Dora and the Lost City of Gold
review by Bobby Blakey
From 2000-2014 Dora the Explorer was a main stay of educational TV for kids on Nickelodeon. Even if you didn’t have kids you likely knew of the show or some of its catch phrases. Now the series is getting the live action treatment with Dora and The Lost City of Gold starring Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña, Eva Longoria, Adriana Barraza, Temuera Morrison, Jeff Wahlberg, Nicholas Coombe, Madeleine Madden, and Danny Trejo with The Muppets and Alice Through the Looking Glass director James Bobin at the helm. Could this live action adventure capture the world of Dora or will it be a movie not worth translating?
Dora and the Lost City of Gold follows Dora, having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents, for her most dangerous adventure ever – High School. Always the explorer, Dora quickly finds herself leading Boots (her best friend, a monkey), Diego, a mysterious jungle inhabitant, and a rag tag group of teens on a live-action adventure to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost city of gold. I was obviously not the target audience of the original series or this movie for that matter and my kids were never really into it when they were younger, but I knew all the ins and outs for whatever reason. I was surprised it took this long to get a movie of the popular property but even more so that they went live action.
Honestly going in I had little hope for this movie to work for me, but after seeing some of the trailers I started getting intrigued as it had kind of a Spy Kids vibe to it. While it is silly as expected I actually had a ton of fun with this movie. The film does in fact have the tone of Spy Kids with a full on Indiana Jones flair, even moments that it is exact from the Last Crusade, but works to entertain, be its own thing while still bringing everything from the show kids want to see. Like most of these films they had to take her out the jungle to do
the fish out of water story, but I think it worked and offered up some funny moments. More importantly they did stick to that too long before getting Dora right back to where she is supposed to be.
Once it gets past the first half playing up the laughs and kid elements of the series it jumps into family adventure as it takes them through traps, chases and every other clichéd adventure film situation you could want and it just works. Sure this is meant for the kids, but it is one of those films that adults can have fun with as well. I know Swiper is supposed to be the way they portrayed him in the film, but he was the one element that just didn’t work. Again this isn’t for me and the kids will no doubt love seeing him do his thing, but it drove me nuts. I give them props for some clever story elements to bring in the famed elements of the show complete with a dead homage to the series that I didn’t expect.
I went into this film not caring one way or another about Dora the Explorer and just hoped for some fun and I got it. This is one of those films that knows its audience and gives them everything they want and I have no doubt will be a big hit with the kids and some adults as well that are willing to admit to it.
In addition to the film this release includes bonus content including a blooper reel, deleted & extended scenes, and numerous featurettes behind bringing the animated classic to life. Join the adventure and grab your copy of Dora and The Lost City of Gold available now on digital and then on Blu-ray and DVD on November 19th from Paramount Home Entertainment.