Gold in ‘Road’ bow

'Friends' serve as character influence

Three days after the Oscars, when everyone else in the entertainment industry would prefer life in a hermitage to any more socializing, DreamWorks lured a glitzy crowd to the Village Theater for a special screening of “The Road to El Dorado.”

Though some viewers see a Hope/Crosby road movie underpinning in the animated film, co-director Bibo Bergeron said he’s never seen one of the duo’s pics. The helmer said influences were the Chandler and Joey characters on “Friends,” plus two early 1970s French buddy movies by director Bertrand Blier.

Director Don Paul said the animated film is “all about taking the comedic sidekicks and giving them center stage.”

Besides putting them in the limelight, the directors also gave the sidekicks a love life. The film features what’s probably the longest, deepest kiss in any mainstream animated film. Rosie Perez, who gives voice to a lead character, hadn’t seen the film and was suitably impressed by the smooch.

“I knew there was a kiss,” she said, “but that’s a kiss.”

Among those animating the W hotel after-party were DreamWorks’ Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg; plus guests Ron Howard, John Burnham, Boris Becker, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Steve Tisch, Marisa Tomei and the Backstreet Boys’ Howie D.

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