Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Elcano & Magellan: The First Voyage Around the World

Go To
You can sail your boat once in a while / But the world will never ever be the same.
Elcano & Magellan: The First Voyage Around the World (Elcano y Magallanes: La primera vuelta al mundo) is a Spanish All-CGI Cartoon movie released in 2019. It's Loosely Based On A True Story, in this case the first circumnavigation of the Earth, undergone by a Spanish expedition led first by Ferdinand Magellan and then Juan Sebastián Elcano.

It's 1519, and the young sailor Juan Sebastián Elcano has no luck. His attempt to carry an important passenger, royal notary Antonio Pigafetta, ends up with his little boat crashing against the ship of the Portuguese ambassador, after which local constables find out he is also quite in debt. However, Elcano finds a way out by enlisting in the expedition Pigafetta is part of, a risky enterprise led by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan. The Treaty of Tordesillas has left Spain without a part of the spice routes of the Moluccas, controlled by the iron-handed Portuguese Empire, and Magellan, now at the service of the young Spanish king Charles V, is willing to challenge it. Instead of taking the route of the east, he intends to discover a new route to the west, a pass through the still mostly uncharted Indies, in a travel that will prove quite of an adventure.

The movie was nominated to Best Animated Feature in the 2020 Goya Awards, although it lost to Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles. Its main theme, "Confía en el viento", was performed by legendary Spanish pop band La Oreja de Van Gogh, which released two more versions in English and Basque to promote the film.

Tropes found in this movie are:

  • Age Lift: Elcano seems to be slightly rejuvenated in this film, as he looks to be in his twenties, while his real life self was 34 at the time and even had a daughter.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Da Costa has greenish yellow skin, likely in case his Obviously Evil Spikes of Doom weren't unsubtle enough.
  • Amazon Chaser: Implied to be the case with Paco, whose wife is a much larger woman that even holds him up in a hilariously inverted Bridal Carry.
  • Ambiguous Situation: While Yago works for the Portuguese, it's oddly left aside whether he is Portuguese himself. His name is found in both Portugal and Spain (it's the Portuguese and Galician form of James), and although he speaks Spanish without even a bit of accent unlike all the other Portuguese in the film, it would not be weird either given that his age makes it likely he has been a spy in Spain for a long time.
  • Anti-Villain: Lapu-Lapu is an antagonist in the film, but this is only because his tribesmen are enemies of those from Cebú. Even their deal to kill Magellan on Yago's requirement ends up being redundant, as there would no reason why would they not try to take down the enemy chieftain in a battle.
  • Artistic License – History: Enough for its own article.
  • Artistic License – Martial Arts: Presumably out of sheer Rule of Cool, Enrique's duel with the mutineer has the latter doing a massive jumping downwards slash, slo-mo effects included for extra flavor, which Enrique barely parries with his own sword. In reality, the two are using espadas roperas, weapons conceived to maximize precise thrusting and strategic cutting, not big slashes like that. A move so utterly alien to the sword's correct usage would achieve very little even if it actually landed.
  • Big Bad: The Portuguese ambassador, Álvaro da Costa, who intends stop the Magellan expedition to protect the Portuguese trade supremacy.
  • Big Fun: The jolly, fat chieftain of Cebú. Pigafetta himself is another, being equally fat and mostly a Nice Guy.
  • Big Good: Magellan himself, the knowledgeable navigator who leads the expedition.
  • The Big Guy: Magellan's friend, the big sailor with the sideburns-moustache combo. He smashes a war canoe by throwing a heavy barrel on it, and later fires a cannon handheld from the hip.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In the original Spanish, the film contains many lines in untranslated, heavily accented Portuguese and Italian, as the three languages are more or less mutually intelligible.
  • Composite Character: Paco, the Andalusian pilot, whose name is short for Francisco, seems to be a mix of two real crewmen with that name, Francisco Albo (a Greek pilot) and Francisco Rodríguez (a Spanish-Portuguese sailor from Seville), both of which survived the expedition.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Pigafetta of all people. Although he typically reacts cowardly at the first instance, he comes back with a gun and a bunch of soldiers in an attempt to quell the mutiny and later takes part in the final battle.
  • Earthy Barefoot Character: Samar, a character much more attuned to the sea than the Europeans, goes around barefoot, even although most people in her tribe wear sandals.
  • Evil Old Folks: Two of them, the skeptical captain Juan de Cartagena and the Portuguese spy Yago.
  • Evil Wears Black: Most Portuguese sailors, and Da Costa himself, wear either completely in black or with a lot of black in their attire.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade:
    • This version of Magellan is substantially nicer, wiser and better of a leader than his historical self, for all accounts. In real life, Magellan was a heavy-handed commander with very bad rapport with his men, many of which saw him not only as incompetent, but also despotic, and was also a bit too trigger-happy and bloodthirsty even by his time's standards. The movie adapts out virtually all of his unsavory acts, such when he had the main mutineers gruesomely executed or when he tried to convert some indigenous by force.
    • Enrique de Malacca is a full Noble Savage here, when in real life he apparently betrayed the expedition to the Cebuan natives (for sympathetic reasons, that is, but still). As this plot excised, the chieftain of Cebú doesn't participate either.
  • Karma Houdini: While his plans end in failure and he loses a ship himself, Da Costa faces no other retribution for his sabotage of the mission, and even in the case they ever accuse him, his high rank will likely protect him. Possibly averted with Yago, as the last time we see him, he's being hit by Da Costa on the claim he has the fault of everything.