Was Chel DreamWorks' most inappropriate female character design?

Chel from The Road to El Dorado
(Image credit: DreamWorks)

As we mark International Women's Day with its focus attention on women's rights and gender equality, its inevitable that questions arise around the continued sexualisation of female characters. While the portrayal of women in films has changed over the years, there are still some questionable choices, even in children's animated films.

Voiced by Rosie Perez, Chel was the true star of DreamWorks' 2000 film The Road to El Dorado. A native Mesoamerican woman of exaggerated proportions, Tulio's love interest in the film is shown sporting the traditional 16th century pre-colonial dress of... er... a boob tube and a strip of cloth. And it turns out that the original concept for the character design was even more revealing.

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Joe Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news, features and buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment and software for creatives, from video editing programs to monitors and accessories. A veteran news writer and photographer, he now works as a project manager at the London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives. There he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing visual content and design assets for the hospitality sector. He also dances Argentine tango.