Director: James Bobin
Writers: Chris Gifford (based on the series created by), Matthew Robinson (screenplay by)
Stars: Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña
Moviie Couple here! We went to see Dora and The Lost City of Gold this weekend! Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies! We’re here to tell you if we liked it. Film experts we are not! Just a quick reminder of our rating system. Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out. we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system. 1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money! 3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent! 5-6 Bills equal Wow! Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter! Please take our money again!
Dora and the Lost City of Gold brings to the silver screen the titular cartoon heroine from Nickelodeon’s Dora The Explorer! Back in August 2000, the world was introduced to Dora, a seven year old latina adventurer that entertained a generation of kids for eight seasons, with her talking backpack, map and monkey friend Boots! Exploring her jungle, outwitting foxes and teaching kids a bit of Spanish all at the same time! Updated for this live action adventure, we catch up with a high school age Dora (performed by Isabela Moner) as she is sent by her explorer parents (Played by Michael Pena and Eva Longoria!) to the big city to attend high school with her cousin and childhood bestie, Diego (Yes, for those cartoon historians, Diego starred in his own Nick Jr cartoon Go Diego Go! Unfortunately that show is never referenced here).
While innocent, homeschooled Dora is sent to explore this, as of yet to her, undiscovered world of selfies, social media and high school bullies, her parents head off to discover the Lost City of Gold, Parapata! After a bumpy start to High School life, it doesn’t take long before Dora is off to the jungle in search of her missing parents, with a few new classmates in tow!
The students and Diego played by Jeff Wahlberg, Nicholas Coombe and Madeleine Madden get dragged along as Dora reunites with Boots and runs afoul of her old nemesis Swiper the masked fox! For the “I can’t believe I’m writing this record” Boots the Monkey and Swiper the Fox are voice acted by Danny Trejo and Benicio Del Toro! Wow, just Wow! Directed by James Bobin of recent Muppet Movie fame, Will Dora find her missing parents? Can she prove herself to her judgmental city peers? Does the City of Gold exist? Is this pint sized Lara Croft ready to face the real life dangers and challenges awaiting her? Is this film simply a death trap or is it the high school equivalent of Raiders Of the Lost Ark? Will you wish you stayed home or will come away believing a Fox can talk? Grab you maps, insect repellant and pink backpacks everyone, it’s time to find out!
Mr. Moviie Couple: Honestly, I remember the Dora cartoon from my children watching her years ago. With that in mind, I was very curious after seeing the trailer for this film. I would even say I was a tad bit excited to see how this would all be pulled off. How would they update Swiper the Fox for a live action film? It didn’t take long before the movie lets us know that much of what we saw in the cartoon was the product of young Dora’s imaginative adventures growing with only her cousin Diego and her parents around for company. This worked well for me. The acting was pretty par for the course for a movie of this type. The lone standout to me was the performance of Isabela Moner as Dora. This young actress really carried the show. She conveyed Dora’s earnestness in each and every scene! No spoilers! (Oh man!…, see what I did there?) But even in the very Croft/Indiana Jones third act, Moner never drops the innocent innate goodness of Dora throughout the various situations! Muy Bueno!
Once it became apparent, to a grumpy filmgoer such as myself, with Swiper the Fox’s first onscreen appearance, (where he is wearing his mask and talking to a group of mercenaries without anyone freaking out), that the earlier explanations trying to tie the cartoon version to the live action film was now out the window. I remembered that this movie is really made for kids or young adults that actually watched the cartoon with regularity! My need to understand Swiper or Boots in a real world setting faded soon after and I started to really enjoy this movie for what it is. Part Mean Girls, Part Indiana Jones (especially the third act with a cool nod to the Last Crusade) and Part walk down nostalgia lane.
Packed with great messages about being true to oneself, the value of everyone and the bond of family, what more could you ask of a film with a target audience ripe for all these positive concepts.
Overall, I enjoyed Dora due to a great lead performance and a fun concept, but to be fair, if you have no feelings of nostalgia or never cared for Dora The Explorer, you’ll probably hate it. With all that in mind, I must quantify my rating. If you are a kid or a young adult who grew up watching Dora, I feel its a solid 4 Bills! BUT, if you have little to no history with the cartoon it’s a solid 3 (probably a 2 if not for Moner’s performance). So for me, I give Dora and The Lost City of Gold 4 Bills! Pretty Good! Overall a good time! If not entirely Delicioso!
Mrs. Moviie Couple: Hola! Senora Moviie Couple aqui!
It was so enjoyable to see all the cartoon characters brought to life in this movie!
All the actors did a fantastic job in their respective roles and Boots was very cute and funny!
The moral of this story really should have been used to promote it more. Being true to yourself, even when being teased for it! Never changing who you are for acceptance reasons, are both great lessons to teach our children these days!
We here at Moviie Couple work hard not to spoil the plot twists and turns or even big movie reveals, but I have to make an exception for one scene in this film. I feel a responsibility to speak on this particular scene. Dora and her friends are lured into a field of dangerous plants, once the plants are awakened they spray a pollen that when the characters breathe it in, they all begin to hallucinate. It is played for laughs, as the characters see themselves as they appeared in the original cartoon. Dora even thinks she is speaking to her map and backpack, as she imagined all those years ago. I think it’s up to a parents discreation as to whether or not they want to expose their children to a scene like this one. Or perhaps you can use this as a teaching moment to speak about hallucinogens to your kids depending on their age. Either way I wanted to alert parents about the scene in advance so they can decide for themselves.
I have to give Dora and the Lost City of Gold 2 Bills! Despite some fun, it drags a bit too long and I wish I had saved my money and waited to catch it on Netflix. It will be a great watch for kids at home or for a family movie night on the couch, but not as an expensive night out!
On the way home, We spoke of the old cartoon. I still strove for an explanation of Swiper talking and nobody caring! Am I the only one? Guess so. The Mrs. ribbed me a bit about how I was actually looking forward to this one and what more did I expect? At the end of the day, we both had different experiences, who knew Dora the Explorer could be so divisive? With my 4 Bills and her 2 Bills we come up with a solid 2 Bills maybe a Shaky 3 Bills.
Till next time, keep your binoculars close by, your backpack strapped tightly and never trust a talking fox wearing a mask, especially if he sounds like Benicio Del Toro! Be sure to check our facebook page for a clue to our next movie up for review! Mr. & Mrs. Moviie Couple out!