I never really imagine my self watching a Dora live-action movie. Not even once in my wildest dream. If you have read some of my reviews you will understand. My type of movie is the one that involves mystery, horror, action, quality drama, a deep meaning, and lore. While ‘Dora’ is certainly not that kind, but I remember that as a human, more importantly as an amateur critic, I need to keep a neutral view for every movie until I really watch it. And there I was, a grown man, watching ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’ with bunch of generation Z.
From 2D to Real Live
‘Dora and The Lost City of Gold’, for you that don’t really know what is this really are, its a Nickelodeon cartoon television series that finally have its own live-action. Of course, every IP with a prospect of making money is getting a remake or a new adaptation by a big production company nowadays. Well, you can say its similar to the likes of ‘Lion King’ but rather than from 2D to CGI, ‘Dora’ leveling itself up by going from 2D to real life.
If you are from the generation Z, you must know or at least heard what ‘Dora’ story really is. Its a story about a young girl, embarking on an adventurous journey with his best monkey friend ‘Boots’, what makes the original Dora different from other kids series from that time, is that Dora is in some way an interactive cartoon. Its frequently ask the audience to say the word along with Dora and Boots, even so, to point of asking the direction of a specific item that is questioned by Dora. The most well-known phrase is when is Dora asking the audience about the mountain location “Where is the Mountain?” (I found it stupid silly, as the big big mountain just behind Dora, either she is blind or just completely retarded)
Dora meet Indiana Jones and Lara Croft
Anyway, the movie adaptation plot is kinda similar to the original. But with a background of Dora’s family, friends and the first reason why she becomes the embodiment of Indiana Jones/Lara Croft. The story explains why Dora first become interested in adventure and survival skill. Her parents, Cole (Michael Peña) and Elena (Eva Longoria) is an explorer that is seeking a lost civilization (typical). Dora becomes nuts by her own obsession for a lost city called Parapata. Really, she is just nut, to the point of bringing survival knife, flares, and other crazy stuff to the school. First, the movie shows the young Dora and from there, the movie fasts forward 10 years, to the teenage Dora, where she joined with her friends and unlikely companion, try to rescue her parents that are lost somewhere deep in the jungle, after she lost contact with them during their exploration to find the lost city of Parapata. The team of wannabe explorer will jump their way, running and slinging all around the ancient forest while trying to avoid the enemies that pursue them and also while dodging the killer plants and animal along the way.
While Dora is certainly not aiming at Adult audience, what is surprising for me, it is quite entertaining. I felt it has the same vibe as “Jumanji”. The movie casting choice is quite spot-on as well. I’m doing some research and found out that Isabela Moner that plays Dora, is actually have done years of work for voice casting for Dora spin-off, hence she is more or less knowledgeable already about the series core. The supporting role is also good. Especially Michael Peña as Dora’s Dad, Benicio del Toro as Swiper the Fox, and the most surprising; Danny Trejo as Boots the Monkey. Besides the good, it also has a bad actor. Most prominently Diego, Dora’s cousin, played by Malachi Barton. Diego never really show its emotion, it’s cold and just boring. He should be more cheerful especially in this family movie.
“Where is the Mountain?”
The humor part is the one that for some critics found quite miss. I agree it sometimes feels awkward (it does feel awkward, especially if you are adult) and only funny if you are familiar with the cartoon. Example like when Dora asks the audience, like really asking and showing her face to the camera just like the original cartoon was, much to her parent confusion. This, if watched by first-timer is certainly not funny at all. But for people that are growing up with the series, it’s a true homage to its root and quite fun as well. There is even one scene that all of the explorer team turns into 2D character after supposedly inhaling a magic mushroom pollen. If you thinking about the magic mushroom part, its quite hilarious. Its literally making an acid trip effect into 2D.
Perfect For Family
‘Dora and The Lost City of Gold’ is a straight family movie. Its combine kids joke, lots of action, and most importantly friends and family meaning. Its served its purpose and for that I respect it. Of course, ‘Dora’ wouldn’t win an Oscar award, but still a good movie for your entire family nonetheless.