt. Bibo chases a butterfly between their feet, and Tulio loses it and screams, “STOP,” which then “causes” the smoke and lava from the volcano to magically propel back into itself. There’s no rational explanation for this phenomenon in the movie, since Tulio isn’t actually a god, but Bibo’s presence during the whole thing raises the question of his godly status.
The Hip Hip
It’s obvious Miguel and Tulio are gonna lose the game if they don’t figure out a way to cheat. Cue Chel, who swaps out a regular ball for Bibo, making no one the wiser—until Tulio drops the ball (heh) and accidentally causes Miguel to bleed, a.k.a. a big no-no for gods.
The Master Plan
As Tulio and Chel are frantically trying to come up with a way to stop Hernán Cortés from finding the secret entrance to the City of Gold, Bibo “accidentally” drops his cup of water, which gives Tulio an idea on how to keep El Dorado hidden and get them safely away from Cortés’s army.
But wait, there’s more!
Reddit user _Ishmael commented on the theory and noted how he or she toyed with the idea that Altivo the horse was actually a god helping Miguel and Tulio. After reading the Bibo theory, however, _Ishmael thought the two of them, Bibo and Altivo, could’ve been gods sent to help the boys. “Maybe Altivo isn’t as powerful as the Armadillo in El Dorado, and maybe the Armadillo isn’t as powerful outside of El Dorado,” he or she noted.
In Fact, The Duo Gods Theory Could’ve Been Right All Along
Playing off of _Ishmael’s idea, OP xain1112 wrote, “Wait! What if Altivo and the armadillo are the two gods on the back of the serpent?” If that’s the case, then gods among men was foreshadowed before Miguel and Tulio ever set foot in El Dorado.