Pros: Isabela Moner is perfect as the older Dora; the main features and techniques of the cartoon were transferred to the film adaptation; some irony towards oneself Cons: Techniques that looked natural on television do not work well in cinema; changing the age limit is a rather controversial decision; Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Genre children’s adventure film
Directed by James Bobin
Cast: Isabela Moner (Dora), Eugenio Derbez (Alejandro Gutierrez), Michael Peña (Dora’s father), Eva Longoria (Dora’s mother), Jeff Wahlberg (Diego), Madeleine Madden (Sammy), Benicio Del Toro (voice of Rogue), Danny Trejo (voice of Chobitka), etc.
Paramount Players Studios, Nickelodeon Movies
Year of release 2019
If you haven’t seen a single episode of Dora the Explorer / Dora the Explorer / Dora the Mandarin, then you are most likely over 30 years old and you do not have children born between 2000 and 2010. This American English – a Spanish-language television series for the little ones has been translated into languages of peoples all over the world. There are Greek, Israeli, Taiwanese, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean and hundreds of other language versions. This cartoon was actually watched in all countries of the world.
Actually, Dora herself is an eight-year-old girl, a sort of little Lara Croft, adventurer and daredevil. One of the key features of the Dora the Explorer cartoon is the regular breaking of the fourth wall. Dora often turns to young viewers, inviting them to repeat difficult words with her or give her suggestions for solutions in difficult situations. And Dora and her friends, which include a talking backpack and a talking card, regularly compose and sing songs with or without reason.
In addition to the original cartoon Dora the Explorer (2000-19), there are spin-offs Dora and Friends: Into the City! (2016-17) with 10-year-old Dora (funny, one of the roles in this series was voiced by Isabela Moner, who plays Dora in the film) and Go, Diego, Go! (2006-11) about Dora’s cousin. Plus 50 children’s books, 8 video games, related soft toys, etc.
The film adaptation is a mix of the original Dora the Explorer and Dora and Friends: Into the City! whose characters have become even older. In the film, Dora and her friends are in high school, which means they are 16-17 years old. And this seems to be the main problem of the film. Viewers who watch the original cartoon now, that is, 5-8 year olds, are unlikely to be so interested in the problems of older schoolchildren. Teenagers, most likely, will be ashamed of their former love for this character and are unlikely to go to the film. It is unlikely that parents without children will even look at it. So the main question that I would like to ask the authors of Dora and the Lost City of Gold is: “Who is your film intended for?”
Moreover, it cannot be said that Dora and the Lost City of Gold is poorly filmed or does not correspond to the spirit of the original. Quite the contrary and this is another gap. Techniques that worked well in the cartoon look very strange on the big screen. Dora’s incredible optimism and her desire to sing for any reason causes awkwardness rather than tenderness. A song about going to the toilet in general? Seriously?
No, the authors are trying to play up some of the features of the cartoon and sometimes they do it well. For example, the same appeal to the audience at the very beginning and the parents’ promise that “she will outgrow this.” Or Dora’s attempt to talk to her backpack and her pet monkey. Yes, it’s funny, but only if you’ve seen the original cartoon.
On the other hand, we can say that Dora and the Lost City of Gold is the quintessence of post-irony and teenagers should appreciate how the filmmakers laugh at themselves… But I’m still not sure that teenagers will go to see this movie.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a cute comedy based on a children’s cartoon. Tomb Raider super-lite – a low-fat version without violence and sexual overtones. It’s just that it would be better for this film to remain on television, it is uncomfortable in cinemas and, most likely, it will fail miserably at the box office, especially given its budget ($49 million).
It’s a shame, because Isabela Moner (Instant Family, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Transformers: The Last Knight) makes a very authentic Dora. It’s a pity that the young actress hasn’t had so much luck with films so far.
The biggest question surrounding Dora and the Lost City of Gold is who exactly are the people who will go see this movie?