El Cid: The Legend (Spanish: El Cid: La leyenda) is a Spanish animated film released on December 19, 2003, written by José Pozo, and based on the historical legend of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, also known as El Cid.
The Berber tyrant Ibn Yusuf invades the Muslim Taifa of Zaragoza, as the beginning of his campaign to conquer the entire Iberian peninsula. As a result, Prince Al-Mu'tamin flees to Castile to warn king Ferdinand of Yusuf's invasion.
In Castile, Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar is living a life of privilege as the son of a nobleman. He is best friend with Prince Sancho and is secretly in a romantic relationship with Jimena, the daughter of Count Gormaz. Unfortunately, Gormaz disapproves, and suggests that Jimena should marry the arrogant and self-centered Count Ordoñez. As the royal court receives word that the Almoravids of Zaragoza had crossed the Castilian border, Rodrigo gets the opportunity to accompany Sancho, Ordoñez and Gormaz on a scouting mission. Once they set up camp, Gormaz is ambushed by Al-Mu'tamin and his warriors, but Rodrigo intervenes. Once Al-Mu'tamin gets the chance to speak, he is allowed by Sancho to accompany them back to the palace.
Sometime later, King Ferdinand dies, and the devious and power-hungry Princess Urraca plots to have Sancho killed so that the weak-minded prince Alfonso can be crowned. Gormaz meets with Rodrigo on a balcony, on Jimenas request, where Rodrigo asks for her hand in marriage. Gormaz refuses, and instead challenges Rodrigo to a duel. Rodrigo is hesitant to fight, but when Gormaz insists, he draws his sword. As the two fight, Urraca sends out her lover and servant to assassinate Sancho by stabbing him in the back with a dagger. At the same time, Rodrigo accidentally kills Gormaz. When Jimena witnesses, she vows to never speak to Rodrigo ever again, and he is forced to flee the scene. Later, Alfonso is crowned king, but at the ceremony Rodrigo refuses to kneel before him, and makes Alfonso swear that he had nothing to do with his brother's death. Alfonso does so, but in his rage and humiliation, he banishes Rodrigo without honor.
The principal musical theme of El Cid: The Legend was composed and interpreted by Luis Fonsi. It is called La fuerza del corazón.
They also collaborated with the Spanish rock group Diosa, which had already created music for other Spanish feature films.
Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar/El Cid
Yusuf ibn Tashfin/Ben Yusuf
Emir Al-Muqtadir of Zaragoza
Count Garcia Ordonez
King Alfonso VI
Babieca, Mare of Rodrigo
Ruidoso, the Badger of Garces
Emir Al-Qadir II of Toledo
In real life, Princess Urraca was not regarded as antagonistic and power-hungry. Her position as ruler of city of Zamora was never been confirmed as well.
In reality, Alfonso was the one who plotted against Sancho and wanted to be king of both Castile and León.
Ben Yusuf never had his left eye scarred. His appearance in reality was "Brown color, middle height, thin, little beard, soft voice, black eyes, straight nose, lock of Muhammad falling on the top of his ear, eyebrow joined, wooly hair".
The left scarred eye was only meant to give Yusuf a threatening and villainous appearance. But like in both reality and the film, his voice is very soft.
In reality, Prince Al-Mu'tamin was both a prince and a scientist of the Kingdom of Zaragoza. While in the film, he is just a prince.
Jimena never mentioned her older brother's name Fernando, who was the military leader of the Kingdom of León.
Count Gormaz' real name is Diego Fernandez.
Alvar Fañez never accompanied El Cid during his exile.
In reality, Ben Yusuf was regarded as an honorable man and founder of city of Marrakesh. While in the film, he is a cruel, ruthless, unforgiving and evil man.
Ben Yusuf and El Cid never met in person. In reality, El Cid mainly fought against his nephew Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad and other two men of Yusuf during the second Battle for Valencia, not by Yusuf himself.
Muhammad ibn 'A'isha, son of Ben Yusuf and governor of Murcia is never mentioned.
In reality, the Almoravids had caused two invasions. It was during the second invasion that they had planned to conquer the whole Iberia Peninsula.
Abu Ahmad Dja'far, the Emir of Valencia never appears, but it is possible that he was already killed by Ben Yusuf. While in reality, he was executed by the order of Rodrigo.
In reality, Count Garcia Ordonez never had feelings for Jimena. He hates Rodrigo because he publicly humiliated him during the Battle of Cabra and imprisoned him and his remaining knights for 3 days.
Berenguer Ramon II, Count of Barcelona has never been appeared or mentioned in the film.