The live-action movie for Dora the Explorer felt like Indiana Jones meets Mean Girls, or vice versa.
This post for Dora and the Lost City of Gold is spoiler-free.
Set in the age where Dora (Isabela Moner) is all grown up, Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019, directed by James Bobin) balances teenage angst and childlike banter with a classic Dora the Explorer adventure.
With a runtime of almost two hours, the movie incorporates classic elements of the animated Nickelodeon series to create a compelling action-adventure. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is refreshing to watch as it doesn’t take away the uniqueness that made the animated character standout from other cartoons—it is just like what Dora said, everything will be okay as long as she “be herself”.
Though some of the lines in the movie can be cringe, Moner does a stellar job at being Dora. She doesn’t overact, nor mock the youthfulness of the character. In fact, she is the epitome of Dora the Explorer. On the other hand, Dora’s professor parents (played by Eva Longoria and Michael Peña) felt extremely underused, albeit well casted.
The movie does have a pretty interesting second-act that left me feeling surprised. I was mostly in awe at how the live-action version picked out the best parts of the animated series to use it to its advantage. It felt like a culmination of what made Dora the Explorer special all lumped into one gigantic surprise for audiences.
Dora’s first live-action movie is delightfully positive and fun, which makes it suitable for moviegoers of all ages to watch. It’s possible to make a sequel for the live-action Dora franchise—but let’s hope that the positive reviews from critics matches up to the box office numbers.